By on April 21, 2010

Driving enthusiasts love to hate the Toyota Camry. Yet, despite the company’s current troubles, it remains the best-selling car in the United States. Hyundai would love to steal the crown, or at least tens of thousands of customers. So it recently launched a totally redesigned 2011 Sonata and will be advertising it heavily. Should Toyota be concerned?

Both the young (my kids) and the old (my parents) were captivated by the beauty of the Camry. Not the sheetmetal, mind you. They probably didn’t notice the shape of the car. The bulbous exterior was a great leap forward for a Camry four years ago—engineers might have designed the previous generation sedan—but at this point it is a generation behind current automotive fashion. The good angles it does possess (not the front view even with this year’s redesigned grille) have been overexposed through its omnipresence. And the XLE’s small, multispoked alloys don’t flatter the car—the SE looks considerably better. Rather, my family was captivated by the paint, a highly metallic dark green.

The Sonata’s paint options are relatively ordinary. But its swoopy exterior design marks a sharp departure from that of the handsome but utterly forgettable 2006-2010 Sonata. What the Mercedes-Benz CLS did for luxury sedans—bring coupe-like style to the segment—Hyundai hopes to do for midsize family sedans. Some resemblance can be seen to various luxury sedans (CLS, A6, ES), but Hyundai has also taken far more risks here than with the Genesis. An arching roofline, a couple of strong, curving character lines, and a ribbon of chrome trim that connects the beltline to the headlights could have combined in the side view to form a complicated mess. And yet these design elements manage to form a whole that is both cohesive and distinctive, and at once upscale and sporty. Even the fashionably oversized grille works. Most important of all: unlike the Genesis sedan, the new Sonata stands out on a crowded road—even without fancy paint. In comparison, the Toyota looks stodgy.

Upholstered in light gray leather, the Camry XLS interior includes nothing analogous to the exterior’s paint. Its design is thoroughly conventional circa 2006. One exception: the audio controls to the right of the nav screen are a bit of a reach, a common sin these days.

As with the exterior, the new Sonata’s interior is much more up-to-date and stylish than the Camry’s. The instrument panel includes some artful curves, but is cleanly designed. All of the buttons are easy to reach, and they helpfully vary in shape and size. As with the exterior, Hyundai appears to have benchmarked luxury sedans rather than other family sedans. Controls beneath the nav screen mimic an Infiniti’s, while the climate controls mimic a Volvo’s. The anthropomorphic control for directing airflow is just a single button rather than the three found in a Volvo, though, so it captures the Swede’s style more than its functionality. After sampling all three trim levels—cloth GLS, cloth/leather SE (sport), and leather Limited, the last is easily the most attractive. For those who want an escape from black, gray, and beige, wine-colored hides are offered.

Interior materials are of similar quality in both cars: not bad, but you’re clearly not in a luxury car. The Toyota has higher-quality switchgear, but its glossy “wood” is too obviously plastic and the silver-painted trim covering the center stack doesn’t even pretend to be aluminum. Perhaps because it was tailored for the European market, the interior in Hyundai’s new Tucson feels more solid and tightly constructed than that in either of these sedans.

The steering wheels deserve special consideration. Prior to the Genesis, Hyundai upholstered its cars’ steering wheels with the world’s slickest leather. With the Genesis they seemed to have finally realized that the point of having leather on the steering wheel is to make it easier to grip, not to help it slip through one’s fingers. But with the new Sonata they’ve backslid. The artfully designed steering wheel has a rim composed of three different materials: urethane on the outer sides, slippery leather from 10 to 2 o’clock and from 5 to 7, and, inside the lower perimeter, the sort of rubberized plastic that tended to wear poorly in MkIV Jettas. The last was already badly worn on one of the tested cars. None of the materials is well-suited to the task, and three is two too many. A good steering wheel has one material, a grippy leather, all the way around the rim–like the one in the Camry.

The Camry doesn’t have great front seats, but they’re both more supportive and more comfortable than those in the Sonata. With the Sonata, the feel of the seat varies quite a bit depending on whether the center panel upholstery is cloth, as in the GLS and SE, or leather, as in the Limited. The leather seats feel firmer, and you sit noticeably higher in them, or rather on them. With either upholstery the side bolsters quickly surrender when called upon to provide lateral support. The Camry’s side bolsters failed me less, but then I asked less of them. 

Some other car reviews will tell you that the Sonata’s new coupe-like roofline cost the sedan 2.8 inches of rear legroom compared to the previous generation car. What they fail to notice: maximum front legroom increased by 1.8 inches—which is sure to delight long-legged drivers (with a 30-inch inseam, I’m not one). So rear legroom is only down by an inch, and still fairly plentiful. Rear headroom, not quite so much. Tall passengers will have the scrunch down or sit up front. Other than this, the rear seat is perhaps more comfortable than the front seat. It’s a decent height off the floor, the backrest provides a healthy amount of lumbar support, and in the Limited it’s even heated.

The Camry’s back seat is even better, with a little more room, a little more height off the floor, and, in the XLE, manual recliners. The price of the manual recliners: unlike in the base Camry and the Sonata, the rear seat doesn’t fold to expand the trunk. Both cars have usefully commodious trunks that are moderately compromised by conventional gooseneck hinges and constricted openings. In both the Camry XLE and Sonata Limited, but not in lesser trims, rear seat passengers get their own air vents, a welcome feature on hot sunny days.

The tested Camry was fitted with a 268-horsepower DOHC 3.5-liter V6. Hyundai will offer no V6 in the new Sonata, we’re told to shave 100 pounds off the curb weight (a commendably light 3,199 pounds with the automatic). And a 274-horsepower turbo four won’t arrive until fall. So the cars I drove were fitted with a 198-horsepower direct-injected DOHC 2.4-liter four (200 with the SE’s dual exhaust). Not an even match, so just a few words on each.

The Camry’s V6 engine is easily the most entertaining aspect of the car. It’s smooth, powerful, and makes lusty noises when prodded. But there’s really little point to it in this car. The Camry simply doesn’t ask to be pushed hard enough to render the four-cylinder insufficient. Then again, Detroit’s specialty used to be overpowered cars with soft suspensions and over-boosted steering, and perhaps there’s still a market for this combination.

The Sonata’s new engine is, like the related port-injected unit in the new Tucson, very smooth and quiet for a four. Even held at 4,500 RPM using the automatic’s manual shift feature it’s not loud, and it never sounds rough. The previous generation four sounds and feels uncivilized in comparison, and it’s not a bad engine. The loud clacking typical of high-pressure injectors can be heard when outside the Sonata, but not when inside it. Thrust is a bit soft up to about 25 miles-per-hour, beyond which point the engine feels fairly energetic, if not a substitute for a V6. Few buyers will need more power or refinement than this four offers. The others can wait a few months for the turbo.

