Hyundai Sonata

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Hyundai Sonata
Manufacturer Hyundai
Production 1985–present
Body and chassis
Class Mid-size car[1]
Body style 4-door sedan
Layout FR layout (1985–1987)
FF layout (1988–present)
Predecessor Hyundai Stellar

The Hyundai Sonata (Korean: 현대 쏘나타) is a mid-size car produced by the South Korean manufacturer Hyundai since 1985. The first generation Sonata was introduced in 1985, which was a facelifted Stellar with an engine upgrade, and was withdrawn from the market in two years due to poor customer reactions.[2] The second generation is often considered as the original Sonata, which was designed to meet the increasing demand of automobiles in the United States.[3] The sixth generation was sold as the i45 in the Australian, Singaporean, New Zealand, and Colombian markets.

First generation (1985–1987)[edit]

First generation (Y)
SONATA 1st Front.JPG
Also called Hyundai Stellar II (Canada)
Production 1985–1987
Assembly Ulsan, Korea
Body and chassis
Related Hyundai Stellar
Transmission 4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,579 mm (101.5 in)
Length 4,578 mm (180.2 in)
Width 1,755 mm (69.1 in)
Height 1,380 mm (54.3 in)
See also: Hyundai Stellar

The first Sonata was introduced to compete with the Daewoo Royale series and was built using main components from the Stellar. It included cruise control, power seats, head lamp washers, power brakes, electric operated adjustable side mirrors and chrome bumper trims. The Sonata was available with two trim options in Korea: Luxury and Super (the latter only available with a 2.0-liter engine). In the domestic market Hyundai sold the Sonata as an executive car using catchphrases like "Luxury car for VIP", however as the Sonata was based on the Stellar without any redesigning it was seen by the public as no different than a luxury version of the Stellar. In 1987 Hyundai added two tone color schemes and a trip computer option but sales soon went down and the car was discontinued in December of that year. The Sonata was sold only in a few markets, such as in Korea and for export markets such as Canada and New Zealand, as the Stellar II. The vehicle was unveiled in South Korea in November 4, 1985. It did not meet the United States emission standards and thus was not available in that market.

Engine choices included 1.6-liter Mitsubishi Saturn (only available outside the domestic market), 1.8- and 2.0-liter Mitsubishi Sirius inline-fours. The latter unit also found its way into the 1987 and later Stellar, and in MPI form the 1986 Hyundai Grandeur. The body was a largely unchanged Hyundai Stellar.[4]

It was sold in New Zealand (right hand drive) with the 1.6-liter Mitsubishi engine with the five-speed manual gearbox; an automatic transmission was an optional extra. The original importer was a unit of the Auckland-based Giltrap Motor Group.

There was a version of the Stellar known as the Stellar 88 launched to celebrate the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. After Stellar 88, Hyundai discontinued the Stellar series and changed it to the Sonata series.[5]

Second generation (1988–1994)[edit]

Second generation (Y2)
1989 Hyunday Sonata 2.4 GLS (8181952507).jpg
Production 1988–1994
Assembly Bromont, Quebec, Canada
Ulsan, Korea
Designer Giorgetto Giugiaro (1986)
Body and chassis
Related Mitsubishi Galant Σ
Engine 1.8 SOHC Mitsubishi Sirius engine 105PS 2.0 Mitsubishi Sirius engine 110PS 2.0 L (131 hp) I4 Mitsubishi 4G63
2.4 L (110 hp) I4 Mitsubishi 4G64
3.0 L (146 hp) V6 Mitsubishi 6G72
Transmission 4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,650 mm (104.3 in)
Length 4,680 mm (184.3 in)
Width 1,750 mm (68.9 in)
Height 1,410 mm (55.5 in)

The Y2 Sonata was part of Hyundai's expansion in North America after the success of the Excel. It was introduced in South Korea on June 1, 1988.[6] It was then introduced in Canada in September 1988 as a 1989 model, on November 14, 1988 in the United States as a 1989 model, and in March 1989 in Australia. The exterior was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro of ItalDesign. The vehicle received a mid-term facelift in 1991. It replaced the Stellar as Hyundai's large family car.Sonatas were built in Ulsan, Korea, and in Bromont, Quebec.

