Review - Hyundai Sonata N Line

AF By Alexi Falson October 18, 2021

image for Review - Hyundai Sonata N Line While manufacturers continue to move away from the sedan body in favour of large SUVs, Hyundai’s Sonata N Line is a perfect and timely reminder that the majority of important boxes - and more - can be ticked in the humble sedan, particularly if it’s as powerful as the Sonata is. 

Hyundai has reduced the Sonata lineup to just one variant here in Australia, but thankfully, we actually receive the fastest and most luxurious option in the lineup, in the form of the Sonata N Line, which is billed as a sporty sedan that can handle the needs of Aussie families with every bit as much confidence as a larger SUV. How accurate are Hyundai’s claims? Let’s find out. 

Starting Price: $50,990

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Hyundai Sonata (N LINE) Specifications

Make HYUNDAI
Model SONATA
Series DN8.V1 MY21
Variant N LINE
Body 4D SEDAN
Fuel type UNLEADED PETROL
Transmission 8 SP AUTO DUAL CLUTC
Drive FWD
Engine TGDi
Engine capacity 2497
Engine configuration DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 5800 / 1650
Cylinders T4
Torque 422
KW 213
Fuel tank size 60.0
Fuel usage specs 8.1 / 0.0
CO2 188
ANCAP security rating UNRATED

How Much Does It Cost?

The Hyundai Sonata range is available in a single variant, the Sonata N Line, which is priced from $50,990. The only other thing that adds to the Sonata’s price tag is Hyundai’s prepaid servicing packages, which costs around $1,100 for a three-year plan, $1,470 for four-years of coverage and $1,835 for five-years or prepaid servicing. Keep in mind that prices mentioned here are subject to change, and the Sonata’s price does not include on-road costs. 

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What Features Does the Hyundai Sonata N Line Have?

The Hyundai Sonata N Line comes riding on a set of 19-inch alloy wheels, wrapped in an N-Line sport bodykit, and is packaged with features like LED head and tail lights, as well as LED daytime running lamps, automatic wipers, keyless entry and start, black Nappa leather upholstery with suede contrasts, dual-zone climate control, heated and ventilated seats up front and heated seats in the rear, wheel-mounted gear paddles, a panoramic sunroof, wireless smartphone charging, power-adjustable driver’s seat, a heads-up display, 12.3-inch digital driver’s display and a 10.25-inch infotainment system fitted with sat-nav, DAB+ digital radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto paired with a 12-speaker sound system provided by BOSE. 

Range Features: 

  • 19-inch alloys

  • LED head and tail lights with LED daytime running lamps 

  • N-Line sport bodykit 

  • Keyless entry & start 

  • 12.3-inch digital driver’s display 

  • 10.25-inch infotainment system with sat-nav, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and DAB+ radio

  • 12-speaker sound system from BOSE

  • Wireless smartphone charging 

  • Panoramic sunroof 

  • Heated and ventilated first-row seats

  • Heated rear seats 

  • Nappa leather upholstery 

  • Head-up display 

  • Dual-zone climate control 

Hyundai Sonata N Line Colours

Midnight black White cream
Flame Red Hampton Grey

Is the Hyundai Sonata N Line Comfortable to Drive? 

While previous Sonatas were guilty of being a little bit uninspiring, the most recent generation has received a significant power boost, bringing it into a new category entirely. At its heart, the Sonata N Line is powered by a 2.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder unit producing 213kW and 422Nm. Translated to English, this means that the Sonata has a four-cylinder engine that matches the power on offer in higher capacity six-cylinder engines, while retaining a lightweight construction for added handling ability. 

On the road, the power delivery is undeniably impressive, and once the turbocharger has spooled up, the Sonata takes off like a rocket without making a big fuss about it. It’s worth noting that this is the N-Line, rather than a pure N creation, meaning the engine is perhaps detuned from its full potential, but the acceleration on offer is more than enough for most drivers, and makes for a perfect point-and-shoot tourer. 

As for the transmission, the eight-speed dual clutch box works an absolute treat on the road, and doesn’t suffer from the same lurchiness that a number of dual clutch transmissions often present while driving at low speeds around town. Instead, the Sonata’s eight-speed box provides silky smooth shifts while you’re bumbling around town, and gets to work providing rapid quick shifts when you’re up to speed. It’s the perfect accompaniment to the solid and perky engine output, and helps the driver engage with the Sonata’s sporty side, while remaining compliant around town.  

Things get better when you take a look under the bodywork to see that Hyundai has actually tuned the Sonata specifically for Australian road conditions, meaning that it's a sporty car that can actually handle some of the bumps and rough surfaces that you’ll see on a daily basis outside metropolitan areas. Typically, the sportier a car gets, the more uncomfortable it becomes on a daily commute, but the Hyundai Sonata is proof that this isn’t always the case. Around town, it absorbs low-speed bumps comfortably - although the nose is prone to scraping on some steep driveways - and when you’ve picked up speed, it can soak up potholes and irregularities while giving the driver a sense of planted confidence. When pushed at speed, the suspension works wonders holding the car flat, enabling as much grip as possible for the front wheels so you remain in control. 

