The current model Sonata is one of the best midsize sedans in the class, so the update for 2018 will only help strengthen its position next to the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry at the top of the class.
While the emergence of some new models will lead to intense competition, it is understandable why Hyundai has not overhauled the Sonata. The cabin is still roomy and very comfortable for today, and it looks more luxurious with the transition to the three spoke steering wheel and a design change on the center console. Smooth ride quality and a large trunk space make the 2018 Hyundai Sonata practical for the weekend or daily tasks.
Trim, Features and Engine Specs
The 2018 Hyundai Sonata is a midsize sedan available in seven trim levels: SE, Eco, SEL, Sport, Limited, Sport 2.0T and Limited 2.0T.
The SE comes with standard equipment includes 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, power windows and door locks, power-folding front mirrors, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, a rearview camera, a 7-inch touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, and a six-speaker sound system with Bluetooth and USB/auxiliary jacks. The Eco model is identically equipped except for the engine.
The new models 2018 Hyundai Sonata SEL adds keyless entry and ignition, larger 17-inch wheels, LED daytime running lights, heated side mirrors, hands-free trunk access, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Hyundai’s subscription-based Blue Link telematics system, a 10-way power-adjustable driver seat, a 4.2-inch color trip computer, a rear USB port, satellite and HD radio.
You can also add the optional Tech package, which adds automatic emergency braking and lane keeping assist and adaptive cruise control.
[Also read 2018 Hyundai Kona Specs]
The Sport trim adds a unique style such as a chrome-tipped dual exhaust, front grille, chrome rocker panels and rear diffuser. Inside, you get a leather-wrapped shift knob, a power sunroof, leather sport seats with cloth inserts, a flat-bottom steering wheel with paddle shifters and specific interior trim
The 2018 Hyundai Sonata Limited shed the Sport specific items, but still get LED headlights, sunroof, LED taillights, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual climate control, driver-seat memory settings, a six-way power passenger seat, front-seat ventilation, full leather seats and woodgrain appearance trim.
The optional Ultimate package for the Limited adds automatic high beams, lane keeping assist, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control with stop-start capability, an electronic parking brake with auto hold, rear side window shades, a heated steering wheel, wireless smartphone charging, an 8-inch touchscreen navigation system, HD real-time traffic, a trial subscription to SiriusXM Travel Link, a three-year subscription to Blue Link multimedia/map updates and a premium audio system.
The 2018 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T is very similar to the Sport trim, but it also adds 18-inch wheels, larger front brakes, a sport-tuned suspension and sport-tuned steering. The Limited 2.0T includes every list above.
Every the 2018 Hyundai Sonata are front-wheel drive and offer three different engine.
A 2.4-liter four-cylinder generates 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque are standard on the SE, SEL, Sport and Limited models. It paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. At the test track, the 2018 Hyundai Sonata Sport accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds, an average time for this class. The EPA estimated fuel economy returns an 29 mpg combined (25 mpg city/36 mpg highway).
The 2.0T models come with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that producing 245 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. Zero to 60 mph acceleration in 8.3 seconds, which is a poor result considering its power advantage. EPA fuel economy estimated at 26 mpg combined (23 city/32 highway).
The 2018 Hyundai Sonata Eco get a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder good for 178 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. A seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission is standard. It recorded an impressive 7.5 second when hit 60 mph run, beating the 2.0T model by almost a full second. The EPA fuel economy achieves 31 mpg combined (28 city/37 highway).
Inside, the 2018 Hyundai Sonata SE interior is pretty basic, but the build quality and materials are excellent. Higher trim get additional cabin accents and luxury door trim for a more premium feel. Even the Limited model with its available two color schemes and convincing wood trim is very interesting. While the Sport 2.0T model has a reinforced sports seat to gain additional lateral support during the spirit drive.
The standard 7-inch touchscreen is large enough to make easy selection functions and free from interruptions while on the move, while the 8-inch screen for the navigation system comes with clearly labeled with easy-to-read text and sharp graphics.
The 2018 Hyundai Sonata also has more than enough passenger space for four adults. The front seat is supportive, padded and comfortable for long-distance travel. There is a bit less rear passenger space than some competitors, but just bigger than average adult who will notice it.
With 16.3 cubic feet of trunk space, the 2018 Hyundai Sonata is more generous for this segment, and the 60/40 split-folding rear seat allowing for additional space. Models equipped with a hands-free “smart” luggage opener automatically open the trunk door if the person with the key fob stays behind the car for more than three seconds.
Release Dates and Prices
The 2018 Hyundai Sonata is available at the dealership for purchase now. Price starts at $22,050 for the base SE and $32,450 for the Limited 2.0T.