• Sep 17th 2009 at 9:26AM
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2010 Hyundai Sonata - Click above for high-res image gallery

Hyundai has just unveiled its all new Sonata mid-sized sedan in its home market of South Korea, and after months of spy shots, it's new look is a surprise to no one. Nonetheless, the new Sonata is a major departure from the current strong selling but incredibly bland model. The new one follows the current design trend towards more coupe-like styling with a sweeping shape, arched roof line and short decklid very reminiscent of the Volkswagen CC.

The home market version gets a standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 165 horsepower that's rated at 30.1 mpg (US), an 11 percent improvement from the outgoing model. The North American version will go into production early next year at Hyundai's Alabama factory and be badged as a 2011 model. Here in North America the standard engine will be an upgraded version of the current 2.4-liter four-cylinder with direct injection. The U.S.-market Sonata is expected to debut at either the LA Auto Show later this year or Detroit Auto Show in early January. About a year after launch, the new Sonata will be the first U.S. market Hyundai to get the hybrid system that was shown at last year's LA show. Thanks to everyone who tipped us on this!

[Source: Hyundai]


Hyundai Unveils the New Sonata

  • Hyundai's sixth-generation Sonata encompasses new `fluidic sculpture' design philosophy
  • Features 2.0 Theta II MPi engine, 6-speed automatic transmission
(Note: All specifications and details in this release are based on the Korean domestic model)

(Seoul, Korea) Hyundai Motor Company's all-new Sonata, being introduced today, is expected to shake up the world's mid-size sedan market with its daring design.

The 2010 Sonata adopts Hyundai's new "fluidic sculpture" design language, boasts outstanding performance with the segment-leading safety features and fuel efficiency. Incorporating state-of-the-art technologies, the new Sonata will further elevate the Hyundai brand.

"The Sonata will set a new standard for world class mid-size sedans with state-of-the-art technology, superior build quality and emotional design," Euisun Chung, Hyundai's Vice Chairman said at the launching ceremony for the car today in Seoul. "The new Sonata will raise Hyundai's brand values."

The ceremony, held at a trendy riverside cafe, was attended by more than 200 VIPs, company executives and media members.

Sonata has been the perennial best-seller in Korea since the first generation model was launched in 1985. The sixth-generation Sonata will continue this successful tradition with impeccable quality seen today in other Hyundai premium models, such as the Genesis and EQUUS.

Hyundai began developing the new Sonata in 2005 under the codename YF (Note: The car may be launched under a different name in some regions). The project took 4 years and 450 billion won (US$ 372 million*) to go from concept to customer.

Although it is a completely new vehicle, Hyundai is retaining the Sonata name as the mid-size car has been Korea's most popular sedan. Applying a new design aesthetic of "fluidic sculpture," the 2010 Sonata pursues a younger and sensuous image in its interior and exterior profiles. Inspired by nature, the "fluidic sculpture" tries to reflect sophistication and dynamism in the shape of the vehicle and will serve as the core of Hyundai's future design identity.

The outer design of the new Sonata exudes a voluminous look that creates character through the refined and harmonized lines. The interior has a dynamic look that matches the exterior while not compromising comfort or convenience. The Sonata is available in nine exterior colors, from Remington Red to Blue Black to Espresso, satisfying the diverse tastes of younger customers.

The new Sonata delivers powerful performance through its 2-liter Theta II MPi gasoline engine (Max output 165ps, Max torque of 20.2㎏·m). Delivering the highest fuel economy in its segment at 12.8 kilometers per liter, fuel economy is more than 11% improved compared with today's Sonata. Furthermore, all engines are offered with a new six-speed automatic transmission for heightened performance.

To meet the most stringent automotive safety and crash requirements, the Sonata is built with hot-stamped ultra high-strength steel while featuring six standard airbags.

In addition, safety has been upgraded with standard Vehicle Dynamic Control including Hill-start Assist Control and Brake Assist System functions-an industry first in this competitive segment.

The new Sonata comes with a three-piece panoramic sunroof, giving a sense of openness and freedom as well as a stylish look. The Parking Guide System (PGS) allows drivers to avoid obstacles during parallel parking or when driving in reverse. The Dimension premium sound system offers high-quality sound in three types of modes to satisfy customers' wide-ranging musical tastes.

