The 2018 Hyundai Sonata got a new look at the New York auto show on Wednesday. It’s not quite as cool as the swoopy 2009 redesign, which we loved, but it definitely goes back to wilder styling after the most recent redesign’s more restrained look.
The new Sonata gets LED daytime running lights and a new rear light treatment, while the large rear trunk panel now hides a release button in the Hyundai logo. The license plate frame moves to the bumper like with the Genesis cars, giving an overall cleaner and sportier look. A new cascading grille is surrounded by a more aggressive fascia. Sport and 2.0-liter turbo models get new front and rear diffusers and gloss black window trim.
Ride and handling should be improved, as well, with increased torsion bar stiffness, new steering calibration and an updated rear suspension with thicker trailing arms and new bushings. It’s more responsive, says Hyundai, and can handle heavier loads.
The most expensive models continue with a 245-hp turbo-four, but the eight-speed automatic transmission is new. The rest of the trims get a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated four making 185 hp. No word on an Eco model yet, but we see no reason why that won’t come eventually. Last year’s Eco got a 1.6-liter turbo-four delivering 178 hp.
The new Sonata will get a ton of tech, which is required in this class of car. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included, as is wireless charging. It also gets a second USB port, and the nav system has a bird’s-eye-view camera.
As for safety, we’re looking at brake assist, blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert, in addition to stability control and the like. Those are all standard; lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist are optional.
The 2018 Sonata goes on sale later this year.