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2021 Hyundai Sonata N Line: Sporty sedan targets Toyota Camry


The only 2021 Hyundai Sonata to be confirmed for launch in Australia so far is this: the turbocharged Sonata N-Line.

Hyundai has confirmed more details of the hotly anticipated new Sonata, a direct rival for one of Australia’s most popular cars, the Toyota Camry. This N Line variant promises to be far sportier than that vehicle, though, with 213kW from a 2.5-litre turbocharged engine and a slick eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox.

The Sonata has been off the market in Australia since mid-2019. However, the new model is currently sold in the USA. A choice of 2.5-litre direct-injected four-cylinder with 142kW or a familiar 1.6-litre turbo is offered – but nothing like this motor.

Hyundai Sonata N line 2021 rear

As Hyundai continues to grow its N brand, the N Line variants are best thought of as the equivalent of BMW’s M Performance branded vehicles – sportier than cooking Hyundais, but still no rival for full-fat N cars like the i30 and coming i20.

Thomas Schemera, Executive Vice President, Head of the Product Division at Hyundai said the new “Sonata N Line joins the lineup, satisfying the desire for dynamic performance”. Hyundai Australia has confirmed the new high-performance sedan will land on our shores before 2020 is out – the wait won’t be long, then.

Hyundai Sonata N line 2021 interior

The big news is the drivetrain confirmation. Hyundai has started with the naturally-aspirated 2.5-litre direct-injection petrol engine from cooking Sonatas. Stronger internals and a new cylinder head feature as does a turbocharger to bring outputs up to 213kW and 422Nm.

Handling cog-swapping is the same eight-speed dual-clutch gearbox that is due on the facelifted i30 N Hatch. Naturally, the same cool features like N grin shift and well-tuned rev-match programming will carry across. To finish the N Line off, Hyundai has braced the Sonata’s chassis to curtail flex, while also upping spring, damper and anti-roll bar rates for a crisper driving experience.

There is a clear family lineage to the all-new i30 Sedan with that broad grille to accentuate the car’s width, within which a distinctive ‘jewel pattern’ design resides. Air intakes below and attractive 19-inch alloy wheels add menace to the front of what is a rather practical vehicle.

Hyundai Sonata N line 2021 fender

Muscularity is underlined by a body crease that runs in tension along the Sonata’s profile – no doubt helping the nameplate break out of its conservative past. Around the rear, Hyundai’s aggressive creases once again appear but are more toned down than in the i30. There’s a lip spoiler on this N Line variant, as well as quad tailpipes and a rear diffuser – though these details might be overselling the sportiness of the Sonata, we’ll find out shortly.

Perhaps the most exciting features are the wraparound LED signature that both accentuate width and add a real touch of class to the Sonata’s rump. Of course, we’ll reserve final judgement until we see the Sonata in the flesh later this year, but current impressions are promising.

Hyundai Sonata N line 2021 front

Inside we’re pleased to see Hyundai sticking to the cool four-spoke perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel for the N Line. Naturally there is red stitching, partially suede cloth-appointed sports seats and metal pedals. That is on top of a generous 10.25-inch touchscreen, Bose premium stereo, keyless entry with remote start and a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display.

Selectable drive modes will make an appearance, too with the digital driver’s display changing to reflect the selection. Safety gear is, naturally, all present including lane-keep assist, AEB, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and rear parking sensors.

Chasing Cars will have more pricing and specification details closer to the Sonata N Line’s Australian launch.