The direct-injected 2.4-liter engine and six-speed transmission are a very fuel-efficient combination. It's not a particularly speedy combination, but there is enough merging and passing power for most people.
The Sonata's chassis is well balanced and offers sufficient performance for the family sedan class. Its electric power steering feels inconsistent: good at highway speeds but less direct and communicative around town.
The base GLS rides smoothly. It's neither too hard nor too floaty, and it feels composed on a wide range of surfaces.
Road and wind noise are well controlled and the highway ride is quiet. But the 2.4-liter engine sounds somewhat coarse, especially when accelerating at low speed.
Generous seat and steering wheel adjustments provide a good driving position for a wide range of drivers, and most of the controls and switches are well-placed and easy to operate.
Visibility is generally good, but the view straight out the back is impaired somewhat due to a high rear beltline. The optional rearview camera (not on our test car) takes care of that.
Seat Access & Space
The Sonata's front seat is quite roomy, and entry and exit are easy. The rear seat feels spacious, but the fit can be tight for 6-footers if the driver is tall as well.
Cargo & Storage
Our Sonata's trunk is pretty big, and it's easy to load. There are in-trunk releases to unlock the rear seatbacks should you need to fold them for more space, but curiously, you can't do the same thing from the passenger compartment.
The Sonata looks well built, with consistent panel gaps, good-looking interior materials (even on our base-level GLS) and good-looking paint.