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Hyundai nicely blasts Drive On's Car of the Year prediction


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Hyundai nicely blasts Drive On's Car of the Year prediction

12:08 PM

Drive On's not-so-bold prediction last week that Chevrolet Volt is going to win North American Car of the Year didn't go over so well at Hyundai's U.S. headquarters. For some strange reason, the suits there think the Hyundai Sonata, which is a finalist along with Volt and Nissan Leaf, can and should win.

In a normal year, we'd agree. Sonata is going to ring up about 200,000 in sale this year and is helping to boost Hyundai into the first tier of import automakers, right there with Nissan, Toyota and Honda. But it's up against two advanced technology, electric cars. We're not boosting the Volt, just pointing out the obvious. Here's what Hyundai spokesman Jim Trainor says is the case for Sonata and what Drive On termed "conventional cars:"

We're a "3-in-1" car with a hybrid, (gasoline direct injection) engine with 200 hp as our "base" car, and an awesome turbo version that replaces our 6-cylinder – and in almost every measure is better that our competitor's six-bangers....

You'll never have to worry about 'range anxiety' in a Sonata. And it must be worth something that customers have already taken delivery of almost "200,000" Sonatas – this while at least one other finalists is talking about their first two deliveries. The positive environmental impact of 200,000 high fuel-efficiency Sonatas far outweighs that of a niche car that will sell around 10,000 units – about half of what we do each month. This is a car that everyone can live with without having to install expensive devices in their garages to keep them running. And our hybrid offers the most advanced and innovative battery available in a hybrid, has better dynamic performance and (less noise and rattles) than our competitors, and has better acceleration and fuel economy than other mid-sized hybrids.

We're in with two other great cars but I'd choose to drive the Sonata any day of the week – or weekend, for that matter. Take your pick between GDI, turbo or hybrid – there's a Sonata available for every want and need.

Interesting arguments. Volt is still going to win, though.



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