The 2021 Hyundai Sonata N Line may not initially strike most people as a sports sedan. The Sonata has never been known for its dynamic performance. However, with the success of the Veloster N, there is no reason why the Sonata N Line shouldn’t be equally impressive. And indeed, it is. The Sonata N Line offers a powerful turbocharged engine, improved style, and steering and suspension that draw comparisons to the Veloster N. While it may not be a full-blown “N” model, it still delivers a sporty and dynamic driving experience when desired, while remaining comfortable and easy to drive under normal circumstances.
One of the standout features of the Sonata N Line is its punchy turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. With 290 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque, paired with an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission, this sedan offers quick and responsive acceleration. It can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just 5.3 seconds, making it a thrill to drive. The Sonata N Line also impresses with its well-balanced handling, showcasing minimal body roll and excellent weight distribution. The steering feel is also top-notch, adding to the overall driving enjoyment. In this aspect, there are clear similarities between the Sonata N Line and the Veloster N.
In terms of driving modes, the Sonata N Line provides a comfortable and calm experience in Normal mode, making it suitable for everyday driving. However, where it truly shines is in its ability to transform into a sportier and more dynamic vehicle when desired. The only downside is that the Sonata N Line is only available with front-wheel drive, which may result in some tire squealing during high-performance driving situations. The addition of all-wheel drive or a limited-slip differential could help improve traction and handling in such scenarios.
The interior of the Sonata N Line is well-designed and offers a dual-purpose nature. While it boasts sporty elements like a gilled front bumper, 19-inch wheels, and subtle N Line badges, it still provides a smooth and comfortable ride for everyday use. The front bucket seats are supportive, and there is ample trunk space available. Additionally, the Sonata N Line delivers a solid fuel efficiency of 28 miles per gallon combined, thanks to its turbo engine’s smooth power delivery.
In terms of luxury features, the Sonata N Line comes well-equipped, although some additions like ventilated seats and a surround-view camera would be welcomed. One minor issue with the Sonata N Line is its power delivery around tight corners. While it performs exceptionally well on sweeping bends, it tends to experience traction issues, causing the inside front tire to lose grip during tight turns. The addition of all-wheel drive or a mechanical limited-slip differential would greatly enhance the vehicle’s performance in these situations.
Overall, the 2021 Hyundai Sonata N Line proves to be a superb sports sedan. It offers a potent engine, impressive handling, and a comfortable ride. While it may not have the extensive performance upgrades of Hyundai’s full-blown “N” models, it still provides a sporty driving experience combined with everyday functionality. With a few minor improvements, such as the addition of all-wheel drive or a limited-slip differential, the Sonata N Line has the potential to be even more exceptional.