2011 Hyundai Sonata GLS: Intuitive
August 19, 2010
I have a litmus test for cars I've never driven before, a measure of their intuitveness, ease of use and control logic design.
You see, I have a 50-mile commute which demands between one and two hours each way to complete. So every time I get in a car there's a routine: Pair my phone and get my iPod to actually play through the car's audio system. That doesn't sound like a big deal, but every car is different. Every car has nuances and not every car has an owner's manual. I've struggled for 15 minutes trying to make both these things happen. And sometimes, I just give up and drive.
Last night, the Sonata, a car I've never before driven, set a new record.
Here's how it played out: About 90 seconds after jumping in the car I was rolling down the road fully connected and listening to my iPod. It's never happened faster.
The bottom line is that I didn't need an owner's manual and didn't have to wade through a pile of voice tutorials or nav-screen submenus. Nothing was more than a few intuitive levels deep. And, yes, I use an old school iPod shuffle with a generic aux connection. It shouldn't ever be hard to make that work. Certainly none of this should ever be hard -- especially for someone with as much experience as I have.
But you'd be surprised. Ever try pairing your phone to a Honda Handsfree Link? I'm about 50/50 on those -- even with an owner's manual.
But the Sonata? Two thumbs up.
Josh Jacquot, Senior editor