The 2018 Hyundai Sonata arrives with new styling, enhanced safety features, and upgraded steering and suspension components. Hyundai unveiled the vehicle recently at the New York International Auto Show, underscoring their desire for a “bold, daring, and beautiful” automobile.
“It’s all about making an impact,” said Chris Chapman, Chief Designer, Hyundai North American Design. “The moment the pen left the drafting paper, I knew we had something special in this re-imagined Sonata.”
Styling & Design
The 2018 Hyundai Sonata was designed at Hyundai’s California Design Studio with American flare in mind. Designers focused on a more decisive stance, characterized primarily by the “cascading grille” and new rear profile. The 2018 Sonata has LED daytime running lights and available LED headlamps with a bending feature to help illuminate the road.
The center stack and instrument panel were designed with the exterior for a consistent theme throughout. The dials, three-spoke steering wheel, and piano key buttons for the audio and HVAC controls are just several examples of where Hyundai went for a premium look and feel.
“Dynamic lines, strong graphics, and our new signature cascading grille come together in an athletic way,” Chapman said.
Power & Performance
At the top of the range, the 2018 Sonata is motivated by a 2.0-liter turbo engine producing 245 horsepower. The eight-speed automatic was designed with well balanced ratios, meaning drivers will find an optimum blend between performance and efficiency. The transmission provides strong off-the-line acceleration and fuel efficient highway cruising. The 2.0-liter turbo models have 18-inch wheels and Michelin tires.
Hyundai’s engineers zeroed in on ride and handling specifically, improving the 2018 Sonata’s overall responsiveness. The steering system went through a total revision and various components, like the torsion bar, were beefed up to improve the handling in all conditions. The rear suspension received similar treatment with trailing arms now 21 percent thicker. The additional stiffness helps manage suspension loads, while new bushings work within the suspension arms for more nimble handling.
What’s interesting is Hyundai’s feedback from customers in this area was already quite high, but the automaker wanted to made a good thing better.
“We wanted to deliver an exciting, expressive car to our customers and show the world how passionate Hyundai is about design and craftsmanship,” Chapman said.
Safety & Security
The 2018 Hyundai Sonata has seven standard airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag. The vehicle has an available Lane Departure Warning system with an enhanced Lane Keep Assist function; Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert provides additional safety when maneuvering in reverse.
Connectivity & Availability
Driver’s will stay connected through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. A Qi wireless charging pad accompanies a second row USB charge port. The available navigation system now comes with a bird’s eye view feature, plus traffic flow and incident data – both are available without a subscription fee. No word yet on when the 2018 Hyundai Sonata will be available but the car is on display currently at the New York International Auto Show.
“The objective was to make an impact, and this design provides the visual excitement and unique identity our customers associate with Sonata,” Chapman said.
Carl Anthony is Managing Editor of Automoblog and resides in Detroit, Michigan.