The Mozen system, a telematics service that debuted in 2003 in Korea, has evolved to become more sophisticated, offering more diverse and upgraded multi-media and IT functions. The newly applied Mozen Premium Wide Navigation system provides drivers with a faster communication service through the third-generation WCDMA wireless network. For two years, it also offers free safety services such as an SOS and anti-theft tracking service. The audio-visual functions have been upgraded with the 8-inch wide screen and JBL Premium Sound system.

In the new Sonata, Hyundai offers a wireless vehicle monitoring service-another industry first-- through the Mozen Autocare service, linking the vehicle's electronic control systems to a monitoring center. The center checks various components for errors, informs the driver of the analysis, and provides directions to nearby service centers, saving time for drivers.

Hyundai plans to sell 60,000 units of the new Sonata in Korea this year. Overseas, Hyundai will start production of the new Sonata at its Alabama plant early next year, while production and sales in China will start in early 2011. Hence, Hyundai expects to sell 450,000 units annually in all markets (Korea & overseas combined) beginning from the year 2011.

In addition, Hyundai plans to present the gasoline version in January next year with a 2.4 liter Theta II GDI engine, which will be offered as a standard engine in the U.S. market.

The new Sonata's price will range from 21.3 million Won to 25.95 million Won (US$17,600 to US$21,450).

Hyundai is confident that the new Sonata, with vastly improved features, will attract and satisfy new as well as current customers. The added specifications are as follows: VDC, Electronic Parking Brake, Amplitude Selective Dampers, High Mounted Stop Lamp, Rear Heated Seats.

* Based on today's currency exchange rates.

YF Sonata specification

YF Sonata

Sonata Transform




Overall Length (mm)



Overall Width (mm)



Overall Height (mm)



Wheelbase (mm)






1,597(1,591, 1,587)

1,597 (1,601, 1,591)



1,597(1,591, 1,587)

1,597 (1,601, 1,591)




Theta 2.0 MPI

Theta 2.0 LPI

Theta 2.0 MPI

Piston Displacement(cc)




Max. Power




Max. Torque




Fuel efficiency (km/)











MacPherson strut & ASD

MacPherson strut

Double Dishbone


Multi-link & ASD



Empty Vehicle Weight










205 / 65R 16

215 / 55R 17

225 / 45R 18

205 / 70R 15

205 / 65R 16

215 / 55R 17

215 / 65R 15

215 / 60R 16

225 / 50R 17

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think it is definitely time to buy some Hyundai stock.
      It is like overnight they became a legit car company.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Whatever this design is derived from it is clear that it's Mother was a Klingon.

      Is Hyundai's new design watermark bad grills on good cars?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like the entire exterior, except for the busy grill. But I have that problem with a lot of new cars (I'm looking at you, Venza), so maybe it's just me.

      It will definitely sell.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Very nice looking.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @Other Man
        It's a nice looking car but I don't see how it breaks from the tradition at all. VW did their take on the CLS with the CC and this appears to be Hyundai's take on the CC except with a grille that has reversed lines that run into the hood (what's with everyone and these bizarro grilles these days?)
        I'm sure it'll be a nice car to drive and the interior looks pretty great but I think it's a little much to say that it isn't taking it's inspiration a little too heavily from other cars. I mean if you want to talk about unique I think the Hyundai Scoupe probably looked fairly unique, so I don't see how this is any more unique than the Scoupe was.
        • 5 Years Ago
        imo this isnt a good looking car. the back is decent but the front reminds me of the current Solara and thats not a good thing.
        • 5 Years Ago
        For an affordable midsize family sedan, this is a very attractive car.. I know some people are going to love it and some are going to hate it.. Those who love it, I'm with you.. To those of you who hate it - you have to admit one thing - this new Sonata is a far better looking car - inside and out - than the Toyota Camry or Honda Accord. I like the Nissan Altima but this looks a little better.. And I like the Chevy Malibu as well.. Now I won't say this technically looks "better" than the Malibu - but it's just as nice in a more luxurious kind of way. The Malibu looks more sporty to me - the Sonata looks more luxurious.

        Now I have a feeling this Sonata will blow away the Malibu regarding interior materials. My bet is that there are far more soft surfaces, nicer leather and more available features.. Time till tell...

