The 2017 New York Auto Show marked the North American debut of the refreshed-for-2018 Hyundai Sonata. Hyundai’s midsize-sedan contender gets flashier styling, a few new features, and several incremental improvements.
The new bodywork is highlighted by a larger “cascading” grille, LED daytime running lights and available adaptive LED headlights, and slimmer taillights.
In keeping with the more-dynamic exterior styling, the steering system and rear suspension were both retuned for a sportier feel. Speaking of sporty, the hottest engine in the Sonata lineup—the 245-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder—gets an 8-speed automatic transmission in place of a 6-speed.
Blind Spot Detection and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert are added as standard equipment, and a new Lane Departure Warning system with an updated Lane Keep Assist function is available. Inside, the center stack and instrument panel are revamped, a USB charge port is added for rear-seat passengers, and Hyundai’s Blue Link connectivity system now has Amazon Echo capability.
The current-generation Sonata debuted for the 2015 model year, so this mid-cycle refresh is arriving right on schedule. The new Sonata’s more-aggressive styling is in step with the current industry trend—even the traditionally vanilla Toyota Camry is getting a lot sportier for 2018. There’s nothing particularly surprising or ground-breaking about the 2018 Sonata’s revisions, but they should help it hold its own against the redesigned Camry and the rest of the midsize-sedan class.