By on October 8, 2010

For some people (you know who you are), the 200 horsepower provided by the 2011 Hyundai Sonata’s 2.4-liter four-cylinder base engine just isn’t enough. The traditional solution: a V6. But Hyundai, taking a page from Chrysler’s Iacocca-era playbook, has opted to offer a turbocharged 2.0-liter four instead. The specs look good: 274 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 269 pound-feet of torque from 1,750 rpm. The pricing? Even better. The Hyundai Sonata SE 2.0T lists for $24,865, only $1,550 more than the regular Sonata SE. Are these the cheapest horses new car money can buy in a midsize sedan?

I ran the lot of them through TrueDelta’s car price comparison tool. This made it easy to similarly configure each car with both available engines and then adjust for remaining feature differences. Uplevel engines often come with features that aren’t offered with the base engine. In the case of the Sonata SE, the 2.0T adds dual zone climate control. The tool doesn’t adjust for wheel size, so I’ve added a $250 adjustment here (noted with an *).

[table id=1 /]

* includes $250 adjustment for one-inch difference in wheel diameter

A trimmed mean was calculated after excluding the outliers (Altima, Impala). The average price per horsepower: about $24.

A couple of GM sedans occupy the top end of the range. In both cases the cost of the optional engine isn’t out of line. Instead, the engine simply doesn’t provide much additional output. Buick might want to reconsider tuning the Regal’s turbocharged four for only 220 horsepower, given the much more powerful mills offered by Hyundai and most others. The Impala? Offering only 19 additional horsepower with the uplevel engine is just one of many ways it’s well past its sell-by date. Even BMW (5-Series included for comparison purposes) charges less power horsepower.

The Ford Taurus, also near the top of the range, is a unique case, since its base engine is about as powerful as the other cars’ uplevel engines. It simply costs more to go from 265 to 365 horsepower than from 165 to 265. In this case, you’re paying for not one but two turbos. These turbos could be providing more power, but the transaxle’s life would be endangered.

Subaru’s excuse? Unclear. They haven’t historically sold many flat sixes, and aren’t a large manufacturer, so lacking the others’ economies of scale their cost for each H6 is likely far higher. They used to charge even more for them.

Though not far from the average, Mazda and Toyota nevertheless charge about a grand more for a V6 than Buick, Honda, and Ford.

While the Hyundai Sonata 2.0T is within the low end of the range, it’s not quite the lowest. That honor goes to the Nissan Altima, by a substantial margin. Even without adjusting for feature differences the Altima would still lead the field. They’re charging fewer dollars per horsepower than anyone else AND tossing in plus-one alloys. So, if you’ve been wanting a VQ…

The Volkswagen CC is an odd case. Last year the VR6 cost thousands more—but could be purchased with fewer features. This year many features are no longer available on the 2.0T turbocharged four-cylinder, but everything is standard with the VR6. Hence the huge price adjustment—which only includes $100 for the VR6’s 600-watt Dynaudio sound system (for its surround sound feature). Essentially, if you’re ready, willing, and able to drop forty-large on a VW, they’re willing to charge only $16 per horsepower for the VR6. Even less, depending on how much the Dynaudio system is worth to you. On the other hand, if you don’t want to pay for all of the stuff, then no VR6 for you.

The LaCrosse is next. Buick has been touting the fuel economy benefits of equipping these heavy sedans with a direct-injected four-cylinder. But their pricing suggests that they’d rather sell you the much more brand-consistent V6. Bonus: it’s a 3.6-liter in all trim levels for 2011. The underwhelming 3.0-liter has been dropped.

Hyundai’s charging only pennies more for each extra horsepower than Buick. Seems they’re as eager to sell turbocharged engines as Buick is to not sell four-cylinders. The Sonata’s bonus: the new turbo four runs on regular unleaded (some of the others require premium), and with EPA ratings of 22/33 is nearly as fuel efficient as the base engine. Next closest: the Accord’s 20/30. Not in the ballpark: the Chevrolet Malibu’s 17/26.

