Early this week, Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. (HARI) reminded us that it still had a market presence by launching the all-new Sonata, and simultaneously holding a Christmas party for media and dealers. The event was held at the SM Mall of Asia's ice-skating rink to reinforce the winter theme of the night.
After an enthralling performance by figure skater Michael Martinez, the covers were lifted off the concealed cars onstage, and we finally saw the Korean carmaker’s midsize offering in the metal.
The new Sonata is a little less flashy than its predecessor. It has a stateliness that’s almost Teutonic--not a surprise considering who the current chief designer of Hyundai and Kia is. The Sonata boasts a large, bold grille with clean lines radiating from the front to the back. It’s reminiscent of a Kia Optima, actually.
We’ve already discussed the features in a previous story, but now we have the final prices. The top-spec Premium variant goes for P1.898 million, and the GLS variant sells for P1.698 million. What distinguishes the Premium from the GLS are an electronic parking brake, Amplitude Selective Dampers (for a smoother ride), panoramic sunroof, rain-sensing wipers, blind-spot detection, and memory settings for the driver’s seat.
What is also notable is that the Sonata comes with an eight-year/160,000km limited powertrain warranty. This is a first in Philippine automotive industry. Kia has a similar 160,000km warranty here, but it’s only up to five years. Hyundai’s bold guarantee is a reflection of its confidence in the new Sonata’s reliability.
With a slew of new models scheduled for launch next year, HARI is set to make a lot of noise again in 2015.
Photos by Dinzo Tabamo