Hyundai Motor America
10550 Talbert Ave, Fountain Valley, CA 92708
For Immediate Release
Miles Johnson
Senior Manager, Quality, Service and Technology
(714) 366-1048
ID: 32692

Award-Winning Sonata has Everything it Needs to Take On the Established Leaders in the Midsize Sedan Category.

Sep. 29, 2005 - The all-new 2006 Hyundai Sonata can be defined by two simple words: refined and confident. Designed and engineered over a four-year period in concert with voluminous customer feedback, the Sonata surpasses competitors like Honda Accord and Toyota Camry with class-leading standard safety technologies, generous interior room and standout value.

Available in three trim levels and with a choice of two engines and three transmissions, Sonata is fully equipped to satisfy the increasingly sophisticated demands of the midsize sedan buyer. The 2006 Hyundai Sonata recently beat Honda Accord and Toyota Camry to take first place in an Inside Line comparison test. reported, “In the end, it wasn't even close . . . in the areas of performance and features, the Hyundai won in a landslide . . . Bottom Line: With the 2006 Sonata, Hyundai convincingly beats the long-standing class leaders in nearly every important category.”

Sonata’s infusion of striking style and extensive features—and the growing luster of Hyundai’s brand reputation—appeals to a broader range of customers than ever before. That’s entirely by design, as Hyundai began the project by surveying American consumers at clinics about their likes and dislikes, wants, needs and preferences for midsize sedans. 2006 Sonata buyers are younger than those of competitors. They’re open-minded, smart with money, practical, hard working and have a high degree of common sense.

The 2006 Sonata sets new standards in active and passive safety, an accomplishment recognized by an Automotive Excellence award in the safety category from Popular Mechanics magazine. Every Sonata has Electronic Stability Control (ESC) with Traction Control as standard equipment, along with four-wheel disc brakes with Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS). This is important because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported that ESC results in 35-percent fewer single-vehicle crashes, and 30-percent fewer single-vehicle fatalities. Sonata is the first and only mid-size car with standard Electronic Stability Control and ABS. Other competitors, such as the new Ford Fusion, offer ABS as optional equipment, with ESC unavailable even as an extra-cost option.

In the event that a crash is unavoidable, the Sonata features six airbags—including dual front, front seat-mounted side-impact, and front and rear side curtain airbags—along with active front-seat head restraints. Other passive safety features include shingle-style rear seat head restraints for improved visibility, three-point seatbelts for all seating positions, front-seat seatbelt pretensioners and force limiters, and a rear-seat LATCH system for child seats. The 2006 Sonata has received the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) top five-star crash test rating for front and side impacts.

Following Hyundai’s mission to provide more for the money, the 2006 Sonata is two inches longer (188.9 inches), two inches taller (58.0 inches) and has an inch longer wheelbase (107.4 inches) than the 2005 model. It is also wider than Camry, Accord and Altima, helping to solidify its advantage in interior spaciousness.

2006 Hyundai Sonata

But it is the sophisticated design that really defines the ’06 Sonata. The unibody, made of high-tensile steel, features a bold, concave hood design, distinctive rear-door cut lines, strong Z-lined body-to-fascia interfaces, and four-barrel jeweled projector lens headlights. Furthering its look of solidity are standard 16-inch wheels (17-inch wheels are optional on the GLS V6 and standard on LX). The model range also offers a choice of ten solid, metallic and mica colors.

The 2006 Sonata is classified by the EPA as a Large Car, truly a “class above” the Accord, Camry, Altima, Fusion and Malibu (all are categorized as midsize cars). With 121.7 cu. ft. of total interior volume, the Sonata’s five-passenger seating offers increases in legroom, headroom and shoulder room compared to the 2005 model. In class, it’s competitive in all interior dimensions. Even in trunk room, the Sonata shines. Its 16.3 cu. ft. of trunk volume is 16 percent larger than Accord’s and nearly five percent bigger than Altima’s.

2006 Hyundai Sonata

Sonata likewise delivers on Hyundai’s pledge to offer more sophistication and refinement. For instance, premium doorsill scuff plates greet GLS and LX passengers, who also enjoy either gray metalgrain or woodgrain interior trim accents (with gray or beige interiors, respectively).

Ease of entry and egress, seating comfort and overall ergonomics have also been improved for 2006, thanks to a one-inch increase in seating position height, increased distance between the driver and the A-pillar, and more room between the seat cushion and the headliner. Standard convenience features include tilt steering and an auto-up/down power-window function with pinch protection. The front center console offers dual-tier storage and two covered cupholders; two more cupholders are located in the rear center armrest.

The 2006 Sonata also delivers class-leading cabin quietness and reduced wind noise. Designers increased the strength and stiffness of the body structure to reduce engine and road noise.

A pair of all-new engines combine excellent front-wheel-drive performance with fuel economy. The 2.4-liter DOHC inline-four in the Sonata GL and GLS is part of Hyundai’s new “Theta” group of engines, and is rated at 162 horsepower and 164 lb.-ft. of torque—an increase of 24 horsepower and 17 lb.-ft. of torque. This high-tech all-aluminum 16-valve engine features Continuously Variable Valve Timing (CVVT), a durable stainless-steel exhaust manifold, and twin balance shafts and hydraulic motor mounts to reduce vibration. It meets ULEV emissions standards and returns an impressive 24-mpg City/34 mpg Highway with the Sonata’s standard five-speed manual transmission, and 24-mpg City/33 mpg Highway with the optional four-speed automatic with SHIFTRONIC®. The Sonata four-cylinder engine’s power output and fuel economy closely match Accord and Camry four-cylinder models.

