Approach again once I was a young person, I went to promenade in a Hyundai. I acquired a bit little bit of flak from a few of my buddies for not becoming a member of them in a fancy-pants limo, however my date and I made a decision to splurge on a pleasant dinner and share the embarrassment of displaying up on the social occasion of the 12 months in an affordable Korean import.

Oh how occasions have modified. The 2018 Hyundai Sonata is one thing my 17-year-old self could be proud to promenade in. It has been redesigned for its eighth era, with new know-how, sheet metallic, suspension elements and transmission.

The Sonata, Hyundai’s midsize sedan, slots in between the finances Elantra and the luxury-focused Azera, which remains to be obtainable as a 2017 mannequin. The Sonata is out there in SE, SEL, Sport and Restricted trim with a naturally aspirated 2.Four-liter engine, however I spent my time within the extra highly effective 2.Zero-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which is barely obtainable within the Sport and Restricted trims.

Each trim degree of the brand new Sonata comes normal with blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert and lane change assistant. A brand new lane-keep-assist know-how is normal on the Restricted 2.0T trim, and obtainable on the SEL and Restricted trims. The system gently steers the automotive again into the lane in case you drift outdoors the markers with out signaling. It is so light it is powerful to really feel it working, but it easily slides the automotive again into correct place on the highway.

Hyundai’s adaptive cruise management capabilities properly in stop-and-go site visitors, bringing the Sonata to a full cease behind a lead automotive and taking off once more after a quick pause. This characteristic, in addition to emergency automated braking, has the identical availability because the lane-keep-assist know-how. If you’d like driver’s aids normal, you must have a look at the Honda Accord, which makes these options normal on all trims save for the bottom mannequin. Toyota does one higher, providing this know-how normal throughout all trim strains of the brand new 2018 Camry.

For 2018, the Sonata will get a revised rear suspension and steering.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

Hyundai’s glorious Blue Hyperlink infotainment system is displayed on a 7-inch touchscreen normal, though an eight-inch display is non-compulsory. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are normal, however the former a bit glitchy for me. At first Apple CarPlay would solely learn incoming textual content messages by means of my cellphone, not the automotive’s audio system. Nonetheless, after plugging and unplugging the cellphone, the issue fastened itself.

Regardless, Blue Hyperlink is fairly slick, with a customizable dwelling display and an non-compulsory navigation system that features Google native search. One field vacation spot entry allows you to simply discover addresses or factors of curiosity.

There are a number of little tech touches that make the Sonata stand out from the gang. Qi wi-fi charging is normal on the Restricted 2.0T trim and obtainable on Restricted. All however the SE trim have a second-row USB cost port normal.

Designs on driving

Though the two.Zero-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is similar as 2017, making 245 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, the eight-speed automated transmission is all new. However Hyundai did not cease there, revising the rear suspension and steering system to enhance responsiveness and dealing with. On the again roads of northern California, I discovered the Sonata to be a spry little sedan, certainly.

The Sonata’s responsive automated transmission is nice at gear choice. It is desirous to downshift on nook exits and holds the revs for fairly a while, even when driving in Consolation mode. Change to Sport and the transmission holds them for a bit longer and shifts even faster. There are paddle shifters if you wish to get down and soiled, however left to its personal units this new transmission is among the sportiest I’ve encountered shortly.

Eco mode is not an train in frustration, both. Positive, it upshifts faster for higher gasoline mileage,  however it’s removed from annoying. It is going to downshift simply for passing and when accelerating from a lifeless cease, in order that it is powerful to inform the distinction between Consolation and Eco mode. The naturally aspirated 2.Four-liter engine takes an enormous hit in energy, all the way down to 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque and mated to the six-speed automated transmission from 2017. I have never sampled this mix, however presumably the smaller energy output and older transmission would put fairly a damper on the enjoyable.

The recalibrated steering provides fast inputs and a very good on-center really feel. There is no such thing as a torque steer, even upon heavy acceleration from a lifeless cease and I did not discover any understeer whereas flinging the sedan by means of the twisties. Very spectacular, Hyundai.

Nonetheless, the Sonata 2.0T fell wanting its EPA mixed gas score of 26 miles per gallon. Throughout my week with the sedan, I solely averaged 23.2 mpg. Nonetheless,  I are inclined to drive with a rock on my proper foot always, so your mileage might range.

For 2018 the Sonata will get a brand new aggressive entrance finish, with what the Korean automaker is asking a “cascading grille.” LED daytime working lights at the moment are normal on the two.0T trims and the obtainable LED headlights with dynamic bending mild are bigger than final 12 months, bringing much more emphasis to the brand new grille.

Within the rear, the obtainable LED taillights are trimmer for 2018 and the license plate has been moved decrease, bringing an uninterrupted, easy line from the highest of the trunk lid to the bumper. A soft-touch button within the middle Hyundai brand opens the trunk. It is fairly cool.

Though the mid-size sedan section is cooling a bit due to America’s obsession with crossovers, there are nonetheless a lot to select from. The Toyota Camry has been improved for 2018 and could be had with 301 horsepower, though that energy comes at a number of thousand extra. The Honda Accord is priced fairly equally and is out there with a six-speed handbook transmission, if that is your bag. The Mazda6 has been my sedan of selection, although it was down on energy. Nonetheless, the 2018 mannequin boasts a brand new turbocharged engine for 310 ponies.

How I would spec it

If I have been headed to the dealership, I’d simply go proper for the two.0T Restricted, if solely as a result of adaptive cruise management is not obtainable within the barely cheaper 2.0T Sport and I beloved the additional energy within the turbocharged engine. Nonetheless, if I have been keen to surrender some hustle, I would have a look at the SEL trim for $23,700 and add the know-how package deal for $1,000, tacking on adaptive cruise management, lane retaining help and automated emergency braking.

The 2018 Hyundai Sonata begins at $22,050 for the bottom SE, however my prime of the road Restricted 2.0T strikes that entry level as much as $32,450. Though the driving force’s aids aren’t obtainable on all trim strains, it is a enjoyable and reasonably priced sedan that stunned me with its agility and attractiveness.



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