2022 Hyundai Sonata N-Line new car review

Home Technology 2022 Hyundai Sonata N-Line new car review
2022 Hyundai Sonata N-Line new car review

For the SUV rejector there remains a feast of quality sedans on offer, including the truly distinctive Hyundai Sonata N-Line at $56,800 drive-away. Here are five things you need to know.

It’s striking, but is it pretty?

The Sonata N-Line’s bringing sedan sexy back. It’s low, wide and awash with edgy body curves and creases. This is no drab four-door whitewood: behold its coupe-like rear, sculpted LED lights and snazzy 19-inch alloys. It’s not for Traditional Sedan Dad seeking vanilla looks: the Sonata’s daring and polarising. As with all bold design, some find it sensational, others sick-inducing. The interior’s more predictable, with only some racy red stitching breaking up the otherwise very grey-on-black cabin that’s become a pragmatic Hyundai hallmark.

There’s only one grade and it’s loaded

While Toyota sells four different grades of Camry sedan, Hyundai gives us a single sporty Sonata. Hence the ‘N-Line’ badge. Grown-up boy racers enjoy a sports body kit, performance Continental tyres, suede and Nappa leather cabin, impressive Bose audio and wide-screen infotainment and driver display. Superb quality front seats are heated and ventilated (two lucky rear passengers also score bum warmers), while there’s a power panoramic sunroof, electric boot, dual zone climate control and wireless phone charging. A generation ago you were lucky to score a cassette player in your Ford Falcon.

It wants you to ignore those pesky SUVs

Sedans rival Covid, energy bills and FIFA in 2022’s popularity contest. What the hell happened? Rewind two decades and the Commodore and Falcon sat pretty atop our bestseller list, while no SUV troubled the top ten. The big two are dead after a relentless SUV onslaught, but sedan quality prevails. The Sonata joins the Toyota Camry, Mazda6 and Skoda Octavia as outstanding four-door offerings, but Aussies buy twelve times as many medium SUVs as they do medium sedans: a sales figures bloodbath. But sit in the Sonata’s rear and there’s cavernous legroom, window blinds and a grown-up, laid-back ambience you’ll struggle to find in SUVs at this price.

It drives better than similar-priced SUVs

It’s got guts. The 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol brings 213kW and 422Nm of torque, aiding swift 6.2 seconds to 100km/h acceleration. Choose Sport+ from the four drive modes and its eight-speed dual clutch transmission hits party mode, rapidly shifting gears and encouraging red-line playtime. The exhaust note isn’t terribly soul-enriching, while sporty launches on wet roads returns anti-social front wheel spin – there’s no Hyundai i30N smart electronic limited slip differential found here. Impressive handling, steering and braking make for a fun back road partner, although the Sonata’s too large to feel properly nimble. Comfort’s been favoured – it’s a lovely cruiser and well absorbs most urban road hard hits. Radar cruise control, head up display, cameras and exhaustive active safety win family brownie points.

Come on Hyundai, build a wagon version

Despite Hyundai’s best efforts, sedans have an image crisis and it’s increasingly hard to justify selling them in our market. To boost survival hopes, how about a wagon version to make a dent in those SUV sales? Live with a big-bummed BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, Mazda6, VW Passat or Skoda Octavia and it’s mystifying why buyers eschew wagons in favour of an often less practical, worse to drive SUV. Google digital renderings of a Sonata station wagon and you’ll see the potential. Ideal for this Korean brand riding high on its rebirth of cool.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.