2018 Hyundai Sonata lineup gets ‘+’ treatment at no extra charge

Exterior and interior perks, safety tech added to boost midsize sedan sales

Hyundai is looking to jump-start sales of its struggling 2018 Sonata midsize sedan by introducing new "+" editions on several trim levels, adding features like the silver mesh grille cribbed from the Sport 2.0T, panoramic sunroof and safety technology for no extra charge — or for even lower prices, in some cases.

The mid-model year enhancement package broadens availability of Hyundai's Advanced Driver Assist Systems, the Sport front fascia and mesh grille and other interior amenities. For example, the Sonata SEL+ and Sport+ editions now come equipped with the Sport's front fascia upgrades, dual automatic temperature control, wireless phone charging, heated steering wheel and other features at no extra charge, representing $580 and $950 in value to the respective models.

Adding the Tech Package to the SEL+ gets you automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, smart cruise control with stop-start and other features for $25,185, including destination charge, a $980 value improvement, Hyundai says. Buyers can add the Tech Package to the Limited model for no extra charge over the previous model. On the high-end Sonata Limited model, adding the Ultimate+ package drops the price of the previous Ultimate package by $600 while adding the Sport mesh grille and fascia combo, plus the panoramic sunroof.

The Korean automaker redesigned the Sonata for 2018 with a new "cascading grille" borrowed from the Elantra and other changes to the front, a redesigned back, some handling upgrades and a redesigned interior. But it hasn't helped move the metal.

Sales of the Sonata fell a whopping 41 percent in April to 9,616; year-to-date, they were down 38 percent to 33,441 units. The company saw its combined Hyundai and Genesis sales decline by 11 percent in April.

The "+" packages are available at dealerships now.

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