Call it a slam dunk, a home run or a knockout, but one way or another Hyundai has a winner on its hands at the 2014 New York Auto Show.
The company just revealed its 2015 Sonata mid-sizer, which adopts the same design language found on the Genesis luxury sedan. Joining standouts like the Mazda6 and Ford Fusion, the new Sonata looks damn good. It’s that simple. Well maybe not entirely, because styling is just the beginning of what’s new for the Sonata.
Slated to go on sale early this summer, the South Korean company will build the Sonata in its Montgomery, Ala. plant. Changes to the car include a revised, stiffer chassis and an improved co-efficient of drag lower than any other non-hybrid sedan in the segment. That probably means the car will be noticeably quieter and more engaging to drive than the outgoing model.
For 2015, Hyundai plans to continue offering customers a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine in all trim levels with the provision for a 2.0-liter turbo engine as well. Starting with the new generation, both of those engines will make less power. The 2.4 will put out 185 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque, which is a mile decrease in both torque and horsepower in favor of a more accessible powerband for most driving situations. The 2.0-liter turbo sees a much greater decrease to 245 hp and 260 lb-ft. For perspective, that represents a drop of 29 hp and 9 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are mated exclusively to a six-speed automatic transmission.
The company is adding a Sport trim that, when mated with the turbocharged engine will also come with bigger brakes, a sportier suspension setup. Those models also come with a more aggressive-looking body, quad exhaust pipes (perhaps signifying each cylinder) and standard 18-inch wheels. Base models will arrive with 16-inch alloy wheels as part of the standard equipment list.
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As with the exterior, Hyundai went to work making the Sonata’s cabin look like it belongs in a more premium segment than it actually competes in. Sport models with the 2.0T get a unique cabin with a flat-bottom steering wheel and paddle shifters. It also gets a special instrument cluster with needles that rest in the 6 o’clock positon.
Regardless of which model customers choose, the company says it revised cabin layout to improve ergonomics. The center stack is aimed toward the driver and looks stylistically similar to the 2015 Genesis.
All models come with Bluetooth, and satellite radio, but there’s also an available eight-inch screen upgrade that adds navigation and a split-screen music display. Cars equipped with the screen can re-wind up to 22 minutes of radio playback and support Siri Eyes Free iPhone integration. The company’s updated Bluelink system is also included and offers upgrades including a remote start feature via mobile devices, destination searching powered by Google and a car care app that can schedule dealer maintenance for the car.
Hyundai is also now offering new convenience technologies including automatically adjusting high beams, adaptive cruise control with the ability to completely stop the vehicle, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert t avoid fender benders while backing out of a driveway.
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GALLERY: 2015 Hyundai Sonata Live Photos
GALLERY: 2015 Hyundai Sonata Official Images
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