        Sal Collaziano
        JDM Life
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Sal Collaziano

        Admit to what? Thats ALL your opinion. This does not look better then the Camry IMO....maybe a little better then the accord. But the design they choose makes it look like a Lexus ES no denying that. Theres nothing ordinal about this car. Its much better then the car is replaces i give it that but some of of you just because its NEW and better then the car it replaces its going to automatically destroy the Camry and Accord.

        The Camry and Accord have built a foundation for years...you can beat that with a makeover.

        I am not sayin this is not a good car....but I would rather buy a 268hp Camry SE Sport in red with the TRD package. Which is faster and performs better then this car and IMO looks better. The Camry lines are clean and simple....this has too much going on in the design department.

        I also might add the interior looks good much better.
        JDM Life
        • 5 Years Ago
        *Correct my comment.

        The Camry and Accord have built a foundation for years.....you CANT** beat that with a makeover.

        This is like the Genesis vs 5 Series....need I explain?
        • 5 Years Ago
        OMG that is horrifically ugly.

        And what a ripoff of the VW CC.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ JDM Life:

        You cannot say the Camry performs better than this until more official information is made available. Keep in mind the KDM Hyundais have much softer suspension tuning, cheaper tires, and the whole lot.

        If Hyundai tunes it well with a sporty model and gives it the 3.8-L (which offers up to over 300 hp potentially), the Camry would be a close match. The Camry SE V6 already is beaten by the Mazda 6s GT in overall performance and sporty flair.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Check it out the link below!


        Not as nice as I had expected...
        But I bet it could beat all of its competitors easily for a while...

        Time will tell… :)
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ JDM Life

        We've already been told what engine this car will have: the new 3.5L Lambda II V6 with 277 HP. So no matter what the version, this car is going to have more power than a comparable Camry. So uhm, yeah, that better performance with the Camry thing you're nattering about likely won't be happening.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I must agree, and it breaks away from the tradition of heavily copied designs.

        This is a million times better looking (in photos) than the Accord, Camry, Altima, or anything else from Japan. I'd say as well that it's better looking than the Malibu or new Fusion, therefore being up there with the CC as the best looking family sedan (whether or not you call the VW a family car at all).

        The 2.4-DI should be noteworthy and the first in this class with DI no? The 3.8-L is supposed to get DI as well in the updated Genesis in a few years, but it remains to be seen whether the 3.3L or 3.8L will be offered here.
        • 5 Years Ago

        I don't know if I would go as far as attractive, definitely more striking than most of the other bland, mid-sized mass-market sedans, but I'm a bit conflicted as to whether the overall look is attractive (some elements are overly stylized/busy), and will probably need to see it in the flesh to get a real sense in how it looks.

        The interior/dash, otoh, looks really good.

        My bet is that the 2011 Optima will soon be the best looking mid-sized, mass-market sedan on the market (the early photos are really promising).
        • 5 Years Ago
        @JDM life

        "The Camry and Accord have built a foundation for years... (BUT) you can beat that with a makeover."

        I'd agree with you on that.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agreed; that interior looks world class. My first thought was "damn, these people are not playing around." I'm diggin' how the center stack flows from the lower divide into the dash like an exquisite orchid flower. Those trapezoid grips on the steering wheel say sophisticated to me, and the trim highlights look classy against what look like very rich materials.Very nice job indeed.

        I can tell the Sonata is not for me, but it's definitely a serious and genuine contender for those shopping in midsize sedan market.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Check it out the link below!


      • 5 Years Ago
      The A/C, dash controls are not up to part with the rest of the car. Those buttons look like they came from a cheap gadget out of Chinatown.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I see bits of Mercedes E class front, CLS side, Lexus ES350 rear
      I like it so far. Only nitpick is the odd looking beige/black steering

