We needed a new family sedan. Researching new car w/3 criteria: price, roominess, and MPG. After comparing compact sedans, the Elantra was 1st pick due to MPG. We drove the Sonata, too. The price difference was enough to consider mid-size due to roominess. It was a toss up between the Sonata and the Ford Fusion. The scales tipped to favor the Sonata vs Fusion by: price, roominess, MPG, and the best warranty. We've driven our Sonata from Cleveland to Pittsburgh and back. Average MPG hwy: 34.7 @ 75MPH. Average city/mixed MPG 27.8 @ 43 MPH ave; close to EPA rating. Only bad thing I can say about this car is road noise gets noticeable around 45 MPH and blind spots thru back window.
Interior is spacious enough to fit my 6'2" frame in the drivers seat comfortably with enough room in the back for a child seat and another adult. Rides smooth at every speed: On highway and winding hilly roads. Clutch pedal is soft enough NOT to tire my leg while stuck in city rush hour traffic.
Shifts smooth; the car indicates shift points at ~2000 RPM (for best MPG, I suppose) but there is plenty of pep while shifting between ~3000-4000 RPM. The seats are comfortable and the cabin layout and controls are easy to use and it really does feel like a more expensive car.
The steering, while has a nice soft feel and I have no real complaint about, reminds me of older full-sized cars that "float" down the road. Personally, I'd prefer steering that feels a little bit more tuned and responsive.