Hyundai Sonata

The original Sonata was part of Hyundai's extension into North America after the success of the Excel. It was introduced in South Korea on June 1, 1987 and was then introduced in Canada in September 1987 as a 1988 model. From there it was introduced as a 1999 model, in 1998, to the United States. Designer Giorgetto Giugiaro of ItalDesign is given credit for the exterior design of the automobile. The vehicle received a mid-term facelift in 1991 as it replaced the Stellar as Hyundai's large family car. The Sonatas was built in Asan, Korea, and in Bromont, Quebec, Canada. Although the Sonata was a Hyundai design, it still featured some Mitsubishi engineering, including its 2.4 L 110 hp (82 kW) Sirius I4 engine, which was used in American-market models. The other markets received 1.8 L and 2.0 L Sirius engines. A 3.0 L V6 based on the Mitsubishi 6G72 later arrived in 1990. The second-generation Sonata debuted in 1993, as a 1994 model. The base engine in most markets was a 2.0 L 126 hp Sirius I4, but there was also a 3.0 L, 142 hp Mitsubishi V6 option in some markets. This generation continued after the demise of the Bromont, Quebec plant in 1994. After that, all Sonatas would be built in Korea, until the opening of the Montgomery, Alabama plant in 2005. A relatively adventurous facelift for the Sonata in 1995 saw the exterior style begin to look more up market. Some have compared the style to the likes of Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz, particularly in the headlight area. The rear end also began to look more up market as the only the central section was retained. Sales were up 25% that first year indicating the styling team was right on the mark in terms of what consumers were looking for. The four-cylinder engine was up to 137 hp (102 kW) that year as well, which certainly didn't hurt sales.