MIDDLE OF THE ROAD
TWO CRITICS, ONE CAR
IN a world of SUVs, cars like the Hyundai Sonata slip under the radar. But the arrival of new versions of the Toyota Camry and Holden Commodore has put more focus on the Korean contender and other mid-size rivals.
ALI: Oh, another blue car. What is with so many blue cars lately?
PAUL: It’s not just blue cars that are fashionable, it’s also cars in the medium class. We’ve had the new Camry already and the imported Commodore is close, so it’s a good time to have another look at the Sonata. ALI: It’s very big. PAUL: The Sonata is a conservative fourdoor sedan that sells, for reasons I still don’t understand, alongside the i40 as Hyundai has two bites at the medium-size apple.
ALI: I’m not really loving the space-age trimming and detail. It’s a bit black-on-black with ice-cold blue lighting. Quite masculine.
ALI: It has very comfortable seats and usable accessories for the infotainment area.
PAUL: It’s a big cushy car, which I like, and probably makes it popular.
ALI: But the Bluetooth is poor to connect. I had to do it every time I started the car and it doesn’t allow operation while moving.
PAUL: It’s a relaxing car to drive. The 2.0litre turbo makes 180kW so can be quite brisk.
ALI: The commute to work was comfortable with no dramas but I didn’t gain any great driving experience from it. It just did the job.
ALI: It has a good reverse camera but I failed many times parking this one. Perhaps it’s the length thing again for me.
PAUL: One downside is the price of the Premium model. You can get a Sonata on the road for less than $35,000 but this one is fully loaded and closer to $50,000.
PAUL: It’s a nice, relaxing tourer but nothing special to drive.
ALI: It likes long drives. I go over 80km/h for more than two minutes and it settles down.
PAUL: If you want trouble-free driving with a five-year warranty and plenty of space in the cabin and boot, it’s for you.
ALI: For me, no. For those who rate the Camry and seek change, this could be your car.
PAUL: It’s nothing special, too dear. No tick.
The Hyundai Sonata Premium.