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The new Hyundai Sonata taxi has a simple solution to make it safer for passengers

CY Foong · Apr 5, 2024 04:10 PM

The new Hyundai Sonata taxi has a simple solution to make it safer for passengers 01

Take a look at videos featuring traffic in South Korea and you will find that 90% of cars are in silver, white, grey, or black. The cars of Seoul tend to lack some (ahem) soul and if you ever spot a car in a bright shade, they are usually taxis.

The new Hyundai Sonata taxi has a simple solution to make it safer for passengers 02

Sonata Taxis over the years

The most common taxi model is the Hyundai Sonata and following the launch of the facelifted eighth-generation DN8 model in 2023, the taxi version has just given an update for the South Korean market.

Unlike the regular Sonata, the Sonata Taxi is imported into the country from China where it is built at the Beijing-Hyundai plant. It is powered by a 2.0-litre SmartStream engine that runs on liquified petroleum gas (LPG).

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The new Hyundai Sonata taxi has a simple solution to make it safer for passengers 01

That powerplant delivers 146 PS/191 Nm and is hooked up to a 6-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the front wheels. Hyundai claims that the powertrain is designed to be twice as durable as the regular Sonata given the long mileage expected for the taxi as well as the drivers’ aggressiveness behind the wheel.

Also read: New Hyundai Sonata facelift unveiled, last update before discontinuation?

The new Hyundai Sonata taxi has a simple solution to make it safer for passengers 02

The Sonata Taxi is also longer than the standard Sonata which is why it originates from China. Hyundai Korea claims the new Sonata Taxi has a 70 mm longer rear legroom compared to the pre-facelift. Dimensionally, the Sonata Taxi is 35 mm longer in length and wheelbase.

The new Hyundai Sonata taxi has a simple solution to make it safer for passengers 03

Despite being used to ferry passengers until it wears out, the Sonata Taxi does not lack features. It has a 4.2-inch fully digital driver display, a 12.3-inch infotainment unit with over-the-air (OTA) software updates, 9 airbags, and Hyundai Smartsense ADAS as standard.

The Sonata Taxi also has another ace up its sleeve or rather a clever sign on its roof. Hyundai collaborated with Korean taxi companies to develop a new smart taxi rooflight that benefits taxi operators, passengers, and other users.

Unlike the existing taxi lights which have to be drilled into the centre of the car’s roof, the new design would instead be added seamlessly onto the moulding above the passenger-side B-pillar.

The new Hyundai Sonata taxi has a simple solution to make it safer for passengers 04

Besides, the taxi sign will be illuminated by LEDs to provide a clearer display as well as embedded with a projector on its side. This projector will indicate to motorcyclists, cyclists, or pedestrians that the taxi is stopping to prevent collisions from happening by projecting a stop signal on the road.

The new Hyundai Sonata taxi has a simple solution to make it safer for passengers 05

The Hyundai Sonata Taxi is priced from KRW 22.54 million (~RM 79k) and is only offered to taxi operators. Since the Sonata is discontinued in Malaysia, you will never see it in Malaysia but you could try to hail one once you land in South Korea.

Also read: Malaysia says goodbye to these 6 cars in 2023 - Exora, Accord, BR-V, Elantra, Sonata, Passat

CY Foong

Writer

Traded advertising for a career that fits his passion for cars. Enjoys spotting cars during his free time and has a soft spot for Japanese Kei cars but drives a thirsty manual sedan.

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