Monday, March 24, 2014

Hyundai Sonata LF

The first Hyundai Sonata was launched in South Korea since November 1985 and next year, the Sonata's age will be reaching 30 years old. No wonder this is one of Korea's longest models in history and while we're still waiting for the Hyundai Sonata to reach its 30th year in 2015, looks like they got themselves a head-start by launching the latest seventh-generation of one of Korea's oldest car names.

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Well, the front view maybe more of a Subaru Legacy facsimile but the seventh-generation Sonata (LF) incorporates the carmaker's new Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 first applied to last year's Genesis. This is by no means one of the most attractive saloons in its class or that's the theory because being a Korean, it's going to take a stiff competition against medium saloons from Europe, America, and Japan.

The new Sonata kinda focuses on four terms; RUN. TURN, STOP, and PROTECT. RUN refers to the engine choices, TURN refers to the handling characteristics although this new model now comes with some multilink cleverness, STOP and PROTECT refers to the safety features. Well, you get the idea but let's explain more about the new seventh-generation model from the bare essentials.

2015 Hyundai Sonata

2015 Hyundai Sonata interior

This new Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design on the new Sonata takes a step further on how it looks and since it was Peter Schreyer's order, since he's now in charge of being the CEO of Hyundai Motor Group, the new boss wanted the new Sonata to be more of a facsimile to some European cars it will face and judging by the looks of it, this new model managed to pull it off in all of the right corners.

On the interior, the new Sonata is festooned with technology you might expect from a high-end business saloons and if you belong to the yuppie generation, this car might suit your style because not only you can feel comfortable on the driver's seat but you can get a bit spoiled on the infotainment system. Let's hope you're not a senior driver because you can find infotainment systems a bit to problematic in your kind of age.

At launch, the new, seventh-generation, LF Sonata carries on two petrol engines from the previous YF model such as the 2.0 Nu CVVL engine and the 2.4L Theta II GDi engine. First, the 2.0L CVVL engine produces about 168PS of power output, 201Nm of torque, and more importantly, combined fuel economy of 12.1km/L. Then, the 2.4L Theta II GDi engine develops a shy 193PS of power, 247Nm of torque, and 11.5km/L of fuel consumption. Although those fuel economy stats are stated by the manufacturer, your actual driving range can vary.

Both the 2.0L and the 2.4L GDi variants are mated with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Well, that's for the RUN statement of the Sonata but what about the statement of TURN?

In the handling stakes, the new Sonata comes with the multilink suspension setup so theoretically, the new model can handle like a European medium sedan and I am quite humbled by the result of what Hyundai did to keep up against their opposition. Once more, it even comes with Adaptive Shock Dampers to make the car more comfortable to drive in the bends. Couple that with the Vehicle Stability Management and the Vehicle Dynamics Control and you got yourself a well-civilized midsize saloon that is as sensible as reading a book on Korean culture.

2015 Hyundai Sonata
In the case of STOP and PROTECT, the new Sonata has been loaded with some optional safety features including the Forward Collision Warning System, Advanced Smart Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning System, Blind Spot Detection, and not to mention the Advanced Smart Parking Assist System where you can let the parking all by itself when it spots a vacant parking space. Useful if you are in a last minute to change your clothes for a big day.

Even though the new Sonata comes with seven airbags, there's one thing you will notice and nope, not from where you're seeing at, there's an additional airbag under the steering wheel! How did they added an airbag under the steering wheel? Well, isn't that witchcraft? I don't know but it's all in the name of PROTECT for the new Sonata.

The pricing starts at around 22,550,000 KRW (estimate $21,000) for the entry-level model with the 2.0L Nu CVVL engine while the top-end model with the 2.4L Theta II GDi engine is priced at 29,900,000 KRW (estimated $28,000) so it's a smart buy for the buck.

Available Colors: Ice White, Platinum Silver, Polished Metal, Remington Red, Coast Blue, Night Sky, Phantom Black.

Photo: Hyundai Motor Company

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