2011 Hyundai Sonata First DriveEnlarge Photo
The new Hyundai Sonata sedan is the boldest styling stroke in its class. It instantly makes the Toyota Camry look overwrought, especially with its pseudo Bangle butt, and the Honda Accord sedan looks downright dowdy in comparison.
Recently there has been speculation that Hyundai might build a coupe to flesh out the model range. To this floated rumor, I eagerly shout: “Yes!” I don’t need a sedan in my life right now. I really want to find a nice convertible to compliment my “trophy” girlfriend--at a reasonable price, I might add. I’d rather spend the money on the aforementioned girlfriend than the car. After all, the car isn’t going to give me--well, never mind that. That’s a subject for a different magazine! Ahem.
Back to the Sonata. Such a beautiful styling exercise should be complimented with a coupe--but not just any coupe. A hardtop convertible. That, dear Hyundai, is a 2-for-1 deal. It’s a coupe when the weather is nasty. It’s a convertible when the weather is nice. And, best of all, it would be a technical showpiece for Hyundai. Korean automakers have come a long way in the past few years. This is the same company that brought us the Excel, a vehicle that at one time was favorably compared with the Yugo as one of the worst built cars ever imported to America. Hyundai learned and recovered from that mistake in a hurry.
Now its cars are favorably compared to the best in the world, not just in America. I make the case that Hyundai needs to build this car. Hyundai should build it to prove that it’s not only able to, but has the guts to do it. Now, I know that the midsize coupe segment is a small one but Hyundai needs a halo car. And, until Hyundai shows us a Corvette-beater, what better segment to show off its surging technical prowess? Go for it, Hyundai. You are standing at the edge of greatness. You will not fail.