Track Tested: 2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T SE


2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T SE

Edmundstests hundreds of vehicles a year. Cars, trucks, SUVs, we run them all, and the numbers always tell a story. With that in mind we present "Track Tested," a quick rundown of all the data we collect at the track, along with comments direct from the test-drivers. Enjoy.

The 2011 Hyundai Sonata is a highly competitive entry into the mid-size family sedan segment. It looks good, rides well and has plenty of features for the money. Trouble is, most of the other sedans have muscled-up V6 options while the Hyundai Sonata was only available with a 198-horsepower (200 on SE models) 2.4-liter inline-4.

Well, that's finally changed with the 2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T SE. Not the inline-four part, but the displacement has dropped to 2.0-liters and a twin-scroll turbo pushing 17.4 psi was strapped on. The new turbo Sonata makes 274 horsepower That's more than the V6 Accord (271) and more than the V6 Camry (268), it's more than the Malibu (252) and more than the Altima (270).

And it does this while returning an estimated 34 mpg highway and wearing a sticker price of $24,865.

But for today, we're concerned with the track. Follow the jump to see what the 2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T SE does in our test. Can the 0-60 and quarter mile of a turbocharged Hyundai match those of its V6 counterparts?

Vehicle:  2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T SE

Odometer: 3,016
Date: 10/12/10
Driver: Mike Monticello
Base Price (with destination and tax): $24,865
Options:
Price As tested: $24,865 (est.)

Specifications:
Drive Type: Front-wheel drive
Transmission Type: six-speed Automatic
Engine Type: Direct-injection, turbocharged, variable intake and exhaust valve timing, Inline-4
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 1,998cc (122 cu-in)
Redline (rpm): 6,500
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 274 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 269 lb-ft @ 1,800 - 4,500 rpm
Brake Type (front): 11.8-inch ventilated discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Brake Type (rear): 11.2-inch ventilated discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Steering System: Electric speed-proportional power steering
Suspension Type (front): Independent MacPherson strut with gas-charged hydraulic twin tube shock absorber
Suspension Type (rear): Independent multilink, coil-springs, gas-charged hydraulic monotube shock absorbers, stabilizer bar.

Tire Size (front): 225/45R18 95V
Tire Size (rear): 225/45R18 95V
Tire Brand: Hankook
Tire Model: Optimo H431
Tire Type: All Season
Wheel Size: 17-by-7.5 inches front and rear
As Tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,388

2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T SE

Test Results:
0 - 30 (sec): 2.8
0 - 45 (sec): 4.4
0 - 60 (sec): 6.6
0 - 75 (sec): 9.3
1/4 Mile (sec @ mph): 14.6 @ 97.9
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 6.2
30 - 0 (ft): 30
60 - 0 (ft): 120
Slalom (mph): 63.0 stability off ( 59.8 on)
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.84 stability off (0.80 trac on)
Db @ Idle: 38
Db @ Full Throttle: 66.1
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 62.0

Acceleration Comments: With TC on, the Sonata 2.0T was a little slow off the line, not allowing wheelspin, but the time was still plenty quick. With the stability system off, it allows a bit of wheelspin, but ultimately wasn't that much quicker. Does not allow pedal overlap for power braking. Does not hold gears; manual mode auto-upshifts, early no less. Fairly significant heat-soak. ( Runs got slower with multiple attempts.)

Braking Comments:  The first stop was the best, with moderate to good fade resistance on the following runs. Moderate dive causes the rear to get light, with a bit of squirm. Initial firmness with some sponginess through the pedal travel.

Handling Comments: Skidpad: Steering has less than favorable feedback, with artificial feeling boost. Understeer on the limit, that just gets progressively more so if you try to over-drive it. ESP breathed off throttle to bring the car back in line.

Slalom: With ESP off, the slalom was an exercise in front-wheel-drive oversteer. Slow in, fast out kept the rear in line, and steering smoothness was key. It's easy to get behind quickly due to slight yaw delay, combined with a losse tail. ESP had fairly high intrusiveness when driven hard--but we found out why once we turned it off!

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