By on March 7, 2016

2016 Hyundai Sonata, Image: Hyundai Motor America

A year and a half ago, I drove the new-for-2015 Hyundai Sonata in the “Limited” trim. I thought it was a solid, if not particularly exciting, choice in the increasingly unimportant family-sedan market. During that same press trip, Hyundai gave me a chance to drive the “Sport” and “Eco” trims of the Sonata, but there was no base-model inventory on hand. That wasn’t by accident, and it’s also not unusual. Offering up a no-options car to journosaurs who are continually spoiled by first-class flights and metallic-looking chocolates in the form of the “Ruf” logo is a great way to wind up as the target of a Burgess wobble.

Imagine my joy, then, when I stepped off my (coach-class) flight in Portland last month and found a Sonata SE waiting for me. My itinerary, which was centered around The 1 Show but which would also include a 140-mile freeway jaunt to Salem, OR and back, promised to be just the ticket for a truly independent evaluation, TTAC-rental style. After all, some cars are pretty decent in all of their various and varied variants, while others can’t cut the mustard without the big motor and upscale options. Where does the Sonata SE fall on this spectrum?

(Read More…)

By on December 14, 2015

2015-subaru-wrx-023

Three hybrid powertrains and three performance powertrains bookended Wards Auto’s top 10 engines, which was released last week.

The list included repeat winners such as the Ram 1500 Ecodiesel 3-liter six, Subaru’s turbo flat-four and Nissan’s veteran VQ 3.5-liter V-6. Appearing for the first time was BMW’s replacement for its N55 turbocharged, 3-liter straight six as well as General Motor’s LGX V-6 — which appears in several Cadillac models and in the new Chevrolet Camaro — with cylinder deactivation.

Volvo’s twin-charged 2-liter four and Ford’s famous flat-plane crank V-8 from the Shelby GT350 made the list for the first time in 2016. Volkswagen’s engines were excluded from consideration this year because of the company’s admission that its diesel engine cheated through emissions tests.

(Read More…)

By on September 25, 2015

2011 Hyundai Sonata

Hyundai, looking down the barrel of a class-action lawsuit, has finally agreed to recall 2011 and 2012 model year Sonatas for engine issues resulting from metallic debris.

According to Automotive News, the issue affects Sonatas equipped with both naturally aspirated 2.4-liter and turbocharged 2.0-liter engines due to debris not being properly removed from crankshafts when they were manufactured.

Hyundai will also extend powertrain warranties on the engine sub-assembly for affected models.

(Read More…)

By on January 15, 2015

IMG_6725-550x366

We’ve seen this scenario play out before: an auto maker follows up a successful model with a next-generation version that is a stylistic dud. Hyundai is facing this problem with their new Sonata, which hasn’t followed up the success of the prior generation, known for the bold design statement it made upon its introduction in 2010.

(Read More…)

By on September 12, 2014

2015 Hyundai Sonata LimitedIn the corners of our brain where the abstract controls the synapses, trains run on time only if we allow a car to charm us, to woo and seduce and enchant.

I find the sound of a Jaguar F-Type V8 S appealing and the wind-in-my-hair romanticism of a Mazda MX-5 captivating and I’m fascinated by the roofline of Mercedes-Benz’s CLS Shooting Brake.

There are other corners of our brain, however, that look a lot like spreadsheets. And on those spreadsheets, there are no columns for charm or seduction or fascination.

Increasingly, midsize cars perform very poorly in the corners of my brain first mentioned, and exceedingly well in the latter.

Hyundai’s 2015 Sonata is one such car. (Read More…)

By on July 1, 2014

IMG_6725

Yesterday, we gave a qualified thumbs-up to the Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.4, noting that the powertrain didn’t really come up to snuff in what was otherwise a competent and well-equipped sedan.

Today we’re trying the other two motivational packages on offer, in lower-priced Sport and Eco trim.
(Read More…)

By on June 20, 2014

sonataeco

Hyundai will add a Sonata Eco model, featuring a 1.6L turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a dual clutch transmission, when the new generation sedan debuts for the 2015 model year.

(Read More…)

By on March 23, 2014

2015-hyundai-sonata4

 

Hyundai unveiled the Korean market Sonata in Seoul, while the North American spec version gets its debut in New York next month.

(Read More…)

By on March 12, 2014

TTAC_midsize-car-sales-chart-February-2014

By stealing the Toyota Camry’s best-selling midsize car crown, albeit likely on a temporary basis, the Nissan Altima ended February 2014 as America’s best-selling car overall. The Altima’s lead was also substantial enough last month to make the midsize Nissan America’s leading car year-to-date.

(Read More…)

By on March 4, 2014

YF LF comparison

A sharp-eyed TTAC reader based in Korea has sent us some spy shots of the 2015 Hyundai Sonata. The shots purport to show the car’s front end, interior and a snap of a Korean car magazine claiming AWD and a 6-speed DCT for the KDM model. Authentic? Who knows.

(Read More…)

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