By Cars.com EditorsAugust 23, 2017
About the video
With classy styling updates, improved driving dynamics and a comfortable interior, there's a lot to like about the 2018 Hyundai Sonata.
(car starting) Hyundai issued a number of updates for its popular Sonata, but this car faces stiff competition in the redesigned Honda accord and Toyota Camry. So, let's see what Hyundai cooked up. And if it's enough to maintain family appeal.
Now this is still the current generation Sonata, which has been around since the 2015 model year. But if you look at the grill, it almost looks like a full redesign of the car in this unit alone. No longer is there a split unit with kind of upper and lower sections. It's all kind of fused into one big grill. It sits lower here. The headlights kind of drape farther back here, along the fenders as well. You get around to the back redesigned tail lights and it says "Sonata" across the trunk lid. That isn't something you see on too many cars these days anymore. Kind of cool that Hyundai is bringing it back. Now, Sonata offers three engines. We have the base engine here at 2.4 liter four cylinder, adequate power, certainly not terribly exciting in the passing lane, but the bigger changes, if you're shopping the base engine, actually, are what Hyundai did to the Chassis. There's an upgraded rear suspension links and bushings. There's increased component stiffness in the steering. There's re-tuned steering overall. And the sum of all that actually makes for a very comfortable riding car that's fairly fun to drive, but you don't get a sense that you're going that fast when you actually are going pretty fast, because the suspensions settles in real nicely on the highway. Steering feedback, steering turning is very, very good. And those are big strides for Hyundai, which has always kind of struggled in that area with the kind of steering numbness, not really the case now with the 2018 Sonata, it's no sports sedan, but you know, it holds its own. Now other changes inside include a redesigned center stack here with some larger climate controls and a nicer finish on certain buttons. You get a seven or eight inch touchscreen. This is the seven inch unit, but no matter what screen you get, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both standard. That's a nice provision to have, but we'd like to see automatic emergency braking, an important safety feature, also join the list of standard features. A lot of key competitors include that feature standard. It remains optional on the 2018 Sonata. Still, Hyundai brings a lot of value to the table. The 2018 Sonata starts around $23,000. Ends up around $33,000 with options. That's a little bit less than a lot of mainstream competitors and you get Hyundai's excellent warranty to boot. The refreshed Sonata may not beat the class at any individual thing, but the refined ride and a lot of features for the dollar merit a serious look from mainstream midsize sedan shoppers.