Hyundai Sonata launch

Posted: Thursday, April 08, 2010 by Stained in Labels: , , , , , ,

On 5th April 2010 I headed off to Grand Hyatt for the Hyundai Sonata launch. A completely redesigned vehicle that looked stunning in pictures.

So at around 7:50pm, me and my friend got to the venue. I was not looking forward to another dinner in a hotel as I find hotel food to be quite mediocre. We entered the hall and realized there wasn't any space left for us to sit which was unusual for such an event. While waiting for the hotel staff to find some space for us, I moved my focus to the stage where 4 Chinese (or Korean?) women were performing the fan dance. Their synchronization was poor and one of the them even dropped a fan. The performance ended and they found two empty seats for us. By then we had already missed the starters (no hummus for me...). Some speeches were made about how great Hyundai is. Now I'm not being sarcastic, Hyundai has come a long way and honestly they make fantastic cars especially for the money you pay for them. Surprisingly, the speeches were made from the table the officials were sitting on and not from the stage. The main announcement made during the speeches was the Fifa 2010 promotional campaign where some Hyundai customers will get a opportunity to travel to South Africa to watch some of the best matches. Pretty cool in my opinion. The last speech of the lot was from the South African ambassador I think, who choose to speak from the stage instead. His speech was by far the best. One point he highlighted was that South Africa is as safe as any country can be and that the government has put every effort to make sure everyone visiting is safe. Good to know.

And then the people (2 men and 4 women) in skin tight clothes came on stage to perform Acrobatic moves with exercise balls. It was the most indecent/vulgar act I have seen live. Urgh!! I had no interest in watching men or women in tight clothes doing weird moves so I started counting the bulbs in the room and admiring the hotel decorations. Performance over and then a short award ceremony took place where they were thanking various government organisations.

Another short speech (from the stage) was made about the new Sonata. This is were I got interested. The car seem to come with a lot of standard equipment like automatic headlights, paddle shifters, fog lamps, leather wrapped steering wheel, Cruise control, CD/MP3 stereo with 6 speakers, USB and AUX ports with iPod cable, steering wheel buttons etc which is more than what you get in other similar priced cars. The only let down was the 176 hp 2.4-litre 4-cylinder engine which is less powerful than the engine this car is sold with in the US. Options for higher models include panoramic glass roof, intelligent keyless entry with start button, power-folding mirrors, HID headlights, driver’s power-adjusted seat, stability control, six airbags etc Quite an impressive list. For more information you can visit

The speech ended and the skin tight people returned but this time dressed more appropriately to perform the worst choreographed dance sequence ever. The horror ended and the covers were removed revealing the car to us. Another short speech was made and everyone flocked to the cars apart from a few including us. Dinner was served and this is where I don't seemed to remember anything apart from me munching on some fantastic food. The rice, kebabs, prawns, fish, paneer....everything tasted amazing. I have never eaten so much at any corporate event ever.

Once we were done with the main course, we made our way to the car. There were two of them, black and red, both were the fully equipped version. The car didn't look as impressive as I thought it would. It has a lot of curves which I feel seems a little over the top. Even the interior looked less impressive. Cheap plastic all over the place with hardly any soft touch material was a bit disappointing even though it was at par with the class standard. The leather seats were nice and comfortable while rear headroom was good but legroom was quite average. The only aspect of the car that really impressed us was the finish i.e the built quality. It was close to flawless. Overall the car is a lot better then what some competitions are offering and if I hadn't bought a car recently, I would have considered this as one of my options.

After that we headed back to our tables to enjoy some delicious desserts while watching the crowd slowly disappear. Till the time we left, there were maybe just 20 people left. By that time, they had ran out of press kits so we left empty handed which was sad cause that meant I didn't get any freebies. Anyway a good day out, where the food was just brilliant and the car was pretty decent.


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