Like the i30, it has a more sophisticated look than before and shares the hatchback’s signature Cascading Grille, that’s flanked by sleek new headlights, the top edge of which blend with the window line. Its sleek silhouette leads to a re-modelled rear featuring slimmer tail lights and the Sonata name elegantly displayed across the boot face.
The Sonata range has also been streamlined to two variants, with the mid-spec Elite withdrawn, leaving the entry-level Active, and Premium models.
Both retain their respective engines with the active powered by the 138kW/241Nm 2.4L naturally-aspirated petrol engine and six-speed automatic transmission.
The Sonata Premium’s 180Kw/353Nm 2.0L turbocharged petrol engine also carries over but is now paired with a new, more efficient, eight-speed automatic gearbox which adds a little torque and reduces fuel consumption from 9.2L/100km to 8.5L/100km.
The new transmission also brings four drive modes – ‘Comfort’, ‘Eco’, ‘Sport’, and ‘Smart which automatically switches between the other three modes depending on how the car is being driven.
Infotainment has been upgraded, with a new 8.0-inch touchscreen incorporating Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity and satellite navigation as standard across the range.
Both 2018 Sonata variants feature additional specification upgrades over the outgoing model, with the Sonata active also gaining dual zone climate control, push button entry/start, hands free opening boot and chrome exterior door handles.
The range-topping Premium also gains LED headlights, driver attention alert and wireless phone charging pad.
Both variants feature a new-look, three-spoke steering wheel, with the Premium getting a flat-bottomed wheel and unique gear knob for a sportier look.
Automatic emergency braking is still absent from the Sonata, though the Premium is equipped with other active safety measures such as blind spot detection, driver attention alert, lane change assist, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, active cruise control, and park assist.
Despite the changes, the Sonata Active will cost just $500 more than the outgoing model ($30,990) and the Premium's price will remain at $45,490.
The 2018 Hyundai Sonata will start rolling into showrooms next month.