Hyundai released sketches of a facelifted Sonata last week, and surprisingly, the final product stays true to the expressive design the automaker previewed. Unveiled in Korea today, the updated Sonata receives a host of design changes and a new eight-speed automatic transmission.
Along with the brand’s new “cascading” grille, the Sonata shows off narrower headlights and a sculpted hood that we saw in the teaser last week. It also receives new taillight graphics, a larger trunk lid, and an updated set of wheels. The rear license plate holder has moved downward from the trunk lid to the lower part of the bumper.
As promised, one of Hyundai’s turbocharged models will receive unique design updates. To differentiate the 2.0T model from the rest of the lineup, it dons a mesh radiator grille design as well as black bezel headlamps, a black lower front bumper, black DRL surrounds, dark chrome molding on the lower side body and door handles, and chrome on the rear diffuser.
Inside the cabin, Sonatas get revised HVAC controls and an updated steering wheel with a new three-spoke design. Available features include wireless smartphone charging and an 8-inch screen with navigation system. The 2.0T model receives special goodies including bolstered front seats, a flat-bottom steering wheel, and a sporty shift knob. Lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, high beam assist, blind spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive headlights make up some of the Sonata’s safety features.
Globally, the Hyundai Sonata will offer a 1.7-liter diesel engine making 139 hp, a 1.6-liter turbo making 178 hp, a 2.0-liter making 161 hp, and the range-topping 2.0-liter turbo with more than 240 hp. The 2.0T models receive a new eight-speed automatic, while the 1.6-liter turbo gets new paddle shifters. Powertrain options vary depending on the market, Hyundai says.
It’s unclear exactly when we’ll see the updated Sonata in the U.S., but it will arrive for the 2018 model year. Hyundai says the facelifted Sonata is headed to some markets by the middle of this year.