Great leap for­ward

Hyundai made its mark with a re­fined Sonata, writes Graham Smith

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Used Cars -

THERE’S no bet­ter ex­am­ple of the South Kore­ans’ emer­gence as car­mak­ers on the world stage than the NF Hyundai Sonata re­leased in 2005.

At the time of its launch it was uni­ver­sally praised as a big step for­ward for Hyundai.

The NF Sonata de­liv­ered the things Hyundai had built its rep­u­ta­tion on, such as a long fea­tures list and a value-for-money deal, but also de­liv­ered a level of re­fine­ment and qual­ity lack­ing in ear­lier Hyundai mod­els.

Model watch

HYUNDAI made no bones about it— it was look­ing to Europe to im­prove its cars, and it showed in the NF Sonata.

Big­ger, bet­ter-look­ing, with six airbags and a choice of four-and six­cylin­der en­gines, there was plenty to like about the Sonata.

It still of­fered value for money, but didn’t rely on that alone. It was well­built, re­fined, and drove well.

The cabin of­fered am­ple room for five adults; the seats were com­fort­able and soft, and boot space gen­er­ous.

The four-cylin­der en­gine op­tion was a 2.4-litre dou­ble over­head camshaft all-al­loy unit that pumped out a solid 118kW at 5800 revs and 219Nm at 4250 revs to pro­vide ad­e­quate get up and go.

For more zip there was the op­tion of a 3.3-litre V6, also an all-al­loy unit, with dou­ble over­head camshafts, four valves per cylin­der and vari­able valve tim­ing. That achieved peaks of 173kW at 6000 revs and 304Nm at 3500 revs, just a smidgen short of the Com­modore’s V6 en­gine at the time.

The V6 was dropped in 2008 and a 2.0-litre four-cylin­der turbo-diesel en­gine added to the en­gine choices. It pro­duced 110kW and 305Nm. Man­ual ad­dicts were lim­ited for choice as only the base four-cylin­der model was avail­able with the fivespeed man­ual.

When the diesel ar­rived in 2008 it was with ei­ther a six-speed man­ual or four-speed auto.

Fi­nal drive on all mod­els was through the front wheels.

Like its pre­de­ces­sors, the NF Sonata was equipped with an en­tic­ing list of stan­dard fea­tures.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.