After a complete redesign in 2020, here's what's new for the 2021 model.
The Hyundai Sonata was given a complete redesign for the 2020 model year inspired by the stunning Le Fil Rouge concept, and it's still one of the most attractive sedans on the market. As such, we weren't expecting the stylish sedan to receive any changes for the 2021 model year, but Hyundai has announced a surprise update for the stylish sedan.
As standard, the 2021 Hyundai Sonata SEL Plus trim is now fitted with 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 245/40 R19 Pirelli P Zero all-season tires to improve traction in light snow. Pirelli's noise-canceling system also reduces noise inside the cabin. In addition, a Safe Exit Warning system has been added to SEL, SEL Plus, and Limited trims. This system uses blind-spot radar sensors to warn the driver and passengers if oncoming traffic is detected when parallel parked.
If detected, an audible warning and pop up message is displayed in the cluster telling the driver and passengers to "watch for traffic." For added convenience, a six-way adjustable power passenger seat has been added to the Limited trim.
"The 19-inch wheels and tires make a beautiful looking car look and perform even better," said Scott Margason, director of product planning at Hyundai Motor North America. "After listening to our early 2020 Sonata buyers, we were quickly able to add power height adjustment to the passenger seat on the Limited trim. In addition, across the lineup we've added Safe Exit Warning that gives drivers a second set of eyes to let them know if it's safe to open the doors on the driver's side of the vehicle when parallel parked on a busy city street."
Powertrain options remain unchanged, although a faster N-Line is expected soon. Like last year's model, the 2021 Hyundai Sonata is available with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque in the SE and SEL trims, while the SEL Plus and Limited trims use a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at 180 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Sales for the 2021 Hyundai Sonata will start this August. Pricing details haven't been confirmed, but don't be surprised if the updated sedan gets a slight price increase. For reference, the 2020 Hyundai Sonata SEL Plus Limited starts at $27,650, while the range-topping Limited trim carries a starting price of $33,500.