The 2015 Hyundai Sonata has made its world premiere in Korea, ahead of its show debut in New York next month. The automaker says that the seventh-generation LF Sonata represents the practical application of the design and tech first applied on the Hyundai Genesis which debuted last November.
The new D-segmenter is slightly larger than the outgoing YF Sonata, being 35 mm longer and 30 mm wider, with improved cabin space as a result of the gains. Wheelbase is up by 10 mm, from 2,795 mm in the outgoing model to 2,805 mm on this one.
It also displays less showy exterior lines, in line with the ‘Fluidic Sculpture 2.0’ design philosophy path currently taken. Hyundai even has a tagline for the Sonata’s design concept – it’s called Inner Force, a theme that points to the car’s ‘evolved aesthetic and confident design’.
Tech-wise, the increased use of high-tensile steel (51%, as opposed to 21% previously) and new underpinnings translates to the new Sonata having 41% greater torsional strength and 35% greater bending strength than the outgoing model.
Inside, the new car will offer a more premium outlook, with soft-touch surfaces and improved material choices for trim to be found. Kit will include rear parking sensors, heated leather seats and LED lighting, and new advanced multimedia systems and next-generation infotainment equipment are set to feature.
There’s also a hands-free smart trunk, which you can open without using your hands. Hyundai’s approach is very different from competitors, which require the user to ‘kick’ an area below the rear bumper. Hyundai’s implementation employs a fender-mounted antenna to detect if the smart key is near the rear bumper for longer than three seconds, with an illuminated and audible warning prior to opening of the boot.
Hyundai says this is safer as it allows the user to have both feet firmly on the ground, something which is probably important if your hands are full, not allowing you to use them in the first place. As for safety equipment, the list includes rear-side curtain airbags (up to a total of seven airbags), Blind Spot Detection, Lane Departure Warning System and Advanced Smart Cruise Control.
Engine options for the Korean market are a 165hp and 201 Nm 2.0 litre and a 190 hp and 247 Nm 2.4 litre Theta GDI, with a six-speed automatic transmission on the list. The automaker is targeting global sales of 228,000 units for the car this year, with sales outside of Korea due to begin in the second half of 2014.
2012-2014 Hyundai Sonata YF facelift