The all-new 2015 Hyundai Sonata is charged with a difficult task: following up what has become the biggest success story in the history of the Korean brand. The previous-generation mid-size Sonata sedan firmly established the automaker as a legitimate player in the four-door family car market, nearly doubling the sales volume of its predecessor and forcing long-popular nameplates like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord to step up their game in a bid to retain dominance in a rapidly-democratizing segment.
The Hyundai Sonata that was introduced in 2011 managed these impressive achievements by accenting value, revolutionizing the build quality of the car, and taking a risk with expressive, stand-out styling. One would assume that its successor would take its cues from a similar playbook, but that’s not the case - while the 2015 Hyundai Sonata certainly aims to maintain its edge in reliability and return on investment, that crucial third leg of the tripod that supported so many new Sonata customers has lost its sheen. In a bid to cement its newfound player status Hyundai has pointed the Sonata down a more ‘mature’ (read ‘conservative’) design road that may or may not be a step backward for what was once a compelling alternative to look-alike sedan options from its Japanese and domestic rivals.