The all-new Hyundai Sonata, a North American Car of the Year finalist, was deemed the most noteworthy success story of the year in kbb.coms Most-Researched New Vehicles of 2010 report. Sonata leapt 24 places to number five overall. Because Kelley Blue Books kbb.com is one of the most-trafficked automotive research sites, visitation to specific vehicles has become a leading indicator of sales patterns for manufacturers. Hyundai will sell approximately 200,000 Sonatas in calendar year 2010 and volume is up 65 percent year-to-date (through November).
Hyundais popular all-new Sonata helped to re-shuffle the deck among the top 20 most-researched new cars of 2010, knocking a few vehicles further down on the list compared to where they were last year, said James Bell, executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Books kbb.com.
The research from Kelley Blue Books kbb.com validates a trend weve been following throughout the year. Sonata is clearly making more consumers shopping lists than ever before, said Mike OBrien, vice president, product and corporate planning, Hyundai Motor America. Data from Compete shows that Sonata was the most-shopped vehicle on the Internet six of the last seven months, proving that as awareness and availability of the 2011 model increased, shopping patterns quickly followed suit.
The 2011 Sonata represents a modern approach to the traditional mid-size sedan segment by using only advanced four-cylinder engines, emotional design and luxury features offered with Hyundais strong value proposition. In addition to the standard 2.4-liter, gasoline direct injection powertrain making 35 miles-per-gallon highway, Hyundai added a 2.0-liter, 274-horsepower turbo and first-ever hybrid to the Sonata lineup. The Sonata Turbo went on sale in September and Sonata Hybrid, achieving 40 miles-per-gallon highway, will reach showrooms in January.
The all-new Sonata was the first mid-size car to receive a five-star crash test rating under 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.
The site traffic on Kelley Blue Books kbb.com clearly demonstrates which models are resonating with todays new-car shoppers, especially when we examine the most-researched new vehicles of 2010, said Bell. Hyundais homerun Sonata was not only the darling of the industry this year, but also made a strong impression in the minds of new-car shoppers by leaping ahead to the fifth most-researched new car of 2010.