While many automakers have given up on conventional passenger cars, Hyundai is convinced there’s still a solid — and profitable — market for sedans. And, if anything, it’s hoping to draw buyers back with the changes in store for the 2024 Sonata and Elantra models.
In industry-speak, the two sedans are getting “major-minor” updates for the coming model year. Normally, midcycle upgrades tend to be modest, with a handful of design tweaks, and perhaps a new tech feature thrown in. Not so with the two South Korean sedans.
Both get fairly significant design changes, including Sonata’s new twin-display instrument panel. The bigger of the two sedans also gets an all-wheel-drive option for the first time.
Hyundai “remains committed to sedans as part of our mix,” said Jose Munoz, who serves as both the company’s global chief operating officer and CEO of its North American operations. And with both Sonata and Elantra showing solid sales growth over the last several years, Munoz added, “we’re confident” the 2024 upgrades will win over “more new, loyal Hyundai customers”
Here’s a look at the upgrades the two sedans are getting for 2024:
2024 Hyundai Sonata
There’s reason for Hyundai to bet on the Sonata. After years of declining sales, demand for the midsize sedan surged 39% for the first half of this year.
The goal for 2024 was to make the Hyundai Sonata “look like a brand new car,” said Simon Loasby, the head of the Hyundai Styling Group. “We wanted to give the 2024 Sonata a more contemporary design statement.”
That begins with an all-new grille and a revised front bumper, largely concealing the LED headlamps. More obvious are the daytime running lights that form a narrow band running from corner to corner beneath the sloping hood. That detail is echoed in the rear by H-shaped taillamps that stretch across the trunk lid. A black trunk lid spoiler, meanwhile, is meant to give the new Sonata a more sporty look.
A new tech focus
The cabin gets an even more significant update, with the addition of new soft-touch materials and, most notably, a full redesign of the instrument panel. It’s now topped by a gently curving glass panel covering twin 12.3-inch digital displays. One handles the gauge cluster, the other the infotainment system. A third, 6.6-inch display is mounted mid-stack and handles climate control duties. A head-up display is also available, depending upon the trim package.
The new Sonata is loaded with a variety of updated tech features, including an array of updated safety systems, including rear cross-traffic collision avoidance and blind spot warning. There’s a digital key system that lets a driver leave the conventional fob at home and rely on a smartphone app. The updated BlueLink+ system adds wireless versions of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
What may prove especially appealing, however, is the first-time all-wheel-drive system. The HTRAC system is paired with a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
“We want to cast a wide net” and win over buyers in snowier climes who might otherwise go with an SUV offering all-wheel-drive, said senior product executive Mike Evanoff.
Hyundai will offer three different powertrain packages for the 2024 Sonata. That also includes a hybrid pairing that 2.0-liter engine with an electric motor and a 6-speed automatic.
The sportiest option, is a turbocharged 2.5-liter package in the 2024 Hyundai Sonata N-Line. It’s paired with an 8-speed dual-clutch gearbox expected to make around 290 horsepower. (Final power and fuel economy numbers are yet to be released.
The N-Line also gets a number of distinctive design cues, including its own bumper and fascia. The grille was also revised, with bigger air intakes.
The N-Line gets forged 19-inch alloy wheels and its own rear spoiler. There also are distinctive accents along the face and front quarter panels. And the sporty model adds its own steering wheel and unique red interior stitching and accents.
2024 Hyundai Elantra
Considering the outgoing Hyundai Elantra’s sales soared an impressive 54% so far this year, one might wonder why the automaker is even bothering to update the compact sedan. But it’s determined to keep the “momentum” going, said senior group manager Jon Simmons.
The revisions start with exterior design tweaks meant to enhance the 2024 Elantra’s “shark-nose” front end and give it a bit more of a wide, sporty and well-planted appearance. There’s a new front fascia and updated fenders, though the distinctive creases in its side panels are essentially unchanged. In the rear, the long backglass now flows into an integrated spoiler. Elantra now features its own “H-shaped” taillights.
Depending upon trim and buyer preference, Hyundai will offer a choice of 15-, 16-, 17- and 18-inch wheels on the 2024 Elantra.
Interior and tech
The updates aren’t as extensive as with the 2024 Sonata, but there are some obvious tweaks, including the expanded use of soft-touch materials and H-Tex leather on upper trim grades.
And there’s plenty of new technology, including a 4.2-inch digital cluster and an optional 10.25-inch navigation screen — which Hyundai bills as the biggest in its segment.
There’s now a WiFi hotspot and new USB-C ports, front and back. The sedan also gets a new wireless smartphone charger. And it shares the updated BlueLink+ infotainment technology found in the 2024 Sonata.
There’s also the digital key system. Add an assortment of new advanced driver assistance and safety systems, and useful features like a surround-view monitor.
As with the Sonata, Hyundai has yet to release full powertrain data for 2024. But it will offer an assortment of choices, depending upon the package:
- A gasoline-powered 2.0-liter engine,
- A 2.0-liter turbo engine,
- A 1.6-liter turbo engine, and
- A 1.6-liter gas-electric package for the 2024 Hyundai Elantra hybrid.
Hyundai will offer both a sporty N-Line package for the upcoming model-year, as well as its true tire-smoker, the Elantra N.
The latter package gets a number of unique features, starting with its own front grille, fascia and side sills, its own rear wing, a rear fascia with a diffuser, dual exhaust and 19-inch forged alloy wheels shod with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires.
Add a unique steering wheel and shift knob, distinctive instrument cluster and N light sport bucket seats with an illuminated “N” logo. The infotainment system also has been tweaked for the N package.
Pricing and availability
The automaker has yet to reveal pricing for the two updated sedans.
Look for the 2024 Hyundai Elantra to land in showrooms first, tentatively this coming autumn.
The 2024 Hyundai Sonata will follow sometime over the winter, according to Munoz.