Following its 2015 redesign, the Hyundai Sonata looked more sophisticated than ever. Now, for 2018, the four-door sedan will undergo a significant refresh that’ll make it even sharper than before.
The body will carry on the same general design as before, but the skin will get a complete transformation. Up front, the grille is larger and lower than before, the front bumper is fully reworked with a more angular lower spoiler and large outer air inlets, the headlights are smoother and more sweptback, and the hood has aggressive ridges. There will also be new LED technology for the running lights and headlights.
The restyling continues down the sides, where buyers will notice more pronounced character lines at the shoulder and the lower third of the sedan.
Around back, the changes are just as significant. They include a brand-new trunk lid with a larger “Hyundai” badge that also hides the trunk-release button and a pronounced “Sonata” badge in the center, all-new taillights, a reworked bumper with vertical reflectors, and a new single-exit exhaust system.
While the exterior’s refresh is significant, the interior will only see a few minor changes. The center stack gets a light redo, as its climate control center is more compact, the lower storage area loses its access door, and the audio and HVAC systems adopt piano key buttons. The steering wheel is also brand-new, as is the design of the gauges.
Under this rejuvenated skin is a brand-new chassis. It boasts 12% stiffer torsion bars to improve steering response, enhanced steering calibration with better on-center feel, reduced noise-vibration and harshness, 21% thicker trailing arms for handling heavier loads, and upgraded rear bushings for a more compliant ride.
Hyundai didn’t dig too deep into the powertrain, but it did mention the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder will carry on unchanged with 245 horsepower, but it will pair with a new eight-speed auto transmission. Models with this engine will also gain 18-inch wheels wrapped in Michelin rubber.
In the tech department, the 2018 Sonata gains a few new standard goodies: a 7-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. New available wireless charging and a second row of USB charge ports assure everyone can charge their devices without issue. Finally, the optional navigation features a bird’s eye view, and free traffic and flow data, while Blue Link now talks to Amazon Echo, allowing you to control items in your home from the car.
The 2018 Sonata will also receive upgraded safety equipment, as it gains seven standard airbags, and standard blind-spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert.