2018 Hyundai Sonata Review

2018 Hyundai Sonata Review

2018 Hyundai Sonata Review – A Good Sedan That Struggles To Stand Out

If you need any more evidence about how good ‘everyday’ cars are getting, this Hyundai Sonata should do the trick. Once looked down on as a budget brand with limited features and poor quality, Hyundai has risen to be one of the more respected brands when it comes to quality. Having some of the best warranties in the business has helped them both gain trust in the market and pushed them to increase their reliability. In recent years, the interior fit and finish and content of features have risen to the levels of some of its competitors who have been making cars far longer.

For 2018, the body shape has been refined, with new front and rear fascias. There’s always been a nice sloping roofline in the d-pillar area, giving the sedan a coupe-like profile. It’s a handsome sedan, certainly not destined to win any design awards, but very easy on the eyes nonetheless. The changes for the new model ramp up the feel of refinement even a bit more, with more chrome and a bolder grille. Overall, high marks for design.

There will be some new engine choices as soon as they start hitting dealer showrooms. Our test car was equipped with the legacy normally aspirated (non-turbo) 2.4-Liter 4-cylinder. This engine leaves a bit to be desired, especially in the low-end torque department. Paired with the laggy 6-speed automatic, there’s not too much excitement to be had with acceleration. We look forward to trying the 245hp 2.0-liter turbocharged engine in the future, because the 185hp in the test model was a bit lacking. Not to mention that the turbo will be paired with an 8-speed automatic as well, giving more available ratios too. We expect a boost in driving enjoyment and possibly economy as well.

On the inside, the Sonata is nicely appointed, especially for the price point. In a sedan where you can have a fully-loaded model for just over $30k, there’s lots to like here. The materials and build quality are generally good, but there are a few let downs. First of all, every time you start it with the dome light on, there’s a little strobe show. I would hope that the electrical system would have been designed with a little more thought. Another small annoyance is that the color temperature of the dome lights in the front and rear seat are completely different temperatures, with the front being a bit blue and the rear more yellow. These little things wouldn’t stand out so much if the rest of the car wasn’t as good as it was. 

There’s a full complement of safety features as well, with blind-spot monitors, lane assist, emergency braking and lane assist. All great features at this price point. The entertainment systems have tons of applications, great ease of use and tons of smartphone integration features. Even the front seats are heated and cooled, something typically reserved for much higher-priced luxury sedans. The net effect is a car with more features than you expect at a price you can afford. 

With one of industry’s best warranties, 5-year 60k miles bumper to bumper and 10-year 100k mile powertrain, you can own one with confidence. I would wait until you can get the 2.0-liter turbo, but some buyers might prefer to have a less-complex engine instead. If you’re in the market for a mid-sized sedan, you owe it to yourself to check this one out. A few other brands are offering a little bit more performance or refinement for a similar budget, but the Sonata is now firmly in the conversation. With so little to choose between the cars themselves, that warranty looks to be an even stronger selling point.