It's true the Korean saloon is larger than almost all the upper-medium players - length and width place it between Mondeo and Scorpio. And it is certainly quieter and better to drive than its predecessor. In fact, every aspect of the car has been renewed, refined and redesigned.
It has new engines, transmissions, braking systems, suspension; it's lighter, stronger and has a stiffer body, and safety features are improved. But its most saleable feature is value for money in on-the-road pricing terms, and that's nothing new. The three-model range starts at ú13,999 for the 2.0 GSi, rises to ú15,499 with the 2.0 CDX tested here, and tops off at ú18,999 with the 2.5 V6.
For Hyundai, the new Sonata is by no means the star performer. The manufacturer does well enough across Europe with the Accent and Lantra, but it is the Coupe which is reflecting glory on the oval badge. It has become Britain's best-selling 'full-size' coupe and looks set to clock up 5,500 units this year.
By comparison, the 'old' Sonata had been chugging away at about 1,400 units a year, some 35% in entry GSi trim, 50% in CD and the balance in V6. However, Hyundai Car (UK) spokesman Steve Kitson said: 'In its first full year we expect the new Sonata to sell 3,000 units. It may go even higher, because there's an awful lot of interest in it.' Golden glow from the Coupe, perhaps?