Toyota and Hyundai Refuel Rivalry With New Midsize Sedans
Auto shows might be the best place to see all the glitz and glamor of the latest sports cars or concept vehicles, but for automakers, it’s an ideal venue to shake their money makers (aka, mass-market, volume-selling cars). While there are plenty of high-selling cars receiving updates at this year’s New York Auto Show (like the Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus and VW Jetta), two family sedans stood out as being especially important: the Toyota Camry and Hyundai Sonata midsize sedans. Now, typically we’d sweep any news of these cars right under the boring, beige rug from which they came, but any major updates to these cars are always worthy of attention. RELATED: See Photos of the 2015 Toyota Camry
Last year, the Camry was the top-selling car in the U.S. topping 408,000 units, while the Sonata was Hyundai’s second-best selling model with close to 204,000 sales. To show how important this segment is to automakers, both cars will get significant updates for the 2015 model year even though neither has been on the market very long – the sixth-generation Sonata was introduced in 2010 and the current Camry debuted a year later.
Beneath the skin, the 2015 Toyota Camry and 2015 Hyundai Sonata are pretty much the same, but both have attractive new designs to keep up with the ever-competitive midsize sedan market. The new Sonata is our first look at Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language that replaces the current car’s soft, sweeping lines with harder, more attractive angled edges. The Camry, on the other hand, carries over many cues introduced on the current Corolla, and it adds a new sport-oriented model, the Camry XSE.
RELATED: See Photos of the 2015 Hyundai Sonata
Both cars have received significant makeovers on the interior as well. Since 2011, the Sonata’s cabin has been among the best-looking of the mid-size sedan segment, but the 2015 model year is bringing a more upscale look into the cabin especially when it comes to the driver-oriented cockpit. The turbocharged Sonata 2.0T will even get a sculpted, flat-bottomed steering wheel for drivers to at least pretend they’re driving something exciting. For the Camry, the interior isn’t all that different from the previous car, but Toyota is promising more refinement and better materials. From a design standpoint, the driver has a much better view with a new, three-spoke steering wheel and redesigned gauge cluster, and the center stack now helps to create more visual separation from the instrument panel.
The 2015 Sonata will go on sale this summer, while buyers will have to wait until fall to pick up a 2015 Toyota Camry.