The midsize Hyundai Sonata remains a strong contender in its segment with standard, hybrid, and performance models available. This model seats five comfortably, offers several powertrain choices, and has one of the best interiors in its class. The infotainment is intuitive, and the safety features are excellent. The current Sonata rolled out in 2020 and is largely unchanged for 2022.
Hyundai Sonata Choices
Hyundai offers the 2022 Sonata in standard, hybrid, and N-Line trims. For the gas models, the Sonata comes in SE ($24,500), SEL ($26,250), SEL Plus ($31,450), N Line ($33,750), and Limited ($34,400) trims. Further, add $1,045 for the freight charge.
All trims come with front-wheel drive. The SE and SEL are powered by a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. The SEL Plus and Limited come motivated by a 1.6-liter turbocharged four. The range-topping N-Line comes with a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. All three engines work with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The Hyundai Sonata occupies the midsize segment, but it is considered a “large car” by the EPA. This car sits on a 111.8-inch wheelbase and is 192.9 inches long. The Sonata is 73.2 inches wide and is 56.9 inches tall.
Legroom is one of this model’s strengths with 46.1 inches in the first row and 34.8 inches in the second row. It is also at or near the top in head, shoulder, and hip room. The Sonata’s trunk measures 16 cubic feet.
The Sonata is also an efficient machine. The standard model offers the best fuel economy. It has an EPA rating of 28 mpg city, 38 mpg highway, and a combined 32 mpg. The SEL, SEL Plus, and Limited trims are rated 27/37/31 mpg city/highway/combined. As for the N Line, it still manages to deliver 23/33/27 mpg.
Hyundai Sonata N-Line
Hyundai introduced the N-Line in 2021. It carries over with minor decorative changes for 2022. Just to make things clear, the N-Line is a performance trim with decorative upgrades. It is not the N, which is a high-performance model, but it supplies added kick not found elsewhere amongst Sonata models. We believe that if Hyundai chooses to introduce a Sonata N it would come with larger turbochargers and standard all-wheel drive. Hyundai has not said that this will happen, but it is a logical progression for the model line.
Because our test model was the N-Line, the focus of our review is almost entirely on that model. We will reference the other trims as necessary, but our coverage focuses on the one.
As expected, the N-Line possesses unique decorative and functional trim pieces that set this model apart from the pack. Unique front and rear facades, 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, and dual-twin exhaust outlets with four ports are apparent. This trim also comes with glossy black side mirrors, a rear spoiler, and a panoramic sunroof. LED taillights are included as well. The only option available is summer tires ($200).
Inside, the N-Line has unique sports seats with N embossing. They come dressed in high-end leather and trimmed with microfiber. A leather-wrapped steering wheel with an N design and aluminum pedals come standard. Notably, it is a sporty look that is for certain, in keeping with this trim’s mission.
Top Tech Features
In keeping with this trim’s position in the Sonata lineup, it includes all the best features you will find. Only the Limited rivals this model in dressing up. Specifically, the Limited showcases luxury while the N-Line pushes sportiness.
On the tech front, the N-Line comes with a Bose 12-speaker audio system. This particular model also features a 10.25-inch touchscreen display with navigation and a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel display. Other features include Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. USB ports, a wireless charging pad, and satellite radio are included.
We have driven every Hyundai model available and usually multiple times at that. We conclude that each one comes well equipped with driver-assist technologies, including numerous standard features. Hyundai’s leadership in this arena is clear.
All trims come with forward automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection and forward collision warning. Lane departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and lane tracing assist are included. Adaptive cruise control with full stop and go comes standard. Finally, a rear-seat minder and driver drowsiness monitoring round out the standard features.
Move up to the N-Line and the remaining safety features are included. The list features blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and a surround-view monitor. Additionally, other features include a head-up display, perpendicular part assist, and front and rear parking sensors.
Potent N-Line Power
The N-Line comes with a 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. This one supplies 290 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. That compares to the naturally aspirated version for this engine with 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. Also, the middle engine is a 1.6-liter turbocharged four with 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. Essentially, the first two engines have similar power output, while the 2.5T produces maximum thrust.
We found the turbo spools quickly. The transmission does, in large part, shift smoothly as the N-Line makes its way down the highway. Moreover, it is a dual “wet clutch” design; thus, it shifts faster and sportier than the standard transmission.
On twisty roads, the power is welcome, but the all-wheel drive would be if it were offered. Certainly, Hyundai does its best to mitigate torque steer, but it is still noticeable. With all-wheel drive, power would switch to the front wheels as needed or to the side wheels when cornering.
The Toyota Camry and Honda Accord remain the top sellers in the segment. Not far behind is the Nissan Altima. We have seen manufacturers exit the segment in recent years. Indeed, gone are such models as the Ford Fusion, Mazda6, and the Volkswagen Passat. The Chevrolet Malibu, Subaru Legacy, and Kia K5 are other models to consider.
Hyundai Sonata Takeaway
Regardless of the trim, the Hyundai Sonata is a handsome model with a roomy interior and decent value. Further, it remains possible to pay about $30,000 for a well-equipped Sonata, although fully optioned models top $35,000. Lastly, after a tough 2021, inventories appear stronger, making it easier for customers to find what they want without an extended wait.
See Also — Highlights of the 2021 Hyundai Elantra
Exterior photos copyright Stumpwater Media Group. Interior photos courtesy of Hyundai.