2024 Hyundai Sonata Review: First Drive

Mike Schlee
by Mike Schlee
The 2024 Hyundai Sonata receives a thorough refresh inside and out this year, improving on an already good sedan.

2024 Hyundai Sonata Review: First Drive Quick Take

Hyundai continues to pursue the family sedan market with the refreshed 2024 Sonata. Never a brand to shy away from radical redesigns, the new car features a drastically different look up front and in the rear. What hasn’t changed are the engines, with a choice of three four-cylinder engines, one naturally aspirated, one turbocharged, and the other a hybrid.

After a week driving the new Sonata, we analyze whether Hyundai has made a solid effort in updating the brand’s mid-size sedan, or if the manufacturer performed minimal finessing in a segment on the decline.

The 2024 mode year sees most of Hyundai’s sedan lineup get refreshed, including the Sonata. While many manufacturers are opting out of this segment, Hyundai continues to soldier on with a variety of Sonata models to choose from, if you live in the USA.

American consumers have the choice of four trim levels, three powertrains including a hybrid, and two drivetrains. The range starts with the SEL that can be had with front- or all-wheel drive. Next is the sporty 290 horsepower N-Line that is front-wheel drive only. There are also a pair of front-wheel drive Hybrid trims available, the SEL Hybrid and SEL Limited.

In Canada the hybrid has been dropped for 2024 so the Sonata only comes in entry level Preferred and sporty N-Line. The former is what I have on hand for the review, a 2024 Hyundai Sonata Preferred AWD. Although there are plenty of similarities between the Canadian Preferred trim and the American SEL trim, there are some key differences. But more on that later

What’s New for 2024: Thorough Refresh

There are plenty of updates for the 2024 Hyundai Sonata as it received an extensive update. Starting up front, everything on the exterior is new from the windshield forward, with the goal being improved aerodynamics. The rear fascia of the car is also heavily revised and includes an integrated spoiler.

Inside, there is a new dash layout that includes a curved panel housing the driver information center and the infotainment system. The latter now includes wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Finally, the last major change is the inclusion of an all-wheel drive option on 2.5-liter four-cylinder models.

The Canadian 2024 Hyundai Sonata Preferred comes only one way, well-equipped with either front- or all-wheel drive. The American SEL trim starts out with far less features but can have most added through the Convenience package. The problem is customers can not include the Convenience package with all-wheel drive. So my tester, full of features and all-wheel drive, has no direct equivalent in the United States.

2024 Hyundai Sonata Exterior Style: Wild as Ever

As usual, the Hyundai Sonata features some wild styling, looking quite different from last year's car.

As stated earlier, the 2024 Hyundai Sonata features a wild exterior. Up front, the single light bar running the width of the body conforms with some of the brand’s recent designs. Positioned a bit lower are the headlight clusters and grille.

Out back, highlights include integrated air blades on the rear spoiler and a retro-feeling, multi-square taillight design. The side sills and lower bumper portions are semi-flared out, giving the 2024 Sonata a sporty look.

Overall, I find the 2024 Sonata design to be more cohesive and interesting than the 2023 model. Another highlight are the two-tone, intricate 18-inch alloy wheels that match the general vibe of the sedan. The styling isn't subtle and some may find it too extreme.

Powertrain and Fuel Economy: Keeping It Simple

Powering entry level versions of the 2024 Hyundai Sonata is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine.

Under the hood of all-wheel drive Sonata’s is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. If one is inclined to peek at the engine, doing so is easy as the Sonata features a rarity on mainstream cars these days – gas hood struts. Regardless of which wheels are driven, the Preferred and SEL Sonatas include an eight-speed automatic transmission.

In our current age of horsepower insanity, especially when it comes to EVs, 191 hp feels a bit tepid. Part of the issue may be that the Sonata still uses a naturally aspirated engine and I’m getting accustomed to small, torquey turbocharged engines. That stated, when the rpms build, there is sufficient levels of power from the 2.5-liter. The engine just needs to be worked a bit harder and the transmission drop a few gears to really get it moving.

