Hyundai had previously alluded to an imminent release of a new facelifted version of their Sonata sedan that piqued our interests with sporty looking sketches showing the revised front- and rear-end design.
Now the Korean marque has unveiled the newly updated 7th-generation car in the flesh at an event held in its home turf of South Korea, in Seoul. And true to the earlier teasers, incorporates some sharper styling over the pre-facelift, and adopts some cues to make it more similar visually to the newest batch of Hyundais like the i30 and IONIQ.
The new corporate face includes the Cascading Grille up front that are now flanked by more aggressive looking headlights. Rounding off the front is the new fog lamp housings that incorporate LED daytime running lights, though the more powerful Turbo variant will sport a diamond mesh grille pattern and an altered DRL arrangement.
Hyundai were left with few options to change the car’s exterior in profile, though we do notice some new alloy wheels. At the rear, however, there’s a reshaped boot, more pronounced bumper and rear reflectors, and a pair of new tail lamps.
The interior retains the familiar layout, but Hyundai instead chose to improve the tactility and quality of materials and switchgear. All Sonatas will come standard with a 7-inch infotainment screen that can also be upgraded to an 8-inch panel with smartphone connectivity support via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Speaking of which, new to the Sonata is a wireless charging pad located at the base of the centre stack that can supply power to a compatible mobile device, though it’s not clear if it’s a feature available on all variants.
It’s not known how much of an overlap international versions of the new Sonata will have over this Korean-spec car’s engine range, but it kicks off with a 1.7-litre turbodiesel with 105kW, followed up by a 1.6-litre turbo-petrol with 132kW, and naturally aspirated 2.0-litre four-pot with 120kW.
A range-topping ‘2.0 Turbo’ variant has been confirmed for the Australian market, among others, which will also include sports-oriented cosmetic additions. This engine generates 180kW and 353Nm and is basically unchanged from the current T-GDi engine in the current Sonata available locally.
Presumably, the Elite and Premium grades will be revised once this facelifted model makes its local entrance in mid-2017. The new car will also introduce a new 8-speed automatic transmission to the range.