By on August 19, 2020

Perhaps feeling that this would be its last opportunity to woo American midsize sedan buyers, Hyundai pulled out all the styling stops when it crafted the current-generation Sonata. Heavy on lines and curves and sporting some impressive front-end lighting, the Sonata makes the Camry and Accord look stodgy by comparison.

But the automaker didn’t stop there. It went to work crafting a hotter Sonata — a variant that’s almost here. And thanks to someone’s mistake and another person’s quick reflexes, we can see what that sedan will look like. (Read More…)

By on July 24, 2020

The idea of Honda and Toyota slugging it out for midsize sedan supremacy, with every other contender — from the very good to the mediocre to the also-rans — fighting it out for sales scraps, is pretty much an auto-journalism cliché at this point.

Other contenders dance in and out of the ring, but never quite stay part of the conversation. Hyundai’s Sonata has long been one of those. Certain generations of the Sonata were very much a part of the mix at the top of the class. Others were forgettable, hanging out in the muddled middle.

(Read More…)

By on June 9, 2020

hyundai

In the midsize sedan war, the Hyundai Sonata is like Japanese forces in the Pacific — slowly  losing ground as powerful enemies amass an ever larger share of the territory. When faced with the name recognition and brand appeal of the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, maintaining your position means throwing everything you have into the fight.

Into that battle came the radically restyled 2020 Hyundai Sonata, joined imminently by the Sonata Hybrid — a sedan that gets up to 52 mpg on the combined cycle. Hyundai has apparently decided that money talks, and that the new hybrid will ride into battle waving cash at local townfolk. (Read More…)

By on March 6, 2020

Hyundai is reportedly recalling around 207,000 Sonata models in the U.S. over a fuel hose issue that could create a fire hazard. Kia issued a recall on 142,000 Optima sedans and 51,000 Sedonas minivans for the same issue. While there doesn’t appear to be any injuries stemming from the problem, Hyundai Motor Group has notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that the vehicles could incur a fuel leak that runs the risk of starting fires within the engine compartment.

The source of the issue has not been discovered; the NHTSA recall report stipulates that the manufacturer “believes the material used to produce the fuel feed line might be more susceptible to heat under certain vehicle operating conditions.” Be on the lookout for a less responsive motor, engine warning lights and the faint aroma of gasoline.  (Read More…)

By on February 6, 2020

hyundai

Hyundai usually waits a bit before revealing the hybrid variant of the Sonata, and the Korean brand continued the tradition with the latest iteration of its midsize sedan. Sporting the same polarizing styling as its gas-only sibling, the 2020 Sonata Hybrid delivers significant improvements in fuel economy while debuting a gimmicky feature that Hyundai says amounts to “free miles.”

Good thing it’s always sunny in Chicago. (Read More…)

By on January 29, 2020

I sparked a minor Twitter argument this week after offering up an image of a brand new car that’s available in a truly horrible exterior color. Public Car Twitter opinion mobilized quickly and angrily against my take, and only a couple others were brave enough to take my side against such a visual crime.

Today we talk paint.

(Read More…)

By on December 10, 2019

2020 Hyundai Sonata N Line

We all have that one friend who puts Tabasco sauce on everything. Even foods that aren’t meant to be spicy are doused – this person has to give their food a kick.

Hyundai’s 2020 Sonata N Line is sort of the midsize sedan equivalent of that.

I flew to Arizona to test the redesigned 2020 Hyundai Sonata, and while there I got a surprise – I’d be driving an N Line prototype part of the way back to the hotel from lunch.

(Read More…)

By on December 9, 2019

2020 Hyundai Sonata

Near the start of this decade, I thought the Hyundai Sonata was perhaps the most attractive mid-size sedan on the market.

I also thought it drove like crap.

The steering was disconnected from the road, it felt slower than its rivals, et cetera.

Hyundai’s next Sonata was better in terms of driving dynamics and on-road behavior, but its styling was conservative to the point of boring. It felt like Hyundai was flailing about, unsure how to build a car that both drove well and looked good, while its rivals were having no problem doing the same. Even its corporate sibling, Kia, was offering up an engaging and handsome Optima.

Enter the 2020 Sonata. It looks good (better from certain angles and with certain colors), but does it drive well? Can it walk and chew gum at the same time?

(Read More…)

By on October 28, 2019

Hyundai has released a handful images of the updated Azera sedan, proving again that the manufacturer is not adverse to taking risks. While we haven’t seen the vehicle around these parts since the 2017 model year, it has continued on in other parts of the world, often under the Grandeur name, and growing more handsome with age.

