You may recall my first drive experience with the all-new 2015 Hyundai Sonata. It took place in the heartland of Alabama, along I-65 at Hyundai’s Montgomery Assembly Plant. There I spent time in with all three Sonata models: the 1.6-liter, I-4 Turbo in the Eco model, the 2.4-liter, I-4 volume engine, and the sportier, 2.0-liter, I-4 Turbo. All three made a positive impression during the short routes over the busy afternoon. A more extended test was in order.

I recently spent a week behind the wheel of a Sonata 2.0T painted in Urban Sunset, much like the tester I had in Montgomery. Even the options list — or lack thereof — looked the same. Carpeted floor mats costing $125 was the only added extra my recent ride had. That’s not altogether terrible, as the Sonata comes with a healthy list of standard features, including the proximity key entry and push-button starting, Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, a five-inch touchscreen in the dash with SiriusXM and Bluetooth connectivity, HID headlights, and LED taillights. The most noticeable feature missing is navigation, but it is available.

The Sonata proved to be a helpful tool in the week’s chore list — a list that included a trip to IKEA, hauling four other passengers around town, and jaunting down the highway while riding solo. So how did the Hyundai handle the week? Click past the jump to find out.

Click past the jump for more on the 2015 Sonata

  • 2015 Hyundai Sonata - Drive Notes
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
  • Transmission:
    six-speed automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • MPG(Cty):
  • MPG(Hwy):
  • Torque @ RPM:
  • Energy:
    Direct Injection, Turbocharged
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    7.5 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    153 mph
  • Layout:
    Front Engine; FWD
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

TopSpeed Garage

2015 Hyundai Sonata - Drive Notes Drivetrain
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2015 Hyundai Sonata - Drive Notes Interior
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2015 Hyundai Sonata - Drive Notes High Resolution Exterior
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  • The Sonata drives rather smooth, especially once it’s off idle. The engine does exhibit some rather loud noises, presumably fuel injector pinging, but once moving, things calm down. Otherwise, ride and comfort are satisfactory. Its sport-tuned suspension did a good job of remaining settled on rough pavement yet did its job once pushed. The car feels very planted and stable under normal driving conditions. When loaded with passengers, the ride doesn’t feel compromised. It still retains that light and nimble feel.
  • Passenger comfort is high on the Sonata’s to-do list. The bolstered leather seats do a good job of holding occupants in place yet not constraining their movements. Rear-seat passengers are treated to acres of space, especially in the legroom department. A folding center armrest provides added comfort while the rear seats fold flat for hauling longer items.
  • The heart of the Sonata Sport 2.0T is the direct-injected, turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 245 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Those specs happen at 6,000 rpm and between 1,350 and 4,000 rpm, respectively. The engine’s sweet spot is between 4,000 and 6,000 rpm with the turbo nearing full boost. Acceleration at this point becomes an easy task. Translation: highway passing is a breeze while off-the-line power rolls on more slowly. Fuel consumption is fairly consistent with the EPA’s estimations of 23 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined. Of course spooling the turbo on a regular basis nets lower numbers, but not by much.
  • The Sonata’s six-speed automatic transmission shifts quite well, especially when in manual mode. Shifts are quick and firm when under moderate to hard acceleration yet smooth out when lofting along the highway. Torque steer is handled well without any major wheel-snapping taking place when accelerating from a corner.
  • Driver comfort and enjoyment are also both high. The Sonata Sport features a beautiful, leather-wrapped and D-cut steering wheel with paddle shifters. The wheel’s ergonomics are spot on and is somewhat reminiscent of Audi’s steering wheel feel. In fact, much of the Sonata experience is reminiscent of Audi. Rich feeling and looking materials are everywhere. While the smaller Audi details are missing, Hyundai obviously aimed high and fell not far off target. Perhaps much of the credit is due to Peter Schreyer, an ex-Audi designer turned Kia Motors employee in 2006, then executive vice president in 2012.
  • Perhaps the biggest detractor about the Sonata Sport is its options list. It’s an extensive one, but it comes bundled in a single, $4,950-package and buyers cannot order a-la-carte. Hyundai calls it the ‘Ultimate Package’ as it comes with a panoramic sunroof, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning, Automatic High Beam Assist, Rear Parking Assistance, Smart Cruise Control, memory seats and mirrors, a 400-watt Infinity audio system, a larger 4.2-inch color LCD screen in the gauge cluster, an eight-inch navigation screen, heated and vented front seats, heated rear seats, and rear side sunshades. Yep, it’s extensive, but you can’t have just one. It’s all or nothing. Selecting the Ultimate Package sends the car’s MSRP up to $34,335.


2015 Hyundai Sonata - Drive Notes High Resolution Exterior
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Despite its expensive options package, the 2015 Sonata proves to be a solid deal. Those looking for a good balance between an average sedan and four-door sports car should be more than satisfied. Swanky appointments inside and knockout good looks outside set the Sonata apart from the competition. Toyota, Honda, and Nissan have been put on notice.

  • Leave it
    • Expensive single option package
    • Some harsh engine noises
    • Gauge cluster looks a little boring
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