Sales of the Sonata LF sedan have hit a record high in the United States, more than doubling year-on-year and reaching a new monthly high in July.

The Korean manufacturer sold 22,109 of the mid-size saloon in July, up 159% compared to 2014 and a 66% spike on the previous month’s sales. The recent launch of the 2016 model helped drive sales, but the Sonata has been a solid seller since it launched in May 2014, with an average monthly volume of 13,000 units.

With a retail price of just $21,950, or lease prices of $256 a month, the Sonata LF is one of the most cost-effective cars in its class. It’s also elegant and restrained when it comes to the design, which means it has attracted a number of conservative buyers who are not swayed by the fussy designs offered by a number of modern alternatives.

A 1.6-litre Eco model, a hybrid, a 2-litre turbo and a 2.4-litre naturally aspirated model give plenty of engine options and the suspension and steering have all won praise from the American motoring press. In short the Sonata is a good, budget car with the traditional Korean approach that includes a good deal of equipment as standard.

The Sonata has become the fifth most popular midsize sedan in the US, which Hyundai considers a major success. The Tucson compact SUV launches this month and along with the new Elantra and the Genesis, which remains the company’s most popular car in the US by far, the Korean manufacturer, it should help it secure an even greater market share.

Hyundai sold 71,013 cars in total in July, with its market share increasing 0.1% to 4.7%, which is a solid performance for a relative fledgling in one of the toughest markets in the world.