As so often happens with Hyundai when it introduces new models first in its home market, the international release on the 2015 Sonata was limited to preliminary info and only a handful of photos leaving the rest for the world premiere at the New York Auto Show in April.
Well, obviously, we couldn’t wait, and thanks to Carscoops reader and photographer Bongsoo Yang from Kaablog who sent us what you see pictured below, we now have a rich gallery with 70 high-res photos of the car shot during the Korean presentation along with several videos, both official and audience recordings.
Hyundai likes to use the words “refined” and “improved” to describe the latest Sonata with the LF internal codename, and to which we’ll add “more mature” and “conservative” in terms of styling. That’s not necessarily a bad thing when it comes to the more upscale and somber interior, but it could be an issue with the exterior.
Regardless if you agree with this approach, one thing is for sure; the new Sonata will not have the same impact as the current edition did when they presented it back in 2009. This may be a problem for a mainstream nameplate that is not exactly established in the eyes of buyers and needs something to stand out in a very crowded segment that includes cars like the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, Honda Accord, Chrysler 200 and Ford Fusion.
Notable aspects of the new model include an increase of 35mm (1.38 inches) in length and 30mm (1.18 inches) in width, with the 2015 Sonata (in Korean spec) measuring 4,855mm (191.1 inches) long, 1,865mm (73.4 inches) wide and 1,475mm (58.1 inches) tall, while riding on a 2,805mm (110.4 inches) wheelbase. It’s close in size to a Mercedes E-Class – the Korean sedan is 24mm (0.9 inches) shorter, but 11mm (0.4 inches) wider and 1mm (0.04 inches) taller).
Hyundai hasn’t detailed overseas versions yet, but in Korea, the new Sonata will launch with three four-cylinder engines – a 151PS (149hp) 2.0-liter LPi, a 168PS (166hp) 2.0-liter CVVL and a 193PS (190hp) 2.4-liter GDI, with transmission options including a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic, both driving the front wheels only.
The Korean firm says it spent three years and approximately 450 billion Won (US$418 million / €302 million) to develop the new Sonata, which will launch outside its home market during the second half of this year. Hyundai added that it aims to sell a total of 228,000 units (Korea: 63,000 / Overseas: 165,000) in 2014 and reach 338,000 units (Korea: 89,000 / Overseas: 249,000) in 2015, the car’s first full year in the market.
By John Halas
All photos copyright Kaablog [Used with permission] – Thanks to Bongsoo Yang!
Key Differences: All- new Sonata vs. previous generation Sonata
Refined premium design
Innovation in fundamentals
Body-in-White 41 percent, 35 percent stiffer in torsional, bending strength
Use of advanced-high strength steel increased by 30 percent
Spacious, luxurious cabin
Lower levels of NVH
Ergonomic driver-focused interior layout
Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC)
Blind Spot Detection
Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS)
Hands-free Smart Trunk
Driver knee airbag
Modern LED lighting
Emergency stop signal
Electronic parking brake
Heated rear seats