Hyundai looks to claw back midsize sales with Sonata refresh

13 Mar, 2017
Hyundai introduced the redesigned Sonata in Korea this week, beginning an effort to juice sales numbers in a declining midsize car market. Sonata sales were only down 6.5 percent in 2016 overall, but they dropped almost 40 percent in December. Those trends echo moves in the overall family-sedan market: Sales were down 2.1 percent in 2016 and are down 20 percent in the first two months of 2017.

When Hyundai made its huge change to Sonata styling in 2009, we loved it. It looked like an all-out luxury car in a class full of uninspiring, wind-tunnel-friendly family grocery getters. That design helped the company to its biggest ever share of the U.S. market, but unfortunately, it didn’t do as well in its conservative home market. In 2014 (2015 model year) Hyundai scaled back with another redesign.

The new car has a bigger grille, bigger fog lights and more styling lines on the hood. It looks sportier than the current version but not nearly as luxurious as the 2009 model. It’s actually a decent mix between the two.