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Over the past few years, Hyundai has released some seriously unique-looking cars. Some, like the Ioniq 5 and Palisade, have the potential to be future classics. Others, like the Sonata and Elantra N, well, just be thankful you don’t have to look at them while driving. But with both the Sonata and Elantra N showing off new designs in the past month, it seems as though the Hyundai design department has gotten the message.

Transforming the Hyundai Sonata into a stunning luxury sedan

The updated Hyundai Sonata design
2024 Hyundai Sonata | Hyundai

While the interior of the Hyundai Sonata was fine, the catfish exterior never really took hold. It was certainly a head-turning concept, though few ever looked twice for any positive reasons. The wide-open maw and bizarre LED strips up the hood are definitely unique. But they’re the kind of choice a designer makes to be different for the sake of being different. Unlike the controversial pig-snout BMW M3 and M4 models, there was no engineering basis for making the Sonata look so ugly.

The current Hyundai Sonata, which is a polarizing design
The current Hyundai Sonata | Hyundai

Now though, the Sonata is a legitimately handsome car, inside and out. The new front-end design looks evoke a bit of Lucid simplicity. At the same time, it keeps the aggressive aesthetic Hyundai seems to be aiming for these days.

Even the interior got a facelift, with a dual widescreen display that is the tech du jour of most modern luxury brands. Overall, the Hyundai design department hit the new Sonata out of the park, and we can’t wait to see it in the flesh later this year.

The Hyundai Elantra N gets an unexpected design update

The new Hyundai Elantra N gets a new design
2024 Hyundai Elantra N | Hyundai

First, the Hyundai Elantra N is easy to love. Its punchy performance and supreme handling far outstrip its asking price. However, the sporty Elantra’s looks were always questionable, with gobs of black cladding and angles all over the front end. But this week, Hyundai surprised the car world by dropping an updated Elantra N with a much more handsome design.

The DNA of the original remains, but a revised grille design works much better with the body and fenders. A split grille includes a body-colored lower surround, breaking up the massive gloss black panels of the old car.

2022 Hyundai Elantra N, a strange Hyundai design
The current Hyundai Elantra N | Hyundai

Similar to the updated Sonata, the new Elantra N features a car-width LED light strip across the top of the upper grille. Further photos show the lower splitter and side skirts are trimmed in red to differentiate the N from the rest of the Elantra lineup.

These are certainly more subtle changes than are found in the new Hyundai Sonata. But they do enough to take the Elantra N from ugly duckling to an enticing sports car. You no longer have to justify its face with its performance, as the Hyundai Design department ensures it now looks the part.

Hyundai’s best cars now have looks to match

Both the Sonata and Elantra N offer premium driving experiences, but previous models had such outlandish styling that they were hard to love. Now, though, the upscale Hyundai models now feature upmarket design to match what you get inside.

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