Story: Fourth Generation Hyundai Sonata (1998-2004)

by Mar 17, 2014All News, Hyundai1 comment

With a few weeks to Hyundai Sonata Launch Event, scheduled for March 18, 2014 here in The Korean Car Blog we want to a review through 6 generation Sonata models. Take a seat and join us in this journey through time.

[ads id=”0″ style=”float:left;padding:9px;”]The Hyundai Sonata (Korean: 현대 쏘나타) was manufactured for the first time in 1985 and through many years it has changed its looks and technology to become one of the most popular models in the world. The first generation Sonata through the concept of “Art of Technology” showed a much different concept with simplistic straight lines. 

A new Sonata model arrived in 1998, launching the fourth generation model (codenamed EF). The engines availabls were 2.0L 136 hp, 2.4 L 138 hp Hyundai “Sirius” family engine and a 2.5 L 168 hp (G6BW) from Hyundai “Delta” V6 family. Two different models shared platform with the all-new Sonata, the first-generation Hyundai Santa Fe, a compact crossover SUV launched in 2001 and the Kia Optima (called Magentis in South Korea and other overseas markets). The Optima was based on the same platform of this generation Sonata and shared the same doors and some other panels. This Kia was first Hyundai-Kia product after Hyundai bought Kia in 1999. “Delta” V6 engines came with 10-year warranty.

Hyundai Sonata World Cup Korea-Japan 2002 Special Edition


Side-view comparison between Hyundai Sonata EF and first-gen Kia Optima (also called Magentis in South Korea)

Hyundai Sonata EF commercials

Facelift (2001-2004)

The 2001 model was even European in design, taking elements from the Jaguar and the Mercedes Benz E class like the front headlights. This model had an all aluminum engine, a double overhead cam with a capacity of 2.7 liters. It was a Delta Family V6 with 173 hp.

US-spec Hyundai Sonata EF Facelift

This model was rather successful and it also spawned the refreshed Kia Optima which had the same platform. Although retired from the market, the car is still being sold in China and Russia. Sales reached 104,000 units for 2004. Also, the previous EF models have their rear vehicle registration plates repositioned from the bottom bumper to the above hatch.

This generation of Sonata is still being built (since 2002) and sold in China since September 2006, by Beijing Hyundai Co. and in Russia by TagAZ. Because of licensing problems, TagAZ has not produced the Sonata since June 2010. In August 2010 production will continued under new name “TagAutoprom”

Chinese Beijing Hyundai Sonata EF

In 2001, the Hyundai Sonata EF was selected as No.1 by J.D. Power in performance, driving, and design research

During the launch of the refreshed variant in 2001, Ixion Design, a South Korean Design company launched two bodykits for the Sonata.

Fourth generation (EF)
Also called Hyundai EF Sonata (South Korea)
Hyundai Sonica (Italy)
Hyundai Sonata Viv (South Africa)
Hyundai Sonata Prima (Egypt)
Production 1998–2005
Assembly Asan, Korea
Izhevsk, Russia
Gaborone, Botswana (TMBC)[8]
Cairo, Egypt (AAV)
Body and chassis
Platform Hyundai-Kia Y4
Related Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai Trajet
Kia Optima
Kia Sedona
Engine 2.0 L dohc 136 hp 2.4 L 138 hp (103 kW)DOHC Sirius I4
2.5 L 170 hp (127 kW) Hyundai Delta V6
Transmission 4-speed automatic
5-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,700 mm (106.3 in)
Length 4,710 mm (185.4 in)
Width 1,815 mm (71.5 in)
Height 1,410 mm (55.5 in)

Hyundai Sonata EF facelift commercials

Written by Jose Antonio Lopez

Passionated about Korean cars from Hyundai, Kia & Genesis. Photographer. I love being in nature, hiking. Tech lover.

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