So, what’s not to love? As with nearly every other car in the class, the Hyundai Sonata’s uplevel engine won’t be offered with a manual. Shift paddles will have to do. The unexpected exception: Buick’s Regal.

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59 Comments on “Hyundai Sonata Turbo And The Economics Of Added Horsepower...”


  • avatar
    zerofoo

    One important detail is missing from the above chart – weight.
     
    If you are the type of customer concerned about horsepower for dollar you also care about weight.  Lower weight equates to better fuel economy, better handling, and just a better experience all around.
     
    -ted

    • 0 avatar
      ash78

      I think you’re onto something for enthusiasts like us, but I think the general public still cares about HP for dollar as part of a larger value or performance equation.
       
      Plus, what difference does 3,500# vs 3,800# really make in the scheme of things? Midsize sedans are all pretty bloated now.

    • 0 avatar
      Sinistermisterman

      +1
      It’d be interesting to see what is the cheapest bhp per ton vehicle you can buy. My money is on the new V6 ‘Stang, although I’m probably wrong.

    • 0 avatar

      Hyundai’s chart has what you’re looking for:
      http://hyundainews.com/Corporate_News/Corporate/2010-10-04_2011_Sonata_2.0T_Pricing.asp
      Tipping the scales at 3,338 pounds, the Sonata 2.0T is among the lightest cars in the segment.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      The Sonata also breaks the safety rating = more weight rule. It’s one of the lightest, but also ties with the 5 series for the best NHTSA crash rating.

  • avatar
    SupaMan

    Effectively nixes the old adage: “…coulda had a turbo.”
     
    Now you can!

    • 0 avatar

      Why doesn’t the Lacrosse have a turbo?  Even Lincoln knew they couldn’t go too far not having POWER in the MKS… The Lacrosse shoulda had turbo (twin turbo even) and Brembo brakes.

      OK…you got me…I wanna add Brembo brakes to everything.

      My SRT8 will smoke these cars.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I’ve always been of the opinion that turbos greatly shorten an engine’s life, no matter how easy/hard you drive them and are very expensive to fix/replace when they blow. Am I wrong?

    • 0 avatar
      zerofoo

      I went 130,000 miles on my 2000 Golf 1.8T and it ran beautifully when I traded it.  The rest of the car wasn’t so reliable, but the engine and turbocharger were fantastic.
       
      Modern turbocharged engines can be as reliable as their naturally aspirated counterparts.  A properly designed turbo will also have very little lag.
       
      Turbocharging essentially gives you the benefit of variable displacement.  Under high-power demands, you can stuff lots of fuel and air into a small motor and make big power.  Under normal demands you can reduce fuel and air and get good economy.  Turbocharging and direct injection are the easiest ways to get good economy and good performance from a small engine.
       
      Chrysler did their best in the 80’s to kill the reputation of the turbocharger, but luckily they didn’t.

    • 0 avatar
      dingram01

      Very, very wrong on overall engine longevity.  This could be true for “home brewed” turbo cars, wherein a turbo is tacked onto a non-turbo engine, but in real-world practice, turbo versus non-turbo has had very little impact on engines’ longevity.
       
      It’s been a non-factor for, say, thirty years or so.
       
      Yes, turbos can be expensive to replace, but great strides have been made in turbo longevity as well.  There are exceptions, but as a rule there’s no reason to expect a turbo to croak prematurely in most production engines today.

      [Edit]…Psar, the sludge issue with the cars you mention has nothing to do with the turbos; non-turbo Saab engines of the sludge-prone variety also suffered from sludge issues. The accepted view is that higher engine operating temperatures (required for new emissions targets) combined with poor crankcase ventilation designs brought on the sludge problem. Interestingly, this was the same general time period when Toyota and other manufacturers were also experiencing sludging problems, and those were for non-turbo engines too.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      I went 130,000 miles on my 2000 Golf 1.8T and it ran beautifully when I traded it.  The rest of the car wasn’t so reliable, but the engine and turbocharger were fantastic.

      I’ll second this.  The turbo and it’s plumbing were one of the few parts of my 9-3 that I didn’t replace.

