Susan Frissell, Womenwithwheels.com editor
Our week in the Hyundai Sonata N Line was a pleasure. It had been some time since driving a Sonata and this reminded us how capable and classy this sedan can be. Opting for the racier N Line means a stiffer ride, but if you like a lot of horsepower (and we do), the N edition doesn’t lack for it at 290 hp. One can detect the difference in pickup and ride between a rather underpowered regular Sonata and the N Line. Ninety-nine more horse makes a big difference in the feeling of capability. One may ask, however, is the N tuned for sport or does it still feel like a capable sedan?
The suspension in the N Line, as on many higher-power vehicles, is stiff. The high-performance tires add to that, but also allow for a lot of grip. With a front-wheel-drive layout, the N Line seems a bit limited when cornering. More time in the N Line might convince this writer to just stay with the regular Sonata for a smoother ride overall.
We love the look of this sedan, particularly in the Phantom Black paint and black interior.
The one difference between the N Line and base Sonata cabin is the type of seats. Equipped with standard sport sedan seating, the N seats are tall and narrow, with side bolsters and suede fabric. Designed to hold the driver in place, it’s a feel you get with most sports-car layouts. Holds the driver in place when cornering. Looks sporty, also, which anyone choosing a N layout would want. We didn’t attempt any over-the-road long-term drive in the Sonata N Line so can’t comment on over-the-road comfort. Having owned several sporty vehicles, this writer is accustomed to the stiffer ride, and in fact, prefer it.
Taller drivers may notice the lack of headroom in the N Line Sonata. Narrow bolsters make for a snug fit. On the other hand, passengers in the rear seats will appreciate the generous space. Cargo room is also good and is space you can use.
Wind noise was a problem on our long drive, both around the side windows and the large moonroof. We actually had to slide the moonroof cover closed to quiet the noise. Still, overall design quality in the Sonata is excellent. The cabin looks handsome and is comfortable for all kinds of driving.
The Sonata N Line isn’t, however, the quietest of sport sedans, the slide moonroof adding to the noise. If this was our daily-driver, we’d want that roof open, particularly in the warm months. A swap for air conditioning.
The higher trims in the Sonata are equipped with two large infotainment screens, one a touchscreen in the center of the dash and a screen displaying digital gauges mounted behind the steering wheel. We got used to the touchscreen controls, more friendly than others. Menus made sense to this computer illiterate writer, each are different and just take some review time.
As is the way today, the touchscreen is responsible for controlling everything (except the climate system), and are generally straightforward, despite the many icons. For this reviewer, it took some extra time. For the learned, it’s a straight-forward process.
The Hyundai N Line is available in 7 exterior colors and one interior color. Six trims can be had, and three packages. As expected, there isn’t much missing on the N edition, with all the extras one has come to expect in a vehicle that stands out. Included are front, front side intact side curtain and driver knee airbags, Panorama Sunroof, Review camera, LED headlights, N Unique front and rear fascia, a duel twin exhaust outlet, Hands-free smart trunk release, power door locks, windows auto up/down, N unique leather-wrapped wheel and shift knob. And our favorite, the Bose Premium Audio with 12 speakers including 9-inch subwoofer.
Also included are the expected things that make driving easier these days, such as smart cruise, tilt/telescopic steering wheel/cruise, and a 10.25-inch Touchscreen Nav system, AM/FM/HD radio, Apple CarPlay, SiriusXM radio, Blue Link Connected Services. The only added feature in our test N Line Sonata was carpeted floor mats ($195).
One wants for little when opting for the N Line edition of the Hyundai Sonata sedan. This feels like a good size car, while fun to maneuver and great to look at.
MSRP: $33, 600; freight: $1,045; total price $34,840
Engine: Smartstream 2.5L Turbo 4-cylinder engine with GDI and MPI 290 horse, 5800 pm, 311 lb.ft. torque, 1,650-4000 RPM, 16-valve
Transmission: N 8-speed Wet Dual Clutch/Transmission w/Paddle Shifters, Drive Mode Select. FWD
Wheels: N Unique 19-inch alloy wheels
Fuel Economy: 27 mpg; 23/33 mpg.
Length: 192.9 in.
Width: 73.2 in.
Height: 56.9 in.
Wheelbase: 111.8 in.
Fuel Tank: 15.9 gal.
Gross Weight: 4,564 lbs.
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