As far as the midsize-sedan segment is concerned, the Hyundai Sonata seems to have given a really tough competition to others in the industry. This is primarily because of the heavy influence on style as well as its premium design which first rolled out into the dealerships back in 2010. It had hit it off perfectly well and was instantly the game changer according to Jeremy Acevedo who is a supervisor for pricing and industry analysis at Edmunds. He also added that "Sonata made this loud and very clear statement that midsize (car) shoppers are motivated by styling." He further on to say that till the car had made its debut, "it was a fairly ho-hum segment that was motivated by practicality and functionality and you got to give Hyundai credit for shaking things up.” This is the major reason why competitors felt they should be upgrading their models to compete.
The redesigned car transformed Sonata was obviously initially only a minor player but over the years it turned out to be a major one and has now become a head tuner. The car was extremely powerful; so much so that it even managed to attract that chunk of the market which had never even seen a Hyundai dealership before. Sales went up beyond imagination and thus Sonata turned into the company’s halo car. "It changed the brand which was synonymous with value, and rebranded it as this really aggressive, cutting-edge (automaker) with very distinctive designs," Acevedo said.
Mark Hall, who is responsible for the exterior design of the 2015 Chrysler 200 stated that "The Sonata really went from something that was kind of a vanilla car to something that all of a sudden was pretty special. It was really taking that segment by storm." And the major reason for this has been explained by Michael O'Brien who is the vice president of product and corporate planning at Hyundai Motor America. He says that "Our engineers have put a lot of premium-ness in our cars. For example, other body engineers have said that chrome strip we have along the (Sonata's) hood line is very, very expensive and difficult to manufacture, yet we did it. The way we integrated the door handles into the body side character was very expensive and difficult to do, but we did it."