      One point: turbocharged engines have a proclivity towards sludge/varnish, as the 1.8T and Saab B205/235 do.  They’ll cook their oil, causing carbon buildup.  I don’t know if this is a badly-designed turbo thing (and I think it is) but I would still seriously consider either shortening the oil-change interval recommendations on any blown car and/or sticking to a very good synthetic.

    • 0 avatar
      bill h.

      No sludge issues with our turbo 93s over about a decade, but we do full synthetic at 5k mile intervals.

    • 0 avatar
      ash78

      As long as you’re using hi-test oil and changing it more frequently than you would in an normally aspirated car, shouldn’t be an issue.
       
      But nobody can argue with the idea that turbos create higher temps, so there’s just no way the oil can keep up with a “lazy” change interval. That’s my biggest fear about introducing turbos en masse to the American consumer…we don’t exactly have a stellar track record in our maintenance and care of vehicles these days.

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      My ’88 Saab 900 Turbo made it past 130,000 with no motor work. Then I sold it and don’t how much longer it has run since.
      So even 1988 turbo technology was reliable; it should be a non-issue today.

    • 0 avatar
      PartsUnknown

      Psar, the turbo itself wasn’t the issue. The Saab B235 had a couple of things going on, principally a poorly-designed PCV system.  This engine did not tolerate lax oil change intervals well.  It took Saab 6 – six! – versions to get a proper PCV system designed and rolled out.  My wife’s 2003 9-5 wagon went 95K sludge-free miles before we sold it for a roomier car as kids started sprouting up, but I had PCV #6 installed years before, and I changed the oil more than I changed my underwear.

      With those, ahem..caveats…the B235 is a very satisfying motor, very smooth, very efficient, and fit the 9-5’s character perfectly.

      Oh and Zackman, turbos are old-school tech nowadays. The days of grenading turbos are long gone, and they can be as reliable, and sometimes much more so, than other components.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      Well engineered modern turbocharged cars have greatly reduced the maintenance and longevity issues many of the turbo charged applications of the 1980s “enjoyed”. All things considered, the non-turbo version of an engine has fewer parts and operates under lower peak stresses than it’s turbocharged sibling has, so if you are going for absolute longest engine life then I would suggest the normal Sonata. But, all things are never really equal :).
       

  • avatar
    marjanmm

    Michael, max HP is mostly a marketing tool. In the important rpm ranges the HP differences are very different depending on the torque. For example:
    VW CC Standard engine 2.0L TSI:
    200 @ 5,100 – 6000
    207 lbs-ft (280 Nm @ 1700 – 5000 )
    Sonata standard 2.4 GDI:
    198@6300
    184@4250
    Since HP = lbft * rpm/5252, Sonata’s power only kind of catches up in 4000+ although both engines have about 200 max HP. Unfortunately I cannot find torque curve for the sonata engine to determine its torque on 1700 rpm but I am sure it is way way below 184lbft.
    You often state how the engine feels in your reviews and the turbocharging makes a world of difference despite the same max HP.
    Simply your table is misleading as it mixes turbos and atmospheric engines in the same column.

    • 0 avatar

      I wouldn’t say the table is misleading since it communicates what it says it communicates, which is how much they’re charging for each additional peak horsepower. Also, drive a car hard and the engine stays near the peak.
      I considered doing the same with torque, which would have put even the Regal in a better (if still not great) light. The Sonata would have fared well by this standard, since its optional engine is a turbo with 269 pound-feet at 1,750 rpm.

    • 0 avatar
      ash78

      A fellow commenter once proposed showing an “Area under the curve” as an alternative metric. Not perfect, but it sure would allow for better understanding of cars that truly have flat, driveable torque curves.
       
      Who really drives midsize sedans up to their peaky, angry upper ranges, anyway? :D

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Probably the same people who would take the integral to find that area.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      marjanmm

      Very good!

      However, Michael is right about his chart.
      It is what it is.

