By Asian Journal Auto Editor
The Hyundai 2018 mid-size Sonata sedan has been a very impressive award-winning family car over the last few years. And it’s a thrill to report the new 2018 Hyundai Sonata is even better than before. First up is a mild redesign with a new cascading front grille, set off by a revamped front fascia with available LED headlights. It’s a very attractive up market look. The redesign continues to the rear with new tail lights, trunk and lower body panels. One cool feature is the cleverly integrated push button feature on the rear Hyundai logo that opens the trunk. Overall, it’s a pleasing, striking, and upscale looking car.
Technology wise, the 2018 Sonata’s 2.4L engine features new ECU calibration and redesigned air intakes for more efficiency. All models also receive lighter aluminum suspension components for better performance. Model wise, there are five trim levels in the Sonata lineup- GL, 2.4 Sport, GLS, GLS Tech, and 2.0T Sport. Power trains comprise of either a four-cylinder 2.0 Turbo engine, or a 2.4-liter unit with either a six-speed manual transmission or a new eight-speed automatic transmission (with paddle shifters on the 2.0T Sport model.) Well-equipped GL and GLS models offer high quality interiors, while the GLS model also gains a power sunroof. The Standard 2.4L offers 185-horsepower, while the 2.0T turbocharged four-cylinder engine comes only on the Sport models, and offers 245 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. Sport models also get unique styling features such as: 17-inch alloy wheels, dual chrome exhaust outlets, a panoramic sunroof, and highly bolstered leather sport seats with embossed turbo logo. In addition to more features such as D-cut steering wheel, there is a Sport front fascia with dark mesh grille and Sport rear diffuser. For those looking for a hybrid, there is also the Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid. For the 2018 model year, the Hybrid also receives a fuel-efficient, lighter, 2.0L, four-cylinder direct-injection engine as well as a smaller, more efficient 1.6-kwh lithium-polymer battery pack which allows for more cargo space in the rear trunk
One of the prime selling points and stand out features of the Sonata has always been the equipment roster specification, and it’s still incredibly high for the price. As standard features for 2018, the Sonata models gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Hyundai’s new BlueLink telematics system, is an option while, all Sonata’s get blind spot detection with rear cross traffic alert and lane change assist. Mid-range and upper models now get “driver attention alert,” autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection and lane keep assist. The top-line 2.0 turbo as tested offers sports front seats with additional side bolsters and driver selectable drive modes – Comfort, Eco, Sport and Smart driving. Interior wise, the 2018 Hyundai Sonata offers a decent, well equipped and slickly furnished interior. There is plenty of room front and rear and the thick, luxurious leather trimmed seats with contrast piping on our tester, not only looked good, they were very comfortable as well.
On the road, the 2.0-litre turbo engine, with 265 lb.-ft. of torque, is a delightful unit, with plenty of power on tap, a V6 version is not really a necessity on the Sonata, as the turbo offers just as much acceleration and power. Fuel consumption is rated at 9.8/6.9/8.5L per 100km (city/hwy/combined). The sophisticated eight-speed automatic is also a gem with well-calibrated, smooth shifts, and as a plus- has a good manual mode. In terms of on-road dynamics, the Sonata feels sporty and athletic with its firm-well sorted suspension, and great steering feedback. In short nothing to complain about. Hyundai just keeps raising the bar in this sector every time as it inches toward premium status. A highly recommended family sedan seriously worth considering.
2018 Hyundai Sonata sedan priced from $24,799 to $36,999.