Although too early in the Sonata's lifetime for a styling update, Hyundai's mid-sizer picks up a number of enhancements for the new model year, including improved tech and a higher grade of rubber at each corner.
None of it comes free, however, with pricing up across all three trim grades by between $600 at the entry end and $3500 at the other.
For the new model year, all Sonata models get wheel-mounted paddle shifters, while the mid-level Elite picks up rain-sensing wipers, heated front seats, front parking assist system and an electronic parking brake with auto-hold function.
The Elite can now also be optioned, for an additional $2000, with the two-pane panoramic glass roof previously exclusive (and still standard) to the top-spec Premium.
Stepping up to the 2017 Sonata Premium adds new safety-focused features that include Blind Spot Detection, Lane Departure Warning System, Lane Change Assist, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and advanced Smart Cruise Control.
The most compelling upgrade for some, however, will be at the spots where the Sonata meets the road. For this update, Hyundai has dropped the Kumho rubber worn by the previous range for two key upgrades.
On Active and Elite models, buyers will find 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 215/55R17 Continental Conti Premium Contact 5. Step up to the Premium, and you'll find 235/45R18 Michelin Pilot 3 tyres.
“We were very happy with our Australian-focused suspension tune of the all-new Sonata, including the tyres, when we released it last year,” says Hee Loong Wong, Hyundai Australia's general manager for product engineering.
“However, earlier this year Hyundai head office, in South Korea, gave us the option of testing the Continentals and Michelins on the car, and we jumped at the opportunity.
“We engaged former Hyundai WRC driver Chris Atkinson to evaluate them at the limit of adhesion under controlled conditions. His feedback, along with that of HMCA chief test driver Andrew Tuitahi, was very pleasing. We have seen gains in outright grip level, ride comfort and quietness.”
The Sonata range is otherwise unchanged for 2017. Power in the Active is again provided by Hyundai's 138kW/241Nm 2.4-litre GDi petrol engine, while the Elite and Premium get a 180kW/350Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol unit.
All models are equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission, with power sent to the front wheels.
2017 Hyundai Sonata pricing (before on-road costs):
Active - $30,590
Elite - $38,350
Premium - $45,490