March 15th, 2005, 11:15 PM #1
new consideration for new car buyers.
It looks like the Accord and Camry may finally have some respectable competition from Hyundai.
The new Sonata appears ready to play in the big leagues, something it's predecessor failed to do despite it's high value and long warranties. You're probably thinking, "It's a Hyundai, who cares?". Well, I like to cheer for the underdog. You see, when a new Accord (or Camry, for that matter) debuts, it's chart-topping success is a given, but when a new Sonata arrives, no one knows what will happen. Will it exceed expectations? Or will it be forgotten, doomed to reside at the bottom of the sales charts?
No matter the outcome, things will get interesting. What's even more interesting is the progress that Hyundai has made over the years. Each year, the Korean company gets closer and closer to the Japanese automakers in terms of reliability and quality. Hell, the last time I checked, their reliability ratings were higher than many of the domestic and European makes. Not bad considering they were at the bottom a few years ago. If they keep it up, they may one day be known for quality and reliability just like Honda, Toyota, and Nissan. With the new Sonata, it looks as if Hyundai may make that happen sooner than expected.
The car definitely looks the part of a mainstream family sedan. While it won't win any beauty contests, I think it looks clean and conservative, if a bit derivative. The stylists certainly didn't try anything daring or original when they penned it's shape. In fact, each section of the car seems to resemble a different sedan. The rear screams 7th-gen Accord (especially the taillights), the fenders and front doors recall the current-gen VW Passat, and the rear doors and roofline are very Camry-like in their shapes. The front-end has to be the most original part of the car with the scooped-out hood and sharp-looking projector headlamps. Despite those unique styling cues, the nose still manages to have a familiar look to it (I can't put my finger on what car it resembles though). Overall, I think it looks as good, or maybe even better, than the Camry and Accord.
Even with just a few interior photos available, it's easy to see that the 2006's interior is a huge improvement over the 2005's in both fit and finish. The plastics that make up the dash no longer look incredibly cheap and insubstantial, and the pieces fit together without wide, jagged seams between them. Even the faux wood trim has been improved. Not only is the new car's interior a class above the old car's in quality, but it's a class above in space, too, literally. The 2006 Sonata boasts 105.4 cubic-feet of passenger space (the old car had 100.0) and 16.3 cubic-feet of trunk space (the old car had 14.0, the same as a 7th-gen Accord) for a total volume of 121.7 cubic-feet (the Camry has 118.5, the Accord has 116.7) , enough to land it in the EPA's Large Car category. That's a lot of space in a car that's within an inch of the Accord in every dimension.
In addition to best-in-class interior space, the new Sonata also leads the class in standard safety features. 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS, Traction Control (TCS), Electronic Stability Control (ESC), side airbags, side curtain airbags, and active head restraints, are standard on all models. Stability control isn't even available on the Accord, and neither the Camry nor the Accord are available with active head restraints. Of those safety features listed above, the current Sonata comes standard with only side airbags while ABS and TCS are optional, even on the top of line LX.
Unfortunately, the 2006 Sonata is missing some of the optional luxury features we've come to expect in a modern family sedan. Goodies such as HID headlamps, Navigation system, satellite radio, dual-zone climate control, and power adjustable pedals are not available at all. Strangely, the Korean Domestic Model (KDM) Sonata is available with such premium features as an Electronically Controlled Suspension (ECS), the aforementioned power adjustable pedals, and a reverse warning system. The photo below shows these features and more.
Now for the good stuff
Two all-new, high-feature all-aluminum engines provide power on par with the competition. The base engine, called Theta, is a 2.4 Litre DOHC 16-valve Inline 4 with Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) on the intake camshaft. It's replacing the cobby old iron-block, Sirius II inline four that's been in the Sonata since 1999. Output isn't final, but the preliminary specs show 162HP@5,800 rpm and 164TQ@4,250 rpm. If those numbers hold true, the Theta engine will be very competitive with the Accord's and Camry's inline fours, on paper at least. It will be paired with either a 5-speed manual, or an adaptive 4-speed automatic with SHIFTRONIC manual-shift control.
