2015 Hyundai Sonata Eco
The Sonata has been roaming the streets of America since 1989. Those early Hyundais were rather boring, bland cars with little styling, questionable reliability, and a name that was synonymous with less than impressive tax brackets. However, with the Sonata’s 2006 heavy revitalization, that began to change. The idea that the Sonata and the Korean brand making it were bargain basement started to fade. The following generation of Sonatas beginning in 2011 completely obliterated that notion. Hyundai’s brand perception rose, as did its vehicles’ styling, reliability, and ability to sell extremely well. For 2015, the Sonata is again completely new. And new to the Sonata’s trim line is the new Eco model, designed with fuel efficiency as its prime goal.
With Hyundai estimating the car to get 28 mpg city, 38 mpg highway, and 32 mpg combined, the Sonata Eco gains an extra 10 percent fuel efficiency about the standard 2015 Sonata. Hyundai employs some fairly interesting hardware to achieve the extra efficiency, including a specialized engine and the first-ever use of a dual clutch transmission in the mid-size car category.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Eco.
2015 Hyundai Sonata Eco
Transmission:Seven-speed Dual Clutch
Horsepower @ RPM:177
Torque @ RPM:195
0-60 time:8 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:135 mph (Est.)
Layout:Front Engine; FWD
The exterior of the 2015 Sonata Eco is similar to the base Sonata SE trim package but includes a chrome grille, side mirror turn signals, automatic headlights, chrome door handles, and a backup camera. Though those changes are only atop the base SE trim package, the new Sonata is well equipped to begin with. The car’s new exterior design is more clean-cut with purposeful lines and accents. The new six-sided grille features four chrome slats with a large Hyundai badge front and center.
Around the side, a tasteful chrome trim piece runs from the headlight, under the side mirror and windows, and cuts upward at the D-pillar as it circles around the tops of the windows and meets itself just ahead of the side mirror. Bright alloy wheels further enhance the upscale look to the car.
Around back, the new rear fascia looks clean and simple with a slight spoiler on the trunk lid. Smart looking taillights wrap around the sides of the car while two long reflectors are mounted just above the lower accent line on the bumper. An angular, chrome-tipped exhaust pipe peeks from under the right side of the bumper.
A simple ‘Eco’ badge sits opposite of the Sonata badge and is the biggest telltale sign of the car’s fuel-sipping nature.
2015 Hyundai Sonata Eco - Exterior Dimensions
|Overall length||191.14 inches|
|Overall width||73.42 inches|
|Overall height||58.07 inches|
|Front overhang||37.99 inches|
|Rear overhang||42.71 inches|
Note: standard 2015 Sonata pictured here.
Like the outside of the all-new Sonata, the interior has been completely redesigned. It mimics many of the design cues and features as its big brother, the Genesis, which itself is all new for 2015 as well. The center stack and dashboard are nearly identical, which is not a bad thing at all.
The Sonata Eco’s only option is the $4,100 Technology Package. While the price is a big jump, the package is a pretty all-inclusive one that includes Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Change Assist, a proximity key with push-bottom starting, heated leather seats, a leather-covered steering wheel and gear selector, dual temperature controls, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink, and automatic power windows.
The Technology Package also includes a 4.2-inch LCD multi-info display in the center gauge cluster along with an eight-inch infotainment screen in the center stack. The large touchscreen includes navigation, Apple Eyes Free with Siri integration, Wi-Fi client, SiriusXM and HD Radio. Without the package, a five-inch touch color touch screen comes standard.
The main story with the Sonata Eco lies under its hood. Rather than the Sonata’s regular 2.4-liter I-4 or optional 2.0-liter, turbocharged I-4, the Eco is powered by a turbocharged, 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder. The engine is good for an estimated 177 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque, and is mated to a seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission — the industry’s first-ever application in a midsize sedan. The 1.6-liter I-4 and dual clutch will power the Sonata’s front wheels.
The combination is good for an estimated 28 mpg city, 38 mpg highway, and 32 mpg combined. That represents a 10-percent increase in fuel economy over the standard 2.4-liter, I-4 engine. And while those fuel economy numbers aren’t yet verified by the EPA, you can bet Hyundai made an honest estimation after the automaker found itself in hot water over overestimated numbers a few years ago.
2015 Hyundai Sonata Eco - Drivetrain/Specifications
|Type||1.6-liter turbocharged Gamma four-cylinder|
|Fuel economy||28 mpg city/38 mpg highway/32 mpg combined|
Pricing for the Sonata Eco starts at a respectability low $24,085, including Hyundai’s $810 destination and shipping charge. That price represents a $2,125 premium on top of the Sonata SE’s base price of $21,960.
Adding the Technology Package brings the Sonata Eco’s price up to $28,185, including destination.
Mazda’s new i-ELOOP technology — short for Intelligent Energy Loop — converts kinetic energy into electricity as the car decelerates. It uses a 12-25 variable voltage alternator, DC/DC converter, and a low-resistance, high-capacity, electric, double-layer capacitor to generate and store electricity to run ancillary systems like headlights, HVAC, and the radio without needed to pull power from the engine.
What this means is the Mazda6 i-ELOOP earns 28 mpg city and 40 mpg highway. Power comes by way of a 2.5-liter I-4 making 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual or automatic are offered as well.
Pricing for the Mazda6 i-ELOOP starts at $32,570.
The Chevy Cruze Eco takes a different approach to saving fuel than the Mazda6. It cuts weight. About 100 pounds for the automatic and 200 pounds with the manual gear box. A smaller gas tank on the manual models also contributes to considerable weight savings with only losing two gallons of capacity. A reduction in wheel weight and sound deadening material also contributes to its weight loss.
Power comes from a 1.4-liter turbocharged I-4 making 138 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of toque. It returns a rather respectable 28 mpg city and 42 mpg highway.
Pricing for the Cruze Eco undercuts the other two considerably. Its base price starts at $20,760 for the manual and $21,995 for the automatic.
The all-new Sonata and its Eco trim level are surely to hit it big with consumers. The new car is well appointed with nice amenities and similar styling features to its more expensive and luxurious big brother, the Genesis. The Sonata also includes a good amount of safety and techno features that buyers the middle-priced, midsize category are expecting.
With competitive fuel economy numbers, good looks, an industry-exclusive dual clutch transmission, and loads of gadgets, the Sonata Eco seems like a good buy in terms of what it offers and its low cost of ownership.