New 2015 Hyundai Sonata Rolls Into NY Auto Show

Posted by: Kenny Chan onApril 16th, 2014

Earlier today we wrote about Toyota unveiling the majorish refresh of their flagship sedan, the 2015 Toyota Camry. We mentioned that due to increased competition, Toyota had to rethink their facelift strategy. With the Nissan Altima beating them in sales for the first two months, the Camry would likely lose it’s sales crown to the challenger. What we didn’t mention was the role that Hyundai played in shaking up the mid-sized market when it released the current generation Sonata. While the Sonata is in no position to become the best selling car in America, it definitely changed the value game for the big players like the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, Honda Accord and Ford Fusion.

Shortly after Toyota unveiled the Camry, Hyundai unveiled the 7th generation Sonata to the press at the New York International Auto Show. The new Sonata introduces the new Hyundai design language that they call Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 which features a larger front grill with wide air intakes in the lower front fascia. The Sport model features a more aggressive front grill and newly designed front bumper and unique side skirts. Sport models equipped with the turbo 2.0L motor get a unique rear bumper, quad exhaust tips and 18″ wheels, while those that opt for the 2.4L motor will get dual exhausts out back. Engines are pretty much carry overs from the previous generation, with the revised 2.4L pumping out 185 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque and the turbo 2.0L boosting that up to 245 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque.

The new Sonata rides on a newly developed chassis built with more high-strength steel than ever before resulting in a 41% increase in rigidity. The suspension in the rear has been tweaked to improve stability and ride comfort without affecting handling. The new rear suspension geometry also improves the vehicle’s stability under hard braking and actually helps to reduce braking times.

“We crafted the shape of the 2015 Sonata in the same way an award-winning chef refines his recipe over the years,” said Chris Chapman, chief designer, Hyundai Design North America. “With the 2011 Sonata, Hyundai took the mid-size sedan from a meal to a gourmet dinner. The evolution to Fluidic Sculpture 2.0’s more taut, modern lines reflect the improvements in refinement and driving dynamics for 2015.”

LED daytime running lights are now available on the Sonata which definitely helps to make it look more premium than it actually is. Other luxury features include high-beam assist which automatically turn off the high beams when the vehicle detects oncoming traffic that may be blinded by the bright lights. Smart cruise control with full stopping capability also finds its way into the Sonata, great for when you want to read a book while commuting in stop and go traffic! Hyundai also announced that the 2015 Sonata will be getting the Apple CarPlay system for easier operation of your iPhone with your voice or the vehicle’s touch screen interface.

All in all, Hyundai has taken a product that provided tremendous value and has improved it for 2015. It will be interesting to see how it stacks up against the updated Toyota Camry when it comes out later this year.

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