      But I agree with you that IF deciding what car/engine to buy, the TOTAL package needs to be understood.
      When power comes is important.
      This HP/torgue things has me and I believe most others feeling lost.
      We spend most of the time, us normal drivers, enjoying torque red light after red light.
      Hardly ever do we red line or drive as the performance reviewers like to do.

      IF torque comes on late, who gives a damn?
      That’s useless to me.
      Horsepower then becomes important.
      When I am passing on a 2 way road, I want to know the horses are there.

      So, I agree and like your point.

    • 0 avatar
      vento97

      The 2.0L TSI is tuned conservatively (which is typical for VW).
      A $700 APR Stage-1 Chip upgrade on the 2.0L TSI brings those figures to 252 hp and 303 ft/lb of torque.

    • 0 avatar

      Torque is the amount of force exerted by the engine per revolution. Power is torque x rpm. In terms of pound-feet and horsepower, the relationship is, as someone commented:
      HP = TQ x RPM / 5252
      At some point breathing issues and friction conspire to reduce torque output. This is the torque peak. For a while after this point RPM increase faster than torque declines. But at some point torque declines faster than RPM are increasing. This is the power peak.
      Each curve up to its peak can be steep or gradual, even flat for many RPM.
      So, as some have noted here, the only way to truly represent how much power an engine provides as a car accelerates is to measure the area under the curve across the entire RPM range over which the engine operates. If the redline is 6,000 RPM, and shifts after reaching the redline drop the engine to 4,000 RPM, then measure the area under the curve between 4k and 6k.
      When comparing engines based on the peak figures alone, the assumption is that their power curves are similar in shape. Not the worst assumption, since they are more often than not. But not the best, either. Turbocharged engines tend to have flatter power curves, so a comparison of peak figures tends to put them at a disadvantage.

  • avatar
    JMII

    Turbo plus no manual = FAIL. However I’m thankfully more companies are offer boosted powerplants, Ford’s Ecoboost might just make turbos mainstream versus just being offered in Saabs and Subies.
     
    As someone who has owned two turbos (a Mitsubishi Eclipse and a VW Passat) I tend to recommend them. You can get 4 banger mileage with V6 power. The low-end torque that stays flat to redline alone is worth the price. Combined with manual you can pass on the highway without issue. The little turbo whistle is a nice reminder that your car has some get up and go. Plus a little computer chip goes a long way, the 1.8T VW gains 50hp easy with a flash upgrade and off the boost it drives no different then stock. Both my turbos got 24 city / 30 mpg hwy and required premium fuel but you still came out ahead in the long run. If careful I could get 33+ with the VW while cruising closer to the real speed limit. Now with that said there are drawbacks: I wouldn’t want to own one past 100K and you have got to use good oil and change on schedule. Also the heat soak is crazy, these engines seem to take ages to cool down.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      You can get 4 banger mileage with V6 power

      I don’t think this is as true as it used to be.  Turbos that spool up quickly, and stay on boost, give you V6 or V8 mileage, especially in the city.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Yeah, but how often are you going to spool the turbo in boring city driving?

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      Yeah, but how often are you going to spool the turbo in boring city driving?

      When I had a Saab 9-3, you could see the turbo spooling up to two-thirds boost at every single stoplight, and I’m not a leadfoot in the city at all. My wife regularly had it past 3/4s.

  • avatar
    dingram01

    You wouldn’t want to own one past 100K because of the turbo?  Why?
     
    I’ve owned a string of Saab 9000s that were all well over 100K when I bought them.  I replaced exactly one turbo and had no other turbo-related issues in any of those cars.  And those were manufactured 17 years ago.
     
    As for mainstream, I think turbos are pretty established in the mainstream, if you consider that in addition to Saab and Subaru, they’re also found in your VW, Audis, BMWs, Chrysler products of various vintages, Porsches, Toyotas.  I mean, who HASN’T had turbocharged offerings at one time or another?

  • avatar
    SupaMan

    Effectively nixes the old adage: “…coulda had a turbo.”Now you can!

