Hyundai Sonata

2016 Hyundai Sonata

The Hyundai Sonata is spacious and fuel efficient, making it a worthy rival to Americas best-selling family sedans, from the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord to the Ford Fusion and Mazda 6. Thats a tough list of competitors.

Redesigned for 2015, the seventh-generation Sonata adopted more conservative looks and greater refinement. Flamboyant styling of the previous generation is replaced by a more subdued look inside and out.

Changes for the 2016 model year include the use of some aluminum suspension components, which should help both ride and handling. Emergency braking has been added to the forward collision warning system on 2016 Sonata models. A new 7-inch color touchscreen audio system for 2016 includes an Android Auto smartphone interface. The 2016 Sonata Limited gets the Sonata Sport models more aggressive front bumper.

Hyundai continues to offer a Sonata Hybrid sedan, with similar updating for 2016, but also has added a new Sonata Plug-in Hybrid, capable of traveling up to 24 miles on battery power alone.

One of the lighter cars in its class, Sonata was among the first to adopt a lineup with nothing but four-cylinder engines. The base 185-horsepower, 2.4-liter four and the turbocharged 245-hp 2.0-liter four are free-revving engines that deliver power fairly quietly, nearly free of vibration. Both mate with a 6-speed automatic transmission that provides smooth, quick shifts and has manual controls. Sport 2.0T models have paddle shifters.

Defined by the EPA as a large car, Sonata is marketed as a midsize. All Sonatas get a three-mode selector that alters shift timing, throttle operation, and power-steering assist through Eco, Normal, and Sport modes. Eco mode really impedes downshifts.

The Sonata Eco trim level features a small-displacement 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, making 177 horsepower, with a noisy exhaust and 32-mpg Combined EPA mileage estimate. Hyundais 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine comes in Sonata SE, Sport, and Limited trim levels, while the turbocharged 2.0T is offered in Sonata Sport and Limited trim.

Infotainment systems come with an 8-inch touchscreen, smartphone-app compatibility, and HD radio. Navigation-equipped cars get Apple Eyes Free Siri integration. All models now have Googles Android Auto smartphone system.

In crash testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Sonata has earned five-star scores all around. All categories except the small-overlap test were rated Good by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.


2015 Hyundai Sonata

Like the perennial mid-size sedan sales leaders it seeks to upstage, the Sonata is a musical theme whose title persists through regular rewrites. This is the seventh revision, and, carrying the symphonic parallel a little further, elements of the composition have been changed but the melody lingers on: high quality, attractive inside and out, with an exceptional value proposition.

All-new, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata competes with stalwarts such as the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and Ford Fusion.

As noted, this 2015 Sonata is the seventh generation and, like previous redesigns, the overhaul is comprehensive; no area of the car has escaped revision. While the net of the redesign and engineering updates is strongly positive, the re-sculpted exterior strikes us as cautious, and a retreat from the dramatic character creases of the previous generation. Though a widened grille and LED accents give the front end a little more drama, the overall look resembles the new Genesis sedan, and in smaller scale the design loses some of the bigger cars powerful presence.

Still, the word big does apply, or, more accurately, roomy. Exterior dimensions of the 2015 Sonata put it mid-pack among mid-size competitors, but by EPA standards its interior volume places it in full-size sedan territory, always a welcome trait in a family car.

This latest Sonata adds a new powertrain to its inventory, expanding choices to four: a 2.4-liter four-cylinder; a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder; a gasoline-electric hybrid, which carries over from the 2014 Sonata line; and a new 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, which Hyundai characterizes as the 1.6T Eco.

All but the new 1.6-liter are mated with 6-speed automatic transmissions driving the front wheels. The 1.6-liter is paired with a new 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual. The other transmissions are 6-speeds.