The Camry’s engine provides good fuel economy for a powerful V6, about 22 around town. But the Hyundai’s new four is outstanding in this regard, earning a class-leading 22/35 MPG from the EPA. Driven along rural roads, I observed 35 MPG for one segment, and low 30s overall. So the EPA numbers don’t seem to have been cheated. A hybrid arrives in the fall, but it seems pointless unless most driving involves frequent stops.

Both the Camry and Sonata are fitted with six-speed automatics that usually shift smoothly and behave well. One minor demerit for the Hyundai’s box: it slightly lugs the engine at times, no doubt to maximize fuel economy. Those whose ears aren’t sensitive to low frequency sounds will never notice.

The Camry and Sonata drive about as differently as they look. The first thing you’ll notice when setting off in the Camry: it feels extremely smooth and quiet, clearly the result of lessons learned when developing Lexus. Bumps effect some head toss at moderate speeds, but overall the Toyota’s ride could hardly be more comfortable. Unfortunately, the focus on isolation extends to the steering. It’s far too light, lacks a strong sense of direction, and (aside from some kickback) is devoid of feel. A shame, because even in XLE trim the chassis is more composed than in previous non-sport Camrys. A firm, even overly firm, suspension is standard in the Camry SE.

The three trims of the Sonata all drive differently. The GLS’s higher-profile 16-inch tires are noisier than the Limited’s 17s and harm the car’s ride and handling. Paired with steelies, they’re begging for a mod. The SE’s 18s are also noisier than the Limited’s 17s, and together with a firmer suspension yield a busy, occasionally unsettled ride. If the SE handled much better than the Limited the ride penalty might be worth it, but it doesn’t. The Limited handles nearly as well as the SE, and rides more quietly and much more smoothly. Add in its more attractive interior and additional features, and the Limited is easily the best of the three trims. If you want a Sonata, you want a Sonata Limited.

Still, compared to the Camry XLE, the Sonata Limited isn’t as quiet or as smooth. It’s the difference between good, even very good, and great. The Camry feels like a premium car through the seat of one’s pants and the drums of one’s ears. The Sonata does not quite manage the same. On the other hand, the Sonata’s steering, while nearly as devoid of feel as the Camry’s, isn’t overly light, is nicely weighted, and has a clear sense of direction. As a result, even down two cylinders the Hyundai is more engaging and fun to drive (such things being relative).

In the end, the Camry cannot escape its advancing age. It does a few things extremely well, and most other things very well, but its steering is far too light and its styling is bland and dated. With the new Sonata, Hyundai has avoided competing with the Camry head on. The Sonata isn’t as smooth, as quiet, or as comfortable, but it has better steering and is more fun to drive. But will many midsize sedan buyers notice or care about the difference in how the cars steer? Maybe, maybe not. But they’ll certainly notice how the new Sonata looks. A Hyundai that sells because of how it looks—who saw this coming? Now if only Hyundai offered some eye-catching green paint…

Toyota and Hyundai provided the vehicles, insurance and one tank of gas each for this review

Michael Karesh owns and operates TrueDelta, an online source of auto reliability and pricing data

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96 Comments on “Comparison Review: 2011 Hyundai Sonata Versus 2010 Toyota Camry XLE...”


  • avatar
    twotone

    Great review! Two transportation appliances I’d never buy, but still an interesting read. What the price difference between the two?

    Thanks,
    Twotone

    • 0 avatar

      I’m afraid I haven’t looked into the price difference–finishing up the late 2010s before starting on the early 2011s in TrueDelta’s database. Hyundai tends to undercut Toyota by about $1,500 these days, though.

    • 0 avatar

      Great job on the review Mike. I’ll be looking forward to your Epinions Sonata post.

      The toyota Camry won me over with its interior space. I actually have a 36′ inseam :-)

      I disagree with you about the sonata’s wheel. I love it. Looks techier than the toyota – in fact, it reminds me of a Benz wheel.

      As for pricing, the sonata I reviewed:
      http://www.epinions.com/content_504784391812 was loaded to the tune of $28,000, but, the base version of the car comes in around $20,000.

      The LOADED Camry I saw with my Aunt was around $34,000 (Navigation, moonroof, keyless start, push button Go, etc.

      Because of my ridiculous height, if I had to choose between one of these, I’d go for the Camry.

      The Sonata is great for small people and kids in the back – but the Camry CAN FIT “ME” IN IT COMFORTABLY and that says alot.

      The Sonata succeeds in “getting me to look at it” and “wonder about it”. Before the Genesis, a Hyundai was the last thing I’d ever look at. Now, even though I’m not in the market for a car like this, its captured my attention. You can bet I’ll be the first person to Hyundai when the Twin Turbo version comes in.

    • 0 avatar
      BlackDynamite

      The Sonata, by spec volume, has THE largest interior
      Is actually a large car, not a mid-size , like Camry.
      So much for numbers
      BD

  • avatar
    obbop

    Well, which one offers the most “street creds.”

    Without street creds you be nuthin’.

    Let’s keep it real and cover all that really matters any more.

    Gimme’ my street creds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • avatar
    educatordan

    I would seriously consider painting any car that I was restoring that lovely shade of metallic Toyota Green. My new favorite color combo for cars is green outside, tan leather inside.

    Kudos to Hyundai for not making the new Sonata a porker.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      That was my thought too. 3200 pounds for an automatic compact sedan is pretty good these days. Seems like there could be a market for a sportier Camry, I guess Hyundai will find out how big it is.

    • 0 avatar
      cardealercanada

      My Toyota has started to rust in just 2 years. Comeon guys, dont take advantage of established name, try for quality. Else, you will be left behind.

  • avatar

    A note on reliability:

    The current Camry V6 had a tough first model year plagued by transmission shift flare. Toyota addressed this, via new transmissions in some cases, and the car has been very reliable recently.

    Hyundai usually manages to put out a reliable car, but a few models have been glitchy, especially in their first nodel year. So it remains to be seen how the 2011 Sonata will fare. I’d like to have stats for the car ASAP, perhaps as early as August, so if you know anyone who buys one please send them here:

    http://www.truedelta.com/reliability.php

    • 0 avatar
      YotaCarFan

      The new Hyundais now have Hyundai-developed engines, unlike recent ones that, IIRC, had GEMA (Hyundai-Chrysler-Mitsubishi alliance) and models from the 80s & 90s that had Mitsubishi derived engines and transmissions. It will be interesting to see how well Hyundai’s home-grown designs fare.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack99

      Yep. That Theta engine they’re using is an all-Hyundai one.

