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

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.

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Mick Chan

Open roads and closed circuits hold great allure for Mick Chan. Driving heaven to him is exercising a playful chassis on twisty paths; prizes ergonomics and involvement over gadgetry. Spent three years at a motoring newspaper and short stint with a magazine prior to joining this website.



  • This is a all new model not a facelift

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 9
    • DonkeyKong on Mar 27, 2023 at 6:10 pm

      It’s a facelift with good re-skin front and back and a new interior. The entire side and length of the car remains unchanged, including the character & shoulder lines. Front and rear doors totally the same including the character lines at the lower quarter of the doors. Rear light enclosures and rear bumper follows the same fitment lines and contour of existing unit, but carry different design features.

      It’s the front that received heavy updates, with totally new light assemblies, fenders, hood and bumper.. without a single shared panel with the outgoing model.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0
      • It’s a new model not facelift. Due to the poor sales of 8th generation, Hyundai has decided to launch the 9th generation Sonata in advance & hence skip the facelift. This is reported in many overseas car website.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0
  • Uniquely quirky,
    Gaming on with Peugeot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  • Ben Yap on Mar 27, 2023 at 1:31 pm

    this sonata has way better design than the staria. Staria is a design disaster.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2
  • Lowered Hyundai Staria?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1
  • Ruslan Bahari on Mar 27, 2023 at 2:26 pm

    So sad that this won’t make it to Malaysia, where the D-segment is dead. D for dead. D for danggg. D for dielor….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1
    • Incompetency.....A Clear and present danger on Mar 27, 2023 at 9:35 pm

      Your Honor Ruslan
      U r damn betul.
      The last Sonatas were mainly stationed as ” demo units” at dealerships..There r more houseflies than walk in customers.Sime darby is making decent sales thro Evs.Their ICE Hyundai,Ford cars r practically a money pit.
      Attention have shifted to SuVs,MPVs.
      Can u imagine Toyota stop selling Camrys in Japan market?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
  • RyanT on Mar 27, 2023 at 4:57 pm

    I thought ald discontinued globally? Cool Robocop

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0
  • seancorr on Mar 27, 2023 at 5:37 pm

    Whoaaaa damn gaya

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
  • Haidi on Mar 27, 2023 at 7:17 pm

    This. Is. So. Cool.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • adamixa on May 09, 2023 at 1:20 pm

    damn. just now I googling for K5 in hoping that the model will brought in to MY, and now this model, quite a bummmer.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0
  • Anger Ranger on May 27, 2023 at 11:59 pm

    Remind me of testarossa

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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