For 2015, the Hyundai Sonata – the Korean automakers best-selling North American model has some changes to keep it at the top of its game. This new seventh-generation 2015 Sonata is, indeed the best by far. The exterior keeps its sleek coupe-like aerodynamic profile with striking looking headlight and taillight units, and it is one of the better-looking family sedans out there with a more cohesive heft to the design.
For 2015 the redesigned Sonata offers features, driver assistance technologies and updated mechanicals and engineering. Fit and finish is also up to very high standards rivalling some luxury sedans costing many thousands of dollars more. The base engine in the Sonata is a 2.4-litre four-cylinder unit offering 185 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque, plus a fuel economy rating equalling 9.8 city, 6.7 highway and 8.4 combined. The Sonata’s optional 2.0L turbocharged four cylinder engine offers 245 hp and torque from 269 to 260 lb.-ft., with 10.4 L/100 km in the city and 7.4 on the highway estimates. Both engines are teamed with a revised six-speed automatic transmission. There is no V6 engine available in the Sonata line up for now. There is however; the Hybrid Sonata version offering 5.4 L/100 km city and 4.9 highway- however this is expected to be redesigned for 2016.
Equipment levels are extremely high in the base Hyundai Sonata and many high-end features arrive as standard. The front seats for example are three-way heated, standard across the entire Sonata lineup. An audio system with iPod, USB and auxiliary connectivity, satellite radio, Bluetooth hands-free and a rearview camera system are also standard issue. The mid- range GLS version adds front door puddle lights along with proximity sensing keyless entry and pushbutton ignition, proximity-activated hands-free trunk opening, plus an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, rear parking sonar, LED turn signals integrated within the side mirror housings, and Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Lane Change Assist (LCA) as well as Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA).
The top level Limited edition as tested also gains front sport seats, chrome door handles and offers: an eight-inch high-resolution touchscreen infotainment system featuring navigation, dual-zone automatic climate control, an electrochromic auto-dimming rearview mirror with integrated HomeLink transceiver and compass, aluminum door scuff plates, rear seat HVAC ducts mounted in centre console, rear side window sunshades, plus lane departure warning system. The Limited also offers a very slick leather-wrapped gauge cluster cowl shielding a “Supervision” instrument cluster that houses a 4.2-inch TFT LCD display. The Sonata has a spacious trunk offering up to 462 litres of cargo and more as the rear seatbacks also fold and split in the a 60/40 configuration.
All Sonatas are high on safety with a comprehensive suite of standard safety equipment, including four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, electronic brake force distribution and brake assist, plus electronic traction and stability control, Vehicle Stability Management, front and rear outboard seatbelt pre-tensioners and force limiters, anti-whiplash front head restraints, and seven airbags including a driver’s side kneebag.
The driver can select from three driving modes via a button on the center console according to his or her choice. Pressing the “Eco Mode” button on the centre console offers better fuel economy, but lessens performance. Meanwhile “Sport Mode” tightens up the steering slightly and promotes quicker throttle and gear change responses for faster acceleration and pickup.
Whatever the road conditions and with a full complement of passengers, the Sonata offers a comfortable, classy ride and there are no complaints here. The Sonata just seems to get better with every generation. Price wise, the Sonata is still very attractive for the equipment list. The very well featured base Sonata GL starts at $23,999 plus freight and PDI. The Limited edition with luxury and technology equipment list rivalling most premium sedans can be had starting from $32,999 plus freight, taxes and PDI. Whichever Sonata you buy- it’s a wise decision as this car is a bargain for the price. Highly recommended.
by Veeno Dewan