  • avatar

    It just dawned on me: the new Sonata has the look Chrysler was aiming for with the Sebring.

    • 0 avatar

      Looks like a CLS to me.
      The rear end looks like a Ford Escort.

      If Chrysler had this car, it would definitely help pull them out of the rut. I’m thinking of trading our 300 in for a Taurus. The fate of Chrysler has me looking at it like a bastard stepchild.

  • avatar
    chris

    Bought the 2011 Sonata SE (Indigo Blue Pearl) for my wife and she gets many compliments and questions about the car. The few times I’ve driven it I haven’t found anything substantial to complain about. It’s solid, descent steering feel, and the engine is quite peppy considering it’s a four.

  • avatar
    bmoredlj

    A co-worker recently leased a Sonata the same day they first test drove it. The dealer offered them a deal they couldn’t refuse and they wouldn’t let them sleep on it; this included a decent trade-in on their ’04 Intrepid with a blown engine. The lease is under $300 a month. They were astonished at how different the 2010 and 2011 Sonatas looked. I am by no means a Hyundai fan but one can’t help but acknowledge their gutsiness. The Sonata Hybrid is growing on me too – it’s hardly pretty, but you won’t mistake it for anything else on the road. I hope the next Genesis is more daring.

    • 0 avatar

      So they fell for the old “this deal is only good for today” line. At least it was a good deal, no real harm done.

    • 0 avatar
      YotaCarFan

      The Sonata looks pretty nice, but the Sonata Hybrid looks a bit non-conventional in the front to me. It would be nice if Hyundai put a fuel efficient engine (either the GDI of the Sonata or a hybrid) in a luxury car like the Genesis. That would be an awesome long-distance commuter car / family car.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack99

      I think that’s the catch-22 carmakers face. On one hand, customers want their car to be purty and stylish. On the other hand, they want also distinction. They want to be individualistic and different!

    • 0 avatar
      snowallergy

      A dealer that doesn’t let you sleep?  And they got a car from them?

  • avatar
    geeber

    I’m amazed at the number of new Sonatas I see around here. The car must be selling well – at least, it is in this area.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m also seeing quite a few where I live, and this is Detroit. But it helps that when there is one to be seen, you see it.

    • 0 avatar
      N8iveVA

      I’ve only seen one or two of the new Sonata’s in the DC area. Must be slow to catch on here.

    • 0 avatar
      twotone

      If you want to see a lot of Sonatas, check out rental car lots. That’s probably why you see them driving around as well.

      Twotone

    • 0 avatar
      Jack99

      @twotone

      Really? I hear that Hyundai only sells their lower margin cars (e.g. Elantra, Accent) to fleets. Kia goes a bit further by selling their midsize Optima.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      I’ve seen a couple of base GLS rentals (from National, I believe) in our lot at work. Suffice to say that the Sonata’s curvy sheetmetal doesn’t show its beauty under layers of road grime.

      I think that Hyundai sold to rental companies to make the Sonata visible early in its launch – I suspect that fleet sales will be a small percentage for this car.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      @twotone

      For the new Sonata (as well as the new Tucson), Hyundai has sharply cut back on fleet sales (as well as incentives).

      While the Fusion beat the Sonata in overall sales in March, the Sonata actually had more retail sales.

    • 0 avatar
      BlackDynamite

      Hyundai last year was over 20% fleet, even higher for Sonata
      But they say they are targeting retail sales now, and overall fleet is around 15%
      Last year, Toyota was 10% fleet overall, Camry 13%
      BD

  • avatar
    Audi-Inni

    I find it interesting that TTAC takes the Chinese to task for their copycat designs, but apparently give Hyundai a free pass for doing the same, yet failing to acknowledge that they copy not just from one, but from many, resulting in an overstyled, mish-mosh design mess. While I give Hyundai credit for trying to have a stand-out, the success of the Accord (any Accord for that matter since the 80′s) and the last generation Camry are clear evidence that the buyers in this segment don’t care.

    • 0 avatar

      The difference: some bits resemble those of other cars, but the whole is unique.

      From photos I thought the new Sonata was overdone, but in person it works and looks better.

    • 0 avatar
      Audi-Inni

      Michael, my comments are based on seeing the car in person. Styling is of course very personal – I just think this one is overwrought. And I like the Genesis Coupe.

    • 0 avatar
      YotaCarFan

      Some of the Hyundais do look suspiciously similar to other cars (e.g., Genesis & Equus ape Mercedes, Elantra apes Corolla, etc.). But, the Chinese cars often are nearly exact copies of other products, and sometimes even have similar sounding model names.

    • 0 avatar
      Geotpf

      Heck, there was at least one Chinese case (Chery QQ vs. Chevy Spark, I believe) where you could take body panels and doors and stuff off of one car and they would fit on the other one.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      @Audi-Inni

      Are you sure you aren’t giving a free pass to other auto manufacturers?

      The roofline/greehouse/C-pillar of the VW CC was totally taken from the CLS.

      While the Sonata has a similarly rakish roofline, it’s greenhouse/C-pillar is more like that of the A6/Azera than the CLS (let’s not forget the Ford 500 had a greenhouse/C-pillar almost exactly the same as A6).

      Along the same lines, the Chevy Cruze has a greenhouse/C-pillar similar to the Sonata, just not as rakish; while the Jaguar XJ has a similar greenhouse/C-pillar, but more elongated and rakish.

      As for the front headlight treatment, the headlights on the Sonata are much more radical than the often compared Solara/ES – being placed entirely on the SIDE (not to mention being of a diff. shape).

      The headlights of the Volvo S60, Mazda2 and some others more resemble the Solara/ES while the headlights on the Mercedes F800, like the Sonata’s, are similarly placed entirely on the side.

      And let’s not forget the Accord – which has a 2006 Sonata front, a BMW-inspired greenhouse w/ the Hofmeister kink and a Saturn rear.

      The new Legacy also has a BMW-inspired greenhouse w/ the Hofmeister kink (which is why the Legacy and Accord look so similar to each other from the side), as well a BMW inspired rear/taillight design.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      @YotaCarFan

      The Genesis does not ape Mercedes (it has more of a BMW look) and neither does the Equus.

      Otoh, the Lexus LS430 was a virtual clone of the Mercedes S-Class of the time; so much so that the head Mercedes designer broke industry protocol and actually made public comments as to such.