The Sonata was designed by Hyundai and featured Mitsubishi's engineering, including the platform from the Galant Σ and its 2.4 L 110 hp (82 kW) Sirius I4 engine as used in American-market models. A 3.0 L V6 based on the Mitsubishi 6G72 arrived in 1990. Other markets received 1.8L and 2.0L engines carried over from the first generation, but equipped with MPI,[citation needed] replacing their carbureted counterparts used in the Y1 Sonata. The U.S. model received the 2.0 L engine for the 1992, replacing the original 2.4 L engine.[4]

Trim levels in the US were:

  • GL (2.4 and 2.0 engines)
  • GLS (3.0 engine)

Third generation (1993–1998)[edit]

Third generation (Y3)
1993-1996 Hyundai Sonata (Y3) GLE sedan 01.jpg
Also called Hyundai Sonata Ⅱ (South Korea)
Hyundai Sonica (Italy)
Production 1993–1998
Assembly Ulsan, Korea
Gaborone, Botswana (TMBC)[7]
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door sedan
Platform Hyundai-Kia Y3
Engine 1.8 L I4 SOHC 70 kW (95 PS; 94 hp)
2.0 L I4 SOHC 77 kW (105 PS; 103 hp) 4G63
2.0 L I4 DOHC 102 kW (139 PS; 137 hp) 4G63 16-valve
3.0 L V6 107 kW (145 PS; 143 hp) 6G72
Transmission 4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,700 mm (106.3 in)
Length 4,700 mm (185.0 in)
Width 1,770 mm (69.7 in)
Height 1,405 mm (55.3 in)

The Y3 Sonata debuted in 1993. The base engine in most markets was a 2.0 L 77 kW (105 PS; 103 hp) Sirius I4, but there was a 3.0 L, 107 kW (145 PS; 143 hp) Mitsubishi V6 option in some markets. This generation continued after the demise of the Bromont, Quebec plant in September 1993. After that, all Sonatas would be built in Korea, until the opening of the Beijing Hyundai plant in December 2002.

Hyundai Marcia[edit]

The third generation Y3 model was also produced as the Hyundai Marcia between 1995 to 1998, selling alongside the Sonata in South Korea only. The Marcia differed from the Sonata with its restyled front and rear fascias.

Facelift (1996–1998)[edit]

Third generation (facelift)
95-98 Hyundai Sonata.jpg
Also called Hyundai Sonata Ⅲ (South Korea)
Hyundai Sonica (Italy)
Production 1996–1998
Assembly Ulsan, Korea, Asan, Korea
Engine 2.0 L I4 SOHC 70 kW (95 PS; 94 hp) 4G63
2.0 L I4 DOHC 92 kW (125 PS; 123 hp) 4G63 16-valve
3.0 L V6 107 kW (145 PS; 143 hp) 6G72
Transmission 4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,700 mm (106.3 in)
Length 4,700 mm (185.0 in)
Width 1,770 mm (69.7 in)
Height 1,405 mm (55.3 in)

A facelift for the Sonata (Y3 facelift) in 1996 saw modifications to the front and rear. The four-cylinder engine was also increased to 92 kW (125 PS; 123 hp) for that year as well. The Y3 facelift was the last Sonata produced in Ulsan.

Fourth generation (1998–2004)[edit]

Fourth generation (EF)
Also called Hyundai EF Sonata (South Korea)
Hyundai Sonica (Italy)
Hyundai Sonata Viv (South Africa)
Hyundai Sonata Prima (Egypt)
Production 1998–2004
Assembly Asan, Korea
Gaborone, Botswana (TMBC)[7]
Cairo, Egypt (AAV)
Body and chassis
Platform Hyundai-Kia Y4
Related Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai Trajet
Kia Optima
Kia Sedona
Engine 2.0 L dohc 136 hp 2.4 L 138 hp (103 kW) DOHC Sirius I4
2.5 L 170 hp (127 kW) Hyundai Delta V6
Transmission 4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,700 mm (106.3 in)
Length 4,710 mm (185.4 in)
Width 1,815 mm (71.5 in)
Height 1,410 mm (55.5 in)

A new model arrived in 1998, launching the (EF) series.

Engines were 2.0L 136 hp, 2.4 L 138 hp (103 kW) Hyundai Sirius and a 2.5 L 168 hp (121 kW) the G6BW model of Hyundai Delta V6.

The Kia Optima (called the Magentis outside of the United States) was based on the same automobile platform of this generation of Sonata and shared the same doors and some other panels.

This Sonata also shared a platform with the first-generation Hyundai Santa Fe, a compact crossover SUV.