Styling notwithstanding, one of the most significant elements of the 2015 Sonata redesign is a major uptick in chassis rigidity. The new cars integrated chassis-body shell is composed of 50 percent high strength steel, according to Hyundai, compared to 21 percent in the previous Sonata. That, added to increased use of structural adhesives and more welds, adds up to a 41 percent improvement in torsional rigidity, 26 percent in longitudinal stiffness. The payoffs are reduced interior noise and improved dynamics. The high strength steel also reduces structural mass, which balances out weight gains from added content and sound deadening. On average, the new Sonata is about seven pounds heavier, model for model, according Hyundai.

The Sonata gives a good account of itself in terms of ride and handling, particularly in the Sport models, with slightly stiffer suspension and a more accurate electric power steering system (rack-mounted motor, as distinct from column mounted). Predictably, the turbocharged Sonatas are quicker off the line, and reduce passing exposure time on two-lane highways. But none of powertrain combos are likely to ignite a drivers inner racer. The virtues here are supple ride quality, quiet operation, and responses that inspire confidence, if not passion.

Safety is always a top priority in family sedans, and the Sonata meets contemporary standards, with the anticipation of a top a safety pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, as well as high marks from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The expanded inventory of safety features includes only one in which the vehicle takes charge of its own operation; the adaptive cruise control is capable of stopping the car and resuming motion in stop-and-go traffic. But Hyundai has also added the availability of a lane change assist system that includes blind spot detection, as well as forward collision alert and rear cross traffic alert. Theres the usual array of front and side airbags, plus a new airbag that deploys in front of the drivers knees, to keep him or her from sliding under the dash in a collision. Antilock braking, traction, and stability control systems are all standard features.


2014 Hyundai Sonata

The four door Hyundai Sonata accommodates five passengers in fine style and more than holds its own with the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion and other mid-size sedans. Sonata delivers excellent quality in all of its iterations, with great manners, fuel efficiency and features, all at a competitive price.

Sonata was completely redesigned for the 2011 model year. The 2013 Sonata got an updated navigation system. Changes are more considerable for the 2014 model year, including exterior design enhancements as well as new safety technologies. New 17-inch wheels are mounted on 2014 models, which get a refined grille, HID (high-intensity-discharge) xenon headlights, and LED taillights. A Driver Selectable Steering Mode is now standard on all versions. So is a tire-specific tire-pressure monitor. A sport-tuned exhaust is newly standard on the SE 2.0T sedan. Blind Spot Detection is optional on SE, standard on Limited. Also standard on Limited are a ventilated driver's seat and fully automated temperature controls. SE models gain standard carbon fiber interior trim for 2014. A redesigned Sonata is being introduced for 2015.

The 2014 Hyundai Sonata comes in four models, including a hybrid that can be driven at highway speeds in full electric mode and an available turbocharged engine that is one of the most powerful in this class but still delivers excellent fuel mileage. Sonata uses front-wheel drive.

Sonata's styling is busy for our taste and not as clean as its corporate sibling, the Kia Optima. Many other critics have praised Sonata's look, however, and if it's confused with any other sedan, it's more likely to be mistaken for a Lexus or some other luxury model than for another mainstream mid-size.

Inside, features, materials and fit and finish are among the best in the class, especially in build quality and tolerances.

The 2014 Hyundai Sonata lineup starts with the GLS, which retails for $21,350 and comes with a full complement of power features, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity and more power than other cars in its class. Another $900 for a Popular Equipment Group adds heated front seats, automatic light control, a rearview camera, power driver's seat, and leatherette upholstery. The mid-range Sonata SE satisfies sporty tastes with a firmer suspension and sharper steering, while the Limited comes nearly loaded, with full leather, dual-zone automatic climate control and audio upgrade, blind-spot detection and a ventilated driver's seat, starting at $26,900.

Sonata's standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder delivers 190 horsepower, or 192 hp with a dual exhaust system in the Sonata SE. It's substantially more powerful than the base engine in competitors, but at 24/35 mpg City/Highway it runs neck and neck in the Environmental Protection Agency's fuel economy estimates. The four-cylinder is matched to a smooth-shifting, well programmed 6-speed automatic transmission.

