Competing in the midsize sedan market is a bit like swimming with sharks. The top predators get their fill before lesser vehicles collect the scraps. For years, Honda’s Accord and Toyota’s Camry dominated the food chain, leaving vehicles from Nissan, Ford, and Chevrolet to scoop up buyers who are tired of the same old spread.
This delicate ecosystem carried on with little interruption until the crossover rose to power. With fewer buyers interested in traditional sedans, competition between the established players grew even more intense. The products were forced to improve to keep consumers interested. In the process, midsize sedans became more expensive. In the late 2000s, though, Hyundai saw an opening in the market. By loading its Sonata with value, injecting it with style, and backing it with an industry-best warranty, the Korean automaker began stripping sales from the sharks.
As a result, Hyundai has climbed to mid-pack in annual sales. No longer just a value-driven product, the Sonata is a genuine competitor with a provocative groove.