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.


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  • 53 Comments
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      jawnath1n
      • 2 Years Ago
      In the world of bland, this car was refreshing when it first came out, then suddenly became very ugly and very dated. It is way too busy and has no lasting beauty. Somehow manufacturers have decided that overdesign = good looking, when that is far from the truth. They might look interesting on debut, but they will be dated quickly. The Optima is much more conservative and cleaner. As a result it is much better looking.
        over9000
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jawnath1n
        and we have someone who understands design... I don't know why you get downvoted, but trends come and go.... bland is usually timeless.
          mikeybyte1
          • 2 Years Ago
          @over9000
          Bland is timeless? So an 8 year old Camry is attractive? It wasn't when new.
          over9000
          • 2 Years Ago
          @over9000
          ^^ I didn't say timeless is attractive, you moron.
        Phil B
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jawnath1n
        Agree re: the Optima. Every single time I see one I think "DAMN, that's a good looking car!"
      RA
      • 2 Years Ago
      crazy how dated that design is already. but it is what it is, a design with shock value but no longevity.
      WCauto
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is still a great looking car especially compared to the boring Japanese mid-size sedans. Hyundai hit their production limit and claim they aren't interested in building more capacity. That tells me that their models will continue to go upscale and transaction prices will continue to rise.
        iscussion
        • 2 Years Ago
        @WCauto
        Sales are going DOWN. Hyundai is offering cash on the hood. And YOU claim they are production limited. Doesn't add up.
      SquareFour
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's funny to me how everyone gives Hyundai so much credit for being "innovative" and "bold" with the Sonata's "Fluidic Sculpture" styling when Toyota did this back in 2004. Google "Camry Solara". Now, I can't say whether it has aged well or not because it wasn't appealing to me from the get-go. It ain't my cup o' tea. Truthfully, however, I think it's following in the footsteps of the '86 Taurus, something once "bold" become ubiquitous and "beige". It's part of the scenery now and I hardly notice them anymore. I suppose that's the difference between "timeless" and "bold" designs; for example, an '86 Vanden Plas, or even a '98 BMW 3-er, will still turn some heads while the Sonata is already just background noise. Say what you will about the new Fusion's "Aston grille", but that car has a presence about it on the road and I think there's some "timelessness" in it. Anyway, so far, Hyundai's best application of this design language has been on the Elantra.
        DK
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SquareFour
        Everyone's taste is different, but LOL at a 98 BMW 3-er turning heads.
        futuramautoblog
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SquareFour
        You are bashing Sonata for having a similar character line on the hood running to the grill and how headlight sits to the ugly, disproportionate Solara. Yet, you will defend Ford's Aston Martin grill for "timelessness"? That's... OxyMoron. Design is very personal and everyone has different taste. However, give credits where they are due. 86 Taurus hasn't become ubiquitous and beige. It's still a shocking piece of design. Current Sonata, while its design may not be someone's taste, is very "innovative" and "bold" that truly started a styling revolution for the segment.
        futuramautoblog
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SquareFour
        You mean you only notice some of those cars ONLY because they are "your cup of tea"?
      mikeybyte1
      • 2 Years Ago
      I think the design has held up fairly well. I was concerned it was going to be a bit too radical and gimmicky. But to me at least it does not seem the least bit dated. Looking forward to seeing the next version of it. As others have said, they need to focus on steering, ride, handling, etc.
        Teleny411
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mikeybyte1
        Yes. This thing must be selling like hotcakes bc they are everywhere!!!! Not exactly my cup of tea, but there's no denying its success.
      iscussion
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Hyundai Sonata successor to seek evolution, not REVOLTING" How about some HONESTY also in HP and EPA
      carguy1701
      • 2 Years Ago
      'If it ain't broke, don't fix it'.
      FIDTRO
      • 2 Years Ago
      So the Sonata will remain a mediocre car?
      Unclassified
      • 2 Years Ago
      The best aged Hyundai in my opinion.
      Frisky_Dingo
      • 2 Years Ago
      This car has always looked good in SE and Limited guise, but rather homely in GLS form. Let's hope they can fix the steering feel and up the refinement level. It's sorely needed.
      Ryan Ducar
      • 2 Years Ago
      Seems like its half-twin Optima is more popular these days, but both are decent cars nonetheless!
        futuramautoblog
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ryan Ducar
        Nope. Sonata still outsells Optima in any given month.
          Ryan Ducar
          • 2 Years Ago
          @futuramautoblog
          Not what I was eluding to, for I see more Optimas out here in the greater Phoenix area. Point being?
          DK
          • 2 Years Ago
          @futuramautoblog
          Regardless of what you see, Sonata is more popular and sells more...
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