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 Yes

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 (561 total reviews)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

102k miles and still going

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Vehicle: 2011 Hyundai Sonata

I bought my 2011 Hyundai Sonata off the showroom floor with 3 miles on it. I travel for a living so reliability and comfort were king. In addition the gas mileage on my model is still 36 MPG. I got 60k miles on the stock tires and put the second set of shoes on and it is a lot quieter. I have had no major or minor repair issues. I keep the oil changed and tires rotated and it has been great. I hope to hit 200K with no problems.



4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Was basically told this is

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Vehicle: 2011 Hyundai Sonata

2 yr old lease well maintained...had problems throughout lease with different check engine lights ...never found cause.eventually would go off by themselves. Car hits 130,000 miles engine shuts off, I'm told it's seized and has electrical issues. 8-12k in repairs.contacted 3 dealerships & customers service. Was basically told by customer service and regional that car is disposable. They provided me a car with a 100,000 mile warranty & they are off the hook. Will not even consider help w/ repairs or the requested assistance or incentive to buy another Hyundai .This was my 6th Hyundai + I recommended at least 6 other people to buy hyundais..NEVER AGAIN ....don't buy Hyundai they dont care




So far, very good

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Vehicle: 2011 Hyundai Sonata

I was a Camry guy for years, having two in a row I kept for 9 years. After I started having problems with the brakes (and all the press), I decided it was time for a change. After 3.5 years (I bought the car in August of 2010), and 60,000+ miles, the car has done very well. The only problem was the battery did fail prematurely, but no other issues. The car is a beauty, I only paid 18K for it (base model), has great pickup, and handles a lot better than my Camry ever did!



4 of 5 people found this review helpful

Buyer beware

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Hyundai Sonata

This car has been a huge disappointment: it looks sharp but is not mechanically sound. I purchased the car certified pre-owned just over a year ago with under 30K on the odometer. It has been a series of unending problems ever since: all interior windows must be cleaned every 3 to 4 weeks with rubbing alcohol to remove a greasy residue that continually builds up (dealer does not know the cause), the interior smells similar to a wet dog when it rains, the battery was replaced at 35K yet still occasionally dies, both rear tail light assemblies failed causing the tail lights to stop working, and several rattles developed in the dashboard. This is in addition to two recalls.




Worst car ever

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Vehicle: 2011 Hyundai Sonata

Purchasing this car is the worst decision we ever made. Upon taking delivery and driving the car home I noticed the steering is crooked to track the car straight. My husband asked if I wanted to take the car back and since I worked at a car dealership I said no and had faith Hyundai could fix it and to this day they still haven't and can't give a reason why. The steering wheel/column also vibrates/rattles when going over bumps in the road. They've replaced the column and rack numerous times and it never fixes the problem. We contacted Hyundai corporate and they weren't even interested in trying to do anything to make us happy customers. Do yourself a favor and don't waste your time or money.




25,000 miles then expect to

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Vehicle: 2011 Hyundai Sonata

After 25,000 miles I brought my 2011 Sonata in for service as the engine light was on. At this time I was told I needed new front brakes and tires. I called Hyundai customer service on this and explained to them that I have leased cars for many years and have never had the brakes or tires needing replacement and that one of the reasons I lease every 3 years is so I don't have to deal with the high cost of these kind of repairs. I was told by Hyundai customer service that these repairs were necessary due to " normal wear and tear" my response to them was that I felt this was ridiculous, that if I drive my Sonata normal, after 25,000 miles expect to spend $600 to $700 for brakes and tires.



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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