What Is It?
Gazing at the updated 2018 Hyundai Sonata, the Korean carmaker would like us to view it almost as a work of art. This is particularly true of its exterior. Designers took great pains to ensure its curb appeal regardless of the angle viewed. Studying Sonata’s front end, for instance, reveals the new familial cascading grille inspired by molten steel pouring out of a Hyundai Steel foundry ladle, setting the tone for the rest of Sonata’s elegant lines. Every swoop, every curve, every angle has a specific purpose, climaxing in a finished form that sets Sonata apart from every other midsize sedan on the road.
Although most models get a little tweak here and a mild tuck there for a mid-life-cycle freshening, Hyundai went all out chiseling a new skin for Sonata. Sure, there are the anticipated new wheel designs and colors, but both the front and rear ends have been noticeably modified. New-shaped headlights, which can be replaced with LEDs, and taillights add to the upgraded look.
Inside, the updates include a redesigned instrument cluster, a new center stack with revised audio and HVAC controls, new 3-spoke steering wheel and a standard 7-inch color touchscreen audio display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There is a wireless pad for charging Qi devices and a second-row USB port. Opt for the navigation system and you’ll find a new bird’s eye view around the car. The BlueLink telematics system now interfaces with Google Assistant and Amazon Echo.
Most Sonatas still come with a 185-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine married to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The 2.0T grades get a 245 hp 2-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, but the 6-speed transmission in these upper trims is swapped for an 8-speed automatic.
To Be Announced. The 2017 Sonata ranges in price from $22,435 to $35,185.
When Can You Get It?
Summer of 2017.
Add It to Your Shopping List Because…
The 2018 Hyundai Sonata is still a huge value. Not only that, it looks more expensive than it is. Decent power, good fuel economy and lots of technical gadgets put it in the hunt.
Other Cars to Consider
Chevrolet Malibu — Loads of interior room, better-than-expected handling and an intuitive systems interface.
Ford Fusion — Quiet interior, available all-wheel drive and a terrific lineup of turbocharged engines.
Nissan Altima — Terrific front seats, great fuel economy and a bevy of safety features.
Toyota Camry — Nearly bullet proof, solid resale value and easy on the eyes.
Honda Accord — Most fun-to-drive Accord ever, good fuel economy and comfortable cabin.