Many consumers will consider the Sonata to be the flagship car of the line of middle-sized vehicles produced by Hyundai. This South Korean manufacturer has been producing the Sonata since 1985, thus allowing the model to have enjoyed a number of modifications to compete with a growing marketplace. The Sonata was particularly intended to enter into the western demographic, as these consumers were seen to require a robust, reliable and yet affordable family car.
The Sonata has seen no less than six different generations since 1985; the first quickly being replaced after relatively poor user reviews. It is for this reason that many aficionados consider the second generation (released in 1998 and continuing until 1993) to be the first "true" Sonata. Since these times, there have been a number of alterations that have taken place; perhaps most notably a more streamlined exterior design that was first adopted in the third generation (beginning in 1996).
The sixth (and most recent) generation began in 2009 and continues into the present. Some of the hallmarks of these models include a 2.4-litre engine that offers considerable fuel economy, a moon roof, advanced interior illumination utilising a technology known as electroluminiscent lighting and upgraded navigation packages.
It is expected that a seventh generation of the Sonata will be unveiled sometime during 2014 or 2015. Some of the projected modifications that will accompany this release may include a slightly redesigned exterior, the addition of new navigation technology and a continued emphasis on driver and passenger safety.