The 2015 car marks a step away from the dramatically swooping lines of recent Hyundais to something a little more grown-up--evidence that Kia design chief Peter Schreyer now oversees both brands.
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A large, confident grille replaces the narrow beaked nose of the previous car, and the Sonata's large headlights and LED daytime running lights look more sophisticated than the pointed units used previously.
In side profile the car isn't dissimilar from its predecessor, keeping the same downward-sweeping character line--though the door handles now sit below this line, rather than on it.
The back end too is similar to the old car, but benefits from a revised bumper design, incorporating a diffuser-style section and sporty exhaust setup on the show car. The rear trunk lid and light units are sharper than before, not dissimilar to those on the Kia Optima, which shares the Sonata's platform.
"Sporty" is the name of the game with the new car. While the platform is a modified version of the previous car's underpinnings, structural rigidity has been increased and the car's suspension has been tuned for a sportier drive.
One aspect unchanged in the new Sonata is its engine range.
As before, the base engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder, joined by a 245-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo. Both use a six-speed automatic transmission and both have been retuned for better low-end response.
Hyundai hasn't released details of a replacement for the Sonata Hybrid, but as the 2015 car's platform is so similar to the previous model, we'd expect a hybrid to join in due course. Buyers will be hoping for an improvement over the current model's 38 mpg combined rating (36 mpg city, 40 mpg highway).
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Whatever engine they choose, Hyundai has also significantly revised the 2015 Sonata's interior.
LIke the exterior, the interior has traded swoops and curves for a more modern, upmarket look. There's now a large, driver-focused center stack, while some models feature a large, 8-inch touchscreen infotainment and nav system.
Hyundai's Blue Link features, including destination search with Google, Remote Start and servicing schedule options, will also be available.
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