Hyundai Sonata

The 2018 Hyundai Sonata comes in five basic trims, SE, Sport, Eco, SEL and Limited. The SE, SEL, Sport and Limited are powered by a 185-horsepower 2.4L 4-cylinder. This engine is mated to an advanced 6-speed automatic transmission, which sends power to the front wheels, a combination that is good for up to 35 mpg on the highway. The Sonata Eco is powered by a 178-horsepower turbocharged 1.6L four, which is paired with a 7-speed EcoShift dual-clutch transmission. The result is mileage estimates of up to 38 mpg on the highway. For prospective buyers who want a bit more power, Hyundai offers a 245-horsepower 2.0L turbocharged engine as an option on the Sport and Limited trims.

The Sonata SE is the entry-level trim, but still includes heated side mirrors, air conditioning, power windows and door locks, projector beam headlights, 16-inch alloy wheels, daytime running lights, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel with audio and cruise control interfaces, a 7-inch color touchscreen infotainment system, USB and auxiliary input jacks and a 6-speaker stereo.

The Sport and Eco trims include side mirror-mounted turn signals, leatherette interior appointments, automatic headlights and LED daytime running lights and an 8-way power adjustable driver's seat with heating for the front seats. They differ where the Sport offers 17-inch alloy wheels and a unique bumper and front grille, plus chrome and carbon fiber accents throughout the interior. If buyers elect to get the more powerful 2.0L engine with the Sport trim, they will also get 18-inch wheels, HID headlights, aluminum pedals, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, leather seats, automatic climate control and vents for rear seat passengers.

The Limited trim really steps up the luxury content of the car. It comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, a chrome front grille, LED tail lights, rear window shades, a 6-way power adjustable passenger seat to complement the eight-way, power-adjustable front seat for the driver, heated rear seats, leather seating, wood grain interior accents and an improved stereo that includes a subwoofer.

Part of the fun of the Sonata is that buyers can option the car up with features normally reserved for big luxury cars. Optional items on the Sonata include an 11-speaker Infinity premium sound system, an 8-inch touchscreen navigation system, a 4.2-inch color LCD trip computer display, HD radio, an electronic parking brake with vehicle hold, an intelligent cruise control system, a forward collision system, a heated steering wheel, vented and cooled front seats, a memory system for the drivers' seat and mirrors and HID xenon headlights.

Editors' Review

Some cars just surprise the hell out of you, and nothing in recent memory has taken me aback quite like the 2021 Hyundai Sonata N Line. What I thought was going to be a nice midsize sedan with a little more power is actually a properly sporty car.

Real quick, a word about the letter N. The Sonata N Line isn't a full-bore N, like the Veloster N or upcoming Elantra N and Kona N. Instead, think of this as N-lite, just like the Elantra N Line and the new Kona N Line and Tucson N Line. Got it? Good.

A practiced eye will quickly spot the differences between the Sonata N Line and its more staid counterparts, though the changes are definitely subtle. There's a new grille up front with larger air intakes, and the Sonata's awesome daytime running lights remain intact. Around back, the N Line gets quad exhaust pipes and a redesigned bumper and diffuser. New wheels round out the changes, and overall, while these upgrades aren't major, the N Line looks just as good as any other new Sonata.

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Model Year

The Good ~ Excellent powertrain and chassis ~ Super fun to drive ~ Great style and tech

The Bad ~ Some torque steer ~ Rough around town

The Bottom Line If you value fun over all else, the 2021 Hyundai Sonata N Line will have you grinning from ear to ear.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 9
  • Features 9
  • Design 9
  • Media 9

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