There's a new player in the mid-size sedan market, and it's from Hyundai. Yes, Hyundai.
The Hyundai Sonata was showered with media awards last year, when it was redesigned and launched as an all-new model for 2006. MotorWeek called the Sonata the 'Best Family Sedan,' Kiplinger's Personal Finance named it 'Best in Class,' Consumers Digest called it a 'Best Buy,' and Popular Mechanics gave it a 'Safety Excellence' award. Meanwhile, the Sonata finished among the top three mid-size cars in the 2006 J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study. And the Sonata earned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's five-star crash test rating for front and side impacts, the highest rating given.
For the 2007 model year, the Sonata promises more content for less money. Retail prices have been lowered on the entry GLS models. A new Sonata SE comes standard with the 234-hp V6 engine and 17-inch wheels and tires, and a new top-of-the-line Limited model features a new chrome grille and an optional Infinity premium audio system.
This second-generation Sonata is bigger, better equipped, more technologically advanced and sharper looking than the previous-generation (pre-2006) model. Exterior-wise, it competes primarily against the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima; and secondarily against the Chevrolet Malibu, Kia Optima and Ford Fusion. On the inside, however, the Sonata has moved up a class. Sonata is now a large car, with a full-size edge in creature comfort. It's roomier in almost every dimension than its mid-size competitors. Fit and finish are on a par with most others in the class.