In Australia the Sonata nameplate has now suffered the same fate as the Tasmanian Tiger and Kangaroo Island Emu. In its place is the i45, which, with its swoopy looks, is ready to take on the likes of the , , and Subaru Liberty.
Opt for the Active model and you'll get six airbags, 16-inch alloy wheels, stability control, auto headlights, fog lamps, LED tail-lights, cruise control, rear-seat air vents and a six-speaker sound system, with an iPod-compatible USB port and steering wheel controls. The Elite model gains full leather upholstery, 17-inch alloys, climate control, rear-parking sensors and rain-sensing wipers.
The top-of-the-range Premium version comes with a panorama sunroof, 18-inch alloy wheels, and an up-specced audio system with a subwoofer, six-stack CD player and multi-line audio display. Bluetooth hands-free is a dealer-fitted accessory throughout the range, but satellite navigation isn't available at any price.
Initially, all Australian-bound i45s will feature a 2.4-litre petrol engine sending 148kW of power and 250Nm of torque to the front wheels. A six-speed automatic is present throughout the i45 range, with a six-speed manual available to buyers of the entry-level Active model.
At this year's New York Auto Show, Hyundai unveiled hybrid and turbo versions of the i45 — still badged as a Sonata in North America. These may or may not make it down under, with rumours indicating that a turbo-diesel may also be offered in the future.
The i45 range is on sale now with the Active model retailing for AU$29,490 (manual) and AU$30,990 (automatic). The automatic-only Elite is priced at AU$34,490, while the AU$37,990 Premium rounds out the range. All quoted prices include GST, but exclude dealer and statutory charges.