Hyundai's sportiest Sonata no longer has the sportiest engine in the range.
If you're a fan of the Hyundai Sonata Sport, we have some bad news for you. Previously, the range-topping version featured a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that produces 245 horsepower, as well as larger brakes and revised suspension. This will change for the 2019 model, however, as CarsDirect claims it will no longer be offered with a turbocharged engine according to pricing guides. Instead, the only option will be a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated engine that delivers 185 horsepower, which is a huge downgrade from the 2.0-liter turbo's 245 horsepower.
If you still want the 2.0-liter turbo, it will now only be available in the more expensive Limited trim. Pricing hasn't been confirmed for the 2019 Sonata Sport yet, but last year's turbocharged model had a base price of $28,485 including the $885 destination charge. For 2019, the range-topping Limited starts at $32,785 – that's a difference of $4,300, which is a hefty premium to get the most powerful engine.
It's a bewildering move from Hyundai. The automaker could be trying to simplify the Sonata range before the all-new 2020 model arrives. But as the name suggests, the Sport model is supposed to be the sportiest and most driver-focused model in the Sonata range, yet it no longer has the most powerful engine.
Consequently, buyers looking for a mid-size sedan that provides a sporty driving experience may now be enticed by some of Hyundai's competitors that have more powerful engines but cost less than the Sonata Limited. The Honda Accord's turbocharged 2.0-liter four, for example, develops 252 hp, while the Mazda6's available 2.5-liter turbo produces 250 hp. The Toyota Camry's available 3.5-liter V6 generates 301 hp, and the Ford Fusion Sport's 2.7-liter turbo four is rated at 325 hp.