      And sorry, the Elantra looks little like the Corolla – esp. with its rising windowline and wavy side character lines; otoh, the VW Jetta is known to mimick the Corolla, esp. from the rear.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    The new Sonata certainly looks far more attractive when lower end 4 cylinder models are compared. An LE 4 cylinder Camry with plastic wheel covers and bland styling costs more than a GLS automatic Sonata with the alloy wheel, power seat and interior pgrade trim package. The Hyundai has 198 HP vs Toyotas 169 with a smaller engine for the former to boot! The Hyundai has a superior warranty and a slightly larger capacity trunk. The Hyundai has more daring and modern exterior styling, even if it looks a lot like a CC Volkswagon. The Sonatas interior also looks more interesting compared to the Camrys sea of bland gray boringness. In day to day driving I would also much prefer the sportier drive in the Sonata as apposed to Toyotas srene mushiness. The Camry is now selling in 2011 guise which means this car is now in it’s 5th model year with little other than a slightly different grille and a slightly larger and more powerful 2.5 4 banger paired to a 6 speed auto. The interior is much the same with evidence of cost cutting in many places. Those are a lot of reasons to me to prefer the Sonata over the dull you see them everywhere Camrys, especially when comparing the far more popular 4 cylinder low and mid range models. Yes Toyota should be quite concerned!

    • 0 avatar
      Suprarush

      Toyota sells more Camrys in the U.S than Hyundai sells cars period. Doing a comparison on a 5 year old car vs. a car that is entirely redesigned yet still comes up short in many aspects is hardly a concern for Toyota. Hyundai’s warranty is riddled with loopholes, and is only there to try and build confidence to their brand. I’m not sure if you were typing with a straight face but you had mentioned Hyundai and sportiness together? Anyways the Camry is and always will be a benchmark for this segment for many more years to come.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack99

      @Supra

      I’d bother driving the car and maybe even the Genesis while you’re at it before flat out assuming Hyundai can’t make sporty cars.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      @Supra

      I wouldn’t exactly call the Camry the benchmark of the segment – most auto publications put the Camry in the middle of the pack, while a few (such as Edmunds) put the Camry dead LAST.

      Otoh, a no. of auto publications have placed the Sonata first, including Car & Driver where the Sonata bested the perennial Top 10 listed Accord.

      Also, most reviewers have the Sonata in SE trim bettering the Accord in sportiness, but shy of the Mazda6.

      As for repairs under warranty, Hyundai gets a BETTER score than Toyota in JD Power’s CSI ratings.

      The top contenders for the mid-size segment are probably the Fusion/Mazda6 and Sonata.

    • 0 avatar
      BlackDynamite

      BD2
      OTHER MAKERS consider the Camry the benchmark
      Because BUYERS consider Camry, and Accord, the benchmarks
      Sonata has love-it-or-hate-it styling, which can work, or not
      Family sedan buyers are usually couples, and to get both people to not be put off by the aggressive styling is a challenge.  That’s why Accords and Camrys are conservative in style.  When multiple people stroke checks, it’s best to play it safe, then to be too aggressive.
      Camry has a very strong rep, as does Accord.  THOSE buyers rarely move.  Sonata will most likely take buyers from the Mazda 6, Mitsu Galant, Subaru Legacy etc.
      BD

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    I go to school in Long Beach, CA, and I see may Hyundai Sonatas around, but they are all in the base trim, where the huge grille is all black plastic. GROSS! I think for Hyundai to be seen as a more premium car company, they should make their base models look nice as well, so when people see them on the street they are really impressed. Seeing as Hyundai is a value-brand, any chance TTAC is going to review the bare-bones version of the Sonata? Since at this higher price point, wouldn’t you guys think the Passat is a nice alternative?

    And I think the new Camry is beautiful on the outside, and the interior fabric of the XLE non-V6 is great for those who hate leather! However, the matte black plastic on the doors (the part between the two windows) cheapens the Camry more. Nice jobs on the picture gallery, btw!

    Oh, and to those wondering what is up with Camry’s not refreshing their cars (SE got a new engine completely, new body kit, USB connectivity), I think it’s going to be a trend for Toyota, I read recently (on TTAC or autoblog?) they’ll make refreshes less substantial in order to make the all-new models more different. I mean, check out the Avalon, same basic car (new fascia and tail-lamps and IP) between the “new” 2011 version and the 2006 (out in 2005).

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve tried to review all three trim levels here. The tire/wheel combo on the base model does nothing well, and its interior does feel more spartan. If you don’t care for a sunroof or leather, both standard on the Limited, the base model with $1,700 or so in tire/wheel upgrades would be a good way to go.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Interesting point about the Camry XLE: don’t opt for the nav and you get the much more user-friendly climate and audio controls.

    That said, is the Sonata’s nav screen touch, or does it use the controls in front? I’ve generally found the former to be easier to use (though the systems that use ATM-style physical buttons that change function based on on-screen labels are the best) than those that use an MMI/iDrive-style wheel.

    I would also agree on the the interior design of the XLE versus the SE: pick the SE and you get a much nicer dark-grek/black interior. I will never understand the fascination interior designers have for Cement Wall Grey and Too Much Cream in Your Coffee Beige.

    • 0 avatar

      For reasons I don’t understand Toyota prefers to lend out the XLE rather than the SE. I pointed out to them that if they don’t want reviews to harp on how the car drives, they should emphasize the SE more. But at least now I know what others are talking about when criticizing the driving feel (or lack thereof) in the Camry.

  • avatar
    ra_pro

    “A Hyundai that sells because of how it looks—who saw this coming”

    I hate to brag but I did saw it coming. I posted it here a few times that to me Hyundai is a lot like Samsung in flat panel televisions. Samsung went from nothing to be the class leader in design, technology and of course pricing in LCDs. And Sony is like Toyota. It still hasn’t fully grasped its situation. I honestly thought that Sony would see what was happening and really pick its game. But no, they stand paralyzed and watch their market position erode. We’ll see whether Toyota will be the automotive Sony.

    • 0 avatar

      Excellent analogy with Sony. I remember when some people wouldn’t buy anything but a Sony, but haven’t heard this in years.

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      Maybe because people are realizing they are building craps by now? My Sony 46″ died after only 3 years of service. That’s a record, for any type of appliances, in my family. My Sony PC didn’t outlast my Dell either.