Hyundai's upgrade engine led a trend in this class, eschewing a larger V6 for a smaller, efficient turbocharged four-cylinder. The 2.0T, as Hyundai calls it, satisfies America's perceived need for performance, with 274 horsepower yielding excellent acceleration on regular-grade gas. Yet it's EPA-rated at 32 mpg Highway. (Early turbo Sonatas were rated 34 mpg Highway, but Hyundai revised some fuel-economy estimates in late 2012.)

First introduced for 2011, the Sonata Hybrid features a full parallel hybrid system, allowing the car to be driven on its 40-hp electric motor at speeds up to 62 miles per hour. While such an occurrence would be rare in the real world, the Hybrid's blended gas-electric operation still improves fuel economy, with higher mileage ratings than similar hybrids from Honda and Toyota. Moreover, while other hybrids in this class have a gearless, continuously variable transmission, the Sonata Hybrid got the same 6-speed automatic as other Sonata models. It drives and sounds like the cars most of us know, with actual upshifts and downshifts.


2013 Hyundai Sonata 
 

The four door Hyundai Sonata accommodates five passengers in fine style and more than holds its own with the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion and other mid-size sedans. Sonata delivers excellent quality in all of its iterations, with great manners, fuel efficiency and features, all at a competitive price. Sonata was completely redesigned for the 2011 model year.

The 2013 Hyundai Sonata gets an updated navigation system and slight adjustments to the standard feature list, depending on the model. The biggest news may disappoint driving enthusiasts, however: Unlike last year, the 2013 Sonata is not offered with a manual transmission.

The 2013 Sonata comes in four models, including a hybrid that can be driven at highway speeds in full electric mode and an available turbocharged engine that is one of the most powerful in this class but still delivers excellent fuel mileage.

Sonata's styling is busy for our taste and not as clean as its corporate sibling, the Kia Optima. Many other critics have praised Sonata's look, however, and if it's confused with any other sedan, it's more likely to be mistaken for a Lexus or some other luxury model than for another mainstream mid-size.

Inside, features, materials and fit and finish are among the best in the class, especially in build quality and tolerances.

The 2013 Sonata lineup starts with the Sonata GLS, which retails for about $21,000 and comes with a full complement of power features, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity and more power than other cars in its class. Another $825 adds heated front seats, automatic light control, fog lights and 16 inch alloy wheels. The mid-range Sonata SE satisfies sporty tastes with a firmer suspension and sharper steering, while the Limited comes nearly loaded, with full leather, dual-zone automatic climate control and audio upgrade, starting at about $26,000.

Sonata's standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder delivers 198 horsepower (190 hp in states using California emissions regulations), or 200 hp with a dual exhaust system in the Sonata SE. It's substantially more powerful than the base engine in competitors, but it runs neck and neck in the Environmental Protection Agency's fuel economy ratings, matched to a smooth shifting, well programmed 6-speed automatic transmission.

Sonata's upgrade engine led a trend in this class, eschewing a larger V6 for a smaller, efficient turbocharged four-cylinder. The 2.0T, as Hyundai calls it, satisfies America's perceived need for speed with 274 horsepower and excellent acceleration on regular-grade gas. Yet it's EPA-rated 33 mpg Highway.

The Sonata Hybrid features a full parallel hybrid system allowing the car to be driven on its 40-hp electric motor at speeds up to 62 miles per hour. While such an occurrence will be rare in the real world, the Hybrid's blended gas-electric operation still improves fuel economy, with higher mileage ratings than similar hybrids from Honda and Toyota. Moreover, while the other hybrids in this class have a gearless, continuously variable transmission, the Sonata Hybrid gets the same 6-speed automatic as the other Sonata models. It drives and sounds like the cars most of us know, with actual upshifts and downshifts instead of virtual gear changes created by computer software.

 

Shopping Tools

INVENTORY


Learn More

SERVICE & PARTS


Learn More

DEALER SPECIALS


Learn More

FINANCIAL SERVICES


Learn More

OUR STORY


Learn More

COLLISION CENTER


Learn More