Facelift (2001–2005)[edit]

Fourth generation (facelift)
02-05 Hyundai Sonata .jpg
Also called Hyundai New EF Sonata (South Korea)
Hyundai Sonata Gold (India)
Beijing-Hyundai Sonata
Hyundai Sonica (Italy)
Production 2001– present (intermittently)
Assembly Asan, Korea
Beijing, China
Taganrog, Russia (TagAZ)[8]
Body and chassis
Related Kia Optima/Magentis
Engine 2.4 L 149 hp (111 kW) DOHC Sirius I4
2.7 L 173 hp (129 kW) Hyundai Delta V6
Transmission 4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,700 mm (106.3 in)
Length 4,745 mm (186.8 in)
Width 1,820 mm (71.7 in)
Height 1,420 mm (55.9 in)

The 2002 model featured the all-aluminum, the G6BA model (also called the 2.7 D) of DOHC 2.7L Hyundai Delta V6 powered the Sonata with 172 bhp (128 kW). It also featured the same Sirius II 4-cylinder which at the time made 149 hp (111 kW), 157 lb·ft (213 N·m) of torque. Sales reached 104,000 for 2004. Also, the previous EF models have their rear vehicle registration plates repositioned from the bottom bumper to the above hatch.

This generation of Sonata is still being built (since 2002) and sold in China as of September 2006, by Beijing Hyundai Co. The car was produced by TagAZ in Russia until 2012.[9]

2001–2005 Hyundai Sonata (Australia)

Fifth generation (2004–2010)[edit]

Fifth generation (NF)
2007 Hyundai Sonata (NF MY07) SLX sedan (2015-07-06) 01.jpg
Also called Beijing-Hyundai NF Yu Xiang
Beijing-Hyundai Sonata Yu Xiang
Beijing-Hyundai Sonata Ling Xiang
Hyundai NF Sonata (Russia)
Hyundai Sonata CVVT-i (Malaysia)
Hyundai Sonata Transform (Facelift)
Hyundai Sonata Embera (India)
Hyundai Sonica (Italy)
Production 2004–2010
2010–present (export)
Model years 2006–2010
Assembly Asan, Korea
Montgomery, Alabama, United States
Chennai, India
Beijing, China
İzmit, Turkey (Hyundai Assan)
Cairo, Egypt (Ghabbour Group)
Thonburi, Thailand (TAAP)[10]
Al Jazirah state, Sudan (Giad)[11]
Designer Choi Jong Min (2002)[12]
Body and chassis
Class Large (EPA)
Related Kia Optima
Engine 2.4 L 163–175 hp I4
3.3 L 237–249 hp V6
2.0 L (G4KA) 145hp I4
2.0 L CRDi I4
Transmission 4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
6-speed manual (2.0 CRDI)
5-speed automatic
Wheelbase 2,730 mm (107.5 in)
Length 4,800 mm (189.0 in)
Sonata Ling Xiang:4,815 mm (189.6 in)
Width 1,830 mm (72.0 in)
Height 1,475 mm (58.1 in)
Fifth generation Hyundai Sonata (Australia)

The NF Sonata was launched in August 2004 in Korea, based on a new platform created from the project NF. The company's first all-aluminum I4 engine, dubbed Theta, debuted in the new Sonata. Engine choices at launch were a 2.4L I4 rated 164 bhp (122 kW) at 5800 rpm and a 3.3L V6 rated 237 bhp (177 kW) V6. In Korea the 2.4L was sold as the F24S (24 = 2.4L, S = Special). The 2.0L Gasoline Version was only sold in Korea and proved more popular there due to added gas, tax and insurance savings. Diesel versions are available in Europe, New Zealand and Singapore, where they are a popular replacement for the Toyota Comfort taxi cab.

The U.S. May 2005 launch of the new Sonata coincided with the production commencement at the company's first U.S. assembly plant, in Montgomery, Alabama.

Classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a large car, the fourth generation was 2 in (51 mm) longer and taller and 1 in (25 mm) wider than the previous generation. Standard features in U.S. models included anti-lock braking system/electronic stability control/traction control system as well as six airbags (driver/front passenger front and side, and side curtain).[13]


Europe: 2006 year models received the following European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP) ratings:

  • Adult Occupant: 4/5 stars, score 27
  • Child Occupant: 4/5 stars, score 37
  • Pedestrian: 2/4 stars, score 12

In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests the Sonata received a "Good" overall in the frontal impact crash test, an "Acceptable" overall score in the side impact crash test, and a "Good" rating for rear crash protection. In the roof strength evaluation 09 and 10 models were rated "Marginal".[14]

2006 Hyundai Sonata tested by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA):[15]

  • Frontal Rating (Driver): 5/5 stars
  • Frontal Rating (Passenger): 5/5 stars
  • Side Rating (Driver): 5/5 stars
  • Side Rating (Passenger): 5/5 stars
  • Rollover: 4/5 stars

Facelift (2008–2010)[edit]

2009 Hyundai Sonata (US)
2010 Hyundai Sonata Limited (US)

The redesigned vehicle was unveiled at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show as a 2009 model year vehicle.[16] The production version was sold as the Hyundai Sonata Transform in Korea, and the model debuted elsewhere as an 'early' 2009 model.

