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New 2017 Sonata strums a safety chord, not a price point

Fleet procurement just got trickier with Hyundai Australia announcing their flagship Sonata sedan comes with more instruments at considerable pricing.

The Sonata comes in three guises, the Active, Elite and Premium costing $30,590, $38,350 and $45,490 before on-road costs respectively.

Sonata Active receives respectable amounts of equipment as standard on the 4855mm-long (4.85m) sedan. A rear view camera is standard across the Sonata range, likewise rear parking sensors, hill-start control, emergency stop signal, and the more commonplace braking features Brake Assist System, vehicle stability management and electronic brakeforce distribution – nothing ground-breaking there. The engine is a 2.4-litre petrol four-cylinder unit putting out 138kW at 6000rpm and 241Nm at 4000rpm – nothing stratospheric, but sensible and practical for a passenger fleet vehicle with 462 litres of boot space with the rear 60:40 folding seats up, and 510 with them down. Six airbags are standard across the range including side (thorax) and curtain airbags.

Sonata Active

Sonata Active, base model

On the Elite, Sonata gets a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-pot with 180kW and 350Nm of torque between 1400 and 4000rpm; all variants get a six-speed auto transmission. Added gear on top of the Active includes auto park-brake hold and front parking sensors, proximity key with push-button start, 12-way electrically adjustable and heated driver’s seat, electric folding and heated door mirrors, LED courtesy lamps in the front door handles, dual zone climate control and rain-sensing wipers. The Elite also receives the premium 8.0-inch touch screen with sat-nav, DVD player and MP3/6-speaker stereo that includes three-years of HERE map updates. The infotainment systems also includes AUX/USB inputs and Bluetooth connectivity with steering wheel-mounted controls to keep hands on the job at all times while a hands-free boot lid is available when they’re full.

Sonata Elite

Sonata Elite, mid-range model

The top-spec Sonata Premium gets the almost-full ensemble at $45,490 plus on-road costs, and this is where the value is. Standard equipment over the mid-spec Elite includes blind spot detection, lane departure warning and lane change assist, as well as rear cross traffic alert and radar-guided cruise control (dubbed ‘Smart Cruise Control’). Additional features of note include HID Bi-Xenon headlights with washers, auto-levelling and a static bending light function to project light around corners. You also receive automatic windscreen defogging and heated external mirrors, auto-dimming electroc-chromatic rearview mirror and eight-way electrically-adjustable passenger seat in addition to the driver’s seat, which gains memory functions included and on external mirrors.

Tyres are the other big improvement on the new Sonata, ditching the old Yokahamas for 215/55R17 Continental Conti Premium Contact 5 rubber on Active and Elite with standard 17-inch alloys, and sliding 235/45R18 Michelin Pilot 3 slippers onto the 18-inch Premium alloys. A 1300kg braked towing capacity adds a dash of toughness to the package.

The seventh generation Hyundai Sonata also gets a full-size spare and comes with Hyundai’s iCare aftersales program which includes a five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty, lifetime service plan, 12 months’ complimentary roadside assist, a roadside support plan for up to 10 years, plus a complimentary 1500km first service.

Sonata 2

Sonata Premium is the range-topping full brass band