Hyundai Motor Company's Sonata is Korea's most historical mid-size sedan model, sold for about 38 years from 1985 to now.
The model currently on sale is the 8th generation model with the DN8 codename and was first released in 2019, but due to a somewhat disappointing design change, it did not show as much sales as expected. In the North American market, 100,000 units of the 2018 7th-generation Sonata model were sold, and 65,000 units were sold in the Korean market. However, the 2020 8th generation Sonata model did not increase sales to 76,000 units in the North American market / 67,000 units in the Korean market.
A new design was added to the new platform, but the consumer response was not as good as expected.
There were many opinions that the unconventional design was rather inferior to the previous design, and the Sonata full-change model, which was somewhat special, lost sales to competing models, and as the SUV market grew, its position in mid-size sedans also decreased.
The 2023 Sonata facelift model showed clear changes.
I've been thinking about this. “No, why did a company that is so good at design do that before?”
Recently, when I saw the design of Grandeur / Kona, new models of Hyundai Motor Company, I did not feel sorry for it, and this Sonata facelift model is also creating a new face of Hyundai Motor Company by showing a new family look.
::::: Sonata 1.6 Turbo vs 2.5 Turbo
2.0 Gasoline Naturally Aspirated / 1.6 Gasoline Turbo / 2.0 LPG / 2.0 Gasoline Naturally Aspirated Hybrid / 2.5 Gasoline Turbo Models, a total of five engines are still in use. Among them, today, I tested the 1.6 gasoline turbo model and the 2.5 gasoline turbo model at the same time.
The first model we tested was the 2.5 gasoline turbo model. It has a maximum output of 290 horsepower / maximum torque of 43.0 kg.m. Even before the facelift, there was a 2.5 gasoline turbo model as an N-line model, and it did not change significantly in terms of specifications. However, the actual driving experience is slightly different. The damping on vibration/noise to the engine as well as the overall engine feel was good, and the changes to the suspension and lower body made the car feel a little softer and more luxurious.
The second model tested is the 1.6 gasoline turbo model. It has a maximum output of 180 horsepower / maximum torque of 27.0 kg.m, and this model also has the same specifications as before the facelift. The 1.6 gasoline turbo model has also become softer and more luxurious in terms of engine vibration and noise, as well as the suspension and lower body, and has become much more luxurious than the previous model even on poor roads.
Comparing the 2.5 gasoline turbo model and the 1.6 gasoline turbo model, of course, the 2.5 gasoline turbo model with high displacement and high output has a much better sense of acceleration. However, the 1.6 gasoline turbo model is absolutely not lacking for daily driving, and I think the 1.6 gasoline turbo model is a wise choice if you look at the overall part, including fuel economy / vehicle price and economical parts. Later, we will talk about each vehicle in more detail.
::::: Sonata N-Line
The N-Line model before the facelift was actually changed to be more aggressive from the basic design, but many people did not choose it because the basic design itself was not popular. In addition, many people did not choose the 2.5 gasoline turbo due to the high displacement and vehicle price, but in this facelift model, 2.0 gasoline / 1.6 gasoline turbo / 2.5 gasoline turbo All three engines can choose N-line design options.
Looking at the front design, the general model design also shows an aggressive design comparable to the N-line.
If you look at the difference, the N-line bumper design changes with the shape of the grill and bumper and the matte black line that reduces the chrome line, and the N-LINE emblem completes the design differentiation. However, even in the 2.0 gasoline model, the fact that N LINE is selected is somewhat disappointing because it is less special for those who choose the 2.5 gasoline turbo model.
If there was not much difference between the basic model and the N-line model in the front design, the rear design shows a clear difference. First of all, in the rear design, the N-line is showing a unique appearance. In the basic model, the muffler design is not exposed to the end of the bumper, but the N LINE model has a dual line / dual muffler, showing a high-performance image properly. Also, there is a slight difference in the part about the rear spoiler, and the N LINE badge is not found on the back.
The differences in the side design are black high-gloss exterior mirrors / black two-tone exterior door handles / side sill molding on the side skirt / part for the N LINE badge on the front fender LED turn indicators, and N LINE 19-inch wheels and N hubcaps there is.
What about the difference in the interior of the vehicle? The steering wheel is the first thing that catches your eye. The basic format is the same, but the N logo is added at 6 o'clock, and the steering wheel leather and red stitching are added to give it a different look.
The red line is applied to the air conditioner in the center fascia of the vehicle to differentiate it, and the engine start button is also added with a black tone.
One of the biggest reasons to buy the N Line is the vehicle seat.
Bucket-style seats give satisfaction for the price. The Alcantara-applied seat can support the body more properly than the general model, and although the Alcantara material is used, the ventilation seat is applied to add convenience.
I think this Sonata facelift model will definitely show a lot of sales.
In particular, we can expect good sales in various mid-size sedan markets, such as the Kia K5 / Renault Korea SM6 (Talisman), which are competing models in the Korean domestic market, as well as the North American market, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, and Volkswagen Arteon, Passat / Peugeot 508. I felt like a model.
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