The styling was done primarily at Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center, Inc. (HATCI) in Superior Township, Michigan in 2006.[17]

The redesign features revised engines, front fascia and chrome 3 bar grille, taillights (turn signals became red), jewel-projector headlights, new 10-spoke alloy wheel design for the Limited models (as opposed to sharing the 5-spoke design from the SE model), and an extensively revised IP (Instrument Panel).[18] Hyundai adopted "slush molding,” a production technique that enables a much higher grade of texturing and shaping of the IP surface.[19]

Redesigned gauges feature a blue backlight, and a touch-screen navigation system, optional on the Limited trim level only, includes satellite radio capability.[20] Bluetooth capability is available as an optional unit, separate from the audio or navigation system, and all models include both a USB port along with an auxiliary input jack. An optional USB adaptor cord allows integration of an iPod, and chrome interior door handles are standard on the Limited trim.

The 2.4L Theta I engine was rated 175 bhp (130 kW) at 6000 rpm and 168 lb·ft (228 N·m) (168 bhp (125 kW) for PZEV model), 2.0L G4KA [Theta 1] was rated 142 bhp (106 kW) at 6000 rpm and 138 lb·ft (187 N·m) at 4250 rpm and the 3.3L Lambda V6 was rated 249 bhp (186 kW) at 6000 rpm and 229 lb·ft (310 N·m) at 4500 rpm.

Fuel efficiency is EPA rated at 26.7 mpg-US (8.8 L/100 km; 32.1 mpg-imp) for the I4 2.4,while for I4 2.0 at 24 mpg-US (9.8 L/100 km; 29 mpg-imp)and 19 mpg-US (12 L/100 km; 23 mpg-imp)/29 mpg-US (8.1 L/100 km; 35 mpg-imp) for the V6.[21] The base model GLS is available with a manual five-speed transmission. GLS, SE and Limited models feature a newly available, manually shiftable 5-speed automatic transmission marketed as "Shiftronic."

There are minimal changes for the 2010 model, which includes the optional navigation system on the SE as opposed to being a Limited-exclusive option, and the V6 engine is no longer offered on the GLS model.

In Singapore, a 2.0L CRDi turbo diesel powered version is widely used in the country's taxi industry.[22]

Sonata Ling Xiang[edit]

2009–2011 Hyundai Sonata Ling Xiang (China)

Beijing Hyundai launched a redesigned Sonata called the Ling Xiang, also known as NFC Sonata, for the Chinese market for 2009, with an updated exterior and revised rear seating.[23] Following Hyundai's success with their Hyundai Elantra Yue Dong, Ling Xiang was created specifically to target the Chinese market. Hyundai first introduced this car to the market at The 6th China Guangzhou International Automobile Exhibition in 2008.[24]

Engine choices include 2.0L or 2.4L engines.

Sixth generation (2009–2014)[edit]

Sixth generation (YF)
2011 Hyundai Sonata GLS -- NHTSA 1.jpg
Also called Hyundai i45
Production 2009–2014
2010–2015 (Hybrid)
Assembly South Korea: Asan
United States: Montgomery, Alabama
China: Beijing
Designer Andre Hudson (2007)
Body and chassis
Related Kia Optima/Magentis/K5
Hyundai i40[25]
Engine 2.0 L Theta 163 hp (122 kW), I4
2.0 L Theta Turbo 274 hp (204 kW), I4[26]
2.4 L Theta 176 hp (131 kW), I4
2.4 L Theta GDi, 200 hp (150 kW), I4
2.0L Nu CVVL
Transmission 6-speed automatic
6-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,795 mm (110.0 in)
Length 4,820 mm (189.8 in)
Width 1,835 mm (72.2 in)
Height 1,470 mm (57.9 in)
Curb weight 1,451–1,504 kg (3,199–3,316 lb) (2.4L)
1,514–1,566 kg (3,338–3,452 lb) (2.0L Turbo)

Hyundai commenced development of the YF Sonata in 2005, with a development cost of ₩450 billion (US$372 million). In the Australian,[27] New Zealand, Singaporean, and Colombian markets, the YF is retailed under the name "Hyundai i45", following the alphanumeric i-series nomenclature established by Hyundai in these markets. The vehicle was badged as a "Sonata" in Eastern Europe, just as in North America and South Korea.

