Last year, there were reports that Hyundai has already decided to discontinue the Sonata midsize sedan, as the Korean brand is pushing to create more electric vehicles and hybrid models.
However, just before the eighth-generation Sonata bows out at the end of its production run, Hyundai looks like it will give its once-popular sedan a final nip and tuck.
Thanks to newly-leaked pictures (albeit very blurry ones) of the eighth-generation Sonata, we were able to see the midsize sedan wearing the front fascia first seen on the Hyundai Staria. The full-width light bar has made its way to the midsize sedan along with the low headlight arrangement.
Recently, this design trend has also been adopted by the Stargazer MPV, the latest Kona crossover, as well as the Verna / Accent. Judging by Hyundai's recent releases, it looks like the Staria's design is set to populate the rest of their lineup.
Pre-facelift Hyundai Sonata rear end
Meanwhile, the rest of the Sonata's design remains largely unchanged based on the leaked photos, but the rear could also receive some minor tweaks, particularly in the taillight design. Hyundai seems to have made the full-width light bar thicker at the back and finished it with smoked lenses.
Should Hyundai stick with the current engine options for the Sonata, the refreshed version could be offered with either a 1.6-liter turbo with 183 PS, a 2.5-liter engine with 194 PS, or a 2.5-liter turbo with 294 PS in the flagship N-line model.
Pre-facelift Hyundai Sonata
Dwindling sales may have been the reason why Hyundai is reportedly axing the Sonata. As the public has shifted its affection towards crossovers and SUVs, Hyundai was only able to shift around 60,000 Sonatas last year. Compared to its best performance in 2012 when it sold over 230,000 units, that is indeed quite a drop.