Sonata fans, rejoice! The redesigned Hyundai has officially arrived in the Middle East featuring a new exterior, lots of standard safety features, and new engine and transmission options.
We’re spoilt for choice in the mid-size saloon segment but the new Sonata might be a lot of people’s first choice what with a bold new ‘Cascading Grille’ and an all-new rear with more prominent branding. Moving the license plate from the boot lid to the bumper was a nice touch too and it also gets a more sculpted bonnet, redesigned alloys (available in 16, 17, and 18in) vertical LED daytime running lights, LED headlights, and LED taillights.
As for the cabin, you'll find a new centre stack in there, new instrument panel and a sporty three-spoke steering wheel. Piano-key buttons control the audio system and heating, ventilation and AC and the 2018 model can be had with an optional 7.0in colour display audio touchscreen enabled for Apple CarPlay integration. The available sat-nav is enhanced with a bird’s-eye-view feature while some of the new convenience features include remote engine start with smart key and wireless charging pad for smartphones. It packs a host of safety equipment included as standard such as Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA), front and rear Parking Assist (PAS), rear view camera, and Isofix attachment points for child safety seats.
Powertrains include a choice of four-pots; 2.0 and 2.4-litre multi point injection (MPI) engines, 2.4 gasoline direct injection (GDI) engine, and a 2.0-litre turbocharged GDI. The latter is mated to a new eight-speed automatic while the others feature a six-speed automatic.
“We are calling this, ‘Sonata, the Reborn’ because the changed look of the car is so radical, and represents such a big step in moving Hyundai’s design credentials to the front of the market,” says Hyundai’s head of operations for Africa and the Middle East, Mike Song. “Hyundai is investing far more in the Sonata than would normally be expected of a mid-generation update. Every panel forward of the front screen is new, while changes to the rear bumper and trunk lid give the back of the car a completely new look. There are also subtle changes to the body’s side profile – including a redesigned panel for the sill under the door, and a revised chrome trim that frames the windows and runs along the front fender to wrap neatly under the headlamp. Together, all these elements create a car that looks far more dynamic, longer and wider.”