Hyundai’s new North American CEO Dave Zuckowski pulled a silky sheet off of the redesigned 2015 Sonata at the New York Auto Show, ushering in not only a new era of domestic stewardship for the company, but also a new, more mature design direction for its mass-market vehicles. Though we’ve already seen the striking sedan in a wealth of recent photos, seeing the car in person confirmed that Hyundai has another hit on its hands.
The Sonata employs the Korean automaker’s new “Fluidic Sculpture 2.0” design language, which we already witnessed in the new, much lower-volume Genesis. Hyundai describes the language as being more dignified, respectable and confident. We certainly agree with that. Gone are the swooping lines of old, which grabbed our attention on the previous generation. They’ve been replaced by straight edges and harder angles, most noticeably along the car’s beltline.
A larger, more refined grille with a wide air intake leads the car down the road. The stance is athletic, with a steeper, coupe-like roofline, quad chrome-tipped exhaust ports and horizontal lines in the rear, which give the car a planted look. The redesigned headlights are wing-like in appearance and, man, that burnt orange color is sexy. Under the hood, the engines remain the same – a 2.4-liter four cylinder and 2.0-liter turbo-four – though both have been tweaked to improve performance, mostly in low-RPM situations. Additional updates include a redesigned and bigger interior, which Hyundai says greatly emphasizes ergonomics and comfort, a much more rigid platform, a wealth of new safety features and lots of new tech and infotainment updates, including the smart trunk, first seen on the new Genesis. It’s one of the simplest, yet most novel features we’ve seen in 2014.