If you were not aware that Hyundai has launched the all new Sonata in India, we don’t blame you. The recent product onslaught coupled with an ‘only petrol engine’ strategy may have out-posed the few Sonatas that have hit Indian roads.
Essentially, Hyundai India did not learn a single lesson from Maruti Suzuki’s Kizashi failure and walked straight into the bear trap.
We don't blame them, as the Sonata does not have a diesel option anywhere in the world. Our prediction is Hyundai's super-fast R&D team must have swung into action sensing the life-threatening weakness, to develop a four-cylinder diesel motor suitable for all markets, in
a secret underground laboratory in South Korea.
The Sonata is also on sale in Malaysia from where news comes in that Hyundai has launched a sporty body kit to boost sales. Called as the Sonata Sport, Hyundai's D Segment vehicle comes with a body kit that consists of -
- Front lip
- Side skirts
- A rear bumper extension
- Quad exhaust tips, two on either side
Nothing notably has been changed on the mechanical front. Just like in India, in Malaysia the new Sonata is available with a 2.0L or a 2.4L petrol engine. The 2.0L Sport is priced at RM151,388 (26.99 lakhs INR), while the 2.4L Sport will set you back RM169,388 (30.18 lakhs INR).
The Hyundai Sonata would have been a formidable rival to the Skoda Superb and the Volkswagen Passat if it had a diesel engine under its belt. With its eye-catching design that has proven to be a big selling point for the Verna, who knows, it may have been the sedan counterpart of the Fortuner in terms of sales volume and creating a niche.
If the Santa Fe's CRDI engine can be plonked under the Sonata's bonnet as a stop-gap solution (this is just an uneducated guess), Hyundai could live that dream. If they can't, the dream has to wait for another day.