The Theta engine
The optional engine is a 3.3 Litre DOHC 24-valve V6 with Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT) on the intake cam, a variable induction system, and a tuned dual exhaust system. Output for the Lamda V6 is estimated at 237HP@6,000 rpm and 228TQ@3,500 rpm on 87 octane. The sole transmission available is an adaptive 5-speed automatic with SHIFTRONIC manual-shift control. So no manual with the V6 .
The Lamda engine
Using the available specs and CarTest 2000, I am able to estimate the acceleration times of the three different powertrain combos.
The following numbers from CT 2K are what I expect to see in a mag like Car and Driver when they test the new Sonata:
2006 Sonata I4 5MT 0-60: 8.2 1/4-mile: 16.6@85mph
2006 Sonata I4 4AT 0-60: 9.7 1/4-mile: 17.2@83mph
2006 Sonata V6 5AT 0-60: 7.1 1/4-mile: 15.5@92mph
2005 Sonata I4 5MT 0-60: 8.3 1/4-mile: 16.6@84mph
2005 sonata I4 4AT 0-60: 9.9 1/4-mile: 17.4@79mph
2005 Sonata V6 4AT 0-60: 8.8 1/4-mile: 16.7@83mph
Competition (still CarTest 2000):
2005 Camry I4 5AT 0-60: 8.7 1/4-mile: 16.9@83mph
2005 Camry I4 5MT 0-60: 8.7 1/4-mile: 16.5@86mph
2005 Camry V6 5AT 0-60: 7.3 1/4-mile: 15.9@89mph
2005 Camry SE 5AT 0-60: 7.6 1/4-mile: 15.7@91mph
2005 Accord I4 5AT 0-60: 8.6 1/4-mile: 16.8@84mph
2005 Accord I4 5MT 0-60: 7.9 1/4-mile: 16.3@87mph
2005 Accord V6 5AT 0-60: 7.1 1/4-mile: 15.5@92mph (regular fuel)
2005 Accord V6 5AT 0-60: 6.8 1/4-mile: 15.3@93mph (premium fuel)
And of course, I have to include the sluggish 6G AV6 in the comparison since I own one LOL
2002 Accord V6 4AT 0-60: 8.3 1/4-mile: 16.5@85mph
As you can see, the Sonata V6 holds up well against the Camry V6 and Accord V6 (regular fuel). It's much faster than the previous V6 Sonata, that's for sure. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if a few owners manage to run low 15's at the track. The 4-cylinder models lag behind the competition somewhat, but they still accelerate adequately.
There's been no word on pricing as of yet, but we should find out sometime in the coming weeks before the car's scheduled debut sometime this Spring.
I apologize for the length.
Thanks for reading!
props to "TH23" from V6performance.net, great post.
March 16th, 2005, 01:27 AM #2
I'd buy it if I were in the market. I bought an elantra a few years back, I think it was 2000. Good car, and not bad on power. Had a 2.2 I think. Only complaint I had was the resale value was lower than a lot of other cars. If one intended to drive it forever, rather than trading it in, it would be well worth the cost.
I think Hyundai has made strides in the market. More power to them, more choices is always better for the consumer.
March 16th, 2005, 03:03 AM #3
I am starting to like Hybrids now. THey are starting to look better, and they have some power too. The other day I saw someone in a honda hybrid smoke teh tires.One by one the penguins steal my sanity.
TechIMO Folding@home Team #111 - Crunching for the cure!
March 16th, 2005, 03:08 AM #4props to "TH23" from V6performance.net, great post.