Sales of the YF Sonata in South Korea began on September 2, 2009, before the production vehicle's South Korean launch.[28] The US version of the sixth generation Sonata was unveiled at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show, with sales beginning in 2010. The Sonata was the second vehicle, after the Tucson, to carry Hyundai's then-radical "Fluidic Sculpture" design language.[29]

2011 Hyundai Sonata (USA)
Interior of Premium trim line (Australia)

For the US market, the sixth generation Sonata boasted a direct-injection 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. This new engine improves fuel economy and produces a maximum of 200 PS (147 kW; 197 hp) at 6300 rpm and 25.5 kg·m (250 N·m; 184 lb·ft) at 4250 rpm.[30] It is part of the Theta II engine lineup. Furthermore, all engines are offered with a new six-speed automatic transmission.[31] This Sonata is built with hot-stamped ultra high-strength steel. In South Korea, the YF Sonata is delivered with a 2.0-liter Theta II MPi gasoline engine (Max output 165 PS (121 kW; 163 hp), Max torque of 20.2㎏·m). Its fuel economy has improved 11%. A direct-injection 2.4-liter four cylinder engine and a 2.0 turbocharged engine was available.

Exclusive options for the Korean model includes a three-piece panoramic moonroof, electroluminescent instrumentation, fender-mounted turn signals, and a special Premier Beige model. Upgraded audio uses a JBL system, and certain navigation packages come with a telecommunications system with Hyundai's Mozen system.

For the North American model, GLS, SE, and Limited trims were offered. A six-speed manual transmission came standard on the GLS, and a six-speed automatic is available. Differences with the Korean model include differences with the GLS model, which features a body-colored grille and door handles, and different steel wheel covers. Limited models and optional stereos on the GLS and SE now have "Dimension" audio systems, and the Limited trim has an optional Infinity stereo. Limited models have standard front and rear heated seats, the first such offering in this segment.[32] Additional differences include different cupholders, a redesigned straight leather shifter as rather than the gated one on Korean models, and an additional exterior color choice, Indigo Blue Pearl. The 6th Hyundai Sonata was awarded Top Safety Pick from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the United States.[33] The Sonata 2.0T was released in December 2010.

In 2013 the list of standard features was changed slightly, including heated front seats on SE models, and heated rear seats on Limited models.An automatic transmission also came standard on GLS models, the manual was no longer offered.The Sonata Limited no longer came standard with the panoramic sunroof.[34]

In January 2013 the i45 was discontinued in Australia following slow sales and limited supplies. An expanded i40 range will fill the gap left by the i45.[35] The i45 has also been discontinued in Colombia, and replaced with the smaller i40 sedan, leaving Singapore and New Zealand as the only two markets still selling the vehicle under the i45 name at that time.


In a March 2012 comparison test by Car and Driver, the Sonata came in fourth place out of six cars behind the first place Volkswagen Passat, second place Honda Accord, and third place Kia Optima.[36]


Top Safety Pick Award in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests[37][38][39]

  • Frontal impact crash test: "Good"
  • Side impact crash test: "Good"
  • Rear crash protection: "Good"
  • Roof strength evaluation: "Good"

Later release (manufactured on or after July 2, 2010) version of Model Year 2011: 5/5 stars by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) under 2010 new test rules[40]
The 2011 Sonata is one of six vehicles rated Five Star under new rules as of November 2010.[41][42]

  • Overall Frontal Rating: 4/5 stars
  • Frontal Rating (Driver): 5/5 stars
  • Frontal Rating (Passenger): 4/5 stars
  • Side Overall Rating (Front): 5/5 stars
  • Side Overall Rating (Rear): 5/5 stars
  • Side Barrier Rating (Front): 5/5 stars
  • Side Barrier Rating (Rear): 5/5 stars
  • Side Pole Rating (Driver): 5/5 stars
  • Rollover: 5/5 stars

Early release (manufactured before July 2, 2010) version of model year 2011: 4/5 stars[43]

  • Overall Frontal Rating: 3/5 stars
  • Frontal Rating (Driver): 3/5 stars
  • Frontal Rating (Passenger): 3/5 stars
  • Side Overall Rating (Front): 5/5 stars
  • Side Overall Rating (Rear): 5/5 stars
  • Side Barrier Rating (Front): 5/5 stars
  • Side Barrier Rating (Rear): 5/5 stars
  • Side Pole Rating (Driver): 5/5 stars
  • Rollover: 5/5 stars

Australasian NCAP – The Hyundai Sonata scored the highest possible rating of 5 stars"ANCAP Safety ratings: 2011 Hyundai Sonata". ANCAP. 

Korean NCAP – The Hyundai Sonata scored the highest possible ratings across the frontal, offset and side crash tests "KNCAP Safety ratings: 2011 Hyundai Sonata". KNCAP. 

China NCAP – The Hyundai Sonata scored the highest possible rating of 6 stars"CNCAP Safety ratings: 2011 Hyundai Sonata". CNCAP. 

