The Toyota Camry
and the Honda Accord.
Can any automaker match
these two highly popular
Well, even mighty
Toyota has experienced
some recent ‘reliability’
problems and quarterly
losses! And even Honda
can be viewed as somewhat
‘behind the curve’ as its
Accord is equipped with a
when Chevy’s new Malibu has a six-speed.
For 2011 Hyundai is bringing a redesigned Sonata to the market that will be taking
square aim at the bumpers of the Camry and Accord. The new Sonata is called the
single most important car the company will launch this decade. The Genesis sedan
put Hyundai on the map in the luxury car segment and the South Korean automaker
is counting on the Sonata to make it a major player in America’s most competitive
segment of the auto market.
Should Toyota and Honda be concerned about the Sonata? Yes! And
why should they be concerned? Because Hyundai has done its homework!
The new sixth-generation Sonata is larger as the EPA classifies it as large car
rather than its past standing as a midsize sedan. It is equipped with a 2.4-liter
direct-fuel injected 4-cylinder engine making 198 hp and coupled with its
six-speed automatic transmission, Hyundai claims the car will achieve 23 mpg
in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. Such highway economy will be quite
impressive for a ‘large’ car if the claims indeed prove to be true!
Regarding the six-speed transmission, Hyundai has produced it in-house. It is
26.4 lbs. lighter, 1.6 inches shorter, and has 62 fewer parts than the five-speed
it replaces. The transmission’s code name is A6MF2 and it allows manual shifts
with the console shifter and the SE model can be shifted with steering wheel
For drivers who want more power, a sporty SE version will be offered with dual
exhaust (upping the horsepower to 200), a tuned suspension, and 18 inch wheels.
As is the norm in the industry of smaller engines with big output, no six-cylinder
engine will be offered but rather a turbocharged four-cylinder a bit down
The styling of the new Sonata has been updated and it has looks that hint
of the Mercedes CLK. Visit the slide show below to see what you think
of the new Sonata!
The bottom line is that the new Sonata is as large as the Accord, it will
achieve better gas mileage than the Camry (which tops the Accord’s mileage),
and it should be more fun to drive than both!
If Hyundai delivers the new Sonata with build quality equal to the Genesis,
Toyota and Honda should be concerned about the Sonata cruising past at a
Kyle Busch is the author of “Drive the Best for the Price…” He
welcomes your comments or car questions at his auto web site: