2011 Hyundai Sonata

1. The roof profile is echoed by the elegant upper line of the side glass, with painted B-pillar and window surrounds.

2. There's a bit less tumblehome than one might hope to see, but with side curtain air bags, there has to be more volume in the upper structure.

3. This unfortunate little triangle is necessary to allow the door glass to descend. This is always a problem for designers, but most buyers prefer windows that open.

4. The actual daylight opening of the quarter light is minimal, but the effect is to add useful visual length to the Sonata's side profile.

5. This generic plane curving downward to a surface above the strike face is a detail seen on dozens of other cars. It works, but originality suffers.

6. One of the new Sonata's best features is this strong character line that's derived from the backup lights and carries forward through the door handles.

7. Interesting interacting surfaces here allow this chrome accent to overlap the character-line rib, adding to the car's visual width despite the lack of one continuous line.

8. This nicely modeled spoiler lip fades into the top of the quarter panel, keeping the deck lid high and fairly flat and also describing a spacious, rectilinear trunk.

9. The graceful sculpture of the rearview mirror is worthy of Constantin Brâncuşi at his best. Very nice indeed.

10. The hood is stiffened by a slight drop in the center section and the sharp forward continuation of the A-pillar's leading edge.

11. The headlamp cluster is long and its interior complex, but the large, well-defined main-beam portion gives a sense of direction and purposefulness.

12. The foglamps are surprisingly big but are well proportioned in the front end's total composition.

13. The grille carries the hood indent downward, but the fussy surfacing is overdone.

14. Outboard A/C outlets mirror the wider-at-the-top vents on the console.

15. The optional paddle shifters are invisible in this view, but they're definitely present and agreeably unobtrusive.

16. Controls on the lower spokes of the steering wheel are a good idea a priori, but will be established only with daily use.

17. A pleasant touch is the sides of the console growing up and out like a plant, encompassing the A/C vents at the top.

18. This sweeping line separates the upper instrument panel from the turned-under lower section and flows nicely into the door panels.

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That said, I agree on both the profile of the Sonata, the strong character line, the beautiful instrument panel, and how the black interior is too dark.
I think this car is definitely a head-turner, especially when compared to the competition. I usually agree with Robert, but I believe Hyundai has done a far better job than he implied.Additionally, how come there is not a single remark, good or bad, about the chrome spear extending from the headlight to the rear side window. If anything, that would be the most original design of the Sonata.

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