Born in 1985, Korea. The Hyundai Sonata is 30 years old this year. Hyundai is celebrating this family sedan with 7.3 million units sold worldwide over these 30 years. The current Hyundai Sonata it’s actually the 7th Generation. To mark this special year, Hyundai will introduce an all-new Sonata with Plug-In Hybrid technology. Read the details below and see how the Hyundai Sonata has evolved over the years.
1st Generation Sonata (1985)
The 1st Generation Sonata was one of Hyundai’s first models designed exclusively by Hyundai’s in-house design teams. The 1st Generation started the Sonata legacy by exceeding 1 million unit sales in Korea for a single model line for the first time.
2nd Generation Sonata (1988)
Unlike the 1st Generation model, which was rear-drive, the 2nd Generation Sonata employed a front-wheel drive system for enhanced interior packaging efficiency. As Korea’s first independently-designed model, it departed from angular design language and adopted a more organic, aerodynamic design. The facelift of this generation, launched in 1991, was the first model to be badged with the newly revised Hyundai logo.
3rd Generation Sonata (1993)
The 1990s marked the acceleration of digital technologies replacing traditional analog technologies. The 3rd Generation Sonata leveraged this consumer trend, enjoying robust sales due to many advanced features, including automatic side mirrors and anti-lock braking system (ABS) technologies.
4th Generation Sonata (1998)
The 4th Generation Sonata, launched in 1998, was the best-selling model in Korea from February 1999 to August 2000. This generation was sold in Europe and was equipped with an in-house developed engine and a Hyundai Intelligent Vehicle Electronic Control (HIVEC) transmission. It was also the highest scoring mid-size sedan in the 2004 J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey in the U.S.
5th Generation Sonata (2004)
The 5th Generation Sonata was designed to be a world-class mid-size sedan as a fundamental development target. This generation of Sonata adopted a European design theme, offering premium character and road presence. Equipped with significantly advanced features and a top-ranked safety rating, the 5th Generation Sonata received near universal praise from automotive media and customers alike.
6th Generation Sonata (2009)
The 6th Generation Sonata was one of the first Hyundai models to employ the industry-leading Fluidic Sculpture design philosophy. Its bold and compelling design, powerful, efficient engine and solid performance created a new sensation in mid-size sedan markets throughout the world with record sales, solidifying Sonata in the minds of consumers as one of the Hyundai’s most recognizable models. In addition, the Sonata Hybrid model was introduced globally on the Sonata platform in 2010.
7th Generation Sonata (2014)
The latest 7th Generation Sonata has further refined and balanced the convention-shattering version of Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture design philosophy, raising the bar for the mid-size sedan segment in both design and performance. Further, the all-new Sonata expanded its powertrain offerings with two additional eco-friendly models, including the Sonata Hybrid unveiled in 2014, and the first Sonata Plug-In Hybrid model, introduced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in 2015.