Fresh-faced 2018 Hyundai Sonata checks in

The new 2018 Hyundai Sonata, featuring fresh new exterior design, enhanced standard features and a new eight-speed automatic transmission paired with the turbo engine, makes its debut in Australia this month.

The 2018 Sonata’s new look starts with Hyundai’s signature Cascading Grille and sleek new headlights, and extends through a more assertive profile to a completely re-modelled tail end, featuring a cleaner design and slimmer rear lights.

The Sonata range itself has also been streamlined for Australia, with the entry level Elite variant dropped from the 2018 line-up, leaving only the Active and Premium grades on sale.

Satellite navigation is standard across the Sonata range for the first time, with a new in-dash multimedia’s 8” touchscreen, which also incorporates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

Both 2018 Sonata variants feature additional specification upgrades over the outgoing model, which are detailed in the table below:

2018 Sonata Active
Key specifications above 2017 model

2018 Sonata Premium
Key specifications above 2017 model

New 8” Satellite navigation system with:

New 8” Satellite navigation system with:

– Apple CarPlay compatibility

– Apple CarPlay compatibility

– Android Auto compatibility

– Android Auto compatibility

Dual zone climate control w/ auto defog

8 speed automatic (-0.7L/100km)

Smart key & push button start

LED headlights

Smart Boot (hands-free opening)

Driver Attention Alert (DAA)

Chrome exterior door handles

Wireless charging pad (Qi standard)

Sonata Active is powered by the familiar 2.4-litre naturally-aspirated petrol engine, while the top-spec Sonata Premium uses the 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol now matted to a new eight-speed automatic gearbox.

New Exterior Design 

For 2018, the new Sonata sports bold new styling. At the front, the Sonata features the latest version of Hyundai’s signature Cascading Grille, as seen on i30 and Kona, flanked by redesigned headlights that cut back into the front fenders to give a more dynamic appearance.

Viewed from the side, the new Sonata’s vast glasshouse tapers into the more stylised boot, which is set off by new slim tail lights.

The styling makeover is topped-off by the discrete use of chrome trim below the grille and on the lower edge of the front spoiler, as well as around the side window frames and belt line.

Two all new alloy wheel designs are a distinctive addition to the refreshed 2018 Sonata’s new look. Sonata Active features a five spoke design with a sweeping effect, while a sportier twin-spoke design is reserved for the Premium variant.

Sonata Premium also features a unique sporty mesh grille insert, black headlamp bezels, and black highlights for DRL surrounds, lower front bumper and side mirror casings. Other visual enhancements include the use of dark chrome on the grille surrounds, waistline moulding and door handles.

A rear diffuser and dual chrome-tipped exhausts complete the Sonata Premium’s sporty appearance.

Enhanced Interior

Inside, the new 2018 Sonata ups the ante with improved trim materials and a boost in standard equipment levels.

Switches and buttons for the heating, ventilation and air conditioning controls have been given a gloss black finish, while the audio unit has been upgraded. The centre console has been redesigned for improve ergonomics.

Standard across the 2018 Sonata range is a new 8-inch colour touchscreen multimedia display featuring satellite navigation with SUNA live traffic updates, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Other features of the system include Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming, AM/FM radio, ‘AUX’ and USB audio inputs.

Both Sonata variants feature new three-spoke steering wheel designs, Premium getting a flat-bottomed wheel and unique gear knob for a sportier look. The new eight-speed automatic transmission enables drivers to choose between four drive modes – ‘Comfort’, ‘Eco’, ‘Sport’ and ‘Smart’. The ‘Smart’ setting adds convenience by automatically switching between the other three modes as the driver’s demands change.


2018 Sonata carries-over the same family of four-cylinder, direct injection petrol engines from the outgoing model.

Active is powered by the 2.4-litre naturally-aspirated engine which develops 138kW at 6,000rpm and 241Nm of torque at 4,000rpm. Premium gets the turbocharged 2.0-litre producing 180kW at 6,000rpm and 353Nm from 1,350rpm through to 4,000rpm. The 2.4L GDi engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission while the 2.0 T-GDi is partnered with a new eight-speed automatic gearbox. Both models now feature steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Pricing (excluding on-roads)

2.4L GDi – 6 Speed Automatic: $30,990

2.0L T-GDi – 8 Speed Automatic: $45,490

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