Tag Archives: Sonata

BREAKING – 2011 Hyundai Elantra Interior Image

Somehow the boys over at Hyundai Blog managed to get their hands on an image of the 2011 Hyundai Elantra interior.  I must say wow.  That is not bad looking for the vehicle class.  The updated Elantra will battle the new 2011 Chevrolet Cruze and 2011 Ford Focus among others.  We have already seen the exterior when Hyundai showed the Avante which is essentially the Elantra in other markets.  They exterior styling takes cues from the new 2011 Sonata.  We can assume the refreshed 2011 Elantra will make a debut in the upcoming auto show season.

Source – Hyundai Blog

Koreans Are Coming: What Hyundai & Kia Have Snuck In While We Weren’t Looking

2011 Kia Optima

If you asked me back in January what one of the best midsize sedans was, I would have instantly shot out the name Ford Fusion.  We are now three months later and I have to say, “What just happened?”  Remember Kia and Hyundai?  You know, the Korean car companies.  They used to make cars that you really did not want but you could afford them and they seemed to be safe enough.  Them times are a changin’ and now the Korean car companies are not only making affordable cars, they are making cars you want to buy.  Crazy concept, I know.

The new Optima and Sonata are sisters.  They share their platforms and powertrains although the sheet metal and interiors are completely different.  With everything from Bluetooth to navigation, these cars are every bit the car the competition is.  In fact, as standard on two upper trim levels of the Optima, Kia has now even launched Uvo, a new infotainment system licensed through Microsoft and based on the same underpins as Ford’s SYNC.  Uh oh….

2011 Kia Optima

2011 Kia Optima Interior

With three powertrain options ranging from a 2.4 liter direct injection four cylinder that achieves 35 mpg on the highway (yes, you read that correctly) to the new hybrid, the Korean car makers are making strides.  Let’s not forget that direct injection turbo charged four cylinder 2.0 liter putting out 274 hp while still achieving 34 mpg on the highway.  That alone is impressive but really, all these numbers are impressive in their own right.

The look of both these cars is distinctive.  Exterior styling has sculpting and strong lines while interior styling in both is just terrific.  No longer are these “budget cars.”  The reality is that these are terrific looking cars.  I overheard that a certain OEM was cursing under their breath at the New York Auto Show when the numbers on the hybrid and turbo engines were released.  That in itself is a sign of the changing times.  Do not just take my word for it just look at these cars.

I have recently been telling my friends how great Hyundai and Kia have become.  They have come a long way.  They have the product but the problem for some is still perception.  Many of my closest friends (car friends and non-car friends alike) have scoffed telling me “I would never drive a Kia/Hyundai.”  When I ask why, they exclaim how “junky” (their term not mine) they are.  I am going to venture a guess that the new Optima (which is just gorgeous) and new Sonata (again, a real looker) might help change their minds.  If not, it really ends up being their loss.  I am not sitting here and blindly saying these two heavily refreshed cars are the absolute best in the segment (they will be for some consumers).  There are plenty of great cars in this midsize segment to choose from.  I am merely saying this is a wake up call and the other OEM’s need to be watching and taking notes.  Kia and Hyundai should be seen as a serious threat because they are coming for you.

2011 Hyundai Sonata

2011 Hyundai Sonata Interior

2011 Hyundai Sonata

AutoBird Podcast – Esp 22: “New York Auto Show Recap”

Episode 22 starts by introducing our newest member to the AutoBird Podcast team, Justin Loyear joining us from Cheers and Gears.  Moving into the garage we talk about the Buick Enclave I was in for the past week.  We then move along to the major news of the week segment.  This week included-

Next came our main topics which their were quite a few but they all centered on the New York Auto Show.  This week the topics included discussion on the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid & Sonata Turbo, 2011 Kia Optima/Forte Hatch/Sportage, Scions, 2011 Nissan Juke, Chevrolet Cruze Eco and RS, 2011 Hyundai Equus, and last but certainly not least the 2011 Infiniti QX56.

