2021 Hyundai Sonata N Line overview: Surprisingly sporty

The Sonata N Line is greater than only a fairly face.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

Some vehicles simply shock the hell out of you, and nothing in latest reminiscence has taken me aback fairly just like the 2021 Hyundai Sonata N Line. What I assumed was going to be a pleasant midsize sedan with a bit of extra energy is definitely a correctly sporty automotive.

LikeExcellent powertrain and chassisSuper enjoyable to driveGreat fashion and tech

Do not LikeSome torque steerRough round city

Actual fast, a phrase in regards to the letter N. The Sonata N Line is not a full-bore N, just like the Veloster N or upcoming Elantra N and Kona N. As a substitute, consider this as N-lite, identical to the Elantra N Line and the brand new Kona N Line and Tucson N Line. Bought it? Good.

A practiced eye will rapidly spot the variations between the Sonata N Line and its extra staid counterparts, although the adjustments are undoubtedly delicate. There is a new grille up entrance with bigger air intakes, and the Sonata’s superior daytime working lights stay intact. Round again, the N Line will get quad exhaust pipes and a redesigned bumper and diffuser. New wheels spherical out the adjustments, and total, whereas these upgrades aren’t main, the N Line seems to be simply pretty much as good as every other new Sonata.

The large upgrades begin underneath the hood, the place the Sonata N Line will get a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-four engine, the identical one you may discover within the Genesis G80 and GV80, in addition to the Kia K5 GT and refreshed Stinger. Right here, it is tuned to ship 290 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. Energy goes to the entrance wheels by an eight-speed dual-clutch computerized transmission, which you may additionally discover within the Veloster N and Elantra N.

The Sonata rips off the road; it’s going to do a front-drive burnout with out even making an attempt. However robust and highly effective because the engine is, the sedan’s chassis is the true star of the present. The N Line dives into corners, and whereas the suspension retains the Sonata taut and planted in corners, it is not so stiff that it ends in a uneven trip over damaged pavement.

The N Line-specific 19-inch wheels look superior.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

The steering is direct and communicative, and it is also good and heavy, which undoubtedly provides to total involvement. Yeah, there is a ton of torque steer due to the front-wheel-drive structure, nevertheless it’s simply managed, and actually, it simply makes me chortle.

In Sport Plus mode, the dual-clutch transmission will downshift underneath braking, although you do not essentially want this aggressive shift sample with how a lot torque is on faucet. Apart from, Sport Plus robotically turns off the traction management, which is odd, particularly since there is not any limited-slip differential, that means there’s quite a lot of wheel spin whereas cornering when you aren’t cautious. Sport mode retains traction management on and nonetheless presents super-quick shifts. It is the way in which to go.

My tester is shod with Hyundai’s elective 245/40-series Continental Premium Contact 6 summer time tires, wrapped round 19-inch wheels. The summer time tire choice provides $200 to the Sonata’s backside line, nevertheless it’s cash properly spent contemplating the additional grip these rubbers supply.

Nothing mistaken with this cabin.

Drew Phillips

I’ll say, although, nice because the Sonata N Line is on a winding street, it may be a bit of robust round city. It sometimes feels skittish and jumpy, and the brakes are grabby. A minimum of the N Line comes commonplace with a bunch of nice driver-assistance applied sciences, together with Hyundai’s hands-on Freeway Help that facilities the automotive in its lane, navigating round curves and utilizing adaptive cruise management to deal with braking and acceleration. It isn’t a silky easy cruiser, but when that is your precedence, simply get the usual Sonata.

The N Line’s EPA-estimated gasoline financial system figures aren’t too shabby, both: 23 miles per gallon metropolis, 33 mpg freeway and 27 mpg mixed. Good luck reaching these, although. Drive the Sonata N Line with gusto and you will commonly see numbers within the low 20s.

Except for N Line-specific sport seats, this Sonata’s inside is rather like every other. Certain, there’s some pink distinction stitching and a few N badges, however that is about it. Fortunately, there’s loads of area up entrance, the again seat is roomy and the 16 cubic toes of trunk area is greater than ample.

The N Line will get the Sonata’s greatest infotainment tech, with a handy guide a rough multimedia system housed on a 10.2-inch touchscreen, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto commonplace. My colleagues like this technique for its ease of use, however I usually discover that easy instructions require additional faucets. For instance, I can not cancel my present route immediately from the navigation map. I’ve to dig into the navigation menu to take action. Additional, the icons are small and straightforward to overlook when tapping across the display whereas driving. However hey, I can hearken to the sounds of nature app that features ambient noise from a snowy day, a seaside, a rainstorm, a forest and, curiously, an outside cafe. So, bonus I suppose?

This can be a severely fun-to-drive sedan.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

There are not any choice packages for the Sonata N Line, other than some nicer paint colours and the aforementioned summer time tires. With its Quartz White exterior and higher tires, my tester comes out to $34,655 together with $1,005 for vacation spot. Sure, that is greater than $10,000 above the beginning worth of a base Sonata, however this automotive continues to be an amazing worth.

Consider it this fashion: The Sonata N Line technically competes with vehicles just like the Toyota Camry TRD and turbocharged Honda Accord and Mazda6, nevertheless it’s approach higher to drive. You are getting a automotive that is nearer to Acura TLX and BMW three Collection ranges of enjoyment, and people vehicles value a complete lot extra. No, the N Line is not excellent, nevertheless it punches approach above its weight and has the entire commonplace Sonata’s nice infotainment and security tech, besides. This Hyundai won’t instantly come to thoughts as a strong sport sedan, however belief me, it is best to drive one. It’d shock you.

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