Hyundai Sime Darby will be a very busy company in 2010, and the first launches we can expect from them this year is the introduction of the new Sonata YF and Tucson SUV, which is scheduled for April. Both cars will be imported CBU from Korea, and our source has also revealed the variants that will be brought in.

The sixth-generation Sonata, codenamed YF, will come with two Theta II engines – a 163 bhp/198 Nm 2.0-litre and a 176 bhp/228 Nm 2.4-litre, mirroring the engine options of its D-segment Japanese rivals. Not only the Sonata’s figures compare very well with its competitors, it also has a six-speed automatic gearbox (Accord and Camry 2.4 have five forward ratios) which is self-developed and claimed to be “maintainence free”.

The Tucson SUV will also ship with these two engines and the six-speed auto ‘box. If you want 4WD, opt for the 2.4-litre model, as the 2.0-litre Tucson will be front-wheel drive only. Hyundai’s Theta II, which is a development of the GEMA world engine, is 10kg lighter than its predecessor, more frugal, cleaner and comes with Dual CVVT. The latest GDI direct injection engines won’t reach our shores however, due to below par fuel quality.

Spec levels for these two cars will be competitive and prices will undercut their immediate rivals, which we take as the Honda CR-V for the Tucson, Accord and Camry for the Sonata. You may have noticed the Arab number plates on these pictures; they were snapped this afternoon as we have been test driving the new Hyundais in Muscat, Oman. Unfortunately, we cannot share our impressions with you yet as the story is embargoed, but do stay tuned for updates as the launch date nears. Let’s just say for now that these new entries have great showroom appeal and are very decent to drive!