Hyundai Sonata facelift: Prior to its rumoured cancellation, Hyundai is giving the Sonata a mid-life refresh.
Autospy shared photos of a camouflaged Sonata N Line prototype, and while the new taillights and maybe split-level front lighting are hard to pick out, they are there.
Besides the new fender vents and star-shaped alloy wheels, it’s not obvious if the present car’s characteristic fender-mounted chrome strips will make the cut. These strips mix in with the LED daytime running lights.
Nothing about the interior seems to have changed.
Despite a year-old story claiming that Hyundai had ordered a major facelift because to low sales in Korea, the roof and greenhouse both look unaltered.
The 2001 EF-series facelift was another example of a major mid-life upgrade that brought forth strikingly altered front and rear-end appearance for the Sonata.
Chosun, a South Korean news organisation, published similar claims, stating that there would be no Sonata successor in the near future. A new Sonata should have been well in way by the time of its publication in May 2022.
Reports say that business insiders have told Chosun that an electric Sonata is possible but not a priority, and that it is an open secret within the firm that the Sonata would be terminated.
According to the insider, “we can’t rule out an electric Sonata,” but the company is putting more resources into developing a compact electric car than a less popular midsize model.
Additionally, Hyundai has released an electric vehicle of same size, the Ioniq 6.
Once the best-selling car in Korea, the Sonata dropped to ninth place in 2022.
While it has been eclipsed in sales by several SUV models, the Avante (also known as the i30 Sedan) and the bigger Grandeur have both sold better in Korea.
Hyundai and Kia together control more than two-thirds of the highly niche Korean new car market, and the Sonata has long been one of the best-selling vehicles there.
The current model year automobile went into production in 2019, but didn’t reach the United States until 2021. It turned out that Hyundai only brought the turbocharged 2.5-liter N Line to Australia, rather than the naturally aspirated 2.5-liter and turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engines that had been discussed.
The Sonata outsold the Honda Accord and the Peugeot 508 in Australia despite being offered in only one trim level.
Since its introduction in 1985 on an upscale variant of the rear-wheel-drive Stellar, the Sonata has been Hyundai’s longest-running brand.
In total, Hyundai has sold more over nine million Sonatas around the world since the initial front-wheel drive model debuted in 1989.
Hyundai’s Sonata has been a source of frustration as the company attempts to satisfy customers in a variety of areas with varying preferences.
The bold 2009 redesign, marketed in the US as the i45, helped propel Sonata sales to record highs, but was met with mixed reviews in the more traditional South Korean market.
In 2014, a subtle redesign was released to win over Korean purchasers, however the dramatic increase in sales in the United States soon slowed.
The latest generation debuted in 2019, following a significant mid-cycle redesign that debuted in 2017 with sportier styling. Again, though, many potential Korean consumers found its unconventional aesthetic to be off-putting.
Similarly, the US market is not a reliable source of revenue for Hyundai because the entire midsize sedan market is declining there.
Sales of the Sonata dropped below 100,000 units in 2019 for the first time since 2003, while Buick, Ford, Mazda, and Volkswagen have all recently exited the segment in the United States.
Sales of the brand in China have also fallen over the past few years.
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