  • avatar
    benzaholic

    To all you whiners about turbos affecting engine longevity, I present:
    The Mercedes-Benz OM617 5 cylinder, 3.0 liter turbocharged diesel engine, available in the US from about 1979 to 1985.
    QED

  • avatar
    LALoser

    The front of this thing reminds me of a cartoon fish..can’t remember if it is from Disney or Spongebob.

  • avatar

    It’s not that the Sonata needs a turbo — it’s plenty peppy in normal aspirated form.  But it’s nice to know Hyundai doesn’t male the barriers to entry really high.  To me, it’s also a recognition that car folks might actually be a target market for the brand.  Who would have thought that back when the Excel was on the showroom floor in the late 80’s/early 90’s?
     
    Having owned a Passat 1.8 turbo that I loved and now owning a Volvo 850R turbo, I’ve really come to enjoy the extra scoot without a big mileage penalty.  Seems like a no-brainer to me.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Another consideration for some users is that turbocharged designs enjoy a significant advantage at high altitude conditions. Crossing the Sierras or Rocky Mountains in the turbocharged vehicle will be much more pleasant than in a supposedly similarly powerful normally aspirated engine.

  • avatar
    DearS

    I’d like some driving skills to go with that extra power. I prefer NA over turbo, but I prefer a good turbo 4 over a heavier V6 in a FWD whip.  AT least historically.

  • avatar
    Darth Lefty

    Why o why didn’t they style the Genesis coupe this well?

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    These turbos could be providing more power, but the transaxle’s life would be endangered.

    Michael, is this JUST twin turbo?
    If not, then wouldn’t this be the case for the CC and Hyundai? Maybe more so since they are smaller engines getting the extra force.

    Talking to Hennesey yesterday I was informed the Ford and Lincolns cars take an  huge increase in power without any worries.
    This might be just them selling their new aftermarket crap, but it can also be true.

    I am hoping this car makes it since I am a lover of turbo power and smaller engines becoming more powerful and even making the small cars  like the Fiesta, Focus and others a lot of fun.
    But I think the engines need comparison as well as just cost per HP.

    Why didn’t they do this with the Genesis as well?
    I would think it would make more sense.
    And give us AWD.

    • 0 avatar

      I’m speaking specifically about the Taurus SHO. My strong suspicion is that the engine has been tuned to produce the maximum torque rating of the car’s transaxle, no more, no less. Confirming my suspicions, the same engine in the 2011 F-150 produces considerably more torque.
      When this transaxle was first introduced its torque rating was somewhere around 310. It’s quite an achievement that they’ve upgraded it as much as they have. Transaxles are more compact than longitudinal transmissions, so it’s harder to make them withstand as much torque.

  • avatar

    “the koreans are coming”
    i beg to differ
    they arrived and stepped over the germans, japanese and yanks
    gone are  days when GM and Toyota could sell you a bent piece of cast iron and you had to pay extra for the rust.

  • avatar
    FuqFord

    Wow, Hyundai has come a long way.
     
    There major deficiency now is suspension tuning and calibration. Most of their cars have much more suspension noise, wallowing, pitching, bounding and many more ing’s than competitor models.
     
    I am shocked at the poor experience I had driving and riding in the Veracruz, Genesis Sedan (3.8L) and Azera.
     
    The Veracruz was noisy and unrefined, the Genesis was harsh/nervous/jittery and the Azera was a 1980’s Buick Roadmaster x10 – bounding and wallowing like a beach ball on smooth highway.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Yeah, suspension noise has been an issue, altho the new Sonata seems to exhibit less of it and the revised suspension settings on the Genesis seems to be better.

      But the winner of the group may very well be the new Optima – early reviews seem to indicate that Kia got it right.

  • avatar
    AaronH

    People dont care about HP…They care about low-end TORQUE…Do you know the difference/relationship? It is why most people would choose an Impala over a turbo 4.

    • 0 avatar

      People only care about low-end torque when they’re too lazy to really drive the car. The Mazda RX-8 has zip for low-end torque, but driven correctly on roads worth driving it has plenty of power.
      Also, last time I checked not many people choose an Impala. With rental cars, you generally get what you get.

