CEO of Hyundai North America, Dave Zuchowski, took the stage at the 2014 New York International Autoshow to unveil the latest generation Sonata. The revamped Sonata took design inspiration from “an athlete in a perfectly tailored suit” according to chief designer, Chris Chapman. The Sonata features a new front fascia with a larger grill, and LED daytime headlamps. The Sonata also features a higher and more pronounced belt line – to give the car a feeling of muscularity – and beefier rocker panels with chrome accents to give the car a sense of solidity.
As is often the case, the theme of this mid-cycle refresh is refinement. Compared to the 2014 model, the 2015 Sonata doesn’t look much different. In fact the profile of the two cars are very similar. The most recognizable visual changes are to the front fascia, where the 2015 Sonata grill and headlights are more upright, a change likely as a result of tougher pedestrian impact standards.
The 2015 Hyundai Sonata will be available in two powertrain options. Hyundai’s base engine, the 2.4-liter Theta II, will produce 185 horsepower and 178 lb. ft. of torque, while the sportier 2.0-liter turbo will produce 245 horsepower and 260 lb. ft. of torque. The turbo engine will come as part of the Hyundai Sonata Sport, which will also include quad exhaust tips, paddle shifters, a revised suspension system, and improved brakes.
In an effort to differentiate the car among competitors like the Toyota Camry, the Honda Accord, and the Ford Fusion, Hyundai has increased rear-seat legroom by one inch, an effort that has led the EPA to classify the 2015 Sonata as a “large car” rather than a “medium car.” This means that while the Sonata competes in the mid-size sedan segment, it’s overall interior space is actually more in-line with a larger, and thus more expensive vehicle. Hyundai will likely drive this point home in their marketing efforts as a way of explaining to potential customers that the Sonata is a class leader when it comes to value.
Apple’s Air Play system will be available in the new Sonata, according to Hyundai this will make the Sonata one of the first non-luxury vehicles to offer Apple’s driver interface system. Additional tech upgrades include a more robust Blue Link system thanks to destination search powered by Google, remote start, and a Hyundai in-car maintenance app.
The revised 2015 Hyundai Sonata marks the start of Hyundai’s new growth strategy that will be lead by the launch of 12 new products between 2015-2017, according to Zuchowski “a few surprises are on the immediate horizon.”