This is the best Sonata yet.

2016 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T Review

This is the Korean midsizer at its absolute best

By: Wade Thiel

Web2Carz Senior Staff Writer

Published: March 7th, 2016

If you're a midsized sedan shopper, you have a lot of options to choose from - the Kia Optima, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion and more. All of the cars in this segment are great vehicles, but the Sonata manages to stand out because it's such a refined package from a company that has learned important lessons building the venerable Genesis. Hyundai took the Genesis-inspired Sonata and slapped a rock bottom price tag on it, giving midsized sedan shoppers a reason to overlook those other, perhaps better-known cars.

  • Exterior: Refined and sophisticated

    The previous generation of the Sonata featured a much more dramatic exterior with a lot of different lines and angles. The latest generation Sonata has a subdued exterior in comparison while still being interesting to look at. The Sonata manages to be noticeable without being obnoxious.

    • Tastefully placed chrome accents on the outside catch the eye without being distracting.
    • The Genesis-inspired design works well on the midsized body.
    • 18-inch alloy wheels help the sport trim level stand out.

  • Interior: A functional interior design

    One of the first things we noticed upon sitting in the Sonata is just how much sense the layout of the interior makes. There are buttons on the dash in a clear row for the items and functions you'd use most often, everything is clearly labeled without looking like it was designed for the visually impaired and the touchscreen and steering wheel controls are as simple and easy to use as the rest of the controls.

    • Well-bolstered leather seats and a thin, sculpted leather-wrapped steering wheel. Pretty much everything here is comfortable.
    • Infotainment system isn't the most high-tech, but it is smooth and easy to use. It's just right for this car and trim level.
    • Plenty of leg room both up front and in the rear of the car (45.5 cu. in./ 35.6 cu. in).

  • Driving Impressions: Quick, nimble and comfortable

    With the Sonata being a somewhat larger midsized sedan, we thought it might feel a little heavy in the turns or shooting from a stop, but the car proved us wrong. In fact, we thoroughly enjoyed driving this car. It has a ride quality you wouldn't expect for a car under $30,000.

    • The twin-scroll turbocharged 2.0-liter engine is surprisingly fast and smooth with only slight turbo lag. Acceleration is spritely and throttle is responsive.
    • The steering is light and nimble without feeling flighty or unpredictable. It could, however, use a bit more feel.
    • The ride is quiet and smooth even on relatively rough pavement. The Korean family sedan has finally arrived in a really big way.

  • Final Impressions: Can't make the jump to the Genesis? Get the Sonata

    The Sonata is one of the best sedans we've driven recently for the price. Sure, there are other cars out there you may have heard more about or that you have a personal history with, but the Sonata is probably less expensive than those cars and offers an experience that's as good if not better. t feels very refined and grown up and we urge you to drive one if you're in the market for a midsized sedan.

    If the power of the twin-scroll turbocharged engine isn't interesting to you, then consider one of the other powertrain options. There are five options in total, including hybrid and plug-in hybrid selections. Whatever you choose, the Sonata is a solid candidate for the capable family sedan. The fact that it looks and drives more expensive than its sticker price would warrant is a pleasant surprise.

  • Price and Specifications:

    Engine: twin-scroll turbocharged 2.0-liter I4

    Transmission: Six-speed automatic with manual shifting mode

    Drivetrain Layout: Front-engine, front-wheel drive

    Power Output: 245 hp / 260 lb-ft of torque

    Fuel Economy: 23 mpg city / 32 mpg highway

    Base Price: $28,925

    As Tested: Monroney not available at time of review.

    Options on our test vehicle: Monroney not available at time of review.

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• For more information such as specs, prices, and photos of the 2016 Hyundai Sonata, click here: 2016 Hyundai Sonata.