    • 0 avatar
      441Zuke

      i’d be hard pressed if someone gave me $25,000 to pick an impala over this. it has a better transmission more power, subjectively speaking looks like it cost more then what your paying on the outside  and has a nicely done interior. have you seen the impala’s interior?

    • 0 avatar
      redbeard

      This canard again? Here, I borrowed this from a previous post:
      VW CC Standard engine 2.0L TSI:
      200 @ 5,100 – 6000
      207 lbs-ft (280 Nm @ 1700 – 5000 )
      Sonata standard 2.4 GDI:
      198@6300
      184@4250
       
      Here’s another example comparing two motors with the same peak horsepower:
      2005 Ford Mustang 4.6L NA V-8: 300 hp @ 6000 rpm, 320 lb/ft @ 4500 rpm
      2004 Volvo S60R 2.5L Turbo I-5: 300 hp @ 5500 rpm, 295 lb/ft @ 1950 rpm
       
      Notice that the turbocharged motors are making peak torque from 1700 and 1950 RPM and the NA motors don’t manage to get to peak torque until 4250 and 4500 RPM respectively. That is typical. Turbocharged motors have more low-end torque than their NA counterparts. What you might be trying to point out is that people don’t like turbo lag. In many high-power turbo motors, there is a bit of lag as the turbo spins up to speed, but the rush after that is well worth the wait.
       

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      @redbeard:
      Just because the peak number occurs later doesn’t mean that a NA motor isn’t matching the turbo’d car’s torque at low RPMs.
       
      Here is a link to the power curve for the GM 3800 Series III. Peak torque is 230lb-ft@4000, but at 1750RPM it’s already slightly beating the GTI’s 207.
       
      Same idea, but with the 300hp LS4 V8. Its peak torque is 323lb-ft@4000, but it still isn’t giving up anything to the Volvo when it peaks at 1950RPM.

    • 0 avatar
      redbeard

      @ ajla
       
      Great examples. I stand partially corrected. My point is that smaller displacement, turbocharged motors really don’t give up low-end torque. In the examples, we can see that much smaller turbo motors are quite on-par with the larger NA motors when it comes to the low-end torque. The disadvantage I see is that the torque on the turbo may drop off, although usually they have a very flat torque curve.

  • avatar
    don1967

    Great thread, but I’m having trouble understanding the relevance of ranking cars by the price of “added” horsepower.   It’s not so much about recognizing value-priced performance upgrades as it is about punishing those cars which have good base engines.
     
    The huge gap between Altima and Sonata, for example, tells us absolutely nothing except that the the base Nissan engine is a bit of a turd.    (It also ignores the price of premium fuel in the Nissan upgrade, suggesting that maybe the VQ’s 87-Octane numbers should have been used.  But I digress.)
     
    I would love to see this redone as a comparison between brands, expressed in different dimensions of engine performance:  Peak HP per dollar, Peak Torque per dollar, and maybe some sort of Usable Torque figure (ie: torque @ 1500 rpm, or peak torque divided by RPM).

  • avatar
    Disaster

    You can also get a manual with the Altima…which is probably the sportiest car in this comparison.

  • avatar
    bludragon

    The one thing I see very little talk about with all these modern turbo engines is the issue of turbo lag.

    Get out of a car with a responsive NA engine (so nothing with a torque converter) and a BMW 335i (supposedly a very good direct inj, turbo engine) feels laggy.  I count a full 1s after planting the throttle before the full wave of torque hits.  Is that typical behavior with all these cars?

    There’s actually a very damning graph here:
    http://blogs.insideline.com/straightline/n55_eng_2.jpg

    2.75s to reach full boost!
     

