We previewed the Kia K5 and its looming ramp-to-ramp jump during the Emmys. Across the hall at its South Korean sibling, Hyundai is busting its own moves to grab the attention of people who like to strut a bit while driving affordable cars. We learned this week that Hyundai is going bold with its Sonata sedan, which was completely redone for 2019, by introducing the Sonata N Line, the midsize sedan’s entry in Hyundai’s performance – and appearance – range of models that’s collectively called the N Brand, and which incorporates specific entrants from the Elantra and Veloster ranges, as well.
First impression are that this is nicely aggressive without being over the top like some of the things we’ve seen coming out of Japan lately. With dual character creases running down both sides, the Sonata is upgraded to N Line parameters by adding the line-defining cascading grille treatment, an N Line front fascia with multiple air intakes, side skirts and 19-inch wheels whose spoke pattern is somewhat reminiscent of the second-generation Taurus SHO that Ford produced, with Yamaha power, in the mid-1990s. The Sonata N Line also adds a black-surface lower rear bumper and four exhaust outlets faired into a rear diffuser. And just so you know it’s not all for show, a Sonata SEL can already be had with 245-series Pirelli P-Zero rubber and an available 1.6-liter turbocharged four with 180 horsepower, linked to an eight-speed manual transaxle.