The Hyundai Sonata, one of the automaker’s most recognizable cars on the road today, hit a huge milestone this year with the vehicle’s 30th birthday. The Sonata has seen seven generations hit roadways, selling over 7.3 million units, but it hasn’t always been the competitor we’ve seen more recently. When it was first introduced in 1985, the Sonata wasn’t anything compared to Detroit models.
The first-generation Sonata was as plain as could be–rear wheel drive and beige. The second generation, introduced just three years later, made some improvements, but nothing major–just the addition of a front-wheel drivetrain. Hyundai continued these changes until it hit a winning formula in the fifth generation.
The fifth generation Sonata received praise from both critics and customers. As a result, the 2004 model was set up to compete on United States soil, with everything it needed under the hood. However, the Sonata was still missing something–an attention-grabbing design.
In 2009, the sixth-generation Sonata hit markets with a new Fluidic Sculpture design, one that caught the attention of passersby like never before.
Last year, the seventh-generation Sonata debuted at the New York Auto Show. Under the hood was a 2.4-liter four-cylinder or a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. There was also a hybrid variant with a 2-liter four-cylinder engine attached to six-speed automatic transmission and an electric motor.
The Hyundai Sonata’s birthday is a big one – how often does a car celebrate three decades on the market?
We at SouthTowne Hyundai are proud of what the Sonata’s become and are looking optimistically toward the future of the model!