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  • 3/4 Front Glamour 2018 Hyundai Sonata
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Expert's Rating

3.5Good | Details

MPG

25 City / 34 Highway

Car purchases may be dwindling but still make up nearly a quarter of the automotive pie, and the midsize sedan continues to make a strong case with its practicality, price, and proportions. However, seeing its own numbers dwindle last year and continuing into 2017, Hyundai introduces a new Sonata for 2018 in hopes to inject some life into its struggling sedan sales.

What's New for 2018

The Hyundai Sonata receives a significant mid-generation refresh for 2018. Updates include a new eight-speed automatic transmission option, redesigned exterior and interior elements, added connectivity features, updated safety technology packaging, improved dynamics, and streamlined trim packages.

Hyundai Sonata

Choosing Your Hyundai Sonata

A front-wheel drive midsize sedan, the 2018 Hyundai Sonata is available with three engines and three automatic transmissions.

The standard engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder which produces 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque, and is paired with a six-speed automatic. The EPA rates fuel economy at 25 city miles per gallon, 36 highway, and 29 combined (SE only) and 25/35/28 (SEL, Sport, and Limited).

A 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder pumps out 245 hp and 260 lb-ft and works alongside an eight-speed automatic – look for this combo on top-of-the-line trims. At 23/32/26, fuel economy improves by one point in both city and highway driving but remains unchanged in combined mpg.

Lastly, a 1.6-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder is reserved for the Eco trim level and is matched with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. Power output is 178 hp and 195 lb-ft. EPA numbers are 28 city mpg, 37 highway, and 31 combined—representing a one mpg improvement on the highway.

All Sonata vehicles receive redesigns to the front and rear fascias. Most models will be outfitted with Hyundai’s new “cascading” grille while 2.0-liter turbo-equipped models will showcase more aggressive styling with an exclusive sport grille, front fascia, rear diffuser, rocker panels, and dual exhausts.

Interior changes include a new steering wheel, instrument dials, and center stack as well as available smartphone integration, wireless device charging, and a rear USB charging point.

Vehicles equipped with Hyundai’s Blue Link connected car system will now receive the service complimentary for three years. Previously, trial periods ranged from one year (Connected Care) to three months (Remote and Guidance packages).

The 2018 Hyundai Sonata is available in five trim levels:

SE

Starting at $22,935 (including $885 destination charge), the entry-level SE model sees a negligible $100 MSRP increase and is equipped with the 2.4L engine. Standard features include 16-inch wheels, blind spot monitoring, a rearview camera, heated side mirrors with turn-signal indicators, cloth seats, 60/40-split rear seats, a 7-inch color audio touchscreen, a 6-speaker sound system, and smartphone integration. There are no available options packages.

Eco

Dubbed the lineup’s fuel efficiency leader, the Eco model sees a $475 price drop to start at $23,535. Aside from its thrifty 1.6-liter, turbocharged powertrain, the Eco features all the standard amenities of the SE model with no additional packages offered.

SEL

At $24,585, SEL models continue the lowered-price theme with $650 in year-over-year savings. Seventeen-inch aluminum alloys replace the 16-inch wheels of SE and Eco models, with heated outside mirrors, LED daytime running lights, keyless ignition, a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar, heated front seats, a second-row USB port, and a 4.2-inch color information gauge cluster coming standard, too.

Other trim-level distinctions include chrome exterior door handles, leatherette door trim inserts, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Blue Link, SiriusXM, and HD Radio are now standard, too.

An available Tech Package ($1,000) adds safety features like automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and an electronic parking brake.

Sport

The only Sonata trim to receive a notable price increase for 2018, the Sport is available with two engines: the standard 2.4-liter for $26,085 (up $1,800) or the optional 2.0-liter turbo for $28,485 (up $1,000). No options packages are available.

Befitting considering its name, added features include sport-style exterior features with standard interior niceties such as a power sunroof (no longer panoramic), cloth seats with leather sport bolsters, LED interior lights, 3D tech accents, aluminum pedals, a leather-trimmed flat-bottomed steering wheel and sport shift knob, and paddle shifters.

Opting for the turbocharged 2.0-liter engine with 8-speed automatic also adds 18-inch wheels with premium tires, larger front brakes, a sport-tuned suspension as well as a rack-mounted motor-driven power steering that replaces the standard column-mounted system.

Limited

Like the Sport, Limited models are available with either the 2.4- or 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines. The former starts at $28,285 (up $250) and the latter begins pricing at $33,335 (down $1,900).

Trim-exclusive features include adaptive headlights, LED taillights, leather seats with ventilated fronts, a six-way power passenger seat, auto up/down driver’s window, dual-zone climate control, and woodgrain interior trim.

The Ultimate Package ($2,900) adds the Tech Package plus automatic high beams, rear parking assistance, an eight-inch navigation touchscreen, real-time traffic, an Infinity sound system, a heated steering wheel, wireless charging, and sunshades for rear side windows.

The top-of-the-line Limited 2.0T receives all the performance tuning of the Sport 2.0T model as well as the amenities of the Limited with Ultimate package. Exclusive to this specification are full leather seats with sport bolsters.

CarsDirect Tip

By keeping things simple, Hyundai makes Sonata shopping rather effortless thanks to a robust number of standard features and minimal package options. The SEL Tech will give you a well-equipped commuter with affordable monthly payments, while those wanting a more dynamic drive home should spring for a Sport 2.0T.

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Best Hyundai Deals & Lease Offers: January 2019

Deals for buying & leasing a Hyundai are unimpressive in January. Nearly every 2018 model has sold out and deals on 2019 stock haven't ramped-up. For example, last month's... View All Hyundai Lease Deals »

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Insider Information

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