Why the New 2024 Hyundai Sonata Matters for Hyundai
Hyundai redesigned the Sonata midsized sedan for 2024. We’ve seen the pictures of the Tron-like exterior, and we now know that it will have several potent engine choices. But, the Sonata is Hyundai’s only midsized sedan competitor in a tight market, and it doesn’t sell well. If it wants to dethrone the top three sellers, the Toyota Camry the Tesla Model 3 and the Honda Accord, it has to do better than the current car.
The Sonata is the 8th best-selling midsized sedan
The midsized sedan world is packed with great cars. If you ask someone to name a car, they’ll likely name one of the top cars on the list. But, according to car sales tracking firm Car Sales Base, the Sonata is only the 8th best-selling midsize sedan. It comes in way behind the dreary Altima (No. 4), the boring Malibu (No. 5) and it slots in between the Lexus ES (No. 7) and the BMW 3-Series (No. 9). The Lexus and BMW are luxury cars, which means that they’re expensive and don’t sell in the volumes a mass-manufacturer like Hyundai needs.
With the new 2024 Hyundai Sonata, the Korean firm is aiming to become a sales leader. With current Sonata sales dragging down its numbers, something had to be done.
The current Sonata is nine years old
Just by looking at the numbers you can see that Hyundai had to do something. And, it’s clear that Hyudai could do better than the current model. That current car is, well, old. It’s remained essentially the same since 2014. While it’s not a bad car, others have moved on. Hyundai tried to update the styling in 2017 with a giant catfish like maw. Sure, it sets the car apart, but that was a bit of a, we’ll say, bold stying choice.
However, when the current 2014-2023 Sonata debuted, it was a huge step forward for the company. It was the first midsize sedan from the company that could actually take on an Accord or a Camry in a comparison test. Sure, it didn’t often finish first. Clearly, the Accord was its bogey and it came with a similar 185-horsepower motor that was also efficient, it seats five, and it had a modern look to it. But, it cost about $8,000 less than a comparable Accord.
The Sonata’s competitors are a lot newer
Today, the new Sonata will face an even better Accord and Camry. The Honda Accord was redesigned for 2023 as it enters its 11th generation. It gets a more powerful 1.5-liter turbocharged engine and a new interior with a 12.3-inch screen. The Camry, too, is newer than the current Sonata, as it was redesigned for 2017. It, too, has a large screen, comfy cabin, and an option 3.5-liter V6 with 305 horsepower that makes it seriously quick.
The Sonata will have to contend with those two, as well as the aging Altima and Malibu. The new car will have to set a standard, not just play follow the leader. The new-for-2024 Sonata has all new styling that gives it a definite Tesla vibe. The interior has a very BMW-like wraparound screen, and an interior that the designers at Genesis (a sister company) probably had a hand in.
But, Hyundai says that the new car has a stiffer frame and lots of sound-deadening material to quiet the cabin. On the engine front, the N Line version is the one to get, with its 290-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder. Regardless, the new car will have to be better in every way to compete with the best from Toyota and Honda, and so far it looks like it could be more than just a contender.