2009 Hyundai Sonata

For 2009, Hyundai’s midsize family sedan sees several key changes. Both the four- and six-cylinder engines have received an influx of power, while raising fuel economy at the same time. That’s worthy of a thumbs-up any day. The biggest news, however, resides inside. While this generation Sonata’s original cabin was hardly an environment worth shaking a finger at, Hyundai was never pleased with it from the get-go. This year’s complete makeover performed on the center stack, gauges and center console has led to an overall design that is more user-friendly and better looking. Materials have also been improved, while the top-level Limited trim boasts a tasteful blend of color combinations, wood-grain accents and alloy trim. To be frank, this is the Lexus-lite interior we were expecting when Toyota’s all-star was last redesigned. Hyundai has delivered it instead.

The four-cylinder version get horsepower of 175. Variable valve timing now on both intake and exhaust sides of the combustion process likely accounts for the bump. Yet EPA improves from 21/30 to 22/32 (with automatic trans). Four-bangers make up about 70 percent of Sonata sales volumes, and given ever increasing fuel price levels, that equation may tip further. A five-speed manual transmission is still offered, while the automatic goes from four to five ratios.

The Sonata's V-6 gets more power, too, but at 3.3 liters, is still displacement-challenged against the category. Most players pack 3.5-3.6 liters of engine, good for 250-270 horses. At 249, the Hyundai can come to the party, but not lead it. But this engine loves to rev, and EPA also improves, if only by a hair, from 19/28 to 19/29.

source :: http://www.motortrend.com/

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