When the first Hyundai Sonata sedan arrived here in 1989 it was a conservatively-styled and affordable family-sized alternative to vehicles such as Toyota Camry, Holden Commodore, Ford Falcon and Mitsubishi Magna.
All of them, bar the Camry, were soon to become casualties of looming local factory closures.
Now in its eighth generation the Sonata has progressively morphed from those relatively bland beginnings into a sleek and sporty four-door coupe.
The latest upgrade to the Gen 8 Sonata has now arrived here and it takes styling to the next level with looks that are sure to grab attention wherever it goes.
Hyundai has tagged its new design philosophy as ‘Sensuous Sportiness’.
Dominating the upgrade is an eye-catching dynamic front appearance incorporating the Seamless Horizon Lamp lighting design that we’ve seen previously in Staria and Kona and which is being progressively introduced across the Hyundai range.
At the rear, new H-lights further emphasise the car’s wide stance.
The swooping spoiler-shaped boot-lid and muffler-shaped rear garnish on the standard model reinforce the impression of a high-performance sports sedan.
There are six exterior colours including a new matte finish.
As well as the exterior styling refresh the interior of the new Sonata gets a spectacular new panoramic curved display which integrates two 12.3-inch displays together with new safety and convenience technologies.
The touchscreen now features Bluelink connected car services which enables app-based features including calendar syncs, remote services, find my car and remote vehicle check.
The adoption of a column-type shift-by-wire controller behind the steering wheel frees up space in the centre console, while a palm rest that provides more comfort for the driver by extending the armrest to lean up to the palm of the hand.
As before the MY24 Sonata comes in a single N Line variant priced from $55,500 plus on-road costs with the same 2.5-litre 213kW/422Nm turbo-petrol engine and eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission .
New safety features include intelligent speed limit assist, reverse parking collision-avoidance assist and tyre pressure monitoring.