What sedans can you buy under Rs 25 lakh? Base variants of the Skoda Superb and Honda Accord? Well Hyundai seems to have answered this particular problem with the Sonata. Costing just under Rs 25 lakh, the Sonata is the best all-rounder in the segment.
The models being used for this comparison are: The Toyota Camry Automatic, the 1.8 TSI Elegance Automatic Skoda Superb, the 2.4L Automatic Honda Accord, and the 2.4L Automatic Hyundai Sonata.
First things first, the price mentioned above is the on-road price for the Sonata, and not the ex-showroom price. The comparable variant of the Superb costs Rs 26 lakh, the Accord just over Rs 25 lakh, and the Toyota Camry Rs 27 lakh. So in terms of price, the Sonata is the winner for sure. Let’s now compare other essentials.
The Power readings are as follows:
- Accord: 180 BHP & 222 Nm of torque.
- Superb: 160 BHP & 250 Nm of torque.
- Camry: 179 BHP & 233 Nm of torque.
- Sonata: 198 BHP & 255 Nm of torque.
- Accord: 5A (flappy-paddle gearbox)
- Superb: 7A
- Camry: 6A (flappy-paddle gearbox)
- Sonata: 6A (flappy-paddle gearbox)
For those of you wondering what a flappy-paddle gearbox is, it is a sequential gearshift that can be used to engage maual transmission in an otherwise automatic car. In simple terms, when you feel ultra-sporty in an automatic, and your gear changes are taking too long, you can engage manual mode and use the gear-shifters behind the steering wheel for a Need-For-Speed-esque driving experience.
The Hyundai Sonata comes with all the gizmos mostly found in your BMW’s and Mercedes’. Touch screen media player, with Satellite Navigation, bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, etc. are all included in the given price. The Sonata has a 5 Star safety rating by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, deploying a mix of airbags, ABS, parking assist, crash alarms, amongst others to make sure you are as safe as at home in your car.
The Sonata uses a petrol engine, but offers a better fuel efficiency than its rivals. It can do 10-12 km/l overall (city+highway), and about 14 km/l for highway only. The instant fuel-consumption read-out will help in this. A hybrid version is also set to come out soon, which will give competition to the Hybrid Camry.
If you are limited to Rs 25 lakh, then the Sonata is your best bet. It follows Hyndai’s fluidic-design concept, which at least to me, is highly appealing. If you are willing to spend Rs 30 lakh, then the VW Passat, Superb 3.6L V6, make more sense. But under Rs 25 lakh, the Sonata is the clear winner for me. Topgear magazine recently had to return their Sonata to Hyundai, and they wrote about it as if a family member had gone away. This car really is a special one!