A light bar stretches across the entire front fascia of the 2024 Hyundai Sonata

Anyone coming from a four-cylinder family sedan of the past 10 years will find the power and acceleration more than fine in the Sonata. I’m just jaded and corrupted by all the high-power machinery I drive week to week.

Drive the car gently and owners should see returns of 25 mpg (9.9 L/100 km) city and 34 mpg (7.0 L/100 km) highway for the all-wheel drive 2024 Sonata. Compared to the front-wheel drive Sonata, that’s basically the same figure in the city, but slightly worse on the highway.

Handling and Drivability: Can't Beat a Car

The 2024 Hyundai Sonata Preferred comes with two-tone 18-inch wheels as standard equipment

The 2024 Hyundai Sonata Preferred, as well as the SEL w/ Convenience Package, come standard wearing 18-inch wheels and 235/45R18 tires all around. Even with all-wheel drive, the car weighs a respectable 3,466 pounds (1,572 kg).

The Sonata’s handling is better than the average vehicle, mainly because this is a car and not a utility vehicle. It’s not a sport sedan by any means, especially in this lower trim. But the physics of having a car’s lower center of gravity versus a SUV, plus a long wheelbase and semi-wide tires, adds up to a competent companion when approaching bends in the road. Along with less body roll, weight transfer is easier to feel and manipulate.

The Sonata is also a great highway cruiser, another hallmark of mid-size sedans. The 2024 Hyundai Sonata eats up miles of winding freeway, tracking straight.

Ride Quality and Comfort: Pampered Front Passengers

Front seat passengers enjoy ample space and power seats that are heated and ventilated.

Complimenting the decent reflexes mentioned above, the 2024 Hyundai Sonata offers pleasing ride comfort. Not the squishiest suspension on the road, the car absorbs bumps well, never jarring passengers.

Those that are riding inside receive 38.4-inches (975 mm) of headroom up front and 37.4-inches (950m) in the rear. To help accommodate taller passengers in the back seat, there are molded cut-outs in the headliner for the outboard occupants.

Rear seat passengers get adequate headroom but a bit less legroom. The extra side windows allow more light in the cabin.

Legroom for those up front is massive, measuring 46.1-inches (1,170 mm). The rear seat is less impressive at 34.8-inches (885 mm). The lack of legroom is partially made up by small side windows placed behind the rear doors. This adds a bit more light and an airiness to the rear half of the car. The Panoramic sunroof helps in that regard as well.

Back up front, the driver gets a power seat with memory, while the passenger also receives a power seat. Both are heated and ventilated, while there is also a heated steering wheel. Overall comfort is as expected, with no comments good or bad from either front occupant after a week’s worth of driving.

Interior Style and Quality: Hitting Above It's Weight

We like the restrained, yet stylish interior of the 2024 Hyundai Sonata. The materials are soft touch throughout.

The interior design is more restrained style-wise compared to the exterior. It’s not bland or void of personality, it’s just reined in throughout the cabin. We like that soft touch material is used for the top of the dashboard, as well as the inside rear door panel sill. The latter is a rarity in plenty of vehicles these days.

Although the interior does look and feel somewhat familiar to the countless Hyundai SUV’s I’ve driven over the years, there’s a cleaner, more premium feeling in the Sonata. Items like the stylish HVAC controls are especially high-end looking.

Tech and Safety: Master of Illusions

Although this looks like a digital dash, it is in fact not. Hyundai does a good job making it look higher end than it is.

Hyundai employes some illusion trickery with the standard driver information center on lower trim models. Central to the driver is a non-color 4.2-inch vertical digital screen. On either side are large gauges, one for speed and one for rpms. Each gauge includes a small display screen in the middle that shows the current numerical value. The actual gauges consist of a series of bars that light up as the values increase and can even be different colors depending on drive mode. All these elements add-up to give the allusion that the 4.2-inch driver information center is fully digital when it is not. It’s a nice touch, furthering the car’s premium feel.

