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Hyundai Sonata 2007 Review

It also marked a coming of age for Hyundai. Now that original look has been further refined in the 2008 Sonata, to be unveiled at the Los Angeles Motor Show (which opens today) and then to debut locally at the Melbourne Motor Show next March.

Hyundai's designers were careful not to tamper too much with the car's looks. The bumpers, headlights and grille have been given a very subtle touch-up to give the car a more dynamic and taut stance. There are also new alloys and brightwork exterior trim. Inside, the dashboard has Lexus overtones with a tall centre console, alloy-look highlights and high-set audio and navigation controls.

Along with the new dashboard and trim, music lovers will appreciate the addition of auxiliary input jacks to accommodate iPods and USB memory sticks. Among the other refinements are the addition of dual-zone climate controls for driver and front-seat passenger and the addition of high/low switches for the two front seat-warmers. Apart from the visual tweaks, the most important changes are found under the bonnet.

The new Sonata will be the first model to get the second-generation Theta 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine. The Theta II lifts power from 118kW to 126kW, along with torque, which goes from 219Nm to 224Nm. The lift in power and torque does not come at the expense of fuel economy. Hyundai says the new 2.4 delivers better economy and lower emissions.

The Theta engine was a joint-venture development between Hyundai and the then DaimlerChrysler. The engine is used in various Dodge and Chrysler models. Apart from the 2.4, the Lambda 3.3-litre V6 in the Elite also gets a power and torque lift, from 173kW to 178kW, while torque is up from 304Nm to 309Nm. A turbo-diesel Sonata may be added to the lineup.

The 2.0-litre CRDi turbo-diesel, which is available in other markets, develops 110kW/314Nm and is mated to a six-speed manual or four-speed automatic. Hyundai is closely watching the take-up of the 1.6 CRDi engine in the new i30 before making a decision on a diesel.

Meanwhile, unofficial images of the new rear-drive Tiburon coupe have popped up on automotive websites months before its Korean launch. The car is expected to go on sale in Korea in March and in other markets later in 2008.

The picture shows the car next to a Ford Mustang, which Hyundai has obviously targeted as a competitor in North America.

Pricing guides

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Range and Specs

(base) 2.4L, ULP, 4 SP SEQ AUTO $4,070 – 5,940 2007 Hyundai Sonata 2007 (base) Pricing and Specs
Elite 2.4L, ULP, 4 SP SEQ AUTO $4,070 – 6,050 2007 Hyundai Sonata 2007 Elite Pricing and Specs
SLX 2.4L, ULP, 4 SP SEQ AUTO $3,190 – 5,060 2007 Hyundai Sonata 2007 SLX Pricing and Specs