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2018 Hyundai Sonata Review: First Impressions and Photo Gallery

img 501235609 1492030719329 jpg 2018 Hyundai Sonata | Cars.com photo by Angela Conners

CARS.COM — Hyundai’s reveal of the refreshed 2018 Sonata at the 2017 New York International Auto Show featured two designers creating a beautiful rendering of the 2018 Sonata’s design on paper. The car they drew hugged the ground, had a long wheelbase and fastback roofline looking like something off the design table of a luxury automaker. The 2018 Hyundai Sonata appeared on stage and it has elements of that drawing but clearly after it was pounded into shape by the reality hammer.

More 2017 New York Auto Show Coverage

Hyundai crafted a more interesting mid-size sedan by restyling the front and rear of the Sonata, though not quite as interesting as what the designers put on paper. The front styling is sculpted with lines rippling across the hood that flow downward into the front grille. There’s more definition compared with the 2015-17’s molded cookie cutter look, which was conservative compared with the outgoing Sonata’s bold looks. 

img 504006172 1492030711909 jpg 2018 Hyundai Sonata | Cars.com photo by Angela Conners

The Sonata’s midsection is unchanged, and on the inside, there are new climate and stereo controls that look better and feel of higher quality than the 2017 model. Little has changed overall, however, in sprucing up the interior even on the upscale Limited and 2.0T turbo trims shown at the auto show. The Sonata remains a bit short on luxurious trimmings compared with the plush dashboard padding and metallic-like highlights inside higher trims of the Mazda6 or the warm, inviting interior of the Volkswagen Passat.

img 503082651 1492030713885 jpg 2018 Hyundai Sonata | Cars.com photo by Angela Conners

The rear styling is all-new and repositions the license plate lower on the bumper rather than mid-height on the trunk lid. In its place is a sculpted rear lip spoiler molded into the trunk lid and “Sonata” classily positioned across the back of the car. The taillights are more intricate than the outgoing car and give the rear end a defined shape.

img 473529979 1492030745874 jpg 2018 Hyundai Sonata | Cars.com photo by Angela Conners

Hyundai hasn’t totally re-engineered the Sonata for 2018, but its updates add dimension previously lacking from the exterior and make it more interesting than the car that was redesigned in 2015. It’s still not as boldly designed as the 2011 Sonata that set such a high bar for future model years, though perhaps the next full redesign recaptures the magic.

img 504929693 1492030709731 jpg img 504006172 1492030711909 jpg img 503082651 1492030713885 jpg img 502159130 1492030716905 jpg img 501235609 1492030719329 jpg img 500312088 1492030721698 jpg img 499388567 1492030724737 jpg img 498465046 1492030727255 jpg img 497541525 1492030729725 jpg img 477224063 1492030733076 jpg img 473529979 1492030745874 jpg img 474453500 1492030739976 jpg img 472606458 1492030748846 jpg img 471682937 1492030751399 jpg img 470759416 1492030753470 jpg img 469835895 1492030756746 jpg img 468912374 1492030758071 jpg img 448594912 1492030760459 jpg img 504929693 1492030709731 jpg img 504006172 1492030711909 jpg img 503082651 1492030713885 jpg img 502159130 1492030716905 jpg img 501235609 1492030719329 jpg img 500312088 1492030721698 jpg img 499388567 1492030724737 jpg img 498465046 1492030727255 jpg img 497541525 1492030729725 jpg img 477224063 1492030733076 jpg img 473529979 1492030745874 jpg img 474453500 1492030739976 jpg img 472606458 1492030748846 jpg img 471682937 1492030751399 jpg img 470759416 1492030753470 jpg img 469835895 1492030756746 jpg img 468912374 1492030758071 jpg img 448594912 1492030760459 jpg Photo of Joe Bruzek
Managing Editor Joe Bruzek’s 22 years of automotive experience doesn’t count the lifelong obsession that started as a kid admiring his dad’s 1964 Chevrolet Corvette — and continues to this day. Joe’s been an automotive journalist with Cars.com for 16 years, writing shopper-focused car reviews, news and research content. As Managing Editor, one of his favorite areas of focus is helping shoppers understand electric cars and how to determine whether going electric is right for them. In his free time, Joe maintains a love-hate relationship with his 1998 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am that he wishes would fix itself. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joe-bruzek-2699b41b/ Email Joe Bruzek

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