2018 Hyundai Sonata Review

Pros & Cons

  • Solid list of standard features and tons of available tech
  • Spacious interior accommodations and generous trunk space
  • Excellent user interface receives a more upscale redesign
  • 10-year powertrain warranty offers peace of mind
  • Lackluster power from base engine
  • Top turbocharged engine trails performance of its competitors
  • Slightly less rear legroom than the segment leaders
  • No options available on Edmunds' recommended Eco model
List Price Range
$11,911 - $29,990

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Which Sonata does Edmunds recommend?

You could go many routes configuring the Hyundai Sonata depending on your preferences. One approach is to splurge on the fully loaded Limited 2.0T model with all the fixings, affording you creature comforts such as heated and ventilated seats, an 8-inch touchscreen navigation system and a comprehensive suite of advanced driver aids. However, we feel the value pick is the Eco model, which comes with plenty of standard equipment and is powered by Hyundai's torquey and efficient turbocharged 1.6-liter engine and a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

7.7 / 10

The current-generation Sonata is already one of Edmunds' highest-rated midsize sedans, so the updates it receives for 2018 will only help fortify its position alongside the all-new Toyota Camry and Honda Accord at the top of the class.

While we feel the new models will pose some stiff competition, it's understandable why Hyundai hasn't fully overhauled the Sonata. The cabin is still very comfortable and spacious by today's measures, and it looks even more upscale with the design changes to the center console and transition to a three-spoke steering wheel. The Sonata's smooth ride quality and large trunk (16.3 cubic feet) also make it pleasantly practical for both weekend and daily duty.

The Sonata also has highly flexible configurations — seven trim levels to be exact — ranging from a value-driven SE to a fully loaded Limited 2.0T that comes with just about every convenience you can imagine. We aren't huge fans of the base four-cylinder engine that comes in the SE, and would recommend any of the turbocharged engine options, but rest assured even the SE trim packs in a generous number of features. You really can't go wrong.

Notably, we picked the 2018 Hyundai Sonata as one of Edmunds' Best Midsize Sedans for 2018.

2018 Hyundai Sonata models

The 2018 Hyundai Sonata is a midsize sedan available in SE, Eco, SEL, Sport, Limited, Sport 2.0T and Limited 2.0T trim levels. There are three four-cylinder engines available: a base 2.4-liter (185 hp, 178 lb-ft) paired with a six-speed automatic transmission that powers the SE, SEL, Sport and Limited trims; a turbocharged 2.0-liter (245 hp, 260 lb-ft) that features a new eight-speed automatic powering the two aptly named 2.0T trims; and a turbocharged 1.6-liter (178 hp, 195 lb-ft) with a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic that's specific to the Eco trim.

The SE, which was a step up from the base trim last year, is the new entry-level trim, yet it still undercuts the segment with the exception of the Chevy Malibu. Its list of standard equipment includes automatic headlights, power-folding front mirrors, power windows and door locks, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, a 7-inch touchscreen display, a six-speaker sound system with Bluetooth and USB/auxiliary jacks, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, a rearview camera, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. The price jump to the Eco model is just $600, which comes identically equipped save for the engine.

The next trim up is the SEL, which is a new addition to the Sonata line and an attractive trim if you don't mind the base engine. It adds larger 17-inch wheels, keyless entry and ignition, LED daytime running lights, hands-free smart trunk access, heated side mirrors, a 10-way power-adjustable driver seat, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 4.2-inch color trip computer, satellite and HD radio, and a rear USB port. Also included is Hyundai's subscription-based Blue Link telematics system with three years of complimentary service. You can also add advanced driver aids such as adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking and lane keeping assist with the optional Tech package.

Following the SEL is the Sport trim, which isn't available with the SEL's Tech package but does come with unique Sport styling front and rear, including a front grille, rear diffuser, chrome rocker panels and a chrome-tipped dual exhaust. Inside, you get a power sunroof, which is smaller and lighter than last year's panoramic unit, a flat-bottom steering wheel with paddle shifters, a leather-wrapped shift knob, leather sport seats with cloth inserts, and Sport-specific interior trim.

