2012 Hyundai Sonata Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2012 Hyundai Sonata Sedan

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Hyundai Sonata Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 198 hp @ 6300 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 24/35 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2012 Hyundai Sonata

  • B Edmunds Rating
  • Fresh off a full redesign last year, the 2012 Hyundai Sonata remains the car to beat in its class.

  • Safety | Rating Details
  • Pros

    Lots of standard and optional features for the money; stylish and comfortable cabin; strong acceleration; top fuel economy; excellent safety scores; lengthy warranty.

  • Cons

    Distinctive styling affects rear headroom; rough ride in SE trim.

  • What's New for 2012

    For the 2012 Sonata, Hyundai adds a new telematics service (Blue Link), a higher-resolution touchscreen display to the optional navigation system and a panoramic sunroof to the Limited trim level. It has also recalibrated the engines for slightly better fuel economy this year, while this is the first full model year for changes to the steering system that were enacted halfway through last year.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (24 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Great car. great value

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Vehicle: 2012 Hyundai Sonata GLS 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

great car. i choose the hyundai after driving the 12 altima and 12 accord. Hands down winner.



8 of 8 people found this review helpful

Hyundai service and warranty

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Vehicle: 2012 Hyundai Sonata GLS 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

Please be advised that Hyundai has come a long way from the junk they originally sold. I have had problems with the window washer clogging which the dealer told me was my fault and I would have to pay $100.00 to fix it? Secondly, my radiator blew up on my way home from work with 20000 miles on the car. I was advised by Kendall Hyundai that a rock (they think-because they were not sure where it was leaking from) flew up and damaged the radiator; therefore it was the drivers fault? I took it to an independent certified mechanic who advised me there was NO physical damage and that the radiator was DEFECTIVE. Instead of the dealer cost of $800 I ended up paying $475, a true travesty.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Great car for the money

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Vehicle: 2012 Hyundai Sonata GLS 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

I have about 8500 miles on my Sonata and I am very happy with it so far. My previous car was a 2007 Infiniti G35X Sedan, so I was expecting a somewhat mundane driving experience, but happily, I was wrong. It's definitely no Infiniti, but a great car nonetheless. The fuel mileage is as advertised. It runs great and has an amazing amount of power for a four cylinder. It has a very comfortable interior/driving position for me and I am very fussy about that. I especially like the light steering, bluetooth, Homelink, satellite radio, comfy seats and the intuitive and easy to understand controls. It is simply a lot of car for a relatively small price.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Looks great, but...

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Vehicle: 2012 Hyundai Sonata GLS 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

Bold lines. Great styling. This car will catch your eye, and hold it. Great value, and a great size. But all is not how its seems. Listed as a full size sedan, however... its not. Seems better suited as a mid-size. The 2.4 l four cylinder is great for saving gas, but forgets that its supposed to make the car move at times. Its got a better rear end than a Mustang GT... more modern anyway. But warning... the ride is rough as an old woodie rollercoaster! How nice would this be if the rear wheels pushed instead of dragged the car down! Still, this car is better than what you will find in most places (cough cough, chevy cruze, cough cough)...



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

All in all very nice

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Vehicle: 2012 Hyundai Sonata GLS 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

I have owned a Lexus, Acura and Volvo. This car compares to the Japanese luxury brands as far as the drive. It is very smooth feeling and saves gas. Great price!!! It doesn't drive like the Volvo did in its good days. I really only missing my sunroof. I upgraded to leather and alloy wheels. You should too the cloth seats are cheapish and kinda hard to me. The ride is very loud and rough with stee The passenger side seat is kinda low to the ground. The gadgets on the car are nice. Everything wraps around the driver which is NICE and luxurious. The backseat and trunk are very spacious! Way more exciting than the Honda Accord or Altima- BORING. I do like this car only time will tell if it lasts



2 of 16 people found this review helpful

Disappointed owner

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Vehicle: 2012 Hyundai Sonata GLS 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)

Sonata drives OK but the interior looks and feels cheap. My major problem with Hyundai is its customer service. 3 days ago I decided to go shopping. I left my car in the parking lot. When I returned, I found a major fracture in the windshield (20 "). I drove to Hyundai dealer. Their service guy looked at it, couldn't find any chips, so he took a pencil and traced the fracture and concluded that it was caused by a stone hitting the windshield. I told him that it happened in the parking lot but he wouldn't believe me. Right, I'm trying to rip Hyundai off for $200. They don't have any trust in their customer. So much for Hyundai for me. As soon as I pay it off, I'll trade it in for a Camry.



Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 24
  • cty
/
  • 35
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2012 Hyundai Sonata Review

What's New for 2012

For the 2012 Sonata, Hyundai adds a new telematics service (Blue Link), a higher-resolution touchscreen display to the optional navigation system and a panoramic sunroof to the Limited trim level. It has also recalibrated the engines for slightly better fuel economy this year, while this is the first full model year for changes to the steering system that were enacted halfway through last year.

Introduction

Whether it's the Elantra scrapping with the economy compacts or the Equus trading barbs with encrusted luxo-yachts, Hyundai seemingly has a fighter in every weight class. Among midsize sedans, the 2012 Hyundai Sonata is the Korean automaker's contender. In prior years, the Sonata was nothing more than a midpack player, but that all changed with last year's full redesign, in which the Sonata gained dramatic new styling, new engines and a revamped interior.

Under the hood is a choice of a powerful 2.4-liter four-cylinder or, in lieu of a V6, a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. With 198 horsepower (200 in SE trim), the base engine will satisfy just about everybody, especially when it returns a very impressive 28 mpg combined when paired with the six-speed automatic transmission. Equally impressive is the turbo engine, which cranks out 274 hp yet still gets nearly identical fuel economy estimates.