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    The Impala I agree is past it’s shelf life in current form. But the 3900 V6 vs the 3500 is far more than the 19 HP difference in the real world suggests. My 2008 AFM Impala will not only out drag a 2011 Regal turbo but it gets about the same or better mileage too. 18/29 for a 2011 Mid size car with only 111 Cu. ft. of total interior volume and a tiny 2.0 liter turbo L4 is pretty lame in todays world. And there is no comparison in day to day driving between my 3900 car vs my folks 2008 3500 equipped LS Impala. Mine feels so much more lively and responsive. Leaving off all the extra equipment you get moving up to an LTZ Impala vs the lower line LT model that uses the 3500 leaves not too much difference in price so in reality your paying for extra equipment in the Chevy such as rear spoiler, dual exhaust, sport suspension, 18″ wheels vs 17’s, leather, roof, seat heaters, sound system upgrade and many other items. Looked at another way, a loaded LT 3500 Impala with luxury leather and sound system package, roof, rear spoler etc is retailing well over 30 grand or not much less than a regular LTZ.

  • avatar
    ixim

    Thanks for crunching those numbers, Michael. Of course, more that 200hp in these family sedans? OK, if it’s cheap enough to buy and fuel, and turbocharging seems to do that well. BTW, don’t all Buicks run on regular?

  • avatar
    Tundra Dweller

    I’ve been driving the Sonata 2.0 T and can say it transforms the car over the 2.4 NA engine.
    No lag with a great deal of added torque in the lower, more useful, rpm range.
    As for not having a manual transmission don’t overlook the fact that this car is designed for the mid-sized sedan market, not a performance sport model. The SE package/suspension is more than adequate for the added power and was pleasantly surprised how precise the electronic steering feels. The lighter weight certainly contributes to the responsive handling. Another added bonus is it’s actually quieter than the 2.4. Bravo Hyundai!

  • avatar
    jharna

    Hyundai Motors first foray into the midsize family sedan bracket was with the Hyundai Sonata and well, way back in 1989, the general car buying public in North America didn’t take kindly to it. Used Car It lacked quality interiors, had weak engines and overall a cheapness associated with Hyundai small cars. Even Hyundai Sonata reviews for the first generation model said the same. Taking heed of this Hyundai refreshed the Hyundai Sonata and gave it a cool styling with some very good interior trims and made it all the more upmarket.

  • avatar
    Higheriq

    No manual transmission option = no consideration.

  • avatar
    JJ

    So since I’m guessing (most of) these turbo engines don’t use Porsche’s variable turbine geometry, how do they go about reducing the turbo lag at low revs?

    Used to be that you could have a high pressure turbo with high peak HP but more turbo lag or a lower pressure turbo with lower peak HP but also less turbo lag.

    It just seems unlikely that two engines with the same displacement and seemingly similar technology, like the Hyundai’s unit and the Veedub’s for instance, could have a 74 HP difference in peak output without there being some kind of trade-off going on.

  • avatar
    Long

    Turbo’s,intercoolers,direct injection and soon exhaust recirculation is going to soon be the norm.I predict Ford will drop the twin turbo on their V6 and go with a little bigger adjustable nozzle or twin spool turbo. You can be sure that GM and Ford have each bought a Sonata to tear down to see how they made a safe car without a lot of weight. GM in particular has to put all their mid size cars on a diet to get their lb/hp ratio down.In about 15 to 18 months from now GM will have some real nice product out their with new 4 and V6 engines.The anemic 3.0L V6 will be much improved…a lot of product people at Buick & Cadillac, in particular were pissed off at having to put that little weak effort into their line up.

  • avatar
    sonataowner

    I know this is an old article, and it is about “added” power. However, I think there are two other factors that compare the economics of horsepower better.

    I think we should look at the MSRP/hp too determine the overall cost of hp. While this factor probably has a lot of variability because of options on the car, this can be done on a high-horsepower, base level optioned car from each manufacturer.

    I think we should look at Annual fuel cost/hp both for highway and city driving.

    In the end, I would think that the sonata would very high all your comparisons.

    FYI-as my name implies, I own a 2012 Sonata 2.0T, and I’ve owned a Sonata since 2004. I’ve had very little problems with both cars, and when I did have a problem, I had no problem with it getting covered under the 100,000 mile warranty, which leads to my last point of economics.

    Since the Sonata comes with 100,000 mile warranty, the cost of maintenance is probably lower than the average car, but I have no real numbers to compare, just my 8 years of experience of owning the car.


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