The 2015 Hyundai Sonata is seeming a little more athletic than the model it replaces. There aren't any major mechanical changes this year, instead, Hyundai is putting more focus on the car's driving dynamics.
The previous version of the Sonata grabbed attention with a surprising swooping design. This time around, for the car's seventh generation, engineers at Hyundai were more interested in making the car more of a sports sedan, by making it a better drive. The outgoing model suffered from a rough, jittery suspension and vague suspension. So that drivers can enjoy a more composed ride, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata has gained a revamped suspension and a stiffer body, along with a new steering system that offers greater feedback.
It sits on a modified version of the same platform as the 2014, though the new car is about an inch wider and the wheelbase has been stretched a bit for more legroom. The Sonata's front suspension has been revised, and the multilink suspension in the rear was redesigned to offer better stability.
Sheet metal is stiffer, affecting the ride significantly, and allowing the car to perform better under acceleration. Now 51 percent of the car's body is constructed from advanced high-strength steel. The previous model was only 21 percent AHSS. Additional use of adhesives also contribute to the car's new rigidity.
"We completely changed the chassis and body structures, more focused on driving performance and safety," said Hwang Chung-yul, Vice President of Research & Development for Hyundai Motor Co. "By doing this we were able to address some of the issues of the previous Sonata and improve them completely."
Under it's hood, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata, the powertrains carry over from the outgoing model, with the exception of a new 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that is paired to a new seven-speed dual clutch transmission available in the fuel efficient Sonata Eco model. The existing engines include a 2.4-litre and a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder.
For tech junkies, the Sonata will come with in-car versions of Apple's iOS and the Android mobile phone operating system. Safety features include lane departure warning, forward collision warning and rear parking sensors, along with adaptive cruise control.
The mid-sized sedan segment is a competitive one, with many options, yet sales in this arena are down 3 percent this year, as the segment faces even more competition from crossovers. The 2015 Sonata will cost just over $22,000 including shipping.
By Linda Aylesworth - autoExpert.ca