Inside, the Sonata is big enough that the EPA deems it a "large" car. Its total passenger volume puts it ahead of every class competitor except the Honda Accord, and its 16.4 cubic feet of trunk space is equally roomy. As is the case with all Hyundais, standard feature content is generous, and it comes at a price that's significantly less than most competitors. The Sonata also stands out in terms of design, as its cabin is attractive and fitted with upscale and easy-to-use controls. This year's model is also notable for the introduction of BlueLink, Hyundai's telematics system that's similar to General Motors' OnStar.

So how much of a contender has the 2012 Hyundai Sonata become? Not only is it a clear alternative to the traditional midsize safe bets, but we recently gave it the title belt in a comparison test against a 2012 Toyota Camry, 2012 Honda Accord, 2012 Volkswagen Passat and new Chevrolet Malibu. While Hyundai's midsize sedan may not be a class leader in every area, it is well-rounded and offers few drawbacks and tremendous value. All are still worth considering, however, along with the Ford Fusion and Nissan Altima. The related 2012 Kia Optima also matches the Sonata in many respects. But one thing's for sure -- the Sonata no longer finds itself in the middle of the pack.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Hyundai Sonata is a midsize family sedan available in GLS, SE and Limited trim levels. Standard equipment on the GLS includes 16-inch steel wheels, keyless entry, air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, heated mirrors, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, a 60/40-split rear seatback, a trip computer, Bluetooth and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, an iPod/USB audio interface, an auxiliary audio jack and steering-wheel-mounted controls.

The sole optional equipment package for the GLS includes alloy wheels, automatic headlights and an eight-way power driver seat. The sporty SE includes all of the above and adds 18-inch alloy wheels with performance tires, foglights, a dark chrome grille, a sport-tuned suspension, keyless ignition/entry and leather/cloth upholstery. Opting for the SE with the turbocharged engine also adds dual-zone automatic climate control and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. An optional Navigation and Sunroof package bundles (you guessed it) a navigation system with touchscreen display, a rearview camera, premium Infinity speakers and a sunroof.

The plush Sonata Limited has all the SE's features, but substitutes 17-inch alloy wheels, a cushier suspension and full leather upholstery. It also gains side mirror turn signal repeaters, a panoramic sunroof, heated seats (front and rear), dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an upgraded audio system (with HD radio) and unique interior accents. The turbocharged Limited variant adds 18-inch wheels, dual exhaust tips and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The Limited's sole optional package bundles the navigation system with the touchscreen display, a back-up camera and premium Infinity speakers.

Powertrains and Performance

The standard Sonata engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that makes 198 hp and 184 pound-feet of torque. The dual-exhaust SE makes slightly more power at 200 hp and 186 lb-ft. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the GLS, while a six-speed automatic is optional on that trim and standard on the SE and Limited. Sonatas sold in California-emission states can have PZEV emissions certification, though output drops slightly to 190 hp.

A powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged engine generating 274 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque is available on SE and Limited models. The six-speed automatic is standard.

In Edmunds performance testing, a 2.4-liter GLS Sonata with automatic transmission accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds -- this is a full second quicker than the class average. The 2.0-liter turbo with automatic transmission is significantly quicker still, making the same dash in a class-average 6.7 seconds.

The Sonata's EPA fuel economy estimates are equally impressive. The 2.4-liter engine is rated at 24 mpg city/35 mpg highway and 28 combined, regardless of transmission. In a long-term test with this engine, we managed to match the Sonata's EPA combined number. The 2.0-liter turbo, despite its significant boost in power, returns a very impressive 22/34/26 mpg.

Safety

All 2012 Hyundai Sonatas come equipped with antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, front seat side-impact airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, active front head restraints and BlueLink emergency telematics.

In government testing, the Sonata earned a top five-star rating for overall crash protection, four out of five stars for front-impact protection and five stars for side-impact protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the Hyundai Sonata earned a top rating of "Good" for frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength protection.

In Edmunds brake testing, both a Sonata GLS and SE turbo came to a stop from 60 mph in about 120 feet, which are slightly above average for the class.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Sonata feels as well built inside as it does out. The dash and center stack meld together in a seamless flow, while trapezoidal vents, sharp blue backlighting and, on some models, brushed-metal style trim pieces create an environment that looks both modern and upscale. Knobs, switches and controls operate with a feel and precision befitting a more expensive car, while the Limited trim -- with its available two-tone color schemes, piano-black trim and padded door panels -- is particularly appealing.

This year's new high-resolution touchscreen adds clarity and vibrancy to an already intuitive system for operating and viewing climate control, navigation, audio and phone functions. Also new is the new BlueLink telematics service, which, similar to OnStar, offers services like emergency crash response, remote opening of door locks, turn-by-turn navigation and speed and curfew limits for younger drivers.

Classified as a large car, the Sonata offers enough room for four adults to stretch out. Five can make do on shorter trips. But in our experience, headroom both front and rear is merely adequate, and 6-foot-tall passengers in back may find their heads bumping the ceiling due to the Sonata's sloped roof line.

Driving Impressions

The 2012 Hyundai Sonata strikes a perfectly acceptable balance between comfort and confidence. Its chassis and suspension are taut, but not enough to transmit the road's every bump and rumble. Drivers seeking a measure of sport can opt for the SE, although its sharper handling capabilities don't really justify its rougher, bumpier ride. The Sonata's steering is OK but doesn't transmit much road feel.

On the move, the 2.4-liter engine provides thoroughly respectable acceleration for a four-cylinder midsize sedan. Gearshifts from the automatic transmission are seamless and drama-free. The manual transmission is fairly unexceptional, and we recommend the automatic. Power delivery from the turbocharged engine is smooth and linear, with no detectable turbo lag. That it returns excellent fuel economy is icing on the cake.

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