You don't get any of the Sport-specific items stepping up to the Limited trim, though the sunroof remains and you gain dynamic LED headlights, LED taillights, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, full leather seats, a six-way power passenger seat, driver-seat memory settings, front-seat ventilation, dual climate control and woodgrain appearance trim. You also have the option of upgrading to the Ultimate package, which adds helpful driver aids such as automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control with stop-start capability, automatic high beams, an electronic parking brake with auto hold, and rear parking sensors. It also adds comfort items such as a heated steering wheel, rear side window shades, an 8-inch touchscreen navigation system, wireless smartphone charging, a premium audio system, HD real-time traffic, a trial subscription to SiriusXM Travel link (weather data, fuel prices, sports, etc.), and a three-year subscription to Blue Link multimedia/map updates.

The Sport 2.0T model is configured very similarly to the regular Sport trim, but it includes the more powerful engine and the eight-speed transmission, as well as a sport-tuned suspension, sport-tuned steering, larger front brakes and 18-inch wheels.

Topping out the Sonata line is the Limited 2.0T model, which includes everything from the Sport 2.0T model and everything else that is standard and available on all other models. Yes, you get everything with this model.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of a (turbocharged 2.0L inline-4 | 8-speed automatic | FWD).


Power in the top-of-the-line 2.0-liter turbo engine is plentiful for a midsize family sedan, and the driving dynamics are spirited but not sporty. On the whole, it drives in a manner that the typical buyer will find satisfactory, but it doesn't change the game in any way.


In everyday driving, the 2.0-liter turbo engine is pleasantly responsive and smooth. It's also plenty quick. In our testing it hit 60 mph in 7.4 seconds, which is about half a second quicker than its chief rivals.


The pedal is reassuringly firm and easy to modulate in routine driving. Under heavy braking, there is some noticeable nosedive but the car remains very controllable. In our panic-brake test, it came to a stop from 60 mph in 118 feet, which is a pretty good result for midsize sedans in this class.


The amount of steering effort is appropriate throughout the speed range — suitably light at parking-lot speeds and weighting up nicely on the highway. There's not a lot of feedback to the driver, favoring isolation over involvement.


Though it doesn't exactly encourage sporty driving, the Sonata is surprisingly capable on a challenging twisty road. The well-managed body roll certainly instills confidence. And despite its low-rolling-resistance tires, there's not much screeching when cornering aggressively.


It's easy to drive the Sonata in any condition, and it doesn't require the driver to adapt to any quirks or shortcomings. The turning circle is small enough that multipoint turns are a rarity and maneuvering in tight quarters is stress-free. Its transmission behaves as expected.


The newly updated suspension is a big improvement over past Sonatas. There's the right dose of compliance to smooth out road imperfections yet body roll isn't excessive — a good balance of comfort and control. The front seats deliver long-haul comfort and very effective ventilation.

Seat comfort

The front seats are supportive and well-cushioned for long-distance comfort. There's a good range of lumbar adjustments and the ventilated seats do an excellent job of keeping you cool. The rear seats are flatter in shape but still comfortable for the average-size adult.

Ride comfort

Given how well the Sonata handles, the ride quality doesn't suffer. Small to moderate bumps and undulations are smoothed over gracefully with no residual motions afterward. This improvement in damping is a definite step in the right direction for Hyundai.

Noise & vibration

Wind noise is limited to a little bit of white noise by the mirrors at highway speeds, but it's really only noticeable if you turn off the stereo. Road noise is comparable to other cars in this class in its intensity.

Climate control

The layout of controls is simple and effective. Once you set the dual-zone automatic climate control, there's little need for subsequent adjustments. The ventilated front seats are particularly effective.


The cabin does the basics well, from accommodating various driver shapes to facilitating easy entry and exit. The placement of displays and controls is intuitive and easy to use. Even though this cabin isn't all-new, it still asks for fewer sacrifices than some newer sedans.

Ease of use

All of the controls are logically placed and easy to operate. Rather than rely solely on a touchscreen, the Sonata has physical buttons that are well-suited to accessing the information you need in an efficient manner.

