The eighth generation of Hyundai’s Sonata family sedan arrived last year bearing a dramatic new look that carries over for 2021.
What’s New/Key Changes From Last Year
In the fall of 2020, Hyundai revealed initial details of a Sonata N-Line model, which will become the sportiest version of this mid-size sedan. The company has said it will join the range as a 2021 model but as of this writing has not revealed technical details or the exact timing of its arrival.
Initially, then, the 2021 Sonata comes in Preferred, Sport, Luxury, and Ultimate trim levels. Preferred uses a 2.5L four-cylinder engine, while the other three trims upgrade to a 1.6L turbo four-cylinder with similar performance figures.
Both engines use an eight-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive.
Hyundai also sells a gas-electric Sonata Hybrid, which is covered in a separate buyer’s guide entry.
Preferred trim’s exterior features include 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic on/off LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, LED taillights, passive keyless entry, hands-free trunk opening, power-adjustable/heated side mirrors, and body-colour door handles and mirrors.
Inside, you get heated front seats with six-way manual adjustments, cloth upholstery, an 8.0-inch infotainment display with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, a six-speaker stereo, a heated/leather-trimmed steering wheel, artificial leather-trimmed door armrests and centre console, air conditioning, a 3.5-inch gauge cluster display, and power windows with driver auto up/down.
Sonata’s standard safety kit comprises radar cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision detection with automatic braking, lane keeping assist, automatic high beams, lane following assist, safety exit warning, and a driver attention monitor.
Sport trim adds 19-inch wheels, premium LED taillights, gloss black exterior trim, sport bumpers, leatherette/suede seating, an eight-way power driver’s seat, rear-seat armrest, satellite radio, connected vehicle features, dark grey headliner, dual-zone automatic climate control, LED interior lighting, and a panoramic sunroof.
Luxury models downgrade to 18-inch wheels and add ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, leather upholstery, a six-way power front passenger seat, 12-speaker Bose audio, rear-seat HVAC vents, a 4.2-inch gauge cluster display, surround-view monitor, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and an integrated garage door remote.
Finally, Ultimate trim brings projector-type LED headlights, rain-sensing wipers, a 10.25-inch infotainment screen, head-up driver display, wireless smartphone charging, a 12.3-inch gauge cluster display, ambient interior lighting, blind view camera, remote parking assist, highway driving assist, and rear automatic cross traffic braking.
According to Hyundai’s fuel consumption estimates, both Sonata engines are rated for 8.8/6.4 L/100 km (city/highway).
With the stylish Sonata, Hyundai goes up against well-known family-car names like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. Other competitors include the Nissan Altima, Subaru Legacy, Kia K5 (formerly the Optima), the Mazda6, and Volkswagen’s Passat.