Standard in the Sonata GLS V6 and Sonata LX models is an all-new 3.3-liter V6 that produces 235 horsepower and 226 lb-ft. of torque—an increase of 65 horsepower and 45 lb.-ft. of torque over the previous 2.7-liter V6 it replaces. As the first member of Hyundai's new “Lambda” engine family, this engine also has all-aluminum construction, dual overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, CVVT and hydraulic engine mounts. It also features a Variable Intake System (VIS) to further broaden its power curve, improving off-the-line acceleration and passing performance. The Sonata V6 offers 45 horsepower more than the Camry 3.0-liter V6 and 14 lb.-ft. more torque than the Accord V6. Mileage estimates are 20-mpg City/30 mpg Highway.

All V6 models have Hyundai's all-new five-speed SHIFTRONIC® automatic transmission, which features an overdrive lock-up torque converter for improved highway fuel economy. Neither the Accord nor Camry offer manual-mode operation.

An advanced four-wheel independent suspension system provides occupants with a smooth, supple ride combined with excellent roadholding. Up front is a new double-wishbone system with coil springs, twin-tube gas-filled hydraulic shock absorbers and a stabilizer bar. The system’s lower control arms increase handling precision while reducing vibration, and bushing size has been increased to better absorb the shock from road impacts.

In back, a sophisticated multi-link system provides excellent handling along with superb ride quality and noise isolation.

The 2006 Sonata achieves a 40% improvement in torsional rigidity over the prior model, with a 29% torsional stiffness advantage over Honda Accord. This rigid body allows Hyundai's chassis engineers to tune suspension settings to achieve a more comfortable, quieter ride than Accord, while still maintaining precise steering and handling.

From well equipped, to really well equipped, to downright luxurious, the 2006 Sonata lineup honors the needs and desires of midsize-sedan customers with a highly competitive mix of features and benefits. The new Sonata is available in GL, GLS and top-of-the-line LX trim levels. Each delivers a level of standard equipment that is a cut above comparable models in the class.

With an MSRP of $17,895, the 2006 Sonata GL is a well-equipped midsize sedan with a sizable price advantage compared to its four-cylinder competition. It features a sophisticated new 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine matched to a smooth-shifting five-speed manual transmission, with a four-speed SHIFTRONIC® automatic transmission optional. Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control System (TCS), ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD), and four-wheel disc brakes are all standard.

The Sonata GL’s standard exterior features include 16-inch wheels with Michelin tires, power windows, door locks and outside mirrors, and keyless entry with alarm. Inside are an AM/FM/CD/MP3 sound system, air conditioning with a cabin air filtration, cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a tilt-adjustable steering column. An impressive array of passive safety features includes six airbags and active front head restraints.

The four-cylinder Sonata GLS includes all of the features found on the GL, and adds 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, chrome window belt molding, and a four-speed SHIFTRONIC® automatic transmission—a feature that none of its primary four-cylinder competitors can offer. Inside are premium doorsill plates, floor mats, automatic light control, driver's-seat lumbar support, audio controls mounted on the steering wheel, and a trip computer. Options include a power tilt/slide sunroof and a Premium Package including the sunroof plus an eight-way power driver's seat and an electrochromic auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink® and a compass.

The 2006 GLS V6 comes alive with Hyundai's all-new, high-tech 3.3-liter V6 engine. It features chrome-tipped dual exhausts, five-speed SHIFTRONIC® automatic transmission, larger disc brakes and Solar Control glass. Options include a power/tilt sunroof, and a Premium-Sport Package including the sunroof, 17-inch alloy wheels, eight-way power driver's seat, and an electrochromic auto-dimming rear view mirror with HomeLink® and a compass.

Priced at $22,895, the Sonata LX is a fully equipped luxury model for midsize buyers who want it all—at a great price. Distinguishing exterior features include 17-inch alloy wheels fitted with lower-profile tires, and chrome-accented exterior door handles. The interior has luxurious leather seating surfaces, an eight-way power driver's seat and heated front seats. Other upgrades include automatic temperature control with an automatic Air Quality System (AQS), an electrochromic auto-dimming rear view mirror with HomeLink® and compass, telescoping steering wheel adjustment, and a sliding center armrest. The Sonata LX is so well equipped that the only options are a power/tilt sunroof and a CD changer with subwoofer and component amplifier.

The all-new 2006 Hyundai Sonata is protected by the Hyundai Advantage, America's Best Warranty™. Coverage includes five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper protection, 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty, and seven-year/unlimited mileage anti-perforation coverage. In addition, Sonata buyers receive 24-hour roadside assistance coverage at no extra charge for five years (no mileage limit) and that service includes emergency towing, lockout service and limited coverage for trip-interruption expenses. There is no deductible on any of these coverages.

Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif. is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Company of Korea. Hyundai cars and sport utility vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced by more than 670 Hyundai dealerships nationwide.