Hyundai April 17, 2017

The 2018 Hyundai Sonata launching this week at the 2017 New York Auto Show once again puts emphasis on design, to the extent that Hyundai’s press conference featured two designers drawing the car live in front of the assembled media. Underneath the new skin, the 2018 Sonata also gets some mechanical changes and added tech.

The front and rear fasciae of the Sonata are all new, while the body itself retains the sleek, low roofline of the previous model. The new front end features vertical side air intakes to give the car a more planted feel, while the new grille is inspired by molten steel flowing out of a cauldron, Hyundai says. The rear has sharper-looking tail lights and a less cluttered overall look. All of these changes make for a handsome car, but one that’s more evolution than revolution.

2018 Hyundai Sonata Exterior and Interior

Hyundai made a great big splash with its sixth generation Sonata, with its exuberantly creased styling, but dropped the ball somewhat with its conservatively boring seventh generation sedan, introduced in 2015. For 2018, however, Hyundai seeks to set things right with plenty of sculpturing and interesting features, especially around the front fascia, to draw the eye.

Hyundai calls it a “signature cascading grille” and it gives the illusion of undulating waves upon the hood, and the lines are continued through ridges in the grille. And its front fascia overall is sculpted and houses some cool new lighting features. The contouring continues through the flank of the Sonata and ends in a redesigned rear end with sharper taillamps and a badge that hides the trunk release button. New wheel designs are in store for the 16-, 17- and 18-inch wheels, and two new colors make their debut.

Interior designers gave the new HVAC and audio controls a silkier finish and contrasting “piano key” buttons. The 2018 Sonata introduces a navigation bird’s- eye view, free traffic data, standard blind-spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert, and a new lane departure warning system as some of the convenience and safety highlights.

2018 Hyundai Sonata Under the Hood

Engines don’t change, but buyers who choose the 2.0-liter four-cylinder get an eight-speed automatic transmission that adds a cog at the low end and another at the high end. The rest of the lineup sticks with the present six-speed auto. Handling upgrades include 12-percent thicker torsion bars in the steering system and new steering calibration for better on-center feel and responsiveness, plus 21-percent thicker trailing arms and new bushings in the suspension for faster response and more compliance.

2018 Hyundai Sonata Prices

Updated pricing for the revised and refreshed 2018 Hyundai Sonata has yet to be announced.

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