Last we discuss the past week on our respective blogs, Cheers and Gears,  AutoBird Blog and Accelerate Mpls.  The week in review included- my updated  Name That Car: Sebring or 200C, Innovative Ford Fiesta Movement Campaign Stirs Interest, and Name That Car: Dodge Durango or Magnum.  Justin had a post on the March sales numbers along with a short recap of the New York Auto Show.  Colin had posts on Top 20 Vehicles in March and a post about Craigslist Confessionals by the one and only William Maley.

Download this episode (right click and save)

AutoBird Podcast – Esp 17: “Toyoda Goes to Washington”

Episode 17 starts by introducing this weeks guest Erich Merkle joining us from Autoconomy.  Erich joins us in the second half of the podcast for the main topics of the week.  I then discuss the four door long box Ram 2500 with a cummins diesel engine that I drove during the past week.  What an experience.  We move along to the major news of the week segment.  This week included-

We tried out a new section this week called tweetmeme.  This week we focused on the demise of Hummer and peoples reactions on Twitter.  Zeroing in on how people reacted both initially and after the news sank in.

We then proceed to the clip of the week segment.  This week we featured a newer Subaru ad about being pet approved – Parallel Parking

Next came our main topics at which point Erich joined us.  This week those topics included Toyoda going to Washington and the Toyota hearings, Hummers current situation, the upcoming New York Auto Show, and we touch on the future of the industry and Chrysler.

Last but certainly not least, we discuss the past week on both of our respective blogs, AutoBird Blog and AccelerateMpls.  The week in review included- my video interview with Hagen Durant and my first drive video of the ZR1, along with Colin’s gas prices post.


Download this episode (right click and save)

AutoBird Podcast Episode 6

Podcast

This week, episode 6 discusses the week in review on both of our respective blogs, AutoBird Blog and AccelerateMpls.  We first discuss the last weeks LA Auto Show beginning with the 2011 Ford Fiesta.  Our conversation moved on to the all new 2011 Toyota Sienna, the new 2011 Hyundai Sonata, the new 2011 Hyundai Tucson, and the new 2011 Mazda2. The last topic we cover is the shake up of General Motors management.


Download this episode (right click and save)

Officially Official- 2011 Hyundai Sonata

2011 Hyundai Sonata

2011 Hyundai Sonata

With all the news buzzing around about the Frankfurt Motor Show last week I almost forgot about a very important product launch in Korea the new Hyundai Sonata. Hyundai has played second fiddle to Camry, Accord, and the other major plays in the mid-size car market for a few years now. They are no longer content being that guy. They are looking to shake things up. The new 2011 Sonata will continue what Hyundai has started with from the Genesis sedan and Genesis Coupe over the last two years. Sleeker, sexier, and more curvaceous, the new Sonata has gone under the knife for a complete redo and is coming out swinging at the champs. Upon first glance you must say it is a looker. Taking the four door coupe theme started by the Mercedes CLS and continued on by the Volkswagen CC, the new Sonata has a short rear deck and fast roof line.

2011 Hyundai Sonata

2011 Hyundai Sonata

Arriving here sometime next year the new Sonata will feature initially two engine choices with a hybrid joining the mix about a year after. The base vehicle will have a upgraded 2.4 4 cylinder featuring direct injection. The 4 cylinder will probably be putting out close to 200 hp. Also available will be a V6 option. The both engines will most likely feature 6 speed transmissions. The Sonata remains front wheel drive with no all wheel drive option currently offered.

2011 Hyundai Sonata Interior

2011 Hyundai Sonata Interior

The mid-size sedan segment has been heating up as of late and this makes it that much hotter. The fact remains this car mimics styling cues of cars with much higher price tags. Hyundai has said while official pricing is not available yet, pricing should be similar to Korean pricing on the Sonata which ranges from high teens to mid twenties. The US spec version and more details should debut at the L.A. Auto Show or Detroit Auto Show. This is definitely one mid-size sedan to keep an eye on not to mention Toyota Camry should be worried.

2011 Hyundai Sonata Interior Center Stack

2011 Hyundai Sonata Interior Center Stack