UPDATE: We now have prices, specs and a full review for the 2018 Hyundai Sonata.

Recently previewed in home market form, the 2018 Hyundai Sonata made its U.S debut in New York. As expected, the midsize 4-door sedan receives a meaningful mid-cycle upgrade that sharpens its appearance, enhances its dynamics and adds a selection of new comfort, convenience and driver-assist features. Hyundai hopes these change will make the Sonata even more competitive against rivals like the Chevy Malibu, Ford Fusion, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry

More polished presence

The new Sonata boasts an edgier front fascia with a larger, deeper “Cascading Grille” configuration that includes a horizontal-bar insert on base models and a mesh design on the Sonata Turbo. The Sonata Sport and 2.0T models also feature a selection of blackout trim bits along with bespoke front/rear diffusers and integrated exhaust outlets. All 2018 Sonata variants have more elegantly rendered headlamps with full LED units being an option on some while the tail treatment nets a similar slimmer, trimmer lamp graphic and several other subtle detail refinements. Rounding out the mix are new, model-specific 16-inch, 17-inch and 18-inch alloy wheel choices.

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The 2018 Sonata’s cabin receives a similar update. Topping the list are various trim enhancements along with tidier instrument-cluster graphics, a new multifunction steering wheel, 7.0-inch color touchscreen display, faster-responding AVN 5.0 multimedia system and more finger-friendly piano-key style audio/HVAC controls. There’s also a new rear-seat USB charge port and optional wireless smartphone charging capability along with standard support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The upgraded Sonata Sport 2.4L now comes with a power sunroof, leather-bolstered sport seats, shifter paddles on its flat-bottom steering wheel and dual exhausts while a value-oriented SEL trim grade joins the lineup.

New 8-speed automatic

While Hyundai has yet to reveal anything about a 2018 Sonata Hybrid, powertrains in the other models largely carry over. That includes the Eco-only 178-horsepower/1.6-liter turbo four, naturally-aspirated 185-horsepower/2.4-liter and the turbo 245-horse/2.0-liter in the 2.0T Sport and 2.0T Limited. Sole change here is that the Sonata’s range-topping engine swaps its current 6-speed automatic for a new 8-speed unit that provides a wider ratio spread. The 2018 Sonata also benefits from retuned steering and suspension systems that enhance handling, improve body control and increase comfort.

Also: Check out all of the latest news from the New York Auto Show

Finally, the  updated Sonata offers a more comprehensive suite of standard driver-assist features that adds blind spot detection with rear cross traffic alert to the mix. The lane departure warning system available on upline trims is now bolstered by lane keep assist and the maps in the optional navigation system will offer a bird’s eye view and include no-cost real-time traffic/incident updates. The 2018 Hyundai Sonata arrives in dealer showrooms this summer. Pricing and additional packaging details will be released closer to the on-sale date.

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