2018 Hyundai Sonata Review

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2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Andrew Ganz Andrew Ganz
July 16, 2017

The 2018 Hyundai Sonata receives a much-needed injection of style.

Mid-size sedan shoppers will find a little more style than before in the 2018 Hyundai Sonata.

Looking less like a four-door designed by committee than last year’s model, the latest Sonata sees a few tweaks that are more than skin deep and it offers a better value than before.

It’s a compelling, high-value package that may be a little light on personality but is a pleasure to drive and has a roomy interior. We’ve rated it a 7.0 out of 10, a figure that will change once crash-test scores become available. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

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This year, the Sonata has a new look outside, some minor tweaks inside, an available 8-speed automatic transmission, and a new Sport trim level. It’s not an all-new car, but it builds on the redesigned-for-2015 Sonata with a small injection of passion that should help it stand out once again. The Sonata is available in SE, Sport, Eco, and Limited trim levels, with a choice of three 4-cylinder engines.

Sonata SE, SEL Sport, and Limited versions all come standard with a 2.4-liter inline-4 rated at 185 horsepower. Optional on Sport and Limited models is a 2.0-liter turbo-4 rated at 245 hp. The Eco, which we haven’t driven for the 2018 model year, has its own 178-hp 1.6-liter turbo-4 and a unique 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission that helps it achieve the lowest fuel consumption of the group.

Hybrid and plug-in versions of the 2018 Sonata will follow; we’ll update this space when we know more and when we’ve driven them.

Even in Sport trim, the Sonata is quiet and composed; it’s certainly not a corner-carver, but it handles day-to-day tasks exceptionally well. Responsive steering and a plush ride help it stand out.

All trims are well-equipped, and this year Hyundai has significantly sliced the price of its range-topping Limited by deleting a formerly standard panoramic moonroof in favor of a smaller, traditional moonroof, and by dropping heated rear seats. We doubt too many buyers will miss those features, but they’ll probably appreciate the high-value SEL. Intended to be the most popular Sonata, it’s priced aggressively with desirable features such as a power driver’s seat, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, and optional automatic emergency braking.

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2018 Hyundai Sonata Pricing Insights

  • 2017 Sonata in stock; 2018s trickling in
  • Cash: Bonus cash up to $6,750 on 2017s
  • Finance: 0.0% for up to 60 months on 2017s
  • Lease: 2017 Sonata SE from $179 for 36 months
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