Sonata Hybrid[edit]

2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid (US)
Instrument panel of the Sonata Hybrid

At the 2008 Los Angeles Auto Show, Hyundai unveiled the Hyundai Blue Drive powertrain for the then next generation Sonata, which uses lithium polymer battery technology.[44] It was reported to be based on Hyundai BLUE-DRIVE concept.[45]

The 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid sales in the U.S. began near the end of February 2011.[46][47] The Sonata Hybrid drivetrain combines a 2.4-liter engine with six-speed automatic transmission, and a 30kW electric motor and lightweight lithium polymer batteries to produce a full gasoline-electric hybrid with 37 miles per US gallon (6.4 L/100 km; 44 mpg-imp) in the city and 40 miles per US gallon (5.9 L/100 km; 48 mpg-imp) on the highway.[48] This powertrain will be shared by the 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid.[49]

The 2011 Sonata Hybrid was one of the five finalists for the 2011 Green Car of the Year awarded by the Green Car Journal in November 2010, competing with two plug-in electric vehicles, the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt, the 2011 winner.[50]

2013 Sonata Hybrid


The 2013 Sonata Hybrid has noticeable improvements and has ranked 3rd out of 20 Affordable Midsize Cars (based on U.S. News’ analysis of 19 published reviews and test drives as well as their analysis of reliability and safety data).[51]The 2013 hybrid has a long warranty and a spacious, high-quality interior. Its base price ranges from $26,445–$31,324 and weights 3450–3550 pounds.[52]As a hybrid, it emits 0.51 pounds of CO2 per mile and has an EPA fuel economy ratings of 36/40 mpg city/highway.


It comes with a 35 kW electric motor (up from 30) and a lithium-polymer battery that is 38% larger and more energy dense.The newer electric motor can run up to 62 mph, meaning that it can run on electricity at higher speeds, saving more gas.[53]It also has a 2.4 liter, four-cylinder engine.An upgraded computer-controlled smoothens the transitions between gas and electric power modes.[54]The hybrid’s 0–60 mph time decreased from 9.5 seconds to 8.1 (note: the non-hybrid Sonata’s time is 7.9).[53]

Standard features include Bluetooth, Satellite radio, dual-zone climate control, auxiliary and USB jacks, a CD Player, six-speaker surround system, 16-inch allow wheels, automatic headlights, LED running lights, fog lights, heated mirrors, keyless ignition/entry, push-button start, cruise control, an eight-way power driver seat, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated front seats, and Hyundai’s BlueLink emergency communications system.Additional options include touchscreen navigation, a rearview camera, panoramic sunroof, HD radio, Infinity audio system (9 speakers), 17-inch alloy wheels, leather seating surfaces, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, power driver seat with lumbar support, heated rear seat, auto-dimming rearview mirror.[51]


The hybrid Sonata received top five-star ratings for overall crash protection and overall side protection as well as four-ratings for overall frontal protection.Safety features include antilock brakes, stability control, traction control, front side-impact airbags, full-length curtain airbags, and active front head restraints.[54]

Sonata Turbo[edit]

2011 Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.0T engine
2011 Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.0T markings

To replace the V6 power option for the Hyundai Sonata in certain markets, Hyundai has developed a turbo-powered 2.0-litre engine that has direct injection and is intercooled. The Theta-II engine produces 274 horsepower (204 kW) and 269 lb·ft (365 N·m) of torque while achieving an efficiency rating of 34 mpg-US (6.9 L/100 km; 41 mpg-imp) highway, beating the specs provided by the 3.3-litre Lambda V6 offered in the previous model. The new model is badged as the 2.0T and is available on the SE or Limited trim lines.[55][56] All turbo models get standard dual zone climate control, steering wheel paddle shifters, chrome-tipped dual exhaust, and 18-inch wheels that are shared with the non-turbo SE models. Limited 2.0T models receive all of these options as well as a heated leather interior, sunroof and other features.[32]


Cumulative sales of the Sonata Hybrid in the U.S. reached 7,906 units through July 2011, representing 20% of Sonata sales according to Hyundai.[57] The Sonata Hybrid was the number two selling hybrid since June, outsold only by the Prius.[57][58][59][60] Considering cumulative sales in the U.S. market through December 2011, with 19,672 units sold, the Sonata Hybrid and the Kia Optima Hybrid together ranked second in hybrid sales for calendar year 2011, after the Toyota Prius, and surpassed the Honda Insight in September.[59][60][61]


Hyundai is recalling some Sonata sedans from the 2012–2013 model years because of potential problems with their air bags. In rare circumstances, these cars' curtain side airbags may inflate erroneously as a result of a manufacturing error. Hyundai dealers will notify owners and replace the airbags free of charge.[62]

In 2009 Hyundai recalled the 2005–2008 Sonata for an issue with the brake light switch.[63]

In 2015 Hyundai recalled over 400,000 Sonata engines in Canada and the United States from MY2011 and MY2012. [64]

Facelift (2012–2014)[edit]

In 2012, the Korean-produced Sonata received a mild mid-life facelift. Exterior changes include a new grille, slimmer LED mirror indicators, new front fog lights incorporating LED daytime running lamps (DRLs), new alloy wheel designs, as well as redesigned LED tail-lights. Interior changes include a new color touchscreen display for audio systems (on certain models), as well as redesigned dual-zone automatic climate controls, which now incorporate a small LCD display. Front parking sensors are now available on certain models, as well as an electronic parking brake. The facelifted model was first released in Korea in 2012, followed by international markets in early 2013. North American produced Sonatas received a facelift in late 2013, for the 2014 model year.

