Hyundai Sonata, the game-changing midsize sedan with its emotional Fluidic Sculpture design and all four-cylinder engine lineup, was the most-shopped vehicle in January according to data from Compete, a Kantar Media company. Sonata has been on more shopping lists than any other vehicle in the industry in seven of the last nine months, continuing to top perennial leaders like Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Honda Civic and Ford Fusion, according to Competes analysis of consumer automotive shopping behavior.

Lead by Sonata, Hyundai demand continued its momentum with more than 268,000 in market shoppers in January, representing a 21 percent increase from December 2010. The all-new 2011 Elantra was the second most shopped Hyundai model achieving a six-month high in demand and a 39 percent increase from December. Industry wide, January shopper volume (2.8 million) increased 11 percent compared to January 2010, demonstrating the continued recovery in automotive shopping interest.

Sonatas ability to attract and engage consumers over the past nine months has been impressive and they have successfully converted many of these shoppers into actual buyers with Sonata sales up 150 percent in January,” said Dennis Bulgarelli, director of Automotive at Compete. Shopping activity for the entire industry is up 11 percent, starting off what we think will be a strong year for the automotive industry.

Hyundais all-new 2011 Sonata represents a modern approach to the traditional midsize sedan segment by using only advanced four-cylinder engines, dynamic design and luxury features offered with Hyundais strong value proposition. The Sonata launched with a new Theta II 2.4-liter gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine and in-house six-speed automatic transmission. The vehicle offers class-leading fuel economy of 22 mpg city/35 mpg highway and 198 horsepower standard. Sonata is also available in Turbo and Hybrid versions, with Hybrid achieving class-leading 40 mpg highway fuel economy.

With many safety features, including Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control, and Anti-lock Braking System, Sonata was the first midsize car to receive a five-star crash test rating under the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations new, more stringent 2011 system and an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick honor, placing it in a safety position unsurpassed in the industry.

A year after its initial launch consumers continue to be attracted to Sonatas exciting design, best-in-class fuel economy and outstanding residual value, said Mike OBrien, vice president, Product and Corporate Planning, Hyundai Motor America. Starting off the year as the most shopped vehicle, Sonata is picking up right where it left off in 2010, when it set its U.S. sales volume record.

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