After teasing the car, Hyundai has taken the wraps off the 2018 Sonata at an event in Korea. The car features fairly extensive design changes for a refreshed model, along with some new features to up the competitiveness of a car that’s been on the market since 2014.
Upon first glance it is clear that Hyundai turned to its new, smaller cars for design influence on this new Sonata. The Cascading Grille and sharper angles of the new Sonata are very similar to the Elantra and i30 models, with even a little influence from the older Veloster. Hyundai also says the Sonata grille will get a mesh treatment when equipped with the turbo engine.
The extensive design changes are not all that surprising. Hyundai has caught some flak for the Sonata being too boring looking compared to the likes of the Ford Fusion and Nissan Altima. Subsequently, sales of the Sonata have dwindled in recent months. Sales of the car are off over 31 percent in the first two months of 2017 versus the previous year.
In addition to the exterior design changes, Hyundai has also revised the center stack in the interior. The Sonata will now have a standard 7-inch audio display with an optional 8-inch unit, both being the centerpiece of the car’s infotainment system. The steering wheels and trims have also been changed-out for the 2018 model.
Powertrains on the 2018 model are largely unchanged, with the only modification being the addition of an 8-speed automatic on the turbo model.
Hyundai is also reporting that the 2018 Sonata will add lane departure warning, lane keep assist, blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert features – all of which are prerequisite for success in the midsize sedan segment.
Expect the U.S version of the 2018 Hyundai Sonata to be revealed at the New York Auto Show next month.