      I will not spend more than $100 on anything Sony for the next 10 years. Sony is only good for cute disposable stuff. If you want something more durable, go with Panasonic.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack99

      Sony got its arse whupped and slapped around so badly in the electronics arena you would’ve thought from all their business decisions the company was being run by masochists. The truth is they’ve had an old problem of hubris and short-sightedness until recently. They had this rather narrow-minded assumption that blu-ray would be just as ubiquitous and thus profitable as DVD and VHS(not theirs BTW) had been. However, even when you take into account the probability of DVD finally making its way for blu-ray, flash prices will drop and internet bandwidth limits will rise. Sony doesn’t seem to be taking note of this by accommodating this trend toward more online content. The other problem is Sony only in the past year realized the problem of locking its customers into its own proprietary storage and port standards and kicked this habit. Too bad Apple stole their thunder.

      Toyota seems to be in a much better shape. But because they’re that much bigger than Hyundai, it’ll be more difficult to get all their legs to move at once in one direction.

    • 0 avatar
      bzizzi

      I was at Best Best Buy just after X-Mas 2011 and asked why there were so many Samsung TV’s on the floor near CS area and the salesman said they were all in for repair or warranty issues.I saw no Sony models in CS area and the salesman said that’s because they hardly ever get them back for repair!!! Hyundai and Kia’s have no resale value like Toyota and Honda. I go to Manheim auto auction
      and see it first hand !! Don’t be fooled !!You get what you pay for

  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    One review I’m curious to see: the new Sonata vs. the Mazda 6, which was released last year to far less fanfare than the Sonata but seems more tailored to enthusiasts (all being relative, of course, when speaking of 4-pot family sedans) than the slightly-more-spirited-than-a-Camry Sonata. I seem to recall seeing parallel reviews on a bunch of sites: in 2009 it was the 6 vs. the Camry, with the universal conclusion that the 6 was not quite as polished but far more entertaining (even if it had gained a few too many pounds and inches since the last generation), and in 2010 it’s the new Sonata vs. the Camry, with roughly the same conclusion.

    A note on trim levels: of course the XLE/Limiteds will be nicer than the $199/month specials, but I’m guessing most sales will end up being of the base models anyway. Once you hit the $26k they’re asking for the higher-end trim levels, you butt up against the Regal and Passat, not to mention a lightly-used 3-series, A4 or G37.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      The Camry SE is actually much more sporting than most people realize. The reason they don’t realize it is that hardly anyone ever buys them, dealers don’t stock them and magazines rarely get them to review. So we hear about the fleet-grade CE and the cream-puff LE and XLE.

      But the SE, especially the I4 with the five-speed, is probably the most fun-to-drive car in it’s class. It’s no 3-Series, but I’d certainly put it ahead of the newer 6.

    • 0 avatar

      The Mazda feels larger than either the Sonata or the Camry, partly because it is. Ride quality is worse than the Sonata Limited, while handling is a little better, but still not what I’d call “sporty.” If memory serves–it has been a few years since I drove one–the Camry SE feels sportier but rides worse than either car.

  • avatar
    getacargetacheck

    Toyota has nothing to worry about.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack99

      That’s what GM said when the evil Japanese autos invaded America.

    • 0 avatar
      educatordan

      @Jack99 +1

      True and a recent car and driver review of a Kia said (paraphrasing) “Crap the Koreans have learned how to tune suspensions, nothing will stop them now!” Hyundai has learned the same lessons. The reviews of their cars I’ve been reading the last few years basically say; “Great car but the suspension feels like Jello.” Toyota/Honda/Nissan executives should be waking up at night screaming from bad dreams of good Korean cars.

      BTW the same thing will happen to the Korean manufacturers when the Chinese come to North America.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack99

      I think that’s just the nature of the car market. You’re always going to have lower-cost carmakers coming in and changing the way business is done. The main reason Toyota’s share grew so big is the D3′s hubris. Whether or not Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai will meet the same fate at the hands of Chinese automakers, I wouldn’t say so yet. It’s a bit soon to make that call.

  • avatar

    Nice review. I really like the look of the new Sonata…the exterior. Inside, the IP looks a little bit weird. From what I’ve read about these two, I’d prefer the Camry. Even though it looks bland and outdated, when I have to drive for hours, I prefer quietness and comfortable ride. I wish Toyota would design better front seats, though.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      This is very true.

      Other than the Lexus IS and, weirdly, the Yaris (and possibly the GS or LS; I wouldn’t know), Toyota seat-cushions are always really short on thigh support. Or really short in general.

  • avatar
    william442

    I have seen only two on the street here in Tampa. The SE Sonata I drove was noisy and rough at speed on a very smooth expressway.
    The dealer wanted $2500 over the sticker.

  • avatar
    TG57

    Sorry, but I have to wholeheartedly disagree about the steering in the Sonata. About a month ago I was rented one (*brand* new, just came off the delivery truck – 18 miles on the odometer), and the steering struck me as being the car’s weak link. It seemed adequate for regular driving, but your thoughts on the Camry’s steering are practically a carbon copy of how I felt about the Sonata’s. It’s just way too light at lower speeds and feels really synthetic and artificial. The model I had was the rental-spec bargain-basement trim (GLS, I guess?) with no options and the smallest size steel wheels, if that somehow makes a difference for the steering system. Apart from that I agree with most of the review, though I found the four-cylinder to be a little less refined then you did. Then again, I’m used the 6-cylinder in my Lexus, so any four is going to seem comparatively loud and rough.

    The color on the Toyota is indeed beautiful. Last week I was helping my father shop for a car, and as we walked across the lot at the Toyota dealership I spotted a Camry in the exact shade of green, stopped in my tracks, and just stared at it thinking “that is simply gorgeous”. According to the salesman it’s a brand new shade for this model year and they just started shipping them out a few months ago. Almost makes me want to buy a Camry…

    • 0 avatar

      As noted in the review, such things are relative. I’m satisfied with the steering in very few cars, and the Sonata’s steering is about average. But the Camry’s was about the worst I’ve experienced in recent memory.

      The steering does feel a little soggier in the GLS than in the Limited. Since only the tires differ, I assumed that they were the cause.

      This shade of green was very popular back in the mid-90s. Maybe it’s about to mount a comeback. Many people who saw the car felt compelled to comment on the paint.

  • avatar
    Prado

    Nice review. The Sonata really does look more contemporary and upscale than anything in its class. It reminds me a lot of when the 2002 Altima came out. Everything else looked old and boring in comparison.

    In regards to: “the XLE’s small, multispoked alloys don’t flatter the car—the SE looks considerably better.” Bigger wheels always look better, but until they can make 40 series tires that can last 60k+ miles… the XLE’s wheels look plenty good to me.

    • 0 avatar
      Patrickj

      40 series tires that can last 60K+ miles?
      We don’t seem to have gotten to that point with 55 series tires yet.  I don’t think any mainstream sedan or SUV needs tires with a lower profile than 60 series.