Seventh generation (2015–present)[edit]

Seventh generation (LF)
Sonata Eco 1600cc Turbo Front Side.png
Production 2014–present
Model years 2015–
Assembly South Korea: Asan
United States: Montgomery, Alabama
China: Beijing
Designer Tae-Hoon Kim (2011)[65]
Engine 1.6 L Gamma G4FJ turbo GDI, I4
2.0 L Theta Turbo I4
2.4 L Theta MPi, I4
2.4 L Theta GDi, I4
Transmission 6-speed automatic
7-speed dual-clutch automatic
Wheelbase 2,805 mm (110.4 in)
Length 4,855 mm (191.1 in)
Width 1,865 mm (73.4 in)
Height 1,475 mm (58.1 in)
Curb weight 1,475–1,572 kg (3,252–3,466 lb) (2.4L)
1,590–1,640 kg (3,505–3,616 lb) (2.0L Turbo)

Originally internally coded as LFA, the 2015 Sonata was unveiled in Korea late March 2014,[66] and was unveiled in America at the 2014 New York International Auto Show. While the previous model incorporated significant aesthetic changes and sold successfully within the U.S, sales in Korea failed to meet expectations. A more conservative approach was thus taken, to appease the Korean market, resulting in Fluidic Sculpture 2.0. With LED Running Lights and Xenon Headlights, a more European look was established. The car inherits many styling features from Hyundai's Hyundai HCD-14 Concept unveiled at the 2013 New York International Auto Show. The car also takes interior and exterior styling based on the 2015 Hyundai Genesis. In Australia and New Zealand, Hyundai have reverted to the use of the Sonata badge, replacing the i45 badge that was used only on the sixth generation Sonata in that market.[67]

Sonata Plug-in Hybrid[edit]

Cutaway of the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid exhibited at the 2013 North American International Auto Show.

As part of the seventh generation Sonata, Hyundai announced the release of a plug-in hybrid variant scheduled for market launch in the second half of 2015. Technical details of the Sonata PHEV were announced at the 2015 North American International Auto Show.[68]

The Sonata plug-in all-electric range in blended mode is up to 27 mi (43 km) as rated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and a total range of 600 miles (970 km). Since the Sonata PHEV uses some gasoline during the all-electric mode, the EPA considers the actual all-electric range is between 0 to 27 miles (0 to 43 km). The EPA fuel economy rating is 99 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent (MPG-e) (2.4 L/100 km; 119 mpg-imp) in charge-depleting (all-electric) mode and a combined city/highway rating of 40 mpg-US (5.9 L/100 km; 48 mpg-imp) in hybrid mode.[69] In contrast, the conventional 2016 model year Sonata gasoline-electric hybrid has an EPA rated combined fuel economy of 41 miles per US gallon (5.7 L/100 km; 49 mpg-imp), 39 miles per US gallon (6.0 L/100 km; 47 mpg-imp) in the city and 43 miles per US gallon (5.5 L/100 km; 52 mpg-imp) on the highway.[70]


There have been three notable recalls so far. The first was announced on 12 June 2014 and involved units manufactured in between 2 May 2014 and 23 May 2014 due to a poor connection within the vehicle wiring harness. This could've potentially lead to a reduction in power steering assist in addition to the inability to move the shifter from the park position. About 2,138 potential units were affected by this error.

The second was announced on June 24 2014 and encompassed units manufactured between 25 April 2014 and 16 June 2014. This was due to a manufacturing error involving the front calipers where parts were accidentally omitted. This could've potentially lead to the fracture of brake calipers significantly decreasing braking power. This affected 16,900 units.