The Hyundai Sonata N Line is every bit as approachable as an i30 hatch, retaining a lightweight steering wheel and smooth transmission for comfortable drives around town, while offering a genuinely impressive amount of acceleration when pushing. It’s an effortless and refined tourer for long-distance journeys with a wild side, and for those two reasons, we love it. 

Is it Practical and Spacious? 

While buyers tend to flock toward SUVs for the perceived benefits of interior space, comfort and added practicality, the Hyundai Sonata is a nice reminder that the humble sedan is still a family-friendly body shape that can accommodate five people in comfort, and offers a huge amount of boot space. The overall package is made even sweeter by Hyundai’s generous features list, as well as the quality, fit and finish of the interior design that will surely impress future owners with its classy, modern aesthetic. 

The front of the cabin greets the driver and front passenger to a simple, understated cockpit absolutely packed with features, sporty touches and luxury appointments, while retaining Hyundai’s everyday practical elements. In terms of storage, the Sonata receives a set of large door bins either side, two cup holders between the driver and front passenger, a storage area in front of the centre console and a fair bit of space in the centre armrest. The sport seats are supportive and comfortable, and the driving position is fully adjustable, so you can find your perfect setup. You sit quite low to the road which adds to the sporty aesthetic, but the large windows and panoramic sunroof help give the cabin a sense of space. Overall, driving space, comfort and practicality in the front of the Sonata’s cabin is exceptional, and while you don’t sit quite as high as an SUV, the overall driving experience is completely on par with SUV counterparts. 

The same goes for the amount of space and comfort on offer in the second row of the Sonata’s cabin, with a set of large heated seats for rear passengers who are treated to the same set of door bins and cup holders housed in the armrest. There is more than enough legroom in the Sonata’s rear cabin for tall adults, and thanks to that low seating position, there’s a heap of headroom, too. Even with the slightly sloping roof line, there’s a comparable amount of space in the Sonata as a medium-sized SUV, and the good news keeps coming when you open up the boot. 

The Sonata has 510L of space in the boot, which translates to a huge amount of real-world space and very much keeps up with the cargo storage available in an SUV. For those with young children, the Sonata’s rear cabin features easy access to the ISOFIX anchor and top tether points, and with large door openings, allows even the bulkiest of child seats to squeeze into the cabin. 

All up, then, the Hyundai Sonata provides all the comfort and real-world practicality that continues to attract buyers toward large SUVs in a much smaller package. It is more than capable of serving the needs of any Australian family, and is a valuable reminder of how capable sedans really are for family duties. 

Is it Safe? 

The current generation Hyundai Sonata N-Line is yet to be officially tested by ANCAP. For reference, though, the previous generation was awarded a five star ANCAP rating back in 2015. To make up for this, though, Hyundai is bundling in a huge amount of safety equipment in the Sonata as standard, which includes autonomous emergency braking, blind spot assistance, rear cross-traffic alerts, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, a surround-view camera, six airbags and driver attention monitoring. With all this safety tech included as standard, it’s hard to argue that the Hyundai Sonata N Line is an extremely safe car for the roads here in Australia. 

Is it Fuel Efficient?

The Hyundai Sonata is officially rated at 8.1L per 100km on a combined cycle, which isn’t too impressive considering it’s a relatively small capacity, turbocharged engine, but it does produce a significant amount of power. Real world driving will see these figures rise to around 9L per 100km, but depending on your driving style, you can definitely improve upon Hyundai’s fuel economy claim. 

Our Verdict: Is the Hyundai Sonata N Line Worth it? 

The Hyundai Sonata N Line is the perfect car for those looking for a vehicle with the space and practicality of an SUV while retaining a smaller, sportier body shape that leaves large SUVs in the dust. While it’s not an official N car, the Sonata’s engine is a strong performer, and receives suspension that can handle aggressive driving while remaining comfortable on the open road. 

It really is the perfect option for those looking for an adaptable package that can comfortably fit into your work or errand schedule while providing a heap of enjoyment on the return journey. If you’re looking at medium-sized SUVs but want to drive something more engaging on the weekends, we’d highly recommend adding the Sonata N Line to your shortlist. On that note, if you’re interested in buying a new car, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925 

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Five year, unlimited KM warranty 
  2. Capped price servicing packages available 
  3. 510L of boot space 
  4. No official ANCAP safety rating yet 
  5. Combined cycle fuel economy of 8.1L per 100km 

Pros 

  • Spirited turbocharged engine paired with smooth 8-speed dual-clutch transmission 

  • Capable suspension for aggressive driving while remaining comfortable while touring 

  • Interior features and build quality 

Cons

  • Engine lacks any inspiring acoustics 

  • Prices are getting steep for a Hyundai

  • Front nose can scrape on some steep inclines 

Hyundai Sonata N Line Competition




Hyundai Sonata N Line



VS
Kia Optima
Kia Stinger
Honda Civic
Puegot 508
Volvo s60

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