2011 New Cars: Asia

Brian Konoske

Hyundai Sonata

New: The Koreans are closer than ever to Honda and Toyota with this new mid-size sedan.

Noteworthy: Following the spring launch of the base 2.4-liter Sonata, Hyundai adds turbo and hybrid models this fall. The turbo isn't a sporty racer; instead, it's a refined V-6 alternative. Despite its impressive 274-hp output, the boosted four-cylinder returns very respectable fuel economy numbers: 22/34 mpg city/highway. The hybrid drives comfortably thanks to a six-speed automatic gearbox instead of the CVT more commonly paired with a hybrid system. Fuel economy should come in at 37/40 mpg. As good as the two optional engines are, the 198-hp base four-cylinder unit is powerful and smooth enough to satisfy even our particular tastes. In all Sonatas, though, the seats and the steering leave something to be desired.

On sale: Now
BASE PRICE: $19,915
SPECS: 2.4L I-4, 198 hp, 184 lb-ft; 2.0L turbo I-4, 274 hp, 269 lb-ft; 2.4L I-4/electric hybrid, 209 hp, 195 lb-ft; front-wheel drive

The Twitter Feed:
Not only are Hyundai's products increasingly competitive, but they also pack more originality and personality than previous models.

The best execution to the completely the wrong solution. I hope Nissan will build us a new power plants in every state, to recharge the thousands of cars and upgrade the distribution grid, the transformer stations, the transformers on the streets and upgrades the electric meter and service in every household, where cars have to be charged up.
Misguided design, looking for misguided buyers.
It should be a prudent to be detached from the brainwash and false promises politicians disseminate about the auto industry. The Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf are NOT the cars of the future, they are the cars of the misled designers and less than 15 years from now, the statement will look stupid. Vehicles carrying heavy batteries with very limited energy density are PRIMITIVE. The cars of the future either pick up energy from a grid in the streets or have energy storage density at least comparable to the present gas or diesel cars.
First of all, there is no such word as "weaved". The correct word is "woven". With the LFA, Toyota builds a car that virtually no one can own. There hasn't been a well designed, sporty Toyata since the baby Ferrari-looking MR2. Granted, cars are tools, but do Toyotas have nothing in their design kit bag? Their cars are bland and unexciting.
AGAIN, the US doesn't get the best model, the GT. The UK has been getting hot rodded Hondas for a long time. Who is telling Honda Americans won't buy it if they bring it? I assure you, I won't even consider this car until it is equal to it's own UK sibling.

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