Paultan.org reports that a mildly refreshed Sonata has been sneaked into the Malaysian market. We use the word ‘sneaked’ because Hyundai Malaysia have not yet made any official announcement on this refresh, yet a newspaper advertisement featuring the same has popped its way into the scene.
On to the exact nature of the refresh the most prominent difference at the front is the addition of what seems to be a LED cluster sitting just above the fog lamps. The Hyundai Sonata being sold in India has the single foglamp only. The entire cutout in the front bumper for the foglamp-LED cluster seems to be bigger as well and there is a small airdam that did not exist previously.
Complementing the refreshed front is a new design for the front grille. On the current Sonata, the front grille has a 3D like protrusion in the middle. Hyundai calls it the ‘cascading waterfall’. The grille on the refresh has straight lines however, and in first glance they don’t have the ‘in-your-face’ appearance. So far so good.
Another difference up front are the lane changing lights on the ORVM. On the current Sonata, it is more pronounced and looks a bit tacky for a premium car. Hyundai seem to have addressed this in the refresh with smaller and subtler ‘eyebrow’ shaped indicators.
We also notice that an optional 18-inch, 16-spoke alloy wheel is being offered on the top end variant.
Perhaps the most interesting bit of the refresh is at the rear though are the all new wrap around tail lights. This Korean appears more German (Audi to be specific) thanks to this new layout.
One can only assume that the new German designers (Hyundai hired ex-BMW designer Christopher Chapman while sister Kia acquired services of Peter Schreyer, a former Volkswagen/Audi designer) are looking to give the Koreans a fresh lease of design.
On to the interiors. The first difference comes in the form of a new Audio Visual Navigation (AVN) system that seems to feature a pretty large screen. This would be a welcome addition considering that the current Sonata has a rather not-so-plush Multi-Information Display that goes only as far to give the average fuel economy, outside temperature, real time fuel consumption etc. However, we do notice that Hyundai seems to have changed the alignment of some of the buttons such as the Hazard lights as it now takes center stage just below the AVN system.
For the international markets, Hyundai sells the Sonata in a 2.0-liter petrol engine as well (Its a 2.4 for India). For the refreshed variant, the 2.0 model gets an engine swap from Theta II to Nu.
The Nu is a new engine family that debuted only recently. This particular 2.0 Nu is a longer stroke version of the 1.8 litre Dual CVVT unit from the Elantra (sold abroad). It makes 166 PS and 201 Nm as far as power and torque outputs go.
It would be interesting to see whether Hyundai brings this refresh to India. Even more interesting would be the introduction of the Nu 2.0-liter petrol for the Indian market, though volumes would have to wait till a diesel option is created.