2021 Hyundai Sonata N Line review: Surprisingly sporty

Maria J. Danford

The Sonata N Line is extra than just a very face.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

Some automobiles just surprise the hell out of you, and nothing at all in modern memory has taken me aback fairly like the 2021 Hyundai Sonata N Line. What I believed was likely to be a pleasant midsize sedan with a small extra power is in fact a properly sporty auto.


  • Great powertrain and chassis
  • Tremendous fun to push
  • Wonderful model and tech

Don’t Like

  • Some torque steer
  • Rough all-around town

Real speedy, a word about the letter N. The Sonata N Line is just not a complete-bore N, like the Veloster N or upcoming Elantra N and Kona N. In its place, think of this as N-lite, just like the Elantra N Line and the new Kona N Line and Tucson N Line. Received it? Superior.

A practiced eye will swiftly location the dissimilarities involving the Sonata N Line and its extra staid counterparts, although the modifications are unquestionably refined. There is a new grille up entrance with larger air intakes, and the Sonata’s magnificent daytime working lights keep on being intact. Around back again, the N Line receives quad exhaust pipes and a redesigned bumper and diffuser. New wheels spherical out the modifications, and total, although these updates usually are not key, the N Line looks just as fantastic as any other new Sonata.

The large updates commence less than the hood, exactly where the Sonata N Line receives a two.five-liter turbocharged inline-four motor, the similar 1 you can expect to come across in the Genesis G80 and GV80, as effectively as the Kia K5 GT and refreshed Stinger. Here, it can be tuned to provide 290 horsepower and 311 pound-feet of torque. Ability goes to the entrance wheels as a result of an eight-velocity twin-clutch computerized transmission, which you can expect to also come across in the Veloster N and Elantra N.

The Sonata rips off the line it’ll do a entrance-push burnout without the need of even striving. But robust and strong as the motor is, the sedan’s chassis is the true star of the display. The N Line dives into corners, and although the suspension retains the Sonata taut and planted in corners, it can be not so rigid that it final results in a choppy journey more than broken pavement.

The N Line-specific 19-inch wheels look magnificent.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

The steering is direct and communicative, and it can be also pleasant and heavy, which unquestionably provides to total involvement. Yeah, you can find a ton of torque steer mainly because of the entrance-wheel-push format, but it can be conveniently managed, and actually, it just makes me chortle.

In Activity Furthermore manner, the twin-clutch transmission will downshift less than braking, although you you should not essentially will need this aggressive change sample with how considerably torque is on tap. In addition to, Activity Furthermore quickly turns off the traction control, which is odd, especially since you can find no limited-slip differential, that means you can find a whole lot of wheel spin although cornering if you usually are not cautious. Activity manner retains traction control on and nevertheless features tremendous-speedy shifts. It truly is the way to go.

My tester is shod with Hyundai’s optional 245/forty-sequence Continental Premium Call six summer months tires, wrapped all-around 19-inch wheels. The summer months tire possibility provides $two hundred to the Sonata’s bottom line, but it can be dollars effectively expended contemplating the excess grip these rubbers offer.

Very little mistaken with this cabin.

Drew Phillips

I will say, although, wonderful as the Sonata N Line is on a winding highway, it can be a small tough all-around town. It from time to time feels skittish and jumpy, and the brakes are grabby. At the very least the N Line arrives standard with a bunch of wonderful driver-guidance systems, together with Hyundai’s hands-on Freeway Guide that centers the auto in its lane, navigating all-around curves and using adaptive cruise control to tackle braking and acceleration. It truly is not a silky sleek cruiser, but if which is your precedence, just get the standard Sonata.

The N Line’s EPA-estimated gas economy figures usually are not far too shabby, either: 23 miles for every gallon city, 33 mpg freeway and 27 mpg mixed. Superior luck accomplishing those, although. Generate the Sonata N Line with gusto and you can expect to consistently see figures in the lower 20s.

Aside from N Line-specific sport seats, this Sonata’s interior is just like any other. Absolutely sure, you can find some red contrast stitching and some N badges, but which is about it. Fortunately, you can find lots of house up entrance, the back again seat is roomy and the 16 cubic feet of trunk house is extra than ample.

The N Line receives the Sonata’s most effective infotainment tech, with a snappy multimedia technique housed on a ten.two-inch touchscreen, with Apple CarPlay and Android Car standard. My colleagues like this technique for its simplicity of use, but I typically come across that easy commands demand excess taps. For case in point, I can’t terminate my latest route specifically from the navigation map. I have to dig into the navigation menu to do so. Additional, the icons are little and easy to miss out on when tapping all-around the monitor although driving. But hey, I can listen to the seems of nature application that includes ambient sounds from a snowy day, a beach front, a rainstorm, a forest and, curiously, an outside cafe. So, bonus I guess?

This is a significantly fun-to-push sedan.

Emme Hall/Roadshow

There usually are not any possibility offers for the Sonata N Line, apart from some nicer paint hues and the aforementioned summer months tires. With its Quartz White exterior and superior tires, my tester arrives out to $34,655 together with $1,005 for location. Sure, which is extra than $ten,000 previously mentioned the commencing cost of a foundation Sonata, but this auto is nevertheless a large benefit.

Imagine of it this way: The Sonata N Line technically competes with automobiles like the Toyota Camry TRD and turbocharged Honda Accord and Mazda6, but it can be way superior to push. You happen to be having a auto which is closer to Acura TLX and BMW 3 Series concentrations of enjoyment, and those automobiles expense a full whole lot extra. No, the N Line is just not perfect, but it punches way previously mentioned its body weight and has all of the standard Sonata’s wonderful infotainment and safety tech, to boot. This Hyundai might not right away appear to thoughts as a strong sport sedan, but believe in me, you ought to push 1. It might surprise you.

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