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2020 Hyundai Sonata – eighth-gen model debuts in NY

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata has been presented at the ongoing New York International Auto Show, several weeks after the Korean carmaker lifted the veils off of the eighth-generation (DN8) model earlier in March.

Styling-wise, the latest Sonata certainly commands quite a bit of presence, with clear inspiration from the Le Fil Rouge (HDC-1) concept. Following the theme of ‘Sensuous Sportiness’, the Sonata now wears a four-door coupe body that is remeniscent of the Volkswagen Arteon and Audi A7 Sportback.

At the front, the Digital Pulse Cascading Grille that blends seamlessly with the sculpted bonnet. Depending on the variant, two different lower apron designs are present, with the more subtle option sporting a wide chrome trim that bisects the upper horizontal grille slats and lower intake, with corner inlets to boot.

A more aggressive look features a bumper with plenty of angular intakes, including a wide-width one further down, while the grille takes on the “parametric jewel” pattern seen on the above-mentioned concept.

The new Sonata retains a design element from the seventh-generation (LF) model with a chrome line that flows from the headlamps, passing the wing mirrors before looping around the windows. However, this has been updated to incorporate what Hyundai calls Hidden Lighting Lamps, which are extensions of the LED daytime running lights.

This lighting architecture was first seen on the concept, and should make the Sonata stand out when they are illuminated at night. Along the sides, you’ll notice a subtle crease line from the front wheels right on through to the rear bumper, “cutting” through the wheels that are offered in 16 to 18 inch sizes.

Moving to the rear, the FC Honda Civic-esque taillights are linked by a light strip, and they are pushed further out to create pointed areas that meet with the side character line.

Dimension-wise, the new Sonata is now longer at 4,900 mm (+45 mm), wider at 1,890 mm (+25 mm) and has an enlarged wheelbase of 2,840 mm (+35 mm). The sleeker look sees a compromise to its height, which now measures 1,445 mm (-30 mm). The new shape also results in a drag coefficient of just 0.27, with a flat underfloor and finned taillights helping in this regard.

The design overhaul extends to the interior too, with a new dashboard layout that is highlighted by a new 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster tucked away within the aeronautic-inspired instrument binnacle.

Other highlights of the interior include a steering wheel that appears to mimic the frown of the sportier bumper option, slim air vents, a two-tone colour scheme, shift-by-wire buttons instead of a traditional gear lever and straightforward climate control switchgear.

A wide range of equipment is available here too, including a Bose Premium sound system, sunroof, heated and ventilated front seats and navigation function. There’s also the Hyundai Digital Key that uses NFC to allow a device or phone to unlock the vehicle.

Safety kit is pretty good too with nine airbags and the latest SmartSense advanced driver assistance systems. Standard on the Sonata are Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, Lane Keeping Assist and Advanced Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go. Other available systems include Highway Driving Assist, Blind-Spot View Monitor and Blind-Spot Collision Warning (BCW) and Safe Exit Assist.

For the United States market, the Sonata is offered with two Smartstream petrol engines. The first is a 2.5 litre naturally-aspirated GDI engine with 191 hp and 245 Nm of torque, while a 1.6 litre turbocharged four-pot makes 180 hp and 264 Nm. Both engines are paired to the same eight-speed automatic transmission, with drive going to the front wheels.

Driving dynamics also gains a boost thanks to enhanced suspension geometry for better stability and responsiveness. Enhancements include reinforcing the subframes for better rigidity, increasing or reducing bump/roll steer, added reinforcement and optimising the thickness of the trailing arm.

Production of the 2020 Sonata starts in September at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, with retail sales beginning from October. Like what you see?



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