Regardless of trim, the Sonata features a 12.3-inch infotainment screen. It uses the usual Hyundai software, albeit a bit stripped down as this lower trim level lacks some features. Neither Canada nor the USA include a wireless phone charger in the entry level Sonata. In Canada it’s only available in the N-Line while American customers can get it with the Convenience package in the SEL.

Safety assists are in abundance, with blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot collision mitigation, rear-cross traffic alert, lane keep assist, lane following assist, driver attention warning, forward collision avoidance assist and more all included.

Value Dollars and Sense: Where It Should Be

The 2024 Hyundai Sonata gets new taillights that consist of a series of rectangle LED lights

In the United States, the 2024 Hyundai Sonata starts at a price of $28,650 (all prices include destination charges). As tested, the closest equivalent model would be the SEL w/ the Convenience package, which comes in at $31,700. Of course, it’s missing the $1,500 AWD option that can’t be combined with the Convenience package.

In Canada the Sonata starts at a higher price of $34,524 but does come with more features standard. As tested the price jumps up a little thanks to the addition of all-wheel drive, ringing in at $36,774.

Regardless of country, these prices undercut similarly equipped all-wheel drive versions of the Toyota Camry. In the United States it also undercuts the Nissan Altima, while in Canada pricing is very close.

2024 Hyundai Sonata Final Thoughts

Although the 2024 Hyundai Sonata has a fast back appearance, it is really a traditional sedan.

Hyundai continues to make a case for the family sedan. The brand could have easily mailed it in with the Sonata’s refresh, and I wouldn’t blame the manufacturer for doing so, as this is a shrinking segment. Hyundai chose a different path though, improving the car inside and out.

It shows in the entry-level 2024 Sonata that isn’t really all that entry-level. The reworked Preferred/SEL trims battle against more mid-trim vehicles from Hyundai’s key competitors. Here, it’s well positioned with plenty of features, pleasing driving dynamics, and available AWD, all for a competitive price. Just how competitive it is to the likes of the new 2025 Toyota Camry and other mid-size survivors is something we plan to find out in the future.






Handling and Drivability


Passenger Comfort


Ride Quality


Exterior Style


Interior Style and Quality




Cargo Capacity and Towing






Emotional Appeal






Premium Interior

Rear seat legroom

Well calibrated chassis

Styling not for everyone

Available AWD

No standard wireless charging pad

2024 Hyundai Sonata FAQs

  • Q: Is the 2024 Hyundai Sonata coming to Canada?
  • A: Yes it is, but not the hybrid model
  • Q: What's the price of the 2024 Hyundai Sonata?
  • A: In the United States it starts $28,650 including destination charges. In Canada it starts at $34,524 including destination charges.
  • Q: Will the 2024 Hyundai Sonata have AWD?
  • A: Yes, the 2.5-liter naturally aspirated engine can be matched up with AWD.



2.5-liter four-cylinder


191 hp, 181 lb-ft





Fuel Economy USA (MPG):

25 city, 34 highway

Fuel Economy Canada (L/100 km):

9.9 city, 7.0 highway

Starting Price USA:


Starting Price Canada:


As Tested Price USA:

$31,700 + $1,500

As Test Price Canada:


Mike Schlee
Mike Schlee

A 20+ year industry veteran, Mike rejoins the AutoGuide team as the Managing Editor. He started his career at a young age working at dealerships, car rentals, and used car advertisers. He then found his true passion, automotive writing. After contributing to multiple websites for several years, he spent the next six years working at the head office of an automotive OEM, before returning back to the field he loves. He is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), and Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA). He's the recipient of a feature writing of the year award and multiple video of the year awards.

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