      This new Sonata makes the previous Sonata look dated (although it still is conservative and not bad looking).
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's fairly naive to think that automakers only know what you see on autoblog. It's their job to know what their competition is going to be coming out with next so they don't get caught with their pants down.
        And while they started work on it in 2005 most of the work would have been going into improving the platform and all the mechanical improvements.
        If Chinese "clone" makers can get the exterior designs down in no time do you really think Hyundai would have had a hard time nailing a similar look to the CC in time for a 2010 introduction?
        The final CC was released for sale in 2008 but design sketches were floating around long before 2008.
        I'm not even a fan of VW (and the CC's rear doors leak water into the cabin in rainy areas so other than it's exterior design it's not really all that well thought out of a car), but it's pretty ludicrous to suggest that Hyundai wouldn't have known what the CC's design would have looked like until it came out in 2008. Maybe they didn't know every exact measurement but they certainly would have known the gist of the design.
        And come to think of it since VW just looked at the CLS anyway....
        • 5 Years Ago
        I like that two-tone steering wheel a lot. I hope they keep it, and I think it's very tasteful and original (well, unusual). It "works" in this car. I also really like their new steering wheel design. It's very attractive and functional. Nothing worse than "chunky", and they've gotten away from that. Also, their steer wheel controls are very well laid-out. Ford could learn a thing or two in that department!
      • 5 Years Ago
      It doesn't matter what this is a copy of, but is the car a nice design. Hyundai could teach everyone about interior design. It really looks great. The outside is hard to totally comprehend from the photos. It's like the Ford Fusion was when all I could see was the car in photos, and I thought the exterior looked awkward with the front grill. Now on the road it looks great. It could be the same way with the Sonata. At this point from the photos, the designers seemed to try too hard with the front end. I want a new car in two years, and I hope Ford has the new Fusion out. If not, this Sonata might be too hard to resist, if the front end looks better in person.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Something doesn't look right with the front, especially with the direct front shot. I think that grill doesn't flow and those lights are coming in too much to the middle. The rest of the car looks great and that interior is great compared to the cluster mess of the current Accord.

      • 5 Years Ago
      hyundais recent styling seems almost there, but something is just a little out of place. It seems like they had a good looking vehicle, then some kid opened it in photoshop, grabbed the smear tool and pulled the front straight down, the genesis coupe has the same look.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It definitely has that feeling of having something just kinda added to make it "unique" so it's not too similar to...well I think it's fairly obvious which cars it's taking inspiration from here.
        The inverted lines that run from the grille area up the hood is a bizarre element because the line just stops there. It's not continued on top of the car, it's not continued in the rear of the car, nothing. Those two lines warp the grille area, warp the hood, then just stop and don't merge with lines on the rest of the car at all.
        I mean it literally looks like they had all of the car done then decided to make the hood and grille all crazy.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Blatant ripoff of the VW CC. It is true that very few designs are original these days. Everyone knows that the VW CC has some Mercedes inspiration (and obviously in-brand cues from Audi and the regular Passat). But this is just taken too far (though typical for many Asian brands these days). The exterior is nothing but a cheaped-out CC, and the interior color scheme is obviously "stolen" as well, not to mention the blatant Cadillac interior elements and layout.
        • 5 Years Ago
        How the hell is it good that someone mistakes the most expensive mid-size non-premium brand family sedan for a compact?

        And your contention that this is an exact copy of the CC is silly. Yes, it's similar, but here again many of the deatails are different, such as the additional side window or much narrower pillars. And don't talk to me about the rear. It's from the Elantra, which was out before the CC. Sure, the CC's rear lights are a vague evolution of the Jetta, but remember the Jetta's rear-end was met with a chorus of complaints of being a Corolla copy when it launched.

        You can't have it both ways. Either Hyundai can also be "inspired" by M-B or VW can't either.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Theres a big difference between design inspiration/similarities and blatant (but cheapened) copies. Mercedes CLS and VW CC? Both have the same "sweeping" design, and are similar in size. But the similarities more or less end there, as any detail work and overall design flow are unique. Hyundai, instead of starting with the same basic shape and size as VW and Mercedes, instead just makes a cheapened, and uglier copy of the VW.
        Notice, the VW and the Benz both contain a laundry list of design features that are characteristic of each respective brand across their model lineup, at the very least with their sedans. (Ask any Passat owner how many times they have been told "nice Jetta," or how 90% of the population can not distinguish between different Mercedes sedan models.) Take a look at the Hyundai linuep, the only thing that is carried across is the ugly grile.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's about time Hyundai did something with that bland logo of theirs ... looks like it belongs on a cheap blender you'd pick up at Wal-Mart or somewhere!
      • 5 Years Ago
      The interior looks very nice, but the exterior designed can use some work.
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