Next-gen Hyundai Sonata (Hybrid) to release in 2023 – Report [Update]

Update: ‘2023 Hyundai Sonata fan render’ section updated.

The eighth-gen Hyundai Sonata (codename: Hyundai DN8) that debuted in March 2017 won’t get a mid-life facelift. Due to lackluster sales, Hyundai is trying to start over with a new ninth-generation Sonata next year, it is reported in South Korea.

While the market is going from sedans to SUVs over the last few years, the Hyundai Grandeur has dwarfed the Hyundai Sonata in the Korean market. That’s partly because it has evolved to be a more appealing product and partly because the Sonata has driven consumers away with its strange design. Sure, the Grandeur has also adopted a quirky new look, but its recipe is a hit. It has evolved into a luxurious and sophisticated sedan with a bold design. The new offbeat Sonata, on the other hand, has failed to generate a wide excitement.

YearHyundai Sonata sales (S. Korea)Hyundai Grandeur sales (S. Korea)
The Hyundai Grandeur has overtaken the Hyundai Sonata in South Korea in the last five years. Data Source: Hyundai.

According to a report from Auto Post, Hyundai has acknowledged the Sonata DN8’s collapse. Despite trying with discounts, production suspensions, and a model year change, it hasn’t managed to salvage sales of the sedan. To this effect, it has decided not to give the existing model a proper facelift, and will replace it with the next-gen Sonata in 2023.

Same platform but new design

The ninth-gen Hyundai Sonata (codename: Hyundai DN9) will ride on the platform that underpins the current model. Called ‘third-generation vehicle platform’ publicly and ‘N3 platform’ internally, it does allow partial electrification with mild-hybrid, full-hybrid, and plug-in hybrid engines. The powertrain mix of the Sonata DN9 could be the same as the current model (gasoline, gasoline-electric hybrid, and LPG).

Taking the Sonata to its ninth generation, Hyundai will likely simplify its design to make it widely acceptable, and improve the onboard equipment. The report says that it is likely Hyundai will add an augmented reality head-up display, sequential turn indicators, and Highway Driving Assist 2 (HDA 2) to its features list.

2023 Hyundai Sonata fan render

Hyundai hasn’t disclosed details about the next-gen Sonata’s design. The company hasn’t started testing it, and spy pictures that could reveal parts of the design and the new shape are expected to emerge on Korean blogs and boards this year. However the lack of spy media hasn’t stopped enthusiasts from imagining what it could look like. South Korea auto illustrator NY Mammoth has created a rendering with inspiration from the Hyundai Staria MPV.

The rendered next-gen Sonata doesn’t ape the current model’s coupe-inspired silhouette. Instead of sloping flat into the tail section, the roofline changes the angle towards the rear. This brings back some of the traditional sedan impression. The front-end is quite flashy, featuring huge grilles and two-tier lights, including a virtually seamless full-width DRL strip. We’re not a fan of this unusually dramatic face, but that’s probably the way forward at Hyundai.

U.S. launch

The U.S. will likely be among the first markets worldwide to get the next-gen Hyundai Sonata next year. It will be the ICE model alternative to the all-electric Hyundai Ioniq 6 midsize sedan in the company’s global line-up. We will update this page as and when new information emerges.

Featured Image Source: Naver/shadow0122/NY Mammoth