2015 Hyundai Sonata
By Laura Burstein
On Sale: Summer 2014
Expected Pricing: Starting around $22,000
An all-new 2015 Hyundai Sonata made its North American debut at April's New York International Auto Show with subtler styling, more standard features and the promise of better driving dynamics. The redesigned Sonata midsize sedan is expected to go on sale in early summer 2014.
Most noticeably, the 2015 Sonata drops the swoopy curves of its predecessor, following the recently refreshed Genesis in adopting Hyundai's Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language. Straighter lines, less chrome, a wider and more angular grille opening, as well as new LED fog lamps give the Sonata a more grown-up (though some say less exciting) look.
Engines carry over from the previous generation, but have been revised to improve performance and efficiency, mostly in the low RPMs. The base 2.4-liter inline-4 makes 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque, while the turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 is good for 245 hp and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. Both are paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Three trim levels offer slightly different takes on the 2015 Sonata: Sonata SE models get LED daytime running lights, a rear lip spoiler, chrome trim around windows and 16-inch alloy wheels. Sonata Limited models get rocker panel extensions and a dual exhaust. Sonata Sport has a unique front grille and side chrome molding. Sport 2.0T models get a quad rear exhaust.
Inside, the redesigned interior echoes the straighter lines of the exterior. Controls are simpler, more elegant and well placed. Most plastic materials have a soft-touch feel. A new steering wheel design matches the latest Sonata's grown-up look.
Standard features will include voice recognition, Bluetooth, satellite radio capability, auxiliary audio jack and USB port. Options include navigation with downloadable apps and a 8-inch display, Hyundai's BlueLink telematics, and a 400-watt Infinity premium audio system.
Optional safety features include forward collision warning, blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert and lane departure warning.
Although the 2015 Sonata competes in the midsize sedan category, it's larger than many of its competitors and is classified by the EPA as a large sedan.
Cargo space in the 2015 Hyundai Sonata measures 16.3 cubic feet, about the same or slightly more than other sedans in its class including the Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord or Toyota Camry.
Driving dynamics should be improved thanks to a number of engineering revisions, which include a more rigid platform that Hyundai says is 41-percent stiffer. A new multilink rear suspension design should equate to better ride and handling. Additional sound deadening materials should reduce noise, vibration and harshness.
The 2015 Hyundai Sonata will be built at Hyundai's manufacturing plant in Montgomery, Alabama. Pricing hasn't been announced, but we expect a modest price increase from the 2014 model, starting at around $22,000.