Hyundai is close to revealing a major update for its Sonata, and one of the final prototypes has been spotted undergoing cold-weather testing in Sweden's Lapland region.
The mid-size sedan is currently into its eighth generation, with the last redesign coming for the 2020 model year. This updated version should debut later this year as a 2024 model.
A reveal at the 2023 New York auto show in early April is a strong possibility. It's where the current model debuted four years ago.
The prototype is heavily camouflaged but we know the updated Sonata will ditch the current model's conventional headlight design in favor of the split headlight design seen on recent Hyundais like the redesigned 2024 Kona, as well as the Staria van sold overseas. Look for a light bar spanning the front and serving as the daytime running lights, with the main headlight units to be positioned below this and integrated with the front fascia's side intakes.
2024 Hyundai Sonata facelift spy shots - Photo credit: Baldauf
The taillights will also be reworked, and a shot of the interior reveals a single panel combining digital screens for both the instrument cluster and infotainment hub. The current dash design in the Sonata features a separate hood for the instrument cluster, and a relatively small infotainment screen.
Given the significant changes to the design of the exterior and cabin, it isn't clear if Hyundai will shake things up in the mechanical department. The range is currently topped by the impressive Sonata N Line which boasts a 290-hp 2.5-liter turbo-4. There's also a 192-hp hybrid option for buyers looking to save gas.
The updates to the Sonata can't come soon enough. It was only a decade ago that Sonata sales in the U.S. averaged more than 200,000 units per year. However, the nameplate has failed to crack into six figures since its last redesign, with 2022's total coming in at just over 52,000 units. Sedan sales in general have been on the decline but rivals like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord are still selling strongly, registering sales of around 295,000 and 154,000 units, respectively, in the U.S. last year.