The all new Hyundai Sonata has just been revealed, and in Australia will replace the outgoing model towards the end of 2019. Here are some of my thoughts on its design:
As the traditional, three-box midsize sedan segment continues to dwindle in sales compared to SUVs, affordable manufacturers are increasingly trying to style their offerings as a ‘four-door coupe’ and move their positioning upmarket. The new Sonata follows in the mould of cars like the Peugeot 508, VW Arteon and the Holden Commodore in being a cut-price alternative to something like an Audi A5 Sportback.
I’m not sure about the excessive amount of chrome that’s been used towards the front of the car. The chrome ‘blades’ running through the bonnet visually elongate the car and definitely create a distinctive look, but they appear too gaudy for me. I’ll reserve further judgment until I see the car in person.
Hyundai describes these chrome blades as “Hidden Lighting Lamps” that “appear to be of a chromic material when switched off and become dramatically lit when turned on.” Notwithstanding the overly buzzword-y description, this looks to be a genuine innovation that could set apart future Hyundai vehicles from the competition. I hope it works as well in real-life is it does in the CGI press image below:
Gaudy it may be, the Sonata does have a cohesive design, with the full-width chrome strip running below the front grille mirrored by the light bar across the tail of the car. The light bar is the new ‘must have’ styling feature currently sweeping through the industry - I think it looks cool and futuristic right now, but am worried about this quickly not being the case if it’s overused by every manufacturer.
The interior, like the Nexo, draws significant inspiration from Lexus. Putting the infotainment display adjacent to, and on the same plane as the instrument cluster closely resembles what Lexus has done with the ES and UX in particular. This isn’t a bad thing in itself, and I’m happy that Hyundai’s interior designers have included a cream coloured interior option - it makes the interior space feel modern, light and airy.