Redesigned 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and PHEV revealed in Chicago

Alex Kierstein

The refreshed 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and PHEV have been revealed at the 2018 Chicago Auto Show. While the updates are subtle, it's enough to breathe a little life into an underappreciated member of the Sonata clan.

Like the rest of that clan, the fascias front and back have been redesigned. The grille in particular looks considerably more shapely and modern than the outgoing 2016 model's rather plain, Audi-aping unit. The fog light recesses are much more aggressive, better complimenting the headlights, which are new LED units. New wheel designs top off the exterior changes. It's all fairly handsome in toto.

Inside, there's a new steering wheel, and behind that a revised instrument cluster. The infotainment system is upgraded with new nav overhead perspective features, and there's a Qi charging pad if you option the nav as well. Safety is a big part of this refresh: blind-spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane change assist are now standard. Automatic emergency braking and lane keep assist are also new options for these two cars.

The gasoline-electric powertrains are unchanged. The Hybrid's 193-horsepower-combined electric and gas motor output remains the same. That includes a 2.0-liter gas engine, a 38-kW electric motor mounted in the transmission, and a 1.76-kWh battery pack in the trunk. The PHEV gets a bigger 9.8-kWh battery for up to 27 miles of electric range. With the larger 50-kW motor, the PHEV combined horsepower rating swells to 202.

Like every other 2018 Sonata, however, the suspension and steering have been revised. The front roll bar has been stiffened, the steering assistance has been recalibrated, and the rear trailing arms have been fitted with new bushings. As we discovered in our 2018 Hyundai Sonata Sport quick spin review, these changes make a surprisingly significant difference in the way this midsize sedan drives. One would assume the improvements to the hybrid models' vehicle dynamics would be comparable.

The PHEV will only be sent to dealers in certain states: California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont. If you want a PHEV in another state, your dealer can order one – so technically it's available in all 50 states, if you're patient. Hybrids are available now-ish, and PHEVs will be available in the second quarter of this year.

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Redesigned 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and PHEV revealed in Chicago originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 08 Feb 2018 13:33:00 EST.