click above for more high-res images of the 2009 Hyundai Sonata

The new 2009 Hyundai Sonata gets a bump in interior refinement and available power, and the South Korean automaker would like to be paid for all its troubles. The 2009 Sonata Limited saw the largest jump in price, with the new model going for $24,645, up $1,650 from the 2008 model. At the bottom of the Sonata lineup, Hyundai increased the sticker on the entry GLS by a more reasonable $700 to $18,795, or $19,995 with the upgraded five-speed automatic transmission. Oddly enough, however, the base Sonata is now $75 more than a base 2009 Camry, which is an interesting decision on Hyundai's part. With destination and delivery charges included, the base Sonata GLS is now $585 less than the base 2009 Toyota Camry, which starts at $19,380. The base Chevy Malibu LS, meanwhile, now equals the automatic Sonata GLS in price at $19,995 with d&d costs included.

With prices going up by up by seven percent on certain models, Hyundai may have lost some of its price advantage on the competition. With better quality and improved refinement, it's clear to us that the South Korean automaker is banking on Americans picking the Sonata based on criteria other than price.

UPDATE: Corrections made to pricing of base 2009 Toyota Camry and base 2008 Chevy Malibu. The 2009 Hyundai Sonata still undercuts the Camry and now equals the base Malibue in price

[Source: Hyundai]

Related Gallery2009 Hyundai Sonata


PRESS RELEASE:

HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA ANNOUNCES 2009 SONATA PRICING

Chicago, 02/06/2008 Hyundai Motor America announced pricing for the refreshed 2009 Sonata at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show today. The 2009 Sonata features an all-new interior, enhanced suspensions and revised powertrains boasting even more horsepower and improved fuel economy. The 2009 Sonata is now on sale at Hyundai dealerships.



"You'd expect that all of these changes and new content would lead to startling new price points for the Sonata," said John Krafcik, vice president, Product Development and Strategic Planning, Hyundai Motor America. "But that's not Hyundai's business model. With a starting price of just $18,795, including delivery, the 2009 Sonata is very well equipped to compete with the best mid-size sedans on quality, craftsmanship, capability...and of course, value."

The Sonata combines refined design, proven dependability, spirited performance and an extensive list of standard features to increase its appeal to a broader range of customers. For 2009, Sonata raises the bar for value and standard safety technology in the mid-size segment. Hyundai's sales leader boasts new features ranging from standard USB/iPod auxiliary inputs to available navigation and sport-tuned suspension. Combined with Sonata's continued leadership in safety – it remains the only mid-size sedan under $20,000 with standard Electronic Stability Control (ESC) – the 2009 American-made Sonata is the smartest choice in the competitive mid-size sedan segment.

The new, second-generation Theta II 2.4-liter DOHC inline four-cylinder engine delivers more horsepower and quicker acceleration. Fuel economy numbers are 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway with the standard five-speed manual transmission or the newly available five-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC®. The Theta II is rated at 175 horsepower and 168 lb.-ft. of torque. This high-tech, all-aluminum, 16-valve engine now features Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) on both camshafts and a Variable Induction System (VIS) for better engine breathing.

Sonata's 3.3-liter V6 engine now pumps out 15 more horsepower and three more pound-feet of torque (249 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm and 229 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,500 rpm). This newly refined powerplant features all-aluminum construction, dual overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, CVVT on both camshafts and stiffer hydraulic engine mounts for optimum power, efficiency and refinement. A variable intake system is added for 2009, which further broadens its power curve, improving off-the-line acceleration and passing performance. New mileage figures for V6-powered Sonatas are 19 mpg city/29 mpg highway.

All V6-powered Sonatas use Hyundai's five-speed SHIFTRONIC automatic transmission, which features an overdrive lock-up torque converter for improved highway fuel economy. The automatic transmission has a new reducing valve and solenoid valve for smoother shift quality while the manual transmission has been refined for more precise shifts.

The pleasant surprises continue inside where Hyundai designers have thoroughly revamped the cockpit to create the ambiance of an upscale, premium sedan. The sophisticated look is achieved thanks to a completely new center console and instrument panel, which borrows design cues and rich materials from the premium Hyundai Veracruz. The Sonata continues to be classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as a Large Car, truly a "class above" Camry, Altima, Fusion and Malibu (all are categorized as mid-size cars).

Music lovers will welcome the 2009 Sonata's inclusion of standard auxiliary input jacks (3.5 mm mini-jack and USB input) to accommodate and charge audio devices such as iPods®. Other refinements include dual-zone climate controls for the driver and front-seat passenger and two-stage front seat warmers. A new factory-installed touch screen navigation system is now available as well.

The design team added a more refined touch to Sonata's exterior design, with new bumpers, lamps, wheels and grille creating a more elegant, dynamic and taut stance. The unibody design crafted of high-tensile steel features a concave hood design, distinctive rear-door cut lines, strong Z-lined body-to-bumper interfaces and four-barrel jeweled projector lens headlights. New chrome bodyside and bumper moldings match the chrome grille and chrome-accented exterior door handles on Limited models.

On the safety side, 2009 Sonata's front collision performance has been improved by tweaking the design of the engine subframe. Every Sonata also has lifesaving ESC as standard equipment along with six standard airbags. The braking technology package includes four-wheel disc brakes and an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) that includes Brake Assist and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD).

Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif. is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced by more than 780 Hyundai dealerships nationwide.