The local Hyundai distributorship has released information about the New Sonata for the U.S. market, although the Sonata line has long since vanished from Hyundai Malaysia’s line-ups. 

So why is Hyundai Malaysia still distributes press information about the Sonata? Because the Sonata is a flagship model and in its 8th-generation, the Hyundai Sonata looks better and more sophisticated than ever. There are four variants for the Sonata line-up: Sonata SE entry level, SEL, SEL Plus and Limited Edition. 

Every Sonata built for the U.S. market has to follow strict regulations, hence the entry level is already packed with plenty of features. Hyundai and Kia are the same company with particular target markets in North America. The case here being the Sonata versus the Optima; Hyundai is usually a little more upmarket while Kia is targeting a younger audience. 

The base Sonata, the SE, and all Sonatas for that matter follow the brand’s new signature design. The model takes on a new, innovative vehicle platform with emphasis on chassis strength and reduced overall weight. Furthermore, the car uses an extensive application of advanced technologies to boost comfort, convenience and active safety. This is already evident in the base unit that comes with a 2.5-liter engine to produce 191 HP, 6 hp more than previous generation. Moreover, it’s got an 8-speed auto transmission with Shift-by-wire selector.  The 2.5-liter engine crosses over to the SEL range as well.

Then, there’s the LED headlights, DRLs and rearlights, something to get In ‘awe’ with the New Sonata.  Inside, the New Sonata has an upgraded 8-inch LCD monitor and a whole lot of driver’s assistance systems such as Electronic Parking Brake with SmartSense, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Lane Keeping Assist (LKA) and Driver Attention Warning (DAW) Automatic high-beam assist, as well as Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go.

Up next, the Sonata SEL trim level sees even more additional exterior and interior updates. It is the most affordable sedan with a panoramic sunroof at a small additional cost. Hyundai even put together a Convenience package and a Premium package for those looking to spruce up their Sonata SELs.  

In a nutshell, the Sonata SEL offers a sportier look overall but oddly it comes with 17-inch wheels. At the side and back, the highlights are the mirror turn signal indicators and twin-tip muffler.

Inside, the cabin has leatherette door panel inserts, liquid chrome accents and a driver’s power seat. A 4.2-inch LCD instrument cluster (upgradable to 12.3-inch with Convenience package) Is added to the equipment list along with a proximity key, push start switch, a multimedia system (upgradable to a BOSE 12-speaker system with Premium package) with connected services, and a hands-free smart trunk release. In addition, a complete list of assistance systems and safety features are also part of the deal.

Moving up the ladder is the Sonata SEL Plus and Sonata Limited, both these variants carry a 1.6 Turbo engine. The two top-of-the-line variants are fitted with 18-inch alloy wheels with either 235/45 R18 Michelins or Pirellis, gloss black side mirrors & window surround and aluminum pedals. Standard upholstery is Dinamica suede / leatherette seating surfaces and access into the car is via a Hyundai Digital Key.

Other highlights only valid for the top Sonata variants are the Color Head-up Display on an 8-inch screen, Blind-Spot View Monitor with Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW) and Remote Smart Parking Assist, just to name a few.

The New Hyundai Sonatahas a starting price of USD $23,400 for the SE model, all the way up to $33,300 for a Sonata Limited.