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Test Drive: 2022 Hyundai Sonata N Line Review

2022 Hyundai Sonata N Line

Sportiest Sonata Wins Some and Loses Some

  • Trim Tested: Sonata N Line
  • Price as Tested: $34,644 (including destination charge)
  • Likes: Considerable improvement to acceleration and handling over standard Sonata
  • Dislikes: Stiff ride; loud wind noise

The N Line is the sportiest version of the Sonata, Hyundai’s midsize sedan. To boost performance, Hyundai gave the N Line a more powerful engine, a stiffer suspension, and numerous styling changes. Chief competitors include the Toyota Camry XSE V6, Honda Accord Sport 2.0T, and Kia K5 GT.

The N Line is noticeably faster and more nimble than the base Sonata, which isn’t particularly fun to drive. The trade-offs include a higher price, poorer fuel economy, a stiffer ride, and less comfortable seats.

I drove the 2022 Hyundai Sonata N Line for two weeks to get a better sense of what works and what doesn’t. These are my impressions.

How It Drives

2022 Hyundai Sonata N Line Rear Driving
2022 Hyundai Sonata N Line / Credit: Hyundai

The base Sonata felt underpowered when I drove it. The N Line fixes that with a turbocharged engine that generates 99 more horsepower, for a total of 290. This being a front-wheel drive (FWD) chariot, that power is more than enough to spin the front tires; I had to be judicious with the throttle, especially when the road got slick.

Handling in the base Sonata was underwhelming – it’s tuned for comfort, not sport. But with a noticeably stiffer suspension and high-performance tires, the Sonata N Line stays flat in corners and delivers plenty of grip. It’s only limited by its FWD layout, which can’t deliver the cornering prowess of rear-wheel drive (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD).

The Sonata N Line’s ride suffers as a result of the stiffer suspension – I found it a bit too harsh. There’s no way around the stiff ride if you want the 290-horsepower motor; it’s only available in the N Line. The N Line also doesn’t have electronically adjustable suspension stiffness as some luxury cars do.

Interior Comfort & Quality

2022 Hyundai Sonata N Line Front Seats
2022 Hyundai Sonata N Line Front Seats / Credit: Hyundai

The big change in the N Line’s cabin, compared to the base Sonata, is the seats. The Sonata N Line follows the classic sport sedan seating recipe of tall, narrow side bolsters and suede fabric, which are designed to hold you in place during cornering (and to look cool, of course). I drove for 10 hours in the Sonata and remained fairly comfortable. However, I think a taller or wider person would feel cramped – in addition to the narrow bolsters, the Sonata N Line didn’t have much headroom to spare. Seating space is generous in back and cargo space is excellent – we packed a month’s worth of groceries and luggage in the trunk without trouble.

Wind noise was a problem on our long drive, both around the side windows and the large moonroof. We actually had to slide the moonroof cover closed to quiet the noise. Still, overall design quality in the Sonata is excellent. The cabin looks handsome and feels well-built.

Technology & Usability

2022 Hyundai Sonata N Line Dashboard
2022 Hyundai Sonata N Line Dashboard / Credit: Hyundai

Higher trims of the Sonata, such as the N Line, have two large infotainment screens: a touchscreen in the center of the dashboard and a screen displaying digital gauges behind the steering wheel. Both have crisp, clear graphics.

The touchscreen controls almost everything besides the climate system. Its menus are straightforward, although there are numerous icons on the screen, so it takes time to learn how things work. Key functions have dedicated buttons on the side of the touchscreen, and there’s a volume knob.

The climate system was the only problematic part of the Sonata’s controls. It had trouble maintaining a consistent temperature and would sometimes misbehave, like when it blew cold air on us even though it was set to 77 degrees on a 30-degree day.

Read our full 2022 Hyundai Sonata review for more specs and information about the entire Sonata lineup. Carfax vehicle reviews let shoppers compare a vehicle’s specs against its competitors. However, some aspects of a vehicle – performance, comfort, usability – can only be evaluated through actual driving. That’s why we evaluate as many vehicles as we can, so you’ll know what to expect.

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