Hyundai just introduced a pair of great new vehicles for 2018: the Sonata and Elantra GT. Combined, the two cars make up more than half of all U.S. Hyundai sales, and both are built in the USA.
2018 Hyundai Sonata
As sales of sedans slip across the country, Hyundai is still betting that car buyers will want the fuel economy and maneuverability of a mid-size sedan. And they’re betting that the new Sonata can draw buyers to the Hyundai brand.
“The vast majority of mid-size car owners intend to purchase another sedan,” said John Shon, senior manager of product planning for Hyundai. The Sonata is one of Hyundai’s biggest sellers, with more than 2.8 million sold since it was introduced in 1989.
The Sonata has undergone an “extensive model refresh” for 2018, Shon told auto journalists at the Sonata launch in rainy Charleston, S.C. The Sonata gets a new front fascia on the outside and a new center stack layout on the inside.
The biggest change, however, is the addition of a new 8-speed transmission that goes with the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. The other engine choice is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder, which is paired with a 6-speed automatic.
The turbo -four delivers 245 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque, while the base 2.4-liter engine kicks out 185 horses and 178 lb.-ft. of torque.
2018 Hyundai Elantra GT
Crossovers and SUVs are as popular as ever in the United States, and the 2018 Hyundai Elantra GT is a fun-to-drive hatchback that accounts for more than a quarter of all Hyundai sales in America.
Available in GT and GT Sport trims, the Elantra is larger than the previous version with 121.4 cubic feet of interior volume and an eight percent increase in cargo space.
The Elantra GT is outfitted with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that develops 161 horsepower and 150 lb.-ft. of torque. The Elantra GT Sport gets a 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder rated at 201 horsepower and 195 lb.-ft. of torque.
The 2.0-liter is mated to either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission, while the turbocharged 1.6-liter engine gets either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.
Interior features include a wireless charging pad, and electronic parking brake, an auto dimming mirror, dual automatic temperature control and ventilated front seats. An available 8-inch multimedia navigation system has been upgraded for greater responsiveness.