  • avatar
    Wheeljack

    I really don’t understand why Toyota can’t figure out how to make a rear seat that reclines and folds down for bulky cargo as well. My old 1988 Merkur Scorpio has POWER recline in the rear and both sections of the 60/40 rear seatback fold down.

  • avatar
    Jason

    Nice Review. I had 2004 Toyata Camry and drove it for many years without any problems. However, i really like the new style of new sonata. I have researched on many reviews on New Sonata. Recently, Sonata has won in a comparison test by Car & Driver. It outsocred Honda Accord EX and Subaru Legacy 2.5i in many performance categories. Also, Camry was rated #1 Mid-Size Sedan in a comparison test by Motor Trend and followed by Sonata in 3rd. I’m still considering of buying New Sonata and hopefully i will make a good choice.

  • avatar
    FordDeathWatch

    Aside from the higher levels of refinement of the Toyota, the real 800 pound gorilla in this contrast is long term dependability.

    I know which car I’d bet my much desired 10 years of trouble free commuting, reliability necessary for transport to and from work, wishes on.

    Hyundai has made great strides in the initial quality of their vehicles, but the jury isn’t even close to coming back with a verdict on their long term dependability/durability.

    I ain’t talkin’ no 3 to 5 year reliability study here.

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    I’ve driven the Camry SE. The steering is just as bad as all of the rest of the Camrys. It’s really hilarious at what Toyota thinks qualifies as “sporty”.

    I’m with Mr. Karesh on steering, VERY few companies manage to get weighting, feel, AND refinement exactly right. Audi has gotten very close to perfection lately. Porsche I suppose is the gold standard.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    Good comparison. How about Honda Accord vs. Ford Fusion next (or maybe Mazda6 vs. Chevy Malibu)?

    • 0 avatar
      Bancho

      In the not too distant past they did a write-up of a few midsize sedans over the course of several days (including the Fusion and Malibu and a couple others that escape me right now) that was for the current versions (well, not the current version Sonata) being sold now so those articles would probably meet your desire.

  • avatar
    SpacemanSpiff

    I’m really impressed by the looks and the mpg of the new Sonata. But what really excites me is how Honda and the others will respond with their next iterations. Instead of a HP war, I’d like to see a MPG war.
    I’m enjoying my ’06 Scion xB right now as a commuter car, it is averaging over 30 miles per gallon. When I’m ready to replace it in a few years, I hope that the new 4-cylinder Accord, Camry, 6 and Fusion will all be matching or bettering this Sonata.

  • avatar
    Accazdatch

    Hmm…

    So many things about this competition that just pulls at my heart strings.

    If I had a heart for this current gen size class.. — And I dont.

    I’m compelled to stare at the Hyundai wheel. Ive just never seen a steering wheel with so many different materials and or combination of colors and or textures.

    Their exterior design.. is al-MOST elementary.

    Designed completely in a wind tunnel, (as are most / all cars) this one looks like it went about 100 steps further in that achievement. Its compelling to say the least.

    Now.
    Im always amazed at how this is a POLITICAL-CAR site, where we debate issues like brake light lenses and location of fuel filler door…

    Then turn around and debate the highs and lows of this particular realm of automobile.

    I personally don’t understand it. The size of the current midsize car and or of every vehicle that has grown as of late, tells me I don’t need a car of that size. Just like ya shouldn’t have to buy a Tahoe / Lambda to pull a fishing boat or any light weight trailer.

    The size has gotten out of control. Regardless of how much the Sonata actually weights, (it cant weigh 3200lbs), they ARE on the forefront of engine control and emission management, which is an amazing concept, with Honda resting on its laurels and focusing on Hybrids.

    Its almost a moot point to debate such trivial things like rear seat room, or textiles and or controls. We already know the Korean Sonata has it over the Japanese Camry, for design efficiency and price, if not for price ALONE.

    These types of debates are going on all over the U.S on the various SUVs / CUVS sold today.

    There really isn’t any deciding factor that makes one stand out from the rest. They all have the same comparable features aimed at each other, begging pleading for a share of the competitive market.

    The Camry has become what not to do. The Accord for the 8th gen, is HOW NOT TO FOLLOW.

    Sonata is just another choice.

    Honestly,
    I have to say they are on to something, but the angle of price HAS TO GO. Ya don’t buy a car based on price, that negotiation happens after ya find the vehicle ya want. (This whole MICKEY MOUSE B.S of waging dealer v dealer on 1or 2g off the price of a Malibu / Tahoe, is really pointless.)

    With that said..
    And while I do enjoy the debate of which vehicle is rounder, or more silver.. *yawn*
    P.S. Its a EXTREMELY moot point of having a 4cycl Accord of the current gen. Accord was better in the earlier gens, and got better economy too. Shit, it was more fun to drive, that that watery pile of Gefilte fish.

    I would like to ask Mr. Karesh.. to have more competition/ comparison reviews of other classes of cars, there has to be more excitement in driving than this.

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    Good grief!
    Price matters in the real world. This is still a free market, right? You just don’t throw basic economics out the window because you are unwilling to believe in it, or believe that other issues are more important. Price matters – always, or we’d all be driving Maybachs!

    Driving a car blurs the line between social responsibilities and individual choice. Ever since the first speed limit was posted, the first parking meters were set up in Oklahoma City, the first police officer issued a traffic ticket – we have been recognizing that drivers have a social responsibility.

    But there is a limit. Your ability to empower society to curb a driver’s traffic responses, should stop when you start to believe that you know more about every person’s vehicular needs, than they do. There is a balance that has been upturned by social critics who think they are now car experts too. Expertise has it’s limits. Just as you wouldn’t want a weatherman to be your mechanic, you shouldn’t want politicians to be your mechanic.

    Auto manufacturers do not have social responsibilities. They have buyer responsibilities. People who do not buy their products do not know more than the people who are an auto manufacturer’s customers, nor do they know more than the actual people who build the vehicles. Critics who take auto manufacturers to task regarding their perceptions of social impacts of autos in our society, need to discover what they do not know, what fields they are not experts in, and have enough humility to shut the hell up.

    Consequentially, I need a vehicle able to seat five individuals, which includes three governmentally mandated and designed car seats which do not fold forward, are not easily removed, and weigh more than each child. As the father of this growing family of five, I need a vehicle that will be able to be easily cleaned of Goldfish, and have enough room to keep each child from creating a war zone within it. The vehicle has to fit into a budget that focuses on family rearing, leaving only enough monthly funds to purchase a new vehicle with generous financing. The vehicle must hold a Cirque Du Soleil sized cache of pre-school objects. It must be dependable. It must be affordable. It must not be a mini van which is the auto equivalent of having your mom phone during an intimate moment with your wife.

