Just recently previewed in home market form, the 2018 Hyundai Sonata made its U.S debut in New York. As anticipated, the midsize 4-door sedan gets a meaningful mid-cycle upgrade that sharpens its look, improves its dynamics and includes a selection of new comfort, benefit and driver-assist features. Hyundai hopes these modification will make the Sonata even more competitive against competitors like the Chevy Malibu, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.
The brand-new Sonata boasts an edgier front fascia with a larger, deeper “Cascading Grille” configuration that consists of a horizontal-bar insert on base models and a mesh design on the Sonata Turbo. The Sonata Sport and 2.0 T models also feature a choice of blackout trim bits along with bespoke front/rear diffusers and integrated exhaust outlets.
All 2018 Sonata variants have more elegantly rendered headlamps with complete LED units being an option on some while the tail treatment nets a similar slimmer, trimmer lamp graphic and numerous other subtle detail refinements. Rounding out the mix are brand-new, model-specific 16-inch, 17-inch and 18-inch alloy wheel options.
The 2018 Sonata’s cabin receives a comparable upgrade. Topping the list are different trim improvements together with tidier instrument-cluster graphics, a brand-new multifunction wheel, 7.0-inch color touchscreen screen, faster-responding AVN 5.0 multimedia system and more finger-friendly piano-key design audio/HVAC controls. There’s also a brand-new rear-seat USB charge port and optional cordless smart device charging ability in addition to standard support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The upgraded Sonata Sport 2.4 L now features a power sunroof, leather-bolstered sport seats, shifter paddles on its flat-bottom wheel and dual exhausts while a value-oriented SEL trim grade joins the lineup.
While Hyundai has yet to expose anything about a 2018 Sonata Hybrid, powertrains in the other models mostly rollover. That includes the Eco-only 178-horsepower/1.6- liter turbo 4, naturally-aspirated 185-horsepower/2.4- liter and the turbo 245-horse/2.0- liter in the 2.0 T Sport and 2.0 T Limited. Sole change here is that the Sonata’s range-topping engine swaps its current 6-speed automated for a new 8-speed system that offers a wider ratio spread. The 2018 Sonata likewise benefits from retuned steering and suspension systems that boost handling, enhance body control and boost convenience.
Lastly, the updated Sonata offers a more thorough suite of standard driver-assist features that adds blind spot detection with rear cross traffic alert to the mix. The lane departure warning system available on upline trims is now strengthened by lane keep assist and the maps in the optional navigation system will offer a bird’s eye view and consist of no-cost real-time traffic/incident updates.
The 2018 Hyundai Sonata arrives in dealership display rooms this summertime. Prices and extra packaging details will be released closer to the on-sale date.
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