The Hyundai Sonata has been updated for the year with a new exterior, an impressive list of standard safety features and a new eight-speed automatic transmission for the U.S. market.
The 2018 Sonata gets a distinctive new exterior styling, highlighted by the signature “cascading grille” at the front and a new rear with more prominent branding and relocation of the license plate in the bumper. New sheet metal for the sculpted hood, front fenders, and trunk makes the dynamic new look possible. In addition, redesigned alloy wheels (16, 17, and 18-inch) and distinctive illumination from vertical LED DRLs, LED headlights, and LED taillights further highlight the assertive and appealing exterior.
Inside, the renewed center stack and instrument panel now create more visual dimension and add a premium feel to echo the exterior’s eye-catching new looks. Changes in the cabin include a sporty three-spoke steering wheel and piano-key buttons for the audio and HVAC controls, while the standard seven-inch color display audio system is prominently displayed.
The current Sonata has been well received by owners for its ride and handling. Now, the Sonata’s rear suspension receives 21 percent thicker trailing arms to better manage heavy suspension loads, while new bushings allow for more ride compliance and quicker response times. The steering system’s torsion bar stiffness has been increased by 12 percent to improve steering responsiveness and new steering calibration further improves on-center feel.
The top-of-the-line 2.0T engine is mated to a new eight-speed automatic transmission, which adds ratio range at both the top and bottom for improved performance and efficiency. All 2.0-liter turbo Sonatas ride on 18-inch wheels.
Adding to an already impressive list of standard safety equipment, every 2018 Sonata is equipped with Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA). The Sonata is the only mainstream mid-size car sold with this safety technology as standard equipment. Working in conjunction with the standard rearview backup camera, RCTA gives drivers peace of mind that the road behind them is clear. Furthermore, the available Lane Departure Warning system is now enhanced with Lane Keep Assist function.
All 2018 Sonatas are equipped with a standard seven-inch color display audio touchscreen with both CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Models equipped with Blue Link Telematics get three years of complimentary Connected Care and Remote services; including the ability to activate many of the features using the Amazon Echo and Google Home virtual assistants. The available navigation system is enhanced with a bird’s-eye-view feature and HERE HD real-time traffic flow data. Furthermore, the inconvenience of outdated map software is now a thing of the past as owners now have three years of complimentary Guidance Package services, which include downloads to maintain up-to-date navigation programming.
Keeping on-trend with today’s connected passengers, smartphones can now be charged without a plug using the available wireless charging pad (Qi standard) while a second-row USB charge port provides additional charging flexibility.
Pricing throughout the new Sonata lineup delivers consumers a compelling choice, starting at USD 22,050 for the Sonata SE.