    Nothing is more socially responsible than being a parent experiencing daily toddler Hell, times three. For those of us tired of hearing critics tell us which car, they wouldn’t drive to their corner-bookstore-cum-coffee-shop, because it might harm a salmon’s sense of smell, I give you reality!

  • avatar
    mikenem

    And I thought Camry’s had lame styling… This Hyndai looks like a drunken collage made up of every midisize import of the past 5 years. It’s difficult for me not to judge this book by its cover.

  • avatar
    klossfam

    I can vouch for the Hyundai Sonata Ltd (I just negotiated a deal for one for a coworker). Having driven around a 2008 Camry SE and even a 2010 Fusion SE, they both seem dated and much more “made to a price point” than the Sonata. The Sonata is, of course, made to a price but hides it better than almost any car in recent memory. In the Ltd, details like brushed aluminum for the moonroof wind deflector, the as noted heated rear seats, dual struts for the hood, etc. All things most mfrs are either including only in their luxury divisions or in $30K plus models. The Ltd purchased was close to invoice at $25K with all options but nav. A steal vs nearly any midsize competitor.

  • avatar
    JerryCup

    I liked the review, Michael. You are right on target. I just bought a GLS two weeks ago, and have been very pleased. Two recent trips had me in Camry rentals, and both involved some twisty driving. I test drove new Accords (coupe and sedan) last month, and prefer the Sonata.

    The car I am replacing is a 97 Prelude, which is a real driver’s car. Even at speed, you can change lanes without the split second delays involving stretching rubber, twisting torsion bars, and moving steel linkage. The car moves into the other lane, and you don’t wonder how long it will take, or whether the front tire is going to rip off the rims the next moment. There is no “rebound” feel, either. I wish every car I ever owned could handle the same, but it won’t happen, unless you are sticking with certain BMW’s.

    For me, this change represents a move to a cushier, more appliance-like vehicle. I’m getting older, and want more comfort. I will likely drive this car ten to fifteen years, and the price should not delay my retirement by a year.

    I test drove the GLS (dealer let me keep one overnight and take it on my daily commute) and found it pretty much as you describe. Decent power. Making any quick steering input was strange. The 65 series tires on the 16 inch wheels felt like balloons, and the entire car would wiggle back and forth without any directional change if you moved the wheel back and forth a couple of degrees while moving at expressway speed.

    I think this car needs the 17 inch 55 series tires, and luckily, the “spring special” packages arrived at the dealer, giving you the bigger wheel with lower profile rubber for only $100. It is also the cleaner look of the 16″ wheel on the GLS rather than the 17″ wheel standard on the Limited. It handles noticeably better.

    I also think the OE Kumho tires are pretty wiggly in either size. Had a set on my Prelude once, and they were far different (worse) for handling and wear than Bridgestone, Yokohama, or Falken, I’m hopeful that when these wear out, a suitable replacement set will make an improvement.

    But overall, the handling is OK, much better than a stock Camry (not nearly Prelude class, though). The power is decent, the ride is great, and I love the throw-in features like bluetooth and iPod interface. Even like the steering wheel mounted controls. You can look closely at this car, all the details demonstrate good design and quality assembly and finishing. The paint is excellent.

    It blew me away that it automatically downloaded the directory from my iPhone. I did not realize it had done so, as I had been entering a few names by voice input to the radio. For some reason, you need to say “Doe, John” rather than “John Doe” when asked who to dial. The bluetooth mike and car speaker work better than the BMW setup I have seen, voice quality is good.

    At this price, a great value, and even comparing the Accord or Camry without costing, I want the Sonata. It drives better, has amazing FE, and looks a lot better IMHO.

    • 0 avatar
      Acc azda atch

      Hate to bust ya bubble..
       
      A 97 prelude.. isn’t a driver’s car.
      Ive done those simple b.s traffic maneuvers in my 00 Accord as well as my 92, as well as various Mazda3hatchs, all 4cycls with varying displacements. I also have no problem cutting corners at speeds or slipping through dense traffic at 70. Slipping through is instantaneous as is power off the line. I don’t need to brake to get into a slower lane…, and I don’t need to pray I got enough power to slide left or slide right.
       
      I also have had NO problems cutting through 6″ of snow in either car.. or doing virtually the same aforementioned maneuvers at speeds 10-15% less than aforementioned. The car can handle it.

      And to go from a Prelude.. into a Sonata.. SOMETHING got left behind.

  • avatar
    Brewster

    I’m left wondering if some reviewers actually drove the Sonata. My 6-4 245lb son just bought one – a black limited with all but nav – and absolutely loves it. I too was impressed when I drove it. It has more front seat room than the Dodge Charger I just sold that he drove and he fits in the back seat with easily as much legroom as the Charger. It’s quick and draws looks like no other car he has driven. For $25 grand you can’t beat it, imo. The paint is superior – especially the Ghost Black available only on the Limited. Now if Hyundai would just stick the Tuscons V6 into that thing, or even a nice big turbo … what a package that would be. Only thing better would be a convertible hardtop. That might convince me to buy one for myself instead of another pickup. New Dodge RAM, $42k? New Ford F-150, $45k? Are you F’in kidding me?

  • avatar

    Problem with toyota it seems that it takes too long to upgrade its products.
     
     
    taking a simple step like a facelift takes ages
     
    and by god whats up with the styling of toyotas. They all look so bland to me.
     
    hyundai is catching up though, swoop is the new cool for hyundai
     
    do check out the 2011 hyundai elantra, hyundai verna and the low cost car concept presented by hyundai in russia a few months ago

    • 0 avatar
      BlackDynamite

      Toyota is going to a 6 year product cycle.
      The next Camry should be here by early 2012
      The car is facelifted after 3 years.  Pretty standard in the industry, really.
      Hard to argue with the sales results.  The people are definitely supporting their efforts
      BD

  • avatar
    jraccios

    I haven’t seen a key element posted here, that would favor the Hyundai Sonata. Their new 4 cylinder engine has a timing chain instead of a timing belt. The owners manual says to inspect it at 100K miles and replace it at 200K. To me, that is a great selling point and also more reliability with the chain. The cost for replacing the timing belt is a major expense item at 60K or 90K miles. The new design is also extremely quite for a chain drive.  I have the 2011 Sonata SE and there is extremely little engine noise at any speed.

