2023 Hyundai Sonata – eighth-gen D-segment facelift gets Staria-esque full-width DRL, redesigned interior

Hyundai has unveiled the facelifted eighth-generation Sonata, and its new look brings the ‘Seamless Horizon’ full-width daytime running light design that mimics that of the Staria MPV along with other visual changes on its exterior, while its interior gets a considerable refresh as well.

The facelift brings added visual width courtesy of the full-width DRL design that is accompanied by headlamps which are recessed into the front bumper beneath the DRL, and the front of the D-segment model is also where the ‘parametric jewel’ grille design now makes way for a lower-set layout of a honeycomb design (on the N Line trim variant) and a diamond-shaped weave on the regular trim variant.

At the rear, taillamps on the pre-facelift which bore more than a passing resemblance to those of the FC-generation Honda Civic now becomes more of a H-shaped graphic with its full-width centre element that is bookended by a T-shaped unit at each side.

2023 Hyundai Sonata – eighth-gen D-segment facelift gets Staria-esque full-width DRL, redesigned interior

The lower section of the rear bumper, too, differentiates the regular variant from the N Line; the former gets a pair of diffuser-esque elements in contrasting colours, while the latter gets quad exhaust outlets. The sportier N Line variant gets 19-inch alloy wheels of an exclusive design.

The interior of the facelifted eighth-generation Sonata gets a redesign as well. There is now a slicker look with the driver instrumentation and infotainment screens now unified into a mildly curved, freestanding dual-widescreen setup somewhat alike that of current BMW design, and this is set atop a dashboard layout that is more streamlined in its two-tone scheme across its width.

Here, the driver gets a 12.3-inch digital instrumentation display, while the AVN infotainment screen is also of a 12.3-inch width. Air conditioning controls are now by touch-type surfaces.

Transmission control which was of a push-button setup on the pre-facelift Sonata is now via a shift-by-wire steering column-mounted controller, which has been done in order to free up more space on the centre console, says Hyundai. Here, centre console armrest gets a driver-side palm rest extension, alongside the pair of cupholders which are in tandem on the front passenger side.

Technical specifications for the 2023 Sonata facelift have yet to be revealed, though the pre-facelift made its debut for the United States market with a pair of petrol engines; a 2.5 litre naturally aspirated unit producing 191 hp and 245 Nm of torque, along with a 1.6 litre turbocharged four-cylinder making 180 hp and 264 Nm of torque. Both paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, driving the front wheels.

There has also been a Sonata Hybrid in pre-facelift form for the United States market, introduced in February 2020, boasting of a headline range figure of 1,104 km and 18.4 km/l of fuel consumption on the combined cycle based on US EPA estimates; this featured a Smartstream G2.0 GDi HEV engine producing 150 hp and 188 Nm of torque paired with a 51 hp/205 Nm electric motor for a combined output of 192 hp.

In Malaysia, the eighth-generation Hyundai Sonata arrived in our market in October 2020, with the 2.5 Premium being the sole version available at launch, when it was priced at RM206,888, fully imported from South Korea.