What is it?
This is the new Hyundai Sonata saloon, which has just gone on sale in right hand drive form in South Africa after a successful introduction in the US last year. It’s near-identical to the i40 saloon which we’ll be getting next November, although an estate version will go on sale around five months earlier.
There are some key differences to the car we’ve been testing in the roads around Cape Town and the UK car though. Chief amongst them is that Hyundai’s engineers, based in Frankfurt, will be tuning the car to European tastes, including development on UK roads.
This car is a 2.0-litre petrol model, allied to a 6-speed auto ‘box - UK variants will centre mainly on the diesels. There is a new 1.7-litre turbo-diesel with three different outputs planned: 115, bhp, 140bhp and a ‘higher output’ version. The lower powered ones will both put out less than 120 g/km of CO2, so they should work well for company car tax payers.
We’ll also probably get two different petrol engines: direct injection units of 1.6 and 2.0-litre capacity, good for 140 and 180bhp respectively.
Finally, UK cars will get minor design tweaks to the front grille and front and rear LED lights. We’re also promised higher grade plastics than those in South African cars.