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Hyundai Sonata Caught Hiding Major Redesign In First Spy Photos

Hyundai is likely preparing to give the Sonata a substantial redesign. A 2021 report alleged that company officials had deemed its design a failure. Sales have tumbled since the eight-generation model launched, but a revamped look could invigorate them. New spy photos have captured the restyled Sonata winter testing and wearing thick cladding and camouflage to hide its refreshed appearance.

All the concealments across the front and rear fascias indicate Hyundai has changed a lot. The automaker is likely giving the sedan a new face – headlights, grille, and bumper. The car’s chrome strips that connected the daytime running lights with the greenhouse trim might not survive the redesign.

Hyundai covered the rear with just as much cladding as the front. Portions of the taillights are visible, but it’s unclear if they are production units or just stand-ins. We expect the automaker to reshape the Sonata’s taillights and tweak the rear bumper. The photos don’t show off much of the interior, but they captured the top of the dash. It appears the company will give the car a dual-screen layout, possibly similar to the one in the 2024 Kona. 

While Hyundai is likely giving the Sonata a major makeover, the underlying platform, powertrain, and technology should remain the same. We expect the car’s current engines will carry over unchanged, including the Sonata Hybrid; however, the new dash and screens could add some novel functionalities.

Hyundai started producing the eight-generation Sonata in 2019 for the 2020 model year. Sales dipped from 105,118 in 2018 to 87,466 in 2019. They reached 76,997 in 2020, which was an atrocious sales year for automakers due to the pandemic. Sales recovered in 2021, spiking to 93,142 before falling to an abysmal 55,131 in 2022. However, supply chain issues have impacted car production globally.

The Hyundai Sonata has been a popular model for the brand for decades, but sedans of all flavors continue to suffer. The redesign might be a last-ditch effort to save the model, as a May 2022 report alleged that Hyundai plans to discontinue the Sonata at the end of its current model generation. The car could be on sale through 2027 or 2028, and a new look could help the model go out on a high note.

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