Aesthetically pleasing to the eyes and as Hyundai’s Sonata designer puts it, “Sensuous Sportiness”, where the word ‘sensuous’ integrates the value of more emotion in designs. ‘Sportiness’ implies dynamics, to be reactive of what’s happening around us. ‘Sensuous Sportiness’ is about a new concept in the creation of cars. The sporty curves added with the shark fin antenna, makes this Sonata more European than Korean. Inspired by the dramatic Le Fil Rouge four-door-coupe concept shown at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, the new-generation Sonata is a sporty four-door coupe with a spacious interior.
We love the design of the front LED running lights as well as the “Star Wars craft type” rear lights. The diffuser at the top of the rear trunk door looks cool and hopefully is functional.
The first thing that catches my eyes upon opening the driver’s door is the luxurious leather seats with brilliant color matching to its interior. The electronic front seats are firm and comfortable especially with the lumbar support, but stitching quality can be improved. Next thing that is obvious is the “missing” gear lever. The new shift-by-wire gear selector is one of Hyundai’s many technological development with visual or space benefit. The new interface not only is sleek and technologically advanced but also takes up significantly less space than a traditional gear selector.
The steering wheel has a nice feel but a bit too smooth to have a good grip. This can be a bit hazardous during emergency turning or response. I felt that the steering response is a bit lagging and not sensitive. Sound proofing not particularly good as engine sound can be distractingly heard especially in high speed or during high revving moments.
The Blind-Spot View Monitor are cameras that are mounted on the side mirrors and will activate when indicator is turned on. It offers the driver an enhanced field of vision through the speedometer or Rev / RPM meter, where the visuals will appear depending on which side you are turning. Another safety feature in this Sonata is the Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW) system that scans for vehicles entering your blind spot. If a vehicle is detected in the blind spot, audible and visual alerts are provided. Other safety features available are: a comprehensive six-airbag set-up, the Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Hill-Start Assist Control (HAC), Brake Assist System (BAS) and the Vehicle Stability Management (VSM).
One useful feature we like is the Heads-Up Display (HUD). It has an option to change color, which is useful to those drivers that find white color to be distracting. Parking and getting out of tight parking spaces is now more convenient than ever with the Surround View Monitor that offers a bird’s-eye view of the car’s exterior, giving the driver confidence when maneuverings into or out of spaces.
Up front there is one USB charging slot, 1 USB slot for mirroring your apple and android phone to the 8-inch HD screen and a wireless smartphone charging pad with cooling fan. The 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster has Speedometer and rev meter that changes graphic and color when you change into any of the Four driving modes.
The Panoramic roof offers a soothing feeling like being in the outdoor but yet safe and cool inside. It provides good lighting inside the car on a bright moon night or cloudy day.
Smart trunk auto open if anyone (with the car knob) stand behind the Sonata for few seconds. However it does not work if the engine is running or doors are un-lock. As a matter of fact, it did not work when we tried it immediately after locking the doors. Hyundai needs to re-look at this.
In the heart of this 8th Generation Sonata is the new Smartstream G2.5 powertrain that is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Gear selection is controlled by a new Electronic Shift Button (shift-by-wire) selector that is fast in changing gears and the paddle shifters are responsive as well. The new powertrain generates 180 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 232 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. Sorely lacking is a turbo unit which we are told is currently not available for the Malaysian market. In sport mode, the rev meter was already up before we felt the engine kicks in. Perhaps a software update to the syncing is needed. A turbo added would definitely makes acceleration better and value to the already high price tag of this Sonata.
The Sonata is the first model to utilize Hyundai Motor’s third-generation vehicle platform. The platform delivers an improvement in collision safety through the use of a multiload path structure, Hot Stamping, and super-high-tensile steel plate. The sophisticated multiload path structure increases the energy that the vehicle absorbs in collisions.
The all-new Sonata comes in a choice 6 exterior colours namely, White Cream, Shimmering Silver, Nocturne Grey, Oxford Blue, Midnight Black and Flame Red. The Oxford Blue and Flame Red exterior colours are matched with the black leather interior; Shimmering Silver exterior colour with the Greige two-tone leather interior; while the White Cream, Nocturne Grey and Midnight Black exterior colours are matched with the Camel two-tone leather interior.
The New Hyundai Sonata is priced at RM189,888 for the first 50 buyers and thereafter RM206,888.
|Bore X Stroke (mm)||88.5 X 101.5|
|Max Power (PS/rpm)||180 / 6,000|
|Max Torque (Nm/rpm)||232 / 4,000|
|Gear System||Electronic Shift Button (Shift-by-wire)|
|Drive Mode||4 (Smart, Comfort, Eco & Sport)|
|Drive System||2-Wheel drive|
|Front Brake Type||Ventilated Disc|
|Rear Brake Type||Solid Disc|
|Parking Brake||Electronic Parking Brake with Auto hold|
|Wheels & Tyres|
|Tyres||235 /45 / R18|
|Safety & Security|
|Airbag||6 (Driver, Front Passenger, Side)|
|Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS)||Equipped|
|Electronic Stability Control (ESC)||Equipped|
|Brake Assist System (BAS)||Equipped|
|Vehicle Stability Management (VSM)||Equipped|
|Steering Type||MDPS (Motor Driven Power Steering)|
|Tilt & Telescopic||Equipped|
|Audio System||8” Floating Type Touch Screen with Android Auto & Apple CarPlay|
|Steering Wheel Audio Control||Equipped|
|Connectivity||USB + Bluetooth|
|Headlamps||LED (MFR Type)|
|Rear Combination Lamps||LED|
|Daytime Running Light||Equipped|
|High-Mounted Stop Lamp||LED|
|Outside Mirror Electric Control & Folding||Equipped|
|Outside Mirror Side Repeater||Equipped|