Newly revealed Hyundai Sonata a surprise sedan stunner
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When was the last time you applied any actual thought into Hyundai's inoffensive five-door sedan?
Yes, it's still sold here after getting a mild update last year. But it's safe to say that it's not necessarily a huge seller for the brand, unlike their SUV line headed by the well-received new Kona, Santa Fe, and updated Tucson.
But, perhaps it's time to care about the Sonata again, because the new-look 2020 model has just debuted ahead of its world premiere at the New York Auto Show next month.
From the outset, the new Sonata is much more visually daring than the current model, with various swoops and curves working adjacent to each other. There's a few rather interesting lines to mention; such as the curious contour that arcs over the rear wheel and door handles before turning in on itself to frame around the taillights. The use of chrome is also unique, particularly with the long strand that extends from the tip of the headlights to the length of the belt-line.
The base of that chrome strip actually functions as a day-time running light (picture below). Hyundai refer to this as its 'Hidden Lighting Lamps' — appearing as chrome when switched off and becoming a striking set of lights when switched on.
The chrome 'chin' under the primary grill is echoed at the back by a similarly shaped LED taillight that spans the whole boot-lid. The thought injected into the Sonata's design shows that it's a product with intentions greater than just snaring fleet buyers.
“Sonata celebrates innovative coupe-like silhouette — a short overhang, sloping roofline and low deck lid create a balanced feel, and Hyundai’s signature chrome accent now goes all the way into the hood, making it look even longer. It also has LED lighting built in," says Hyundai Design Centre head Sang Yup Lee.
"These cues bring the Sensuous Sportiness design to life.”
Impressive design continues inside. A two-tone interior is featured in the initial press shots, looking decidedly premium. A unique steering wheel design, large central display integrated into the dashboard, digital guage, a button-based gear selector, and a smartphone and proximity-based digital car key underline the sedan's 'premium' vibe.
What's no doubt set to help the new Sonata's luxury credentials is the model's latest growth spurt. This 2020 model is 25mm wider and 45mm longer overall than the current model. Most importantly the wheelbase has grown by 35mm, too, meaning more room inside for occupants front and back. Balancing out these changes while simultaneously adding to the Sonata's handsome appearance is the fat that it's now also 30mm lower than the current model.
Interest in mid and large-size sedans is at a low these days. But in the case of the new Sonata, it won't be for a lack of trying. It's expected to start hitting various markets towards the end of this year.