2011 Hyundai Sonata - front three-quarter view

Hyundai hit a home run with its current-generation Sonata midsize sedan, so don't expect the Korean automaker to make revolutionary changes when its replacement comes out for the 2015 model year. The four-door sitting in showrooms today was launched in 2010 with radical new lines that marked a big departure from its rather bland predecessor. Even with stiff competition from the Honda Accord, Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry – all newer designs than the Sonata – sales have been strong. Consumers embraced its new design language, taking home a record 230,605 units last year.

"I think we found a design language that works, the 'Fluidic Sculpture' stuff, so I would say (the new styling) is not pulling back in any way. It's more continuing to refine on that same trajectory that we're on," John Krafcik, Hyundai U.S. CEO, told WardsAuto in a recent interview. Consumers don't seem to be fazed by the its age either. "A lot of consumers are just entering (the) midsize (segment) for the first time. They don't see (the Sonata) as a three-year-old car. They see it as, 'Whoa, that's a pretty good-looking midsize car,' so it's doing quite well," added Krafcik.

Sonota sales have been down over the last few months, but Krafcik says that is a reflection of the automaker's decision to increase production of its Elantra compact at the Montgomery, Alabama, plant – where both are built – and a limited supply of its mid-grade GLS Sonata model.