The Sonata was launched back in 1989 with a choice of three four-cylinder engines - a 1.8, a 2.0-litre and a 2.4. The first generation model was, in truth, unappealing and few were sold. Trim is cheap and build quality patchy.
The second generation model, launched in 1994, was altogether different. It had a smart European look and a quality feel. There was more equipment, better build quality and a 3.0-litre Mitsubishi-derived V6 for the first time, to complement the standard 2.0-litre 'four'. The car was mildly facelifted late in 1996.
An all-new Sonata was launched in 1998 with a swoopy new American-designed body. As before, there was a choice of 2.0-litre four-cylinder or V6 engines, but both were heavily reworked. The new 2.5-litre V6, in fact, was now Hyundai's own design, like the four-cylinder units.