Getting in/getting out

The big door openings and sensible ride height make getting in and out of the Sonata a breeze, even in tight spots. The sloping rear roofline does require rear passengers to stoop a little to clear it, but it's no worse than in other cars in the segment.

Driving position

The wide range of adjustability, especially with the telescoping steering wheel, allows short and tall drivers to quickly find their optimal position. Unlike some of its competition, we never felt as if we had to compromise to get comfortable.


The Sonata conveys a spacious and airy feeling, with a decent amount of physical space in the front seats. The rear seats are also roomy, but the rear roof pillar does cut down the view a bit, yet it's far less confining than some other sedans.


Forward visibility is about average, as is the view out the back. A standard backup camera takes the guesswork out of backing into a space. The high-mounted touchscreen helps to keep your eyes on the road.


The interior materials aren't quite as nice as some other sedans, but everything has a good sturdy feel about them. We never noticed any creaks or squeaks while driving, and all features functioned as they should.


There's little to complain about when it comes to the Sonata's everyday usability, which is aided by solid cargo capacity and no shortage of in-cabin storage options. It's as good as or better than what you'd get with the typical car in this class.

Small-item storage

The smart placement and sensible sizing of bins and pockets mean there are plenty of places to store your personal items. A grippy wireless charging pad is another example of smart design.

Cargo space

The Sonata's 16.3-cubic-foot capacity beats rivals by a small margin. Remote seatback releases make for easier loading of large items. Its hands-free trunk opener is a nice touch, but we wish it would open completely. The trunk release is hidden in the badge; we had to consult the manual to find it.


While its infotainment isn't cutting-edge, the execution is sound and well thought through. The premium audio system might leave audiophiles wanting. It's decent but not exceptional. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard features, a nice attribute that's not universal in the segment.

Audio & navigation

The on-screen buttons are well spaced out for easier and less distracting to use while on the move. Graphics are sharp and the system is fairly quick to respond. The Infinity audio system is good, but we expect more performance from a premium feature like this one.

Smartphone integration

With Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard equipment throughout the Sonata lineup, you'll have a familiar interface and more advanced music and texting features than Hyundai's system. It's not all that unusual, but it's worth noting that Toyota does not offer them.

Voice control

Voice control for the navigation and phone systems is accurate and easy to use. Apple CarPlay remains our preferred voice-controlled system because it more readily accommodates natural speech and has more features that benefit from it.


