New York 2017 has been a big show for the Koreans, and here’s one reason why: the Hyundai Sonata facelift. The Sonata facelift features much sportier styling that should bode well with Australian mid-sizer buyers upon the car’s launch in the third quarter of 2017.
The confident new look will no doubt be something of a relief for Hyundai Australia, whose Sonata sales have fallen 72.9% in the first three months of 2017, with just 168 sales in total.
The Hyundai Sonata Series II ushers in a whole raft of changes for the Korean mid-sizer, including a new eight-speed automatic for variants with the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, responding to criticism of the engine’s responsiveness and high fuel use.
Also headlining the changes to the Sonata is a new exterior design, with sharper headlights with LED lighting, and a much more angular rear. The Hyundai cascade grille features more aggressively this time around, and LED daytime running lights now feature.
The rear of the car is brand new with more angular and sharper tailights. The rear licence plate position has moved from the bootlid to the rear bumper, with the Sonata badging now falling in the middle of the bootlid. The tailights also feature new graphics, with three-pointed LED sections in each part of the light. The rear bumper is much deeper this time around, with an integrated tailpipe to the left and reflectors on each side.
Another addition to the range that will also help increase sales will be the more aggressive look of the Sport models (the red car shown in these pictures), which Hyundai Australia are reportedly considering as additions to the local turbo lineup. The more aggressive sports look is accentuated by larger alloy wheels with Michelin tyres, a sports bodykit with a black mesh grille and black headlights with dark chrome surrounds.
Inside the Hyundai Sonata facelift, a new three-spoke leather steering wheel is obvious to the eye. Not so obvious are higher quality interior trims, including a more liberal use of piano black and new grey wood dashboard inserts, and a new eight-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The rear seat also gain a USB port for passengers to charge their devices, as well as in-built rear sunshades for each rear window.
Elsewhere, the car is changed under the skin, with a chassis that has been changed to provide more dynamic handling, a quieter and smoother ride and a superior NVH calibration. Hyundai claims that the steering’s torsion bar stiffness was increased by 12 percent to aid steering weight. In addition to that, a new steering calibration was developed to increase on-centre steering feel and responsiveness.
Finally, the Sonata’s rear suspension was also altered, with 21 percent thicker trailing arms to better suppress bumps and changes in the road and new suspension bushings to quicken the car’s response time to changes in road conditions.
No doubt the Australian tuning team will further enhance the Hyundai Sonata’s overall dynamics before the car goes on sale here. With lessening sales in the mid-size market and the stopping of Australian Toyota Camry production (a move that will cross the car off many company car lists), Hyundai Australia is looking forward to a re-energised Sonata lineup. With a new look, added equipment, mechanical changes and Hyundai’s strong value for money philosophy, there’s no reason why the Sonata facelift shouldn’t do well Down Under.
Chasing Cars will bring you news of the facelifted Hyundai Sonata as soon as it is launched in Australia.