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Hyundai launches new Sonata

‘It will inherit Sonata’s 30-year heritage, but armed with a state-of-the-art power train as well as reinforced safety and entertainment facilities.’

Hyundai Motor on Thursday launched the 2016 Sonata, the facelift version of its best-selling sedan, in an attempt to win back midsize sedan buyers who have recently been drawn to foreign diesel cars or sport utility vehicles.

Opening a wider range of options, the 2016 Sonatas will come in seven different models and begin sales immediately.

“The new lineup of Sonatas will show the revival of Korea’s most popular midsize sedan. It will inherit Sonata‘s 30-year heritage, but armed with a state-of-the-art power train as well as reinforced safety and entertainment facilities,” a Hyundai spokesman said. 

The 2016 Sonata
The 2016 Sonata

Hyundai said motor enthusiasts will be able to find a model to meet their needs among the seven, whether they focus on performance, fuel mileage or eco-friendliness. On top of the existing 2.0 gasoline, 2.0 turbo, hybrid and LPi engine models, the car comes in 1.7, 1.6 turbo or plugged-in hybrid engines, ranging from small to semi-large sedan types.

The first plugged-in hybrid electric vehicle for Hyundai can go 44 kilometers on a single charge, and its fuel mileage reaches 17.2 kilometers per liter when in the HEV mode, which runs on battery when driving in the city then changes to the gasoline engine when running on highways. The model became the first domestic PHEV to be accredited as a low-carbon emission vehicle by the Ministry of Environment.

An LTE network was adjusted to its telematics Bluelink service, which is provided free of charge for two years. With just the touch of a finger on the smartphone application, the driver can remotely set the time to charge the battery and see how long it can run in the EV mode. After the charging is complete, the service sends a text message notification to the driver.

As part of the downsizing trend, the carmaker scrapped a 2.4 GDI model from the production list, but instead added a 1.6 turbo engine that boasts 180 German horsepower in performance. The new cars are equipped with a seven-speed double clutch transmission that fortifies higher fuel mileage, too. 

In order to grab the attention of younger consumers, light-emitting diode positioning daylight headlights were added. Except for the PHEV and hybrid cars, all models will come with advanced airbags and an autonomous emergency braking system.

The 2016 Sonata is priced from 24.1 million won ($21,490).

By Bae Ji-sook (