2010 SONATA: A HUGE LEAP FORWARD
Front view of all-new Sonata
It is not in vain that, Hyundai Motors Nigeria Limited, the sole distributor of the Hyundai brand which recently released the all-new Sonata, is palpably enthusiastic about the performance of the new model in the Nigerian market.
The latest Sonata was unveiled to the press at a ceremony in Lagos, and as has been said elsewhere in the global market where the sedan has been launched, all the journalists present agreed it is a 'huge leap forward' in terms of styling and quality of finish.
Hyundai has certainly made an effort to keep the Sonata fresh and attractive with significant revisions, including power-train improvements and a sleeker dashboard design with better materials. This was acknowledged by Hyundai Nigeria's Karthik J. Nayak, who predicted that with the array of features and many areas of improvement, the Sonata has got all it takes to leave the competition far behind.
To reduce the weight of the car, Hyundai has used lighter and longer lasting materials, especially in casting the engine 2.0 and 2.4 litre and building the doors. One of the advantages of this is that the powerful power-plant consumes even comparatively less fuel and registers better output.
Unlike some competitors which have steel-structured hoods, the multi-cone structure of the new Sonata bonnet helps reduce the impact that could result in event of a crash which ordinarily will give a severe damage to the pedestrian.
Equally impressive is the Hill Start Assist Control, the product of a new-technology which holds the braking pressure at uphill when start is needed (after a stop) to avoid retraction, as well as the innovative motor-driven power steering, which enhances steering power, reduces fuel consumption and is fluid- and maintenance-free.
Also very impressive is the rear camera with a 3.5 inch display panel on the dashboard capable of/ resolution 240,000 pixel, which aids parking. Ditto for the HI-LOW seat warmer . New Sonata's HID lamp not only offers driving safety in the night, but adds other benefits, such as reducing current consumption by 20 percent, bettering the performance of halogen lamp, higher lamp lifetime (4times, 2000hr) and is similar to natural light
The new Sonata comes with a three-piece panoramic sunroof, giving a sense of openness and freedom as well as a stylish look, but Nayak was quick to add that this is an optional feature and not standard in the Nigerian market.The dimension premium sound system offers high-quality sound in three types of modes to satisfy customers' wide-ranging musical tastes.
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.
Introduction over, the motoring journalists embarked on a brief test-drive around Victoria Island area of Lagos, where even more of the all-new Sonata's endowments were discovered, especially the opulent-looking interior. This was when many a guest appreciated the numerous awards the car has earned in the past few years. As at the last count, the car has been garlanded no fewer than 17 times.