  • avatar
    BlackDynamite

    The classic battle
    Do you prefer Ginger?
    Or Mary Ann?
    BD

  • avatar
    BlackDynamite

    It would not surprise me if the next Camry gets the SE supsension as standard fare
    And makes the softer suspension available only on the XLE.
    Toyota execs have publicly stated that they are going to reflect Mr Toyoda’s sporting personality, and their cars will be more aggressively styled, and be more fun to drive (See Sienna SE, Lexus LF-A, and Lexus LS Sport as early examples)
    The Lexus GS comes out early next year, and we’ll see more of this shift in approach
    I think the next Camry will reflect more of the bold style of the SE, and less of the safety from the rest of the line.
    BD

    • 0 avatar
      Acc azda atch

      CMON.
       
      You are actually paying ATTENTION to the suspension.. on a DAMN CAMRY!?
       
      People buying these frackin things don’t use the damn suspension anyway.
      Mr TOYODA’s biggest problem is he’s got style-less garbage all over his namesake company.
      People dont but a Sienna for its style.. just its obeseness. The LF-A is a overpriced Supra, and the LS SPORT.. is like taking a Continental and putting on Low Profiles.
       
      Ya not going to change the characteristics of some of their main cars.. by dialing in the suspension. Toyota.. has no point. Most of the crap they have.. is under done, and under thought.
       
      No to mention.. its all on recall.
      The company jus doesn’t have the damn BALLS to admit they fucked up. — That’s what the 16.4mil check was to the NHTSA.
       
      P.S
      Their marketing ploy of being a lease for cheap.. doesn’t excuse anything, and as for styling, ya got at least 6yrs to wait for that. By then.. the morons who drive the damn cars.. that have been on recall.. wont remember anyway.
       
      But thats what buying a Toyota is all about — not caring about driving, or about CARS.

    • 0 avatar
      BlackDynamite

      Put down your double-shot of Hater-ade!
      Toyota/Lexus is the stuff, and you know it!

      LF-A is now THE #1 supercar!
      Better driver, better luxury, better sound, better sports car, more special than ANY other supercar, PERIOD!
      And there’s more where that came from!

      Prius #1 Hybrid.
      Camry best family sedan in the US.
      Corolla #1 selling car EVER!
      Lexus RX #1 luxury car in US.
      Lexus LS #1 car in quality US.
      Lexus #1 luxury brand.
      Toyota #1 brand period!

      Whether you like it, or your don’t like it
      LEARN to LOVE it!
      Because it’s the best thing goin’ today!
      WOOOOOOOOO!
      BD
       

  • avatar
    TAP

    I agree with those who think the Sonata styling is overwrought, and as for 1st year bugs, believe I saw news today of a steering recall.  However, I give them a huge nod for making the other guys sweat.
    Remember Butch Cassidy and Sundance scrambling to escape the posse, and they keep asking each other,”who are those guys!?”

    • 0 avatar
      Acc azda atch

      ARE YOU SERIOUS?!
       
      Ya finally got a god damn company who actually styles their cars.. and gives exterior styling a point.. and people say its overdone?!
       
      The hell with them then. If ya dont like the styling of the damn car.. but something MORE generic, like a Camry or a Accord. Each offers gutless power, with gutless design, from two previously engineering led companies.. that are following EACH other straight into the crapper.

    • 0 avatar
      Canuck129

      Acc

      Ya are confusin’ me.  Ya seem to like the Sonata but Ya wouldn’t buy one.  The ‘underpowered’ Camry v-6 still does a 6.7 sec 0-60 time, and it’s a 5 year old car.

    • 0 avatar
      Acc azda atch

      CANUCK:
       
      I can actually pickout points of the car that are superior over the Camry.. and still have NAZI level, ABSOLUTE, FUNDAMENTAL HATRED for the Sonata and literally everything it stands for.
       
      Its got the standard, generic, wind tunnel design.. paired with a motor and trans that Honda or Toyota WONT touch.
       
      But that doesn’t stop me from hating the whole car.. on LITERALLY a DOZEN levels!
       
      And honestly..
      I dont give a shit how fast the car makes it to 60. Ya should try ACTUALLY cornering the car.. throwing it into a corner.. and see how much body roll ya get.. or do a 60-0 test.. and how good the front brakes are.
       
      And dont forget..
      These arent MIDSIZERS.
      They are FULLSIZE.

    • 0 avatar
      Canuck129

      I was just replying to you saying the Camry and Accord has “gutless power”.  But now you are saying power doesn’t matter. 

      To save myself the torture of reading another post, I want you to know I agree with you 100%.  You are right about whatever it was you were saying.

  • avatar
    Canuck129

    Yes, the styling is overdone.  There are way too many things going on and it appears to be a mish-mash more than a fluid design.  But a lot of people seem to be liking it. If you like something that screams its design language rather than whispering it, then the Sonata could be on your list.  I’ll take the whisper please, or maybe something in between.  I’ll also take the effortless V-6.

    • 0 avatar
      Acc azda atch

      “Something” that screams design language?”
       
      Cant even pinpoint what ya like or don’t like and ya just want another bland and boring, automatic, with shiny primer painted car. Stick the DUAL VVTI w/ D.I, into the engine bay.. and you wouldn’t know the difference between a “est’d 3ltr V6″ and the 2ltr displacement it actually is!
       
      “Whispering design language”.. = There are lots of gutless, underworked, design-less GARBAGE on the market to chose from. Ya should be happy SOMEONE is willing to style a car.. instead of shape it with blind guys.
       
      Something would have to be SERIOUSLY wrong with me.. to consider a DAMN Sonata. SO NO, I wouldnt consider this gutless boring pile of crap who’s only redeeming quality is a motor Honda wont engineer and a built-to-a-price-point EVERYONE who wants this shit falls for.

      Then again.. I wouldn’t chose the POS Camry either, or its closest FULLSIZE brother-in-law, Accord.
      I actually like to drive.. and crap like this shouldn’t SUIT anyone HERE.

    • 0 avatar

      200 HP out of a 4 is pretty remarkable.  It does not want for power.  But if that’s not enough to float your boat, the 274 HP turbo 4 should do the trick.  Both hit 35 MPG on the highway.
      No need for a V6 with those numbers.

  • avatar
    Canuck129

    Kevin,
    I said effortless.  The Turbo is anything but, and I guess we’ll wait and see about reliability. 

  • avatar
    snowallergy

    Sonata recently had a refresh. Toyota is coming up on theirs. It’s a bit unfair to compare a car in the 4th year of it’s series to a complete makeover.  What I’m getting from hyundai is they want to be thout of as ‘not what we used to be’. With toyota they long to be what they used to be. I think there’s more chance toyota will get what they want before the take hyundai seriously.


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