March 16th, 2005, 05:04 AM #5
i am on my second hyundai . i got a accent in 95 , my son still drives it with 190K and he has crashed it MANY times and it still goes on the first turn of the key . it is a real soilder of a car , it even has the original clutch and real brakes on it !!!!!!!
i drive a 02 elantra gt . 72k on it now and it runs great . i am about to sell it to my son and get me another elantra gt , or maybe a sonata if i can hold out . but i am very happy with hyundai . they have never left me on the side of the road , and i have had no major problems with them .
as for resale they are getting much better , i paid 13.9k for mine . a civic , same class , with the same equiptment (well close at least , they didn't offer all the bells and wistles like the elantra gt like leather , 4 wheel disc , side airbags ) in it would have cost me about 18k . mine car goes for about 9k used now and the honda goes for about 12k so it cost me about 5k and if i got a honda it would have been about 6k . so i don't think the resale on it is that bad when you relaly look at it . and also the top civic doesn't have all the bells and wistles that the elantra gt has and it is nowhere near as roomy .
i plan on buying another and would tell anybody to atleast go test drive one or even rent one for a weekend and drive it . it isn't gonna win any stop light races or get ya any chicks but it will not cost u alot and will get ya where u have to go for less money .
Last edited by Omardeth; March 16th, 2005 at 05:07 AM." If you kill a man you're a murderer ..... Kill many and you're a conquerer ....... Kill them all ... your a GOD...."
March 16th, 2005, 10:42 AM #6
We've got a 2004 Elantra and are very happy with it.
We were thinking about replacing our 1998 Windstar minivan next year with either a Honda Odyssey or a Toyota Sienna. The problem is that either of those nicely equipt will run about $35K to $40K. Then I asked, why do we need a minivan? Answer: Mainly long trips with the 3 kids. Then I thought, why not buy a Sonata for ~$20K and for the few times a year we need a minivan for long trips we just rent one? Makes sense.Conservatives: "If the facts disagree with our opinion, ignore the facts -- or at least misrepresent them."
March 16th, 2005, 11:02 AM #7
- Join Date
- Oct 2001
IMO I didn't like the looks of those midsized cars
I am in the market for a new sedan (sporty) and have looked at a few of those above.. in general I dont like the looks of the cars admittedly the Sonata looks the best of the bunch, but didn't care for the appearance of the interior
I think the thing that kills me for a lot of sedans is the arse end.. they're just so blocky and blandHelicopters don't fly; they vibrate so much and make so much noise that the earth rejects them.
March 16th, 2005, 11:04 AM #8
I'll stick with domestics not named Chevy or Dodge, thank you very much.
March 16th, 2005, 11:11 AM #9
Originally Posted by The Real BingoHelicopters don't fly; they vibrate so much and make so much noise that the earth rejects them.
- Join Date
- Oct 2001
March 16th, 2005, 11:13 AM #10
- Join Date
- Oct 2001
March 16th, 2005, 11:18 AM #11
Ford's better than most anything else out there anyway. That's strictly opinion, though.
Some people have had lemon Fords and decide not to buy again, and that's fine. My family - on the other hand - has never had any big time problems with the Fords we have owned except for a 1989 F-250, which had fuel pump and transmission problems. Then again, unlike most families, we actually take care of our cars.
March 16th, 2005, 11:58 AM #12
- Join Date
- Oct 2003
- San Diego
That sonata is a pretty nice looking car.
I'll probably not buy a car, even a used one, for at least a couple years... I'll get this '89 buick my parents have when I get my license, and hopefully I won't need to drive much when I go off to college, so the car will last a while :P
March 16th, 2005, 12:01 PM #13Originally Posted by vass0922You can't fix stupidity.
March 16th, 2005, 12:05 PM #14
March 16th, 2005, 12:28 PM #15
Originally Posted by M_SixHelicopters don't fly; they vibrate so much and make so much noise that the earth rejects them.
- Join Date
- Oct 2001
March 16th, 2005, 12:47 PM #16
I have a 2003 Elantra GLS and I like it, it is great. I do sometimes wish it had more pickup but that stems from also having a loaded Town and Country mini-van with the 3.8 V6.
Like someone else said if you are looking for long term usage and do not plan to turn it around every couple of years then a Hyundai is a good choice. It is a lot of bang for your dollar for which you donít have to worry about trade in value if you are keeping it.
The only regret I have is that I didnít go for the GT. I beat up the sales people pretty good and got a great price, I only wish that I had offered a $1000 more for the GT version, they might have went for it.
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