Aside from test driving the new Hyundai Kona which will be launched by this year, shortly after the drive, Hyundai Sime Darby Motors surprised us with a sneak preview of the new, extremely striking, Hyundai Sonata.
Jaws dropped and none of us were prepared for what we saw. I don’t think any of us from the media, who were there to test drive the Kona that day, had ever reacted this way to the sight of a Hyundai; let alone a Sonata but there it was; there is nothing quite like it.
The unconventional design, full of swoops, curves and sharp edges, is the result of Hyundai’s new Sensuous Sportiness design language. Crazy as it may sound, the front end even has hints of Aston Martin’s DB11 if you observe closely but that’s not all.
There is some genius in the way the daytime running lights were incorporated. When not illuminated, what you see is a single strip of chrome that runs from the edge of the headlamps all the way to the C-pillar before making a loop back to the front and merging with the A-pillar. When the daytime running lights come on, a small section of the chrome strip actually lights up through the perforations.
It’s all about the details with this Sonata. Take the 18-inch wheels for example; have you ever seen knurling on hub caps before? On a watch maybe, but on a set of wheels? Never; and certainly didn’t expect it in a Hyundai.
Then there’s the switch for the boot, which is completely hidden behind the Hyundai emblem on the tailgate. Nothing will ever indicate to you that there is a switch there, but just press the top section of the “H” emblem, and see what happens. As for the exhaust, it’s tucked underneath the rear bumper and don’t those taillights remind you of the Honda Civic?
Once inside, you get the sense that they’ve really taken things to the next level. Not only is the tan upholstery pleasing to the touch, but Hyundai has also completely taken the steering and gear selector design rule book and dumped it into the sea. Instead of a gear lever, there is now an individual console housing the “P, N, and R” buttons instead.
That’s not all, the Sonata gets a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster which displays a live feed of the Blind Spot Monitoring system every time the indicator is used. If you’re indicating right for example, a display will pop up on the right-hand side of the digital instrument cluster, projecting a right-hand side view of the vehicle’s blind spot and vice versa on the left.
If that’s not enough to amuse you, there’s also a head-up, wireless charging, power-adjustable driver seat with memory function, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto compatibility, along with a 360-degree camera. Under the hood, the new Sonata gets a 2.5-litre naturally aspirated engine with 180 hp and 232 Nm, paired to a 6-speed automatic to drive the front wheels.
So far, Hyundai has not revealed the exact price of the Sonata but did indicate that it will start from RM20X,XXX. Still, if you’ve seen enough and have your heart set on it, you can book one for RM888. Following the Sales Tax Exemption announcement, for the latest price list of Hyundai vehicles in Malaysia, click here.