As of last October, Hyundai Motor’s quarterly net profit has dipped to its lowest point in four years –partially due to a protracted strike at home as well as weaknesses in their emerging markets. Hyundai further announced that roughly 1 000 company executives will take a 10 percent pay cut as they prepared to fall short of sales targets for the second year in a row. In light of this, this year’s Hyundai Sonata is revamped and redesigned in hopes of recovery and to reverse the fall in sales for the sedan. In both the United States and Canada, sedans have been losing ground in favour of crossovers and SUVs which have been gained popularity amidst lower fuel prices. Officially, Canadian sales of the Sonata have been in a direct decline for five years, having dropped from a peak of 16 343 in 2011 to a meager 10 191 in 2016.
The new design, which has also been compared to the latest Elantra, also by Hyundai, boasts a larger and deeper grille with a horizontal-bar insert on base models and a mesh design on the Sonata Turbo. The 2.0T model features more stylish design cues with blackout trim on the front along with a black chrome finish on its lower side body, door handles and rear lamps as well as chrome accents on the rear diffuser and integrated exhaust outlets. The altered design of the Sonata, with its altered sheet metal, its sleek curves and its bigger grille, is a throwback to the Sonata designs of 2009 which helped revive its North American market but received mixed reviews in the more conservative spheres of South Korea. Similar to the 2009 model, Hyundai is aiming for an affordable price that will encourage car buyers to turn away from SUVs and crossovers in this uncertain economy. The variants offered with the new model include revised tail lamp graphics and multiple detail refinements while new, model-specific 17-inch and 18-inch alloy wheel options have also been made available for customization.
The outside design isn’t the only aspect of the vehicle that has received upgraded options for customization. The cabin of the 2018 Sonata can now be altered with various trims, new steering wheels, user-friendly HVAC controls, wireless smartphone charging capabilities, a rear-seat USB charge port, as well as support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The turbo also features a
shift-knob so that the driver can select Comfort, Eco, Sport, or Smart drive modes with ease.
According to a spokesperson for the automaker, the 2018 Sonata is tentatively scheduled for release later this summer; however, there is no official word on pricing, nor any other additional details to be offered at this point in time.