Hyundai's new Sonata gets by without a V-6

Debuting at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2011 Hyundai Sonata is the first vehicle to feature Hyundai's "Fluidic Sculpture" design language.

2011 Hyundai Sonata
The Hyundai Sonata midsized sedan will be powered by a variety of four-cylinder engines. Josh P. Miller/CNET

Debuting at the 2009 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2011 Hyundai Sonata is the first vehicle to feature Hyundai's "Fluidic Sculpture" design language--"Fluidic Sculpture" obviously being market-speak for bulbous and swoopy.

The Sonata will debut with a 2.4-liter gasoline direct injection engine and a pair of six-speed transmissions, one automatic and one manual. However by the end of 2010, a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine and a Hybrid Blue Drive model are set to join the lineup. However, the Sonata will not get a V6. This is a four-banger only party. The 2.4-liter launch engine will output 198 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, while delivering 23 city/35 highway mpg. A performance oriented SE model boosts the horsepower to and even 200-ponies and adds uprated suspension components.

Cabin tech packages include a DVD/MP3-compatible Dimension audio premium audio system with a 6.5-inch touchscreen navigation system that is optional on the GLS and SE trims. Stepping up to the luxury-oriented Limited trim adds HD Radio and makes a navigation-free version of the Dimension audio system a standard feature, as well as opening up the option to choose a 400-watt Infinity audio system with touchscreen navigation. Regardless of trim, choosing the premium audio option also nets a touchscreen navigation system. The nav system's data is stored on 8GB of flash memory, so we expect that it's a similar system to the one found in the Genesis Coupe.

XM satellite radio is standard (with three months of service included), as well as access to XM NavTraffic and XM Data Services when equipped with navigation. Also standard are Bluetooth handsfree connectivity and iPod/USB connectivity.

If Hyundai's Elantra Touring and Genesis coupe and sedan are any indication of the direction the Korean automaker is heading, we may find the new Sonata stealing a few Camry and Accord sales when it debuts in 2010. However, until we can get some wheel time with the midsized sedan, you can check out our gallery of the 2011 Hyundai Sonata .

 

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