The 2020 Hyundai Sonata Won't Go Full N

Illustration for article titled The 2020 Hyundai Sonata Wont Go Full N
Image: Kristen Lee/Jalopnik

When the 2020 Hyundai Sonata dropped at the New York Auto Show in April, we declared ourselves extremely here for it, which is not something we normally say about a midsize sedan. We still are, but now our excitement has been slightly tempered with marketplace reality thanks to Wednesday’s confirmation that, while the Sonata will have an N Line variant, it won’t go full N.

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You can probably figure this out on your own, but just in case: N is Hyundai’s peak performance line. So the N Line is more like the AMG Sport or BMW M Sport models. The Hyundai Elantra GT is already sporting an N Line option, which added stiffer engine, transmission and transmission mounts, stiffer springs, and a whole host of other upgrades. So it’ll be kind of N, but not really.

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That means we won’t get a full-force Hyundai Sonata N in the vein of the Veloster N hot hatch, which we also love. Sad, but understandable.

The Sonata N Line will be dialed up a touch, with a 290 horsepower turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. It’ll also come with the same eight-speed wet dual-clutch transmission as Hyundai puts into the Veloster N along with some aesthetic changes, like larger wheels and a quad exhaust layout, according to Motor1. It’s a step up from the current scrawny 180 HP 1.6-liter four-cylinder in the regular Sonata.

While disappointing to us gearheads, it’s a smart move on Hyundai’s business side. An N Sonata would have seen extremely limited sales, while the N Line Sonata has just enough spunk to make SUV-obsessed buyers look twice at a rumbly four-door sedan without being intimidated.

Plus, let’s be honest. Nobody was gonna track a Sonata anyway.

We’ll just tack the Hyundai Sonata N up on our Big Board Of What Could Have Been, and move on with our lives.

Managing Editor of Jalopnik.

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DISCUSSION

The only positive consequence of sedanpocalypse is that the sedans that remain, simply HAVE to do better. We know the Camry, Accord and Mazda 6 are all excellent cars now. I sat in the new Sonata at the LA motor show and was seriously impressed. I’m predicting the new Optima will be even better. Hyundai gets what consumers want. ALL the tech. Nice interior. End of list. Subaru *tried* with the Legacy XT, close, but no cigar Subaru. Sorry Altima, Fusion, Malibu, Passat. You’ve failed to make the grade. Goodbye.