Now worthy of a return? Dramatic facelift Hyundai Sonata debuts
Futuristic Staria-inspired looks a massive departure from the last generation that vacated South Africa eight years ago.
In N Line spec, the Sonata appears dramatic and futuristic at the same time. Image: Hyundai.
Hyundai has completed its roll-out of dramatically restyled sedans by debuting arguably the most futuristic yet, the facelift Sonata at the Seoul Mobility Show in South Korea.
One of the first models to showcase the marque’s Sensual Sportiness design language at its initial unveiling almost exactly four years ago, the redesign sees the Sonata now adopting the same look as the Staria, Stargazer, Accent/Verna and Elantra/Avante.
Facelift? Rather almost new
At the front, the somewhat controversial hexagonal grille bows-out completely in favour of a lower mounted intake with a honeycomb pattern.
Also gone are the headlights replaced by a Staria-inspired thin light bar underneath the bonnet, with the main beams located on the flanks of the bumper above the honeycomb air intakes.
At the rear, the fastback coupe-like sloping roof remains, but the facia has been revised with new H-pattern light clusters, a reshaped bootlid spoiler, full-length LED bar, dual exhaust outlets with chrome tips and model bespoke 19-inch alloy wheels on the sporty N Line model.
More Genesis than Hyundai inside
Inside, the interior has undergone a complete transformation with seemingly little having been carried over from the pre-facelift model.
Repackaged to such an extent that its appears similar to the offerings of upscale brand Genesis, the three-spoke steering wheel is completely new, along with the switchgear, the panel for the climate control and even the dashboard that now sports a curved design.
The latter’s reasoning is, however, justified in the new BMW-like Curved Display infotainment system and instrument cluster, both measuring 12.3-inches. An additional new addition is the Head-Up Display as well as the slimline centre console.
On the specification side, the South Korean market Sonata can be fitted with new metallic inserts, finished in a choice of five interior colours and furnished with an electric tailgate as well as a 12-speaker Bose surround sound system Hyundai claims has been improved to “deliver a rich and immersive listening experience in every seat”.
Just as extensively reworked are the array of safety and driver assistance systems, now inclusive of Remote Park Assist, Blind Spot Collision Assist, Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Safe Exit Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Rear Seat Alert and Lane Following Assist.
Up front, the Sonata will go on-sale in its home market powered by a choice of three engines, and while Hyundai didn’t disclose any power or torque figures, expect the units to be carried over from the ‘original’ without any changes.
Therefore, expect outputs of 14 3kW from the 2.0-litre hybrid, 143kW/245Nm from the normally aspirated 2.5 and 213kW/422Nm from the turbocharged 2.5 T-GDI.
Elsewhere, the Sonata will also be powered by a 1.5 or 1.6-T-GDI a 2.0-litre with and without forced assistance and a 2.0-litre plug-in hybrid.
Depending on the engine, transmissions consist of a six-speed automatic on all hybrid derivatives, a seven-speed dual-clutch, an eight-speed torque converter automatic and an eight-speed dual-clutch.
Set for the commencing of sales later this, but only after its unveiling at next month’s New York Auto Show, the Sonata hasn’t been confirmed for the local market as Hyundai South Africa opted to drop it in 2015 in order to focus on its range of SUVs, crossovers and hatchbacks.
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