The third was announced on December 9th 2014 and involved units manufactured in between 29 August 2014 and 28 October 2014. This was due to incorrect assembly of the left axle shaft which could lead to separation from the trans-axle differential. This would result in loss of power and about 208 potential units were affected.[71]


Country 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
United States 34,698
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
United States 29,840 26,421 17,196 15,420 13,339 17,055 14,616 22,128 14,144 30,022
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Canada 6,974[72] 8,175[72] 12,466[72] 11,034[72] 10,298[72] 8,975[72]
United States 62,385 68,085[72] 82,330[72] 107,181[72] 130,365[72] 149,513[72] 145,568[72] 117,357[72] 120,028[72]
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Canada 13,856[72] 16,343[72] 14,572[72] 14,519[72] 13,645[72]
United States 196,623[72] 225,961[72] 230,605[72] 203,648[72] 216,936[72]

U.S. warranty[edit]

Year(s) Limited Warranty Powertrain Corrosion
1989–1990 3 Years/36,000 Miles 3 Years/Unlimited Miles
1991 3 Years/36,000 Miles 5 Years/100,000 Miles
1992–1998 3 Years/36,000 Miles 5 Years/60,000 Miles 5 Years/100,000 Miles
1999–2004 5 Years/60,000 Miles 10 Years/100,000 Miles 5 Years/100,000 Miles
2005–2015 5 Years/60,000 Miles 10 Years/100,000 Miles 7 Years/Unlimited Miles

Additionally, during years 1992–1994, the Sonata came with the Hyundai ValueCare Ownership Program that covered all regular scheduled maintenance at no charge for the first 2 years or 24,000 miles.


The Sonata has received the following awards:


  • Ranked Most Dependable Midsize car by J.D. Power and Associates[73]
  • Kelley Blue Book 5-Year Cost to Own Award[74]


  • Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 2012 Top Safety Pick[75]


  • Finalist for MotorTrend Car of the Year[76]
  • International Car of the Year 2011[76]
  • 2011 Consumer Guide Best Buy[76]
  • Car And Driver 2011 Ten Best List[76]
  • Contender for Automobile Magazine 2011 Automobile of the Year[76]
  • 2011 Hyundai Sonata represents the lowest depreciation in the midsize car segment in ALG Residual Value Index. The 2011 Sonata even outperforms comparably equipped 2010 model year Honda Accord.[77]
  • 2011 Hyundai Sonata Named IIHS Top Safety Pick[33]
  • Awards 2011 Hyundai Sonata 'Car of the Month' for 2010 March[78]
  • The JB car pages awarded the 2011 Hyundai Sonata a best-in-class 4 1/2 star rating[79]
  • 2011 Hyundai Sonata awarded Five Star by NHTSA the 2010 new test rules[37]


  • Ranked among the Top 3 Affordable Midsize Cars for 2010 by U.S. News[80]


  • Consumer Guide Recommended Buy for 2009[81]
  • Intellichoice 2009 Best Overall Value[81]
  • Named a Best Car on the Thrifty 50 List by U.S. News & World Report[81]
  • "Interior of the Year", 2009 Sonata, Ward's Auto World, category: Best Redesign.[citation needed]


  • Consumer Guide Recommended Buy for 2008[82]
  • "Best Vehicles for $25,000 or Less" in 2008 Consumer Reports[citation needed]


  • Kiplinger’s Personal Finance “Best in Class” in the under $20,000 category – 2007 Sonata: Kiplinger’s Personal Finance 2007 Car Buyer’s Guide "Best of 2007 Cars" March 2007.[citation needed]


  • MotorWeek 2006 Drivers’ Choice Award Winner [83]
  • Among Kiplinger’s Best New Cars 2006 [83]
  • Named a Consumer Guide 2006 Recommended Buy [83]
  • AutoPacific 2006 Ideal Vehicle Award Winner [83]
  • Named a contender by Motor Trend 2006 Car of the Year[83]
  • "Best New Family Car (under $35,000)" in the 2006 Canadian Car of the Year awards[citation needed]
  • "Consumers Digest Best Buy" – 2006 Sonata[citation needed]
  • NHTSA 5-Star Crash Rating – 2006 Sonata: Government star ratings are part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program ( Model tested with standard side-impact airbags (SABs).[citation needed]
  • Named "Best Bet" in Jack Gillis' The Car Book 2006 – 2006 Sonata[citation needed]
  • Kiplinger’s Personal Finance “Best in Class” in the $18,000 to $23,000 category – 2006 Sonata: Kiplinger’s Personal Finance 2006 Car Buyer’s December 2005[citation needed]
  • MotorWeek’s “Driver’s Choice Award” for Best Family Sedan – 2006 Sonata[citation needed]


  • Named a Consumer Guide 2005 Recommended Buy[84]


  • Named a Consumer Guide 2004 Recommended Buy[85]


  • Named a Consumer Guide 2003 Recommended Buy[86]


  • Nominated to the Car and Driver 10 Best List for 2002 [87]


  • Nominated to the Car and Driver 10 Best List for 2000 [88]
  • Named a Consumer Guide Budget Buy for 2000[88]


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External links[edit]