Hyundai’s all-new 2.4 litre Sonata saloon will go on sale on Friday 29 April 2005, at Hyundai dealers across the UK.

The new Sonata is the fifth generation of the model and is a complete redesign from the ground up. The result is a modern and confident upper medium (D Segment) saloon, brimming with the latest technologies and set to compete with the best in its class.

Longer, wider, taller and roomier than the outgoing model, the new Sonata is also quicker, stronger and safer than the car that it replaces.   The new Sonata also has a significant size and space advantage over its predecessor and, equally importantly, many of its key competitors.

For example, despite Volkswagen’s added dimensions to its latest Passat, Hyundai’s new Sonata is still a further 35mm longer, 12mm wider and 3mm taller and has a 20mm longer wheelbase.

What is more, when it comes to road holding and handling, just like its Germanic counterpart, new Sonata meets the class standard with its independent multi-link rear suspension.  To enable the driver to enjoy Sonata’s supple ride and compliant handling to the full, Hyundai has also fitted as standard Electronic Stability Program (ESP).  By reacting to inputs from computer sensors, ESP regulates brake and engine outputs to maximise control and help maintain the vehicle’s stability and direction under all conditions.

An all-new car deserves an entirely new engine, which in the Sonata’s case has been installed in the form of Hyundai’s newly developed 2,359cc DOHC ‘Theta’ 2.4 litre four-cylinder all-aluminium unit.

Maximum power is 160bhp at 5,800rpm with 162lb ft torque at 4,250rpm. Acceleration from 0-62mph takes 8.8 seconds (auto 10.4) and top speed is 132mph. Meanwhile, the Sonata can cover up to 33.2 miles per gallon (manual model) on the Combined Cycle.

The Sonata’s interior reflects its refined and confident external styling. Full leather trim, including seats, door panels and gear lever, comes as standard in an interior that can easily carry up to five six-feet-tall passengers. In the rear, three 3-point rear seatbelts make the Sonata a true five-seater. Three universal ISOFIX child seat fixing points and six airbags: front, side and roof (curtain front and back); make it a safe family choice too.

The 462 litre boot space is 64 litres more than that of the existing Sonata and is capable of carrying three sets of golf clubs and more besides. For maximum practicality meanwhile, the 60/40 split folding rear seat makes it easy to carry larger and/or longer items when necessary.

The Sonata’s standard equipment includes 17-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, air-conditioning, remote central locking and alarm, rake and reach adjustable steering wheel, stereo RDS radio/CD and MP3 disc player, driver and passenger lit vanity mirrors, power-operated and heated door mirrors and independent rear ventilation. It also features up to the minute security measures, including shielded deadlocks all round, an alarm and immobiliser.

Prices start at £16,495 for the manual, or £17,495 for the automatic version.