Overall7.7 / 10

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2018 Hyundai Sonata.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Tall Guy in a Hyundai
Geoff Alderson,09/20/2017
Limited 2.0T w/Prod. End 5/18 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
I’m 6’ 3”, lots of headroom in this car. Easy to exit as the driver’s seat moves rearward when the engine in turned off and the shift lever is in Park. Driver’s seat also has adjustable lumbar support. Has adaptive headlights – front lights turn when steering wheel is turned. Trunk is large, plus the back seats fold down for additional room. The Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) uses radar signals and camera recognition. AEB has many limitations, be sure to read the Owner’s Manual for more info on this. Quite cabin on city streets. As Edmunds noted, some tire noise at freeway speeds. With the turbocharger, lots of power for entering the freeway and for passing. No heads up display, but speed is displayed in a large font in instrument cluster. Looks beautiful in quartz white pearl.
Very good, Excellent value
Joe the delivery man,11/30/2017
SE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
I got this car to replace my 2015 Sonata. Not sure the new style is better, I kind of liked the 2015 better, especially the rear with the plates on the trunk. But overall this is a terrific car for your money, save for a few drawbacks. The car drives well, nice quite ride and respectable handling, but ride is not as smooth as a Camry and handling not as good as an Accord, Mazda6, or as precise as a Fusion. Pros include: Slightly better ride/steering over my 2015. Better interior, smart controls (w/ non-auto climate), tuning knob, custom button. Overall is exemplary, very intuitive designed with nice big clearly labeled buttons and knobs. Touch screen is responsive, although some corners don't respond like it's supposed to. The interface is also quite easy to use. LCD Shows date (wish it would also show exterior temperature). Car doors make a satisfying thud when they close. Still a fully printed owner's manual! Cons include: Brakes still too touchy, it makes too abrupt stops. Steering is still too feather-light. Heated mirrors are no longer included in the base model - something Hyundai used to offer all these years. No CD player. I know many cars today omit them, but I really miss it. Home screen should be more customization. Would like to get rid of the AV Off message. Some settings are confusing. Ugly gauges (miss the 2015 Elantra). Only 1 USB for music & Android Auto. Bluetooth makes problems (I have a basic phone). No gap-less music player. Headlight delay is 5 min or none! Overall interior is not too pretty (2018 Accent is nicer). Can't turn off the LCD between the gauges.
Great bang for the buck
Benjamin A.,01/15/2018
Limited 4dr Sedan w/Prod. End 5/18 (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
As much as I want to say that my new car is great in every way... It isn't. But it's extremely GOOD and very well priced. The interior materials use hard plastics in very unfortunate places (hurts to rest elbow or side of knee on door panel!), the seat bolsters aren't big enough for slippery leather, and winter traction has been downright alarming. On the other hand, the stereo has absolutely fantastic sound, the car has a very comfortable suspension and steering, and while it is on the slow side, it's great for cruising once you're up to speed. Fuel economy has also been better than expected. The place where it really shines though, is price. It was a full $4000 less than similarly outfitted midsize sedans. While it isn't the best car I've ever owned, it's not far off, and the value-for-money is outstanding. UPDATE (2.5 years later): My initial impressions have pretty much stayed the same. My initial impressions of comfort have gotten better after a few months of tinkering with the seat adjustments. I don't really have any complaints there. Fuel economy is consistently better than expected, especially on the highway-- on long solo highway trips, I've had over 40 mpg. It's still woefully slow, but then-- it's not really for people who like driving fast. One strange thing is that some gas pumps trigger their automatic stops almost immediately with this car. Never had it happen before, and it only happens with specific pumps, so I'm guessing there's something about this car that trips it for some reason. Not really a problem though. As far as durability goes, I've had exactly 0 thing break, and literally everything has been smooth sailing. I think my final opinion is that this is NOT a car that you love. The emphasis is on creature comforts (Sound system, Android Auto, Ventilated Seats) rather than driving performance. This is NOT a car that anyone falls in love with driving. This is for someone who wants a car to get them from point A to point B in nice, boring comfort. This is not a car your children want to drive, this is the car your mother wants to drive. It's a fantastic car if you car more about getting to your destination than the journey to get there.
Engine/harness trouble - no more Hyundai for me
SEL SULEV w/Prod. End 5/18 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
I will start by saying I give 2 stars because this is an on-going problem and Hyundai is still sell this car, even after it is supposedly fixed. Very unsafe. I purchased this car brand new in August 2018. In March 2019, I received a recall notice saying I needed to visit my dealer to have the computer for the car's engine updated. I took the car to the dealer 3 days later. Five days after that, I'm driving to NY and 400+ miles away from home, my brand new car begins "limping" as I try merge onto a busy bridge. I took the car to the nearest dealer in Staten Island, NY and it is still there today. Not sure what is wrong. I understand this is a huge problem for the company where the engine or the harness in the Sonata and Santa Fe models need replacing. They think it's the harness, however, the piece has yet to arrive, so no telling. Because my trip was considered interrupted, I called Hyundai’s Customer Care 800 and received directions on what I should do next. They were empathetic, but they could not tell you what amount you would actually get reimbursed. That is up to the case manager to say and you don’t hear from that person for at least 5 days. Anyway, once he called me 5 days later, my case manager was extremely helpful and I was able take care of all the paperwork for the buy back, as well as my reimbursement funds. Prior to this problem, I was relatively happy with the car. I enjoyed the generous warranty, the high safety rating, the huge trunk space, and the beautiful look (although the grill was a bit angry-looking to me). I also loved that it had a lot of “giddy-up”. I don’t think it was as quick on the draw as my 2012 Sonata (that was a rocket!), but it was close. Lastly, I received a great deal on the purchase of this car. I was displeased with the elimination of the CD player, the Sirius service in the base SE version (I should not have to use my phone for music) and the pocket on the back of the passenger seat. Really no need to take these features from the base Sonata; that was just cheap on the part of the company. As I will no longer be a Hyundai customer, I will add that all the service I received at the Hyundai dealership in Fredericksburg, VA was exceptional. The people were always polite and courteous, the place was clean and welcoming for adults and children alike, and my car was always returned to me shiny and clean, inside and out, whenever I went for a servicing. I hope my next dealer is as thoughtful and attentive.


