Hyundai unveils new Sonata with design that reminds of Verna and Kona EV
Hyundai has taken the covers off the eighth generation Sonata ahead of its official debut at the Seoul Auto Show in South Korea on March 30. The new Sonata appears sharper and bolder from the outsides with several changes in its design, both outside and inside the cabin. The looks, which resembles Hyundai's new design philosophy already seen in models like new Kona electric SUV or Verna sedan launched in India, makes the sedan stand out from its previous generation avatar. Hyundai will launch the new Sonata in global markets in both its standard version as well as hybrid variants.
The new Sonata gets the signature LED daytime running light bar that stretches across the hood. The same has been seen on the new generation Hyundai Verna launched earlier this month in India. It is also similar to the new Kona electric SUV or the Staria MPV from the Korean carmaker. The LED headlights, bumpers, fenders have all been updated. The grille now comes with the Parametric Jewel theme. All these changes make the new Sonata look more aerodynamic, lower and sharper. The N-Line versions will come with N-Line badging and a slightly different-looking front grille.
At the rear, the new Sonata features LED taillight strip like the front DRL bar that runs across the entire rear boot lid. It comes with a black bar and the Hyundai logo in the middle. The T-shaped taillights are also similar to the ones seen on Ioniq 5 and other new generation Hyundai models.
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On the inside, the Sonata facelift comes with a new dashboard design that offers a 12.3-inch twin touchscreen display as infotainment screen and instrument cluster. The curved screen, also seen inside the new Verna, is to help provide a improved viewing angle for the driver. The sedan also gets fully extended air vents, new central climate control panel, a new three-spoke steering wheel among other changes.
The Sonata facelift continues to be offered with shift-by-wire system that ditches the conventional gear knob. This makes it easier for the drivers to reach the gear knob, as well as provide a larger storage space and cup holder and comfortable hand rest too.
Hyundai has not revealed the full technical specifications of the new Sonata yet. It is currently offered in hybrid version, and three different petrol powertrain units. The Sonata Hybrid comes with a 2.0-litre Smartstrem GDi HEV engine which can generate 152 PS of power and 188 Nm of peak torque. Coupled with an electric motor, the sedan can churn out 38 kW of power and 205 Nm of peak torque. The overall output of the sedan is 195 PS while the mileage is claimed to be over 20 kmpl.
Besides the hybrid version, Sonata is also available with a 1.6-litre turbo engine with a direct fuel injection system (T-GDI) and a 2.5-litre naturally aspirated unit. Both engines are mated to an eight-speed conventional automatic gearbox. The most powerful engine, used in the Hyundai Sonata N-Line, is a 2.5-litre turbo engine which can produce 285 hp of power and 422 Nm of peak torque. It comes mated to an eight-speed DCT transmission unit.