Last year, Hyundai introduced the eighth generation of its flagship midsize vehicle, the Sonata. Stiff competition from the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord forced the Korean manufacturer to put its best foot forward when developing the 2021 edition of the popular model. Although little has changed since 2020, the new Hyundai Sonata features loads of technology and amenities that make this five-seat sedan a joy to drive.
What Is the 2021 Hyundai Sonata?
The Hyundai Sonata has long been rated one of the top midsize sedans in its class. So too in 2021. The eighth generation of the Hyundai Sonata features a prominent grille and futuristic design that definitely attract attention on the road. Where the Sonata lacks in performance, it certainly makes up for with a smooth, comfortable ride and outstanding gas mileage. But consumers looking for a performance boost can choose the N-Line trim, which is brand-new in the 2021 model year. The 2021 Hyundai Sonata also comes in several other trim levels that offer a unique range of technology and convenience at different prices.
What Is Under the Hood of the 2021 Hyundai Sonata?
Hyundai has equipped the 2021 Sonata with a base 2.5 litre, four-cylinder engine that is available in both the SE and the SEL trims. It produces 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque, and it delivers 8.8 L/100km in the city and 6.4 L/100km on the highway. Moving up to the SEL Plus and Limited models of the Sonata means upgrading to a 1.6 litre, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine. At 180 horsepower, this engine produces less power but more torque: 195 pound-feet. You’ll also notice a slightly lower gas mileage with this setup; the U.S. EPA rates these upgraded trims at a combined 7.7 L/100km. Both come standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
If you are energy-conscious, you will be glad to know that the Sonata features hybrid models as well. The trim is powered by an electric motor and a six-speed automatic transmission that produces the equivalent of 192 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. The performance of this trim level won’t blow you away, but maybe the money you save on gas will. You can expect to see 6.4 L/100km in the city and 6.4 L/100km the highway.
The N-Line trim was made for performance enthusiasts. Hyundai does not disappoint, equipping this variation with a 2.5 litre, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine. This setup delivers an impressive 290 horsepower with 195 pound-feet of torque and a six-speed dual-clutch transmission. The gas mileage is lower than that of the previous three powertrains, but not by much. The U.S. EPA expects N-Line drivers to receive a generous 10.23 L/100 km in the city and 10.23 L/100 km on the highway. Although the N-Line is super-fun to drive, prospective Sonata owners may well prefer the base engine or hybrid trims for the sake of their greater practicality and lower cost.
The Interior of the 2021 Hyundai Sonata
The interior of the Sonata doesn’t disappoint. It is stylish and modern, in lower trims fitted with cloth upholstery with black plastics and in higher trims with magnificent leather seats. Enjoying ample legroom, front-seat passengers can stretch out without inflicting any discomfort on back-seat passengers. The back seat can comfortably accommodate three passengers or can be folded down to increase cargo space in the trunk.
The Technology of the 2021 Hyundai Sonata
Like the interior, the Hyundai Sonata’s technology and safety features shine, comparing favorably with those of competitors. All trims come standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality to enable convenient use of your smartphone device. The SEL Plus trim and up come standard with wireless charging capabilities and Hyundai’s proprietary Digital Key, which allows you to start your vehicle using only your phone.
All trims of the Hyundai Sonata are replete with safety features. At the SE level, Sonata owners have access to Lane Keep Assist, Driver Attention Warning, High Beam Assist, and Adaptive Cruise Control. If you want a few more safety features, you can upgrade to the SEL trim or above. At this level, you have access to Blind Spot Collision Assist and Safe Exit Warning.
Our Take on the 2021 Hyundai Sonata
If you are laser-focused on top performance, the 2021 Hyundai Sonata may not be your first choice. But it is an ideal choice if you value comfort, advanced technology, and a spacious and inviting interior. The 2021 Hyundai Sonata is a midsize sedan that provides a smooth, comfortable ride and decent gas mileage. It is an effortlessly stylish and very capable vehicle.