What is in this article?:
- Hyundai Stages U.S. Debut of New Sonata
- Small Tweaks Made to Powertrains
A quieter cabin, less fussy styling and more creature comforts are key features of the next-generation sedan.
’15 Sonata Sport grade shown.
pulls the wraps off the U.S. version of the next-generation Sonata sedan today at the 2014 New York International Auto Show.
The ’15 Sonata late last month had its global debut in South Korea and, judging by specifications released by the U.S. unit of the automaker, there are just a few differences between the regional variants.
The U.S. model wears the same restrained design language seen in pictures of the Korean-market model, a purposeful decision on’s part.
“With the 2011 Sonata, Hyundai took the midsize sedan from a meal to a gourmet dinner,” Chris Chapman, chief designer-Hyundai Design North America, says in a statement. “The evolution to…more taut, modern lines reflect the improvements in refinement and driving dynamics for 2015.”
Hyundai Motor America CEO Dave Zuchowski told WardsAuto recently Hyundai’s doesn’t need to yell for attention anymore in the midsize sedan segment, where the outgoing Sonata made its mark with aggressive styling.
Hyundai uses adjectives like energetic, crisp, smooth and subtle to describe the ’15 4-door’s sheetmetal.
The car’s face perhaps is the most obvious change, with a larger, less elaborate grille than its predecessor.
The U.S. version’s Sport grade has a metallic-look grille compared with the black grille on the Korean-market base model revealed two weeks ago.
The Sport grade also gets a unique lower grille, with a mesh pattern insert vs. the base car’s horizontal-bar design.
A more tightly stretched beltline and a larger window graphic in the rear are two profile differences between incoming and outgoing generations.
SE base-grade Sonatas in the U.S. get standard 16-in. alloy wheels, a rear lip spoiler and LED daytime running lights. Buyers of the sedan’s Limited grade get those items as well as rocker-panel extensions and dual-exhaust pipes.
The Sonata Sport gets chrome molding on its sides and, in models with a 2.0L turbocharged engine, quad exhaust tips and 18-in. alloy wheels.
Interior photos reveal the same straightforward layout seen in the Korean-market Sonata, with a center stack angled toward the driver and a variety of large hard buttons.
“Controls are grouped logically and placed in the most convenient position for the driver,” Hyundai says, adding it met with various interior suppliers to achieve a unified look and feel for controls.
For better visibility, the display screen moves higher up the center stack for ’15, and the steering wheel was closely studied and reworked, giving it the “ideal diameter, shape and tactile feel,” the automaker says.
The athleticism of the Sport 2.0T grade is reflected in its interior, which gets a D-cut steering wheel and paddle shifters, as well as a sport-instrument cluster with a needle at the 6-o’clock mark.
Cabin noise has been reduced via smaller apertures in the Sonata’s bulkhead, greater usage of sound-deadening materials in the dashboard, and sound-absorbing materials placed under the floor pan.
Engine notes also are re-tuned to be “pleasing to the ear without being intrusive,” Hyundai says.
Fibrous-glass expansion board in the underbody tray not only deadens road noise but also is said to improve aerodynamics.