Hyundai has touched up its Sonata mid-size sedan for 2018 with an updated appearance and new standard safety features.
This is the first facelift for this sedan since a 2015 redesign that took the car into its seventh generation, and typically for such a mid-cycle cosmetic change it brings restyled headlights, grille and taillights, all of which are aimed at giving the car a more upscale look.
Of note is the "cascading" grille, a styling element Hyundai says will migrate to other Hyundai models as they undergo their own redesigns.
Inside, the Sonata gets new steering wheel and gauge cluster and a redesigned dash that doesn't look much different than that in the outgoing car but promises higher-quality materials.
Safety gets a boost too, with the addition of blind spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert as standard across the line, and cars with the optional lane departure warning system will gain lane keep assist. A backup camera is now standard too, thanks to a new Canadian regulation that will require one in every new car sold here as of May, 2018.
Tech-wise, you'll access the Blue Link infotainment system through a seven-inch touchscreen Hyundai says will offer better responsiveness and smoother operation than in the 2017 model.
Turbocharged 2.0T models will get a new eight-speed transmission to put that 2.0L engine's 245 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque to the road. Entry-level trims stick with a 2.4L four-cylinder (185 hp/178 lb-ft) and a six-speed automatic.
Carried over from 2017, styling and all, are the Sonata's hybrid and plug-in-hybrid (PHEV) variants, which match a 2.0L engine with an electric motor for a total of 193 hp.
The Sonata's new look gives Hyundai something to talk about as it markets its family sedan in a segment where brand-new versions of the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry are stealing this year's headlines. This car's appearance isn't as dramatic as that of those Japanese juggernauts, but it certainly has more presence than before, particularly when viewed from the front.
Fuel consumption estimates are 9.8/6.9 L/100 km (city/highway) for 2.4L cars and 10.4/7.4 with the turbocharged engine.