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2021 Hyundai Sonata N Line review: Surprisingly sporty

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The Sonata N Line is extra than just a rather deal with.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

Some cars just surprise the hell out of you, and very little in modern memory has taken me aback fairly like the 2021 Hyundai Sonata N Line. What I believed was heading to be a awesome midsize sedan with a minor extra energy is in fact a effectively sporty car.


  • Great powertrain and chassis
  • Super fun to generate
  • Great style and tech

Really don’t Like

  • Some torque steer
  • Rough close to town

Actual quick, a phrase about the letter N. The Sonata N Line isn’t really a entire-bore N, like the Veloster N or forthcoming Elantra N and Kona N. Alternatively, feel of this as N-lite, just like the Elantra N Line and the new Kona N Line and Tucson N Line. Received it? Excellent.

A practiced eye will promptly spot the variations involving the Sonata N Line and its extra staid counterparts, nevertheless the variations are absolutely refined. There is a new grille up entrance with greater air intakes, and the Sonata’s wonderful daytime managing lights remain intact. All around back again, the N Line receives quad exhaust pipes and a redesigned bumper and diffuser. New wheels spherical out the variations, and total, even though these upgrades aren’t major, the N Line seems just as great as any other new Sonata.

The massive upgrades begin less than the hood, wherever the Sonata N Line receives a 2.five-liter turbocharged inline-four engine, the same one particular you are going to locate in the Genesis G80 and GV80, as well as the Kia K5 GT and refreshed Stinger. Listed here, it truly is tuned to deliver 290 horsepower and 311 pound-toes of torque. Energy goes to the entrance wheels as a result of an eight-velocity twin-clutch computerized transmission, which you are going to also locate in the Veloster N and Elantra N.

The Sonata rips off the line it’s going to do a entrance-generate burnout with no even attempting. But solid and effective as the engine is, the sedan’s chassis is the real star of the exhibit. The N Line dives into corners, and even though the suspension keeps the Sonata taut and planted in corners, it truly is not so stiff that it success in a choppy journey more than damaged pavement.

The N Line-unique 19-inch wheels glance wonderful.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

The steering is immediate and communicative, and it truly is also awesome and weighty, which absolutely adds to total involvement. Yeah, you will find a ton of torque steer mainly because of the entrance-wheel-generate format, but it truly is conveniently managed, and actually, it just will make me chuckle.

In Activity In addition manner, the twin-clutch transmission will downshift less than braking, nevertheless you don’t necessarily require this aggressive shift sample with how significantly torque is on faucet. Other than, Activity In addition immediately turns off the traction management, which is odd, specially since you will find no restricted-slip differential, meaning you will find a good deal of wheel spin even though cornering if you aren’t careful. Activity manner keeps traction management on and nonetheless presents super-quick shifts. It can be the way to go.

My tester is shod with Hyundai’s optional 245/40-collection Continental High quality Make contact with 6 summer time tires, wrapped close to 19-inch wheels. The summer time tire solution adds $two hundred to the Sonata’s bottom line, but it truly is money well invested looking at the excess grip these rubbers present.

Practically nothing completely wrong with this cabin.

Drew Phillips

I will say, nevertheless, excellent as the Sonata N Line is on a winding street, it can be a minor hard close to town. It occasionally feels skittish and jumpy, and the brakes are grabby. At the very least the N Line will come standard with a bunch of excellent driver-help technologies, together with Hyundai’s palms-on Highway Aid that facilities the car in its lane, navigating close to curves and utilizing adaptive cruise management to deal with braking and acceleration. It can be not a silky easy cruiser, but if which is your priority, just get the standard Sonata.

The N Line’s EPA-estimated gas financial state figures aren’t too shabby, possibly: 23 miles for each gallon city, 33 mpg highway and 27 mpg put together. Excellent luck obtaining those, nevertheless. Generate the Sonata N Line with gusto and you are going to consistently see numbers in the lower 20s.

Aside from N Line-unique activity seats, this Sonata’s interior is just like any other. Guaranteed, you will find some red contrast stitching and some N badges, but which is about it. Fortunately, you will find a good deal of place up entrance, the back again seat is roomy and the 16 cubic toes of trunk place is extra than sufficient.

The N Line receives the Sonata’s ideal infotainment tech, with a snappy multimedia system housed on a 10.2-inch touchscreen, with Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle standard. My colleagues like this system for its relieve of use, but I frequently locate that straightforward commands have to have excess faucets. For example, I can’t cancel my present route directly from the navigation map. I have to dig into the navigation menu to do so. More, the icons are compact and simple to miss out on when tapping close to the screen even though driving. But hey, I can listen to the appears of mother nature app that contains ambient sounds from a snowy day, a beach front, a rainstorm, a forest and, curiously, an out of doors cafe. So, bonus I guess?

This is a critically fun-to-generate sedan.

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

There aren’t any solution offers for the Sonata N Line, aside from some nicer paint colors and the aforementioned summer time tires. With its Quartz White exterior and improved tires, my tester will come out to $34,655 together with $one,005 for destination. Certainly, which is extra than $10,000 higher than the starting selling price of a foundation Sonata, but this car is nonetheless a huge value.

Believe of it this way: The Sonata N Line technically competes with cars like the Toyota Camry TRD and turbocharged Honda Accord and Mazda6, but it truly is way improved to generate. You’re finding a car which is closer to Acura TLX and BMW 3 Collection concentrations of enjoyment, and those cars value a whole good deal extra. No, the N Line isn’t really ideal, but it punches way higher than its bodyweight and has all of the standard Sonata’s excellent infotainment and security tech, to boot. This Hyundai may not right away occur to mind as a solid activity sedan, but believe in me, you should really generate one particular. It may surprise you.