While perhaps not as comely as the 2020 Hyundai Sonata Americans stand to receive, the South Korean brand’s revamped Azera/Grandeur sticks to its tradition of bold styling updates by incorporating headlamps into a diamond-pattern grille. The end result creates an effect that makes the lights appear as if they’re located behind it. Similar in concept to the hidden headlamps of the late 1960s, its execution is a quite bit different — giving international markets something rather novel.  (Read More…)

By on May 24, 2019

Image: Kia

You have to give Hyundai Motor Group credit — it’s certainly not shy when it comes to design. It hasn’t been for a while, and the 2011 Sonata can attest to that. After Hyundai toned things down for the follow-up generation, the brand realized its mistake: to get noticed alongside Camry and Accord, you needed to go way out and wild.

Perhaps too wild, some who’ve viewed the 2020 Sonata might say. However, if Hyundai’s midsizer is too much for your stomach to handle, Kia’s sister car may be the remedy you’re looking for. You know, if you’re still into sedans and all that. (Read More…)

By on April 18, 2019

Image: Hyundai

Staying true to its tradition of extremely bold styling revamps, Hyundai’s 2020 Sonata looks like something penned by a team of French and Italian designers. We explored the next-generation midsizer’s many styling highlights earlier this year.

Now that the upcoming Sonata has had its official New York debut, there’s more information to get across. Specifically, power, but also efficiency. The same engine technology that went into the pint-sized Venue unveiled Wednesday also makes an appearance in the Sonata, though the automaker hasn’t forgotten that horsepower (sometimes) sells.

The Sonata will be the second North American model to undergo the N Line treatment. (Read More…)

By on March 6, 2019

Korean’s automaker is known for many things, not the least of which is providing a great feature-to-dollar ratio. Attentive gearheads will also know they tend to make massive changes to their Sonata sedan with speed and alacrity unknown to any other automaker. Each iteration of the mid-size sedan looks – for better or worse – wildly different than the one before it.

They’re at it again, releasing images of an eighth-gen Sonata just two years after the current seventh-gen machine went on sale. This new rig takes more than a few cues from the wild 2020 Genesis G90, especially its set of all-the-way-across tail lights.

And, oh yeah, we dug up images of every Sonata sedan from the 1990s until now to prove our point.

(Read More…)

By on July 19, 2018

Exclusivity is not a word often associated with Hyundai, and with good reason. Like Nissan (but even more so), Hyundai’s reputation is built on a foundation of mass-produced vehicles with inherent value. And, even in the world of green cars, it seems that game plan can’t change.

So, it’s no surprise to see Hyundai take a hatchet to the price of its 2018 Sonata Plug-in Hybrid. In dropping the model’s entry price by $1,350 and adding one mile of electric driving range, Hyundai hopes it’s enough to attract the attention of would-be buyers. It needs to. In June, the model sat at 21st place on the public’s PHEV shopping list. (Read More…)

By on June 18, 2018

Image: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde

If sales stats tell us anything, it’s that Hyundai’s latest refresh of the Sonata sedan didn’t seem to resonate with buyers. Despite the addition of a large and aggressive new grille for the 2018 model year, complimented by a sharper rear deck and nicely canted taillights, Sonata sales — like that of so many other traditional passenger cars — continued a downward path. So much for fixing the styling issues of the previous refresh.

After hitting a high water mark of 230,605 vehicles sold in 2012, Sonata volume sunk to 131,803 units in 2017. Sales over the first five months of 2018 fell 33.8 percent.

Given the sales trajectory, it wouldn’t have been a surprise to see Hyundai drop the model after the current generation runs its course, but the automaker seems intent on generating as many sales as it can across the segment spectrum. Thanks to these spy shots from Las Vegas, it looks like there’s a new Sonata in our future. (Read More…)

By on June 12, 2018

Almost all models occasionally burst into flames for one reason or another, but there’s too many older Kia and Hyundai models catching fire to write it off as a statistical inevitability, the Center for Auto Safety says.

In a letter sent to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Monday, the nonprofit advocacy group used owner-submitted questionnaires from the NHTSA’s own website as proof that something’s amiss with certain 2011-2014 Kia and Hyundai models. 120 reported vehicle fires and 229 cases of melted wires in the engine compartment, smoke, or burning odors should be enough to spark an investigation, CAS said. (Read More…)

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