Don't Let the Sun Shine In: 2018 Hyundai Sonata Eliminates the Panoramic Sunroof
Citing weight reduction and consequent improvements in fuel economy, Hyundai Motor America has removed the panoramic sunroof from every Sonata model for the 2018 model year.
Is the move away from vast sunroofs, spanning the breadth and length of the roof, back to conventional sunroofs truly going to result in measurable real-world fuel savings? No. Even a major engineering change such as the Sonata 2.0T’s new eight-speed automatic doesn’t translate to meaningful fuel efficiency gains: the combined EPA fuel economy for the 2018 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T remains the same as it was in 2017 at 26 miles per gallon.
Nor is the reduction of high-mounted panoramic sunroof’s weight and the subsequent lowering of the Sonata’s center of gravity going to be a major boon to the everyday handling of a mainstream midsize sedan.
Maybe the 2018 Sonata’s handling improves, unnoticeably. Perhaps the Sonata becomes more fuel efficient, insignificantly. But the real reason Hyundai has removed the panoramic sunroof from the 2018 Sonata? Blame Vitamin D.
In 2014, the final year of the previous-generation Sonata, there were no sunroofs on the basic GLS, an optional sunroof on the SE, a standard sunroof on the Limited, and an optional panoramic sunroof on the Limited. As for the hi-po models, a regular sunroof was optional on the base Sonata 2.0T SE and standard on the Sonata 2.0T Limited; a panoramic sunroof was optional on the Limited 2.0T.
In 2015, the first year of the latest Sonata, a panoramic sunroof was optional on the 2.4-liter Sonata Limited and the 2.0T Sport.
In 2016, the Sonata Sport was available with a sunroof while the Sonata Limited had a standard sunroof and an optional panoramic unit. The 2.0T Limited, new for 2016, had a standard panoramic sunroof.
In 2017, every Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.0T was equipped, as standard, with a panoramic sunroof. A conventional sunroof was optional on the 2.4-liter-powered Sport and standard on the Limited, but the Limited’s option of a panoramic sunroof was gone.
Now in 2018, with the thoroughly refreshed Sonata aiming to use its aggressive new nose to steal attention away from the all-new 2018 Toyota Camry and 2018 Honda Accord, a conventional sunroof is standard on the Sport and Limited; unavailable on the SE and SEL. On both 2.0T models, the Sport and Limited, conventional sunroofs are standard fit.
Panoramics are out of the picture, according to Automotive News, because Hyundai’s consumers in sunshine states can’t handle the incoming heat.
That isn’t the only problem, to be fair. The panoramic sunroof has by times been part of expensive option packages. Customers may want some of the package’s features but don’t want to pay for the glass. Other customers may want the panoramic glass but don’t want the accompanying features. In 2016, for example, the Limited’s panoramic sunroof was wrapped into a $3,100 Tech package that included ventilated front seats, Infinity audio, a heated steering wheel, and numerous other pieces of equipment.
Hyundai has also been known to have quality issues with panoramic sunroofs. Late last year, a recall included nearly 63,000 Sonatas because “the tempered glass sunroof panel can detach from the sunroof assembly.”
Panoramic sunroofs aren’t gone from the Hyundai lineup altogether, mind you. The Tucson, Santa Fe Sport, Santa Fe, Veloster, and all-new Elantra GT all offer panoramic roofs that let the sun shine where the Sonata no longer lets the sun shine.
More by Timothy Cain
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- MaintenanceCosts So there is no Sonata trim without some type of Theta engine.It seems like they've been doing a bit better when attached to a hybrid system, so that's probably the one to get, but they're going to have to go several years without further engine troubles before I'd trust a H/K ICE product again.
- Lou_BC Full sized sort of autonomous RC's. Cute.
- Art_Vandelay Autonomous capabilities are being deployed (or planned anyway) in multiple combat vehicles. Should be fun from my perspective
- Drew8MR Interior is trivial now you can get repro everything in various levels of quality. Getting the top sorted will be a couple grand, but I'd drive it as it. I drove a $1500 67 GTO convertible for 20 years, not every old car needs to be like new.
- John Not everyone pays that much for power. Mine is 10 cents per kw…..