Our experts like the Sonata models:

Blind Spot With Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
Assists the driver by warning of cars in the blind spot of an adjacent lane and if vehicles are approaching from the side when reversing.
Smart Cruise Control With Stop-Start
Detects vehicles in front of you and automatically adjusts cruise speed to maintain a preset distance, and can even bring you to a stop.
Lane Keep Assist
Applies corrective steering assistance to help keep your vehicle positioned in its lane if it senses the vehicle drifting.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover10.5%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2018 Hyundai Sonata

Used 2018 Hyundai Sonata Overview

The Used 2018 Hyundai Sonata is offered in the following submodels: Sonata Sedan. Available styles include SEL 4dr Sedan w/Prod. End 5/18 (2.4L 4cyl 6A), SE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A), SE SULEV 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A), SEL SULEV 4dr Sedan w/Prod. End 5/18 (2.4L 4cyl 6A), Limited SULEV 4dr Sedan w/Prod. End 5/18 (2.4L 4cyl 6A), Limited 4dr Sedan w/Prod. End 5/18 (2.4L 4cyl 6A), Sport 4dr Sedan w/Prod. End 5/18 (2.4L 4cyl 6A), Sport+ 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A), Limited 2.0T 4dr Sedan w/Prod. End 5/18 (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), Eco 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM), Sport 2.0T 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), Limited SULEV 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A), SEL+ 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A), Limited 2.0T+ 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), Limited 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A), and SEL+ SULEV 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A). Pre-owned Hyundai Sonata models are available with a 2.4 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 185 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2018 Hyundai Sonata comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2018 Hyundai Sonata comes with a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 10 yr./ 100000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2018 Hyundai Sonata?

Price comparisons for Used 2018 Hyundai Sonata trim styles:

  • The Used 2018 Hyundai Sonata SE SULEV is priced between $11,911 and$23,988 with odometer readings between 7658 and112809 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Hyundai Sonata SEL SULEV is priced between $15,000 and$24,295 with odometer readings between 11080 and99888 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Hyundai Sonata Limited SULEV is priced between $19,000 and$28,490 with odometer readings between 4029 and74619 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Hyundai Sonata Sport is priced between $16,782 and$25,659 with odometer readings between 13320 and94393 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Hyundai Sonata SE is priced between $14,343 and$20,600 with odometer readings between 14962 and120027 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Hyundai Sonata Sport+ is priced between $17,488 and$24,995 with odometer readings between 8713 and65578 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Hyundai Sonata Limited is priced between $15,250 and$29,990 with odometer readings between 7154 and90336 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Hyundai Sonata SEL is priced between $16,939 and$20,590 with odometer readings between 10013 and75395 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T is priced between $19,989 and$21,988 with odometer readings between 19293 and42009 miles.
  • The Used 2018 Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.0T is priced between $22,480 and$22,988 with odometer readings between 26097 and44994 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2018 Hyundai Sonatas are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Hyundai Sonata for sale near. There are currently 146 used and CPO 2018 Sonatas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $11,911 and mileage as low as 3710 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2018 Hyundai Sonata.

Can't find a used 2018 Hyundai Sonatas you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Hyundai Sonata for sale - 4 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $9,689.

Find a used Hyundai for sale - 8 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $8,537.

Find a used certified pre-owned Hyundai Sonata for sale - 11 great deals out of 21 listings starting at $12,212.

Find a used certified pre-owned Hyundai for sale - 7 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $22,755.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 Hyundai Sonata?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Hyundai lease specials
Check out Hyundai Sonata lease specials