Hyundai Sonata. In Korea

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Just a couple of pictures of what Hyundai offers in the Sonata’ s home market.

The steering wheel has matching accents, wood or metal.
And of course, a navigation system. Which means the stereo moves down next to the climate control. A much cleaner look.

The whole thing seems to make the Sonata interior more upscale.

Conversation 9 comments

  1. The nav does make it look somewhat more upscale, but the mismatched interior lighting throws off the whole interior, and there’s nothing you can do about the dull design.

    This interior is a great match for the old 5th gen Camry, but it can’t match the new Camry, simply because Hyundai benchmarked the old Camry, and even then didn’t make their interior that much better.

  2. I really like that interior. Looks classy with that awesome lighting, even if the shapes are still kind of awkward. I’m not sure I see the stereo you’re talking about by the climate controls, though. There doesn’t even seem to be a volume knob anywhere on that centre stack.

    Hyundai should at least offer that kind of interior in one of its model trims, like how Toyota has a couple different interiors for the Camry.

  3. All Hyundai models in Korea are much upscale and MORE EXPENSIVE. The base model in Korea is like the fully loaded one here. One thing I would really like them to change is the lime-green dash lights, in Korea they are blue, which looks much better. If Hyundai is able to raise prices here due to better brand image, we might be seeing more features.

  4. The radio doesn’t move down to the climate control. The radio is controlled through the screen that you see. Only the slot to place the DVDs for the navigation and add’l music CDs is located by the climate control. In the US spec Sonata, that space is replaced with a fold-down face storage unit.

    The Sonata cost more there, too. Also, it is unavailable with the 3.3 V6 in South Korea. There everyone complains about the availability of engine choices. It comes with a 2.0 or 2.4 in S.K.

  5. 07 Sonata Update
    First let me start by saying I do agree that the interior looks much better with nav but the mismatched lighting is an obvious blunder. Also Hyundai made some very dubious decisions with the U.S. version of the Sonata. For example, the lack of power adjustable pedals, manual rear sun shade, exterior folding sideview mirrors, dual power front seats, dark interior and the addition of seek controls to the steering wheel buttons. The ’07 Sonata is expected to have all these additions. It shouldn’t be hard to do why? Because they’ve already included these in the re-designed Kia Optima.

    To be fair Hyundai is proceeding cautiously, perhaps some may think too overly cautious. So far the Sonata has been everything that it was advertised to be, an affordable, competent, dependable 4 door family hauler. It seems to have met all these requirements quite well.

    Its selling in larger numbers than previous generations. However, lately they have moved large volumnes in fleet which seems curious especially if they want to move their “brand” image up. But Hyundai wants to get butts in the seat and many U.S. consumers may never consider test driving a Hyundai unless they happen to get one in a rental fleet.

    From a marketing standpoint it’s a rather efficient way to make people aware of your product but the danger is that it could cheapen the brand.

    I don’t buy into the argument that the new Sonata is not competitive with the new Camry or a step behind. A recent back-to-back test drive placed the Sonata in 3rd place behind the Accord. When was the last time a Hyundai managed to do that? Toyota has cleverly disguised the ’07 Camry with cheaper, yet pleasing interior materials, while crafting an in-your-face exterior design for the new Camry which is sure to keep the Camry faithful in the fold. But that by no means guarantees that the new Camry is a slam dunk.

    The Sonata’s mission was never to dethrone the Camry or Accord but to be an excellent competitive alternative to the two top main stays in the midsize segment. In this it has succeeded.

    Another way that they can push more market share is to begin offering the kind of amentities that can make them stand apart, one of these could be their trick Active Geometry Control Suspension–which rumor has it they should be introducing to the U.S. market in ’07–perhaps we may see a Sonata SE model with this feature or in their next up level sedan. Either Hyundai has to step it up another knotch.

  6. Jac, I wouldn’t say Hyundai is moving catiously. Maybe from a design and innovation standpoint. But from a market standpoint, Hundyai is moving very fast and improving aggressively. I think they’re moving too fast in fact. There’s already an investigation about possible slush funds and political bribery among high level Hyundai execs, including the CEO. Certain Hyundai affiliates are also involved.

    Then there is the matter if the rising won, which Hyundai has little control over, and rapidly declining profits. Hyundai themselves recently admitted their profits have dropped sharply due to their focus on quality and their aggressive expansion. Toyota was able to keep profits high in the 90s despite a recession and rising yen (they were one of the only Japanese companies able to achieve such a feat), and Toyota continues with record profits despite a rapid world expansion. Hyundai is no Toyota though, regardless of how much Hyundai execs admire and aspire to beating Toyota.

    I may sound brash, but the new Camry will very likely be a slam dunk because it improves on the old model in so many ways. More importantly, it improves most in areas which owners and critics bashed the Camry the most; which is performance to an extent and styling. The Hybrid model literally guarantees higher sales for the new Camry.

    I actually disagree with the goal that Hyundai had in mind with the new Sonata. From what I’ve read, Hyundai’s goal was to BEAT the Camry in almost every area. They did beat the old Camry in several areas, but in other important areas still could not match them, like overall comfort, and rear seat comfort.

    The new Sonata was a very substantial redesign for Hyundai, as opposed to the new Camry, which is more of a moderate redesign. The reason for this is that, believe it or not, the engineering budget for the new Camry was actually quite small. Then of course is also Toyota’s goal of getting the new Camry to market quickly. I’m guessing Toyota wanted to get the engineering of this Camry redesign out of the way, likely to work on other vehicles, and to allow for a higher budget in other projects, like perhaps a new platform for the next Camry. Expect to see a substantial top-to-bottom Camry reworking when the next model arrives in 2011-2012.

    I too agree that Hyundai has to step it up a notch if they’re willing to match or beat Toyota, because Toyota continues to step it up and improve in untold ways.

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