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William Maley

Hyundai News:Hyundai To Redesign Current Sonata Due To Poor Sales Start

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Hyundai seems to be going backwards with the current Sonata. Unlike the previous model which was stealing sales from competitors, the newest model doesn't have the same effect. The reason? Looks.

“I told the story to our parent company (of driving the old Sonata) home, (and) people were rolling down their window at stop signs, following me, (asking), ‘What is that? Where can I get it?", said Dave Zuchowski, Hyundai Motor America CEO to Wards Auto.

“And I don’t get that” with the new one. “That was free advertising, right? People would seek us out because we look different. And we don’t get that now.”

When the current Sonata was shown at the New York Auto Show, Zuchowski said that the Sonata didn't have to shout with impressive design as the company has felt firmly established itself as a midsize sedan that had become top-of-mind for buyers. However, they realized that the Sonata hasn't reached that point.

“If we’re priced comparably, and we appear comparable, it’s always difficult to win that battle with those more well-established, well-entrenched (models),” said Zuchowski.

Hyundai is planning to redesign the current Sonata during its mid-cycle refresh, which according to Wards is expected to be around 2017 or 2018.

“It’s hard to get anything (done sooner) than midcycle with the tooling involved,” said Zuchowski, adding Hyundai knows “exactly what we want to do, and we’re busy working on it right now.”

Source: Wards Auto

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Even though this car is better in most ways to the previous car, especially in NVH, interior looks and materials, ride and handling and mileage on certain models, customers are perceiving this car as a step back with blander styling, less power on it's base 2.4 and 2 liter turbo and a more traditional and more comfortable interior. The sad part is that this car is better than the new Camry in most every way but Toyota can get away with making bland subpar sedans because that percieved reliability is still there and the media loves them. 

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That was fast.  

 

The new Camry got rather ugly, so I'm surprised the people who prefer conservative appearance didn't move over to the Sonata. 

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my reader review on the 2015, i found the redo to be quite honestly, lackluster.  what ponchoman said applies.  the styling is dumbed down, the interior is chunky, what was Hyundai thinking?

 

Strangely, i have seen a few of these on the road recently, and depending on color and angle, its like a stretched Cruze from some profiles, done badly (where the Cruze is done well).

 

Since we are talking the Hyundai motor group here, I checked out a new Kia Sedona a couple weeks ago, and let me tell you, they whiffed on that one too.  The exterior is sort of nice looking but they really made a turd of an interior.

 

I think Hyundai and Kia had an infusion of style for a few years, but now they seem to be reverting back to their old bland self.  Bad deal.

 

I think also we had our first surge of large group of converted Hyundai owners in the market and now that they cycle gives them a chance again they are not necessarily a repeat buyer brand.

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They should pull it in as soon as possible as coworkers who had older versions are not thrilled with the new version. They will loose sales and market share.

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I would not have purchased the previous Sonata, but I would purchase the current one.  My tastes are very conservative.

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The new Sonata is bland, but bland normally plays in the family sedan segment. I prefer it to the old car, but I still think the aging Kia Optima is the more attractive car.  This shows that Hyundai isn't quite there with Toyota, Honda, or Nissan in public perception.

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The new Sonata is bland, but bland normally plays in the family sedan segment. I prefer it to the old car, but I still think the aging Kia Optima is the more attractive car.  This shows that Hyundai isn't quite there with Toyota, Honda, or Nissan in public perception.

  It's a shame.  Out of the choice of all of those you mentioned, I'd still go with the Mazda 6... but Mazda can't seem to get much sales traction there in spite of being easily the best looker in the group.

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I don't think it looks to bad to be fair but the engines are somewhat underpowered. I don't think I would buy a camry over one just because there are some many of them.

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Has anyone heard any other news regarding this?  I almost half expected to see the refresh early, for the 2016 year, but since it's going to be 17-18, perhaps we'll see something soon for the 2017 MY.

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We should get an idea in the next month or two when it will be shown.

Thanks.  As much as I've hated the Sonata in the past, I almost want to like it now.  I don't, but I want to.

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Guest brighton

I love my current 2013 Sonata Limited it has an aggressive high end good looking design the interior is sporty and elegant and the power is a little bit above average. My lease is coming up in October and I would not even consider switching to the new Sonata. it is simply a car that lacks any personality or style. Moreover the interior looks for people who are 60 or older. I came to love the brand since this is my second Sonata previous one was a 2011 with the same exact design. At the moment in this price range I can only imagine switching to a Volkswagen CC or maybe a Chrysler 200. To bad for Hyundai the lost one customer do too I think its lack of vision.

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We should get an idea in the next month or two when it will be shown.

Any idea when we'll see it?  It's been over 3 months since you posted that.

I love my current 2013 Sonata Limited it has an aggressive high end good looking design the interior is sporty and elegant and the power is a little bit above average. My lease is coming up in October and I would not even consider switching to the new Sonata. it is simply a car that lacks any personality or style. Moreover the interior looks for people who are 60 or older. I came to love the brand since this is my second Sonata previous one was a 2011 with the same exact design. At the moment in this price range I can only imagine switching to a Volkswagen CC or maybe a Chrysler 200. To bad for Hyundai the lost one customer do too I think its lack of vision.

The 200 and CC are both beautiful cars.  I LOVE the idea of a Pentastar 200.

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After driving one as a rental car a while ago, I can say that it was bland and inoffensive. I didn't quite like the engine groan, but the tech interface was good, gauges good, and the ride/handling was good.

 

And the seats were okay. I mean it got the job done. 

 

It just felt like a Toyota by any other name.

 

And that's a trap. Any other automaker doing that will be caught imitating Toyota. Even Honda doesn't imitate Toyota.

 

The closest rival to the Hyundai Sonata is to me the Nissan Altima.

 

And having driven multiple past Nissans - from 1995 model year to 2006 to then 2013. The company has lost everything that made it great against its Japanese foes

 

And going up against companies with weak product but strong brands, with weak product and a weaker brand is a recipe for failure.

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