2015 Hyundai Sonata Limited Review
Hyundai's midsize sedan is creeping up on the Accord.
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: December 8th, 2014
The seventh-generation Hyundai Sonata benefits greatly from the recent restyling of the Hyundai Genesis. The new Sonata borrows many styling cues from the Genesis, which is a good thing, and inherits many of the Genesis's luxury features as well. All of this combines to transform what was a perfectly capable midsize sedan into the second-best midsize sedan on the market - and it's a very close second.
The previous generation Sonata was perfectly nice looking car, but it looked like what it was - a rather bland sedan, clearly designed to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. But Hyundai has been pushing the envelope in terms of making once luxury-only accessories attainable to non-luxury-car buyers, and this is reflected in the exterior styling.
The 2015 Sonata is much bolder, which is to say it's aggressive-looking without seeming menacing. It's still not going to win any awards for edgy design, but it does look considerably more upscale than the outgoing generation.
The interior is where the Sonata begins to feel seriously upscale, both in terms of design (where, again, the Genesis is echoed), and in terms of the ridiculous bounty of luxury-level options available.
Our tester came fully loaded with panoramic sunroof, 8-inch touchscreen with navigation, fancier electroluminescent gauges with a 4-inch LCD display, heated and ventilated front seats with driver's seat/side mirror memory, as well as a full complement of safety features, including adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, auto high beams, and rear parking assistance.
Those particular options tack a not-insignificant five grand on to the Limited trim's $26,525 sticker price, but try finding a similarly loaded car for anything close to the $32,385 our test car would cost.
And even without the aforementioned add-ons, the 2015 Sonata comes standard with tire-pressure monitoring, three drive modes, heated side mirrors, a hands-free trunk opener, and leather heated front and rear seats. That's a lot of comfort for just a bit over $25K, although, let's be real - the panoramic sunroof is a must-get.
On the Road
Along with upgrades to the Sonata's aesthetic and its available options, Hyundai stiffened up the handling, and tuned the suspension to a not-too-rough, not-too-gentle sweet spot.
In Sport mode things stiffen up nicely, the Sonata is plenty peppy, and steering is responsive without being touchy. Although a turbocharged four- or even a six-cylinder engine might just push this car ahead of all the competition, fun-to-drive-wise, we found nothing to not like about driving this car.
We mostly stuck with the default drive mode, which still allowed plenty of passing speed and was plenty comfortable in stop-and-go traffic. Eco mode moved us closer to the 35 mpg mark, but even the Sonata's low end (city) mileage is a pretty-freakin-good 24 mpg.
The additional safety features (known as the Ultimate package, which it is, certainly in terms of price), are worth the extra money, and are not overly intrusive or annoying.
The 2015 Sonata is a damn impressive car offering an upscale driving experience at a midscale price. Hyundai is stepping up its game in terms of sophistication and style, and it's a trend we hope other automakers follow, and soon. The Sonata offers everything you could possibly want out of a four-door sedan, and it throws in a bunch of stuff you don't really need anyway. Not a bad deal for a very good car.
Specs & Prices
Engine: 2.4-liter naturally aspirated inline-four
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Drivetrain Layout: Front engine, front-wheel drive.
Power Output: 185 hp / 178 lb-ft
Fuel Economy (mpg): 24 city / 35 highway
Price (as tested): $32,385 (includes $810 delivery fee)
Tech Package: panoramic sunroof, HID headlights, 8-inch touchscreen with navigation, heated and cooled front seats, heated steering wheel, LED interior lights.
Ultimate Package: Adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, automatic high beams, rear parking assist.
• For more information such as specs, prices, and photos of the 2015 Hyundai Sonata, click here: 2015 Hyundai Sonata.