On April 16, Hyundai Motor America introduced is redesigned seventh-generation 2015 Sonata at the New York International Auto Show. The automaker notes that the new iteration offers a more refined look via a new Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language, stiffer body structure, improved ride quality, reduced noise, vibration and harshness, and advanced safety and convenience features. Hyundai claims that the Sonata mimics the premium design and convenient technology of the Genesis sedan for the mid-size class. The vehicle will be built in the US at the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama plant in Montgomery, Alabama. It is expected to appear at Los Angeles dealerships early this summer.
Hyundai notes that the 2015 Sonata sports a larger, more sophisticated grille with a wide air intake. Taut, horizontal rocker panels echo the chassis’ increased stability and surefootedness. The coupe-like roofline is unchanged in this iteration; however, it is balanced by a larger window graphic, which underscores the roomier interior. Horizontal lines in the rear accentuate Sonata’s width and give the car a planted look. The vehicle achieves an impressive drag coefficient of just 0.27, which is lower than any non-hybrid in the mid-size sedan class.
The Sonata Sport features a more aggressive front grille and bumper, side rocker extensions, and side chrome molding. It is available in a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and a 2.0 liter turbo version. All models feature an updated interior with a special emphasis on ergonomics. All components inside the cabin were evaluated and refined. Controls are grouped logically and placed in the most convenient position for the driver. Intuitive buttons and controls are placed on the center stack, which is angled toward the driver to make the controls easier to reach. Hyundai claims its core interior design principles are safety, intuitiveness and simplicity.
The 2015 Sonata incorporates high-strength steel for more than 50% of total platform composition; thus, yielding a 41% stiffer torsional rigidity and 35% greater bending strength. Advanced high strength steel weighs 10% less; however, it is twice as rigid as traditional steel. A redesigned multilink rear suspension design enhances responsiveness, handling and stability while reducing impact harshness. Dual lower suspension arms replace the old single-arm design and distribute lateral forces more effectively to improve ride quality without sacrificing handling. Hyundai notes that the new rear suspension geometry helps keep Sonata more stable under hard braking and helps provide shorter stopping distances.
Sonata comes standard with seven airbags, including a new driver’s knee airbag designed to help prevent the driver from sliding down the seat in a collision; this feature allows the other restraint systems to be more effective. Electronic Stability Control, Vehicle Stability Management, Traction Control, ABS and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System with individual tire pressure display are also standard. Projector headlamps are standard; however, HID headlamps are available.
Sonata’s Blind Spot Detection system alerts drivers of an approaching vehicle in the next lane if the turn signal is activated. The driver is first alerted of a vehicle in the blind spot by warning lights in the side mirrors. When the turn signal is activated, the Lane Change Assist system determines the closing speed of any vehicle in the adjacent lane to determine if the lane change is safe. If the system determines the vehicle in the other lane is closing too quickly, it sounds an audible alarm to warn the driver that the lane change is unsafe.
The foregoing is only a sampling of the new features on the 2015 Sonata. If you are interested in a quality, well-designed vehicle at an attractive price, be sure to check out the 2015 Sonata when it hits the dealerships this summer.