Hyundai Motor has unveiled a redesigned Sonata sedan in the hope that the new model can lift prospects in a declining segment of the Korean and US car markets.
The mid-cycle refresh is designed to help the Sonata take on Toyota Motor Corp's remodelled Camry in the US. The mid-size saloon segment is particularly competitive because it has been under assault from SUV/crossover sales stimulated by low oil prices in recent years.
As a way of trying to push back the tide of imported car sales at home, Hyundai added a diesel engine to the Sonata and began selling it in its home market from July 2015. A 1.6-litre petrol turbo was added at the same time. Hyundai says the driving experience is enhanced further through the addition of an eight-speed automatic.
Hyundai Motor said it aims to increase domestic sales by 12 percent to 92,000 Sonata cars this year, according to Reuters. The Sonata is Hyundai Motor's second-biggest selling model after its Elantra in South Korea as well as the United States, and one of its top sellers in China.
Further design enhancements have been made for the gasoline 2.0 Turbo model, which is available in North American, Australian and other selected markets.