January 08, 2015 @ 03:03 PM

Review: Hyundai Sonata Executive

Hyundai has been raving that they have perfected the Sonata solution and the car sure does sound good on paper, but how does the car really drive? Jerrica Leong finds out.

Hyundai has been raving that they have perfected the Sonata solution and the car sure does sound good on paper, but how does the car really drive? Jerrica Leong finds out.

You have to agree that the Hyundai Sonata’s advertising campaign is off the roof. The billboards and teasers all over the roads and telly created so much hype that even the most uninterested had known about the New Sonata’s upcoming launch. I personally wrote the news article of the Sonata and it sounded like the car would be a winning car of the D-segment category, so is it?

Exterior (Score 5/5)

The Hyundai Sonata inherited the previous generation Sonata’s design only refined with the latest interpretation of Fluidic Sculpture 2.0. I wasn’t immediately taken by the looks of the Sonata but it grew on me as I spend more time with the car. The car emphasises on the flowing lines that gives off an elegant impression which appeals to both sides of the gender.

The car looks dashing in Dark Horse (a shade of brown) and young in Remington Red while Phantom Black just makes the car feels more “executive”, you get different vibes with different colours of the car.

Interior (Score 5/5)

Potholes covered the B-roads that we were travelling along but sitting in the Sonata makes you think that the car is driving through smooth tarmac, I felt only the barest bump when I drove through a few particularly deep holes in succession.

Not only does the Sonata iron out potholes like a steam iron, the Sonata also has the ability to prevent you from feeling the motion. I had the pleasure of learning about ESC on the Sonata when it was turned off and the car made a 360degree spin but I hadn’t felt anything in the seats.

The car’s NVH levels are exceptional; barely any noise trickled into the car when all four windows were shut tight. I allowed the car its head when I took to the driver’s seat and only the needle nearing the right end of the speedo and the howling wind entering through the open window informed me of the speed I was going, it is that silent!

Comfortable is an understatement to describe the Sonata’s interior.

Power and Handling (Score: 5/5)

The Sonata has a displacement of 1999cc and a maximum power of 152bhp at 6200rpm and a max torque of 194Nm at 4000rpm. They aren’t the most impressive numbers in anybody’s book but the car sure felt powerful and thanks to the exceptional interior built the car give the impression of being faster than it is.

Drive the Sonata fast and the Motor Driven Power Steering (MDPS) will stop providing a flow of electric current to give the driver a tighter and sportier feel, when you drive the car at low speeds the MDPS will direct a significant amount of current to the motor to increase steering assist force. This system increases the Sonata’s divine driving experience.

Tech and Safety (Score: 4/5)

The only blemish in the Sonata’s good record is the Human Machine Interface (HMI). Then again it depends on how you view it. From the interior touchscreen system to the Smart Trunk system where the boot will open when you stand behind the car for three seconds. The Sonata is extremely equipped with all that Korea has invented and should sound like the most technologically car ever, if only they work better.

The Sonata comes with an Audio Visual Navigator that is powered by Android 4.4.2 operating system, it provides you access with apps like Spotify (which we put to full use) and Waze so there’s no need to exhaust your phone battery. You can even play Youtube videos on the AVN and the video would be broadcasted on the speakers throughout the car. Unfortunately this system isn’t always the efficient. The Waze screen turned black when we attempted to navigate our way back to base and one car in the convoy had Waze showing the location we had departed from and refused to change even after we arrived back in Sepang.

As for safety, you get the expected six airbags and the usual safety ABC soup with an extra Safe Drive Recorder that is only available in the Executive and Elegance variant, it even has a recorder to record what goes on inside other than the road. Think of it as something of a blackbox for the Hyundai Sonata.


Hyundai may have made some changes to the prices for the Sonata after the launch, it is now more expensive than before, but it doesn’t change the fact that the car is worth every penny that trickles out of your bank account. The Sonata is a fusion of all the best traits of every D-segment car out there added into one, only to be enhanced by five times. The car is brilliant to drive regardless of being on the highway or around B-roads and comfortable for everybody in the car. Hyundai definitely came up with a winning car with the Sonata.

Overall score: 19/20

Hyundai Sonata Executive
On Sale

RM158,053.30 OTR with Insurance
1999cc, 2.0 MPi Dual CVVT, 152bhp @ 6200rpm, 194Nm @ 4000rpm
6 Speed Automatic, Front wheel drive

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Topics:  First Drives

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