2015 Hyundai Sonata Sedan Review & Ratings | Edmunds
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2015 Hyundai Sonata Sedan Review

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Edmunds Expert Review of the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Sedan

  • A Edmunds Rating
  • The 2015 Hyundai Sonata further refines the midsize sedan formula with a new look, revised powertrain and plenty of tech and convenience features. If you want plenty of passenger room and a quiet, easy-to-live-with cabin, this Sonata definitely has what you're looking for.

  • Safety | Reliability | Rating Details
  • Pros

    Lots of standard and optional features for the money; quiet and roomy interior; smooth ride; solid build quality.

  • Cons

    Disappointing acceleration from Sport 2.0T; sweeping roof line compromises headroom for taller passengers.

  • What's New for 2015

    The Hyundai Sonata is redesigned for 2015 with a more refined look and a larger cabin. A new Eco trim level with a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine also debuts, although the more powerful 2.0T trim level has nearly 30 fewer horsepower.

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Reviews from owners of the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Sedan

Average Consumer Rating (See all 32 reviews) Write a Review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

A rental drive won me over!

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Vehicle: 2015 Hyundai Sonata

My previous car was a 2009 Sonata Limited. It was a good value car, reliable and dependable, but it wasn't a particularly exciting car to drive. So, when the time came to look for a replacement, the 2015 Sonata was not on my list - I had driven a Mazda6, an Accord (of which I had previously owned 3), and a Legacy (still own a 2003 wagon) - all terrific cars. But when I needed to rent a car to drive to the North Carolina Outer Banks for a vacation, the rental company gave me a 2015 Sonata SE. It only took me about 5 miles to realize that this was an entirely different car from my 2009. It handled much more tightly, was tomb-quiet, seats were amazingly comfortable, highway ride was terrific, interior design and controls were where they should be - everything just "fit." When I returned from putting 1200 miles on the rental, I knew the 2015 Sonata needed to be on my list. No, it was not as sporty to drive as either the Mazda 6 or the Accord, and it didn't have the AWD of the Legacy. But it had won over not only my head, but my heart as well. To me, I get 90% of the driving quality/enjoyment of the Mazda 6, whereas the 6's taut ride gives me only 60% of the Sonata's ride quality. The Legacy's AWD was also a big draw. But the Sonata was just the best overall car for me and my wife. And the deal we got from Hyundai was markedly better than the deals offered on the other models, so the deal was sealed. We are now happily driving a 2.4 Limited (power is just fine, by the way), averaging right at 30+ mpg in mixed driving, and we have every technological and safety feature (except AWD) we could want. And finally, while looks are subjective, I think the 2015 Sonata looks much more refined than the 2014 model. If you are looking for a midsize sedan, don't overlook this car. It may not exactly fit your needs, but it surely fits ours. I am nearly 65, and this will be our "retirement trip" car for the next number of years. We are very happy with our purchase!




2nd hyundai and i'm loving it all day!!!

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Hyundai Sonata

I decided to upgrade my 2012 Eco Hyundai Sonata to a fully loaded 2015 Hyundai Sonata. Although I could afford a luxury car any day, I'm happy with Hyundai so I'll stick with the old saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". I love the car so far. Its smooth, quiet, and I'm not picky. As long as I can drive to the commuter lot for my job and travel, then I'm ok. Its a plus that I have the panoramic sunroof and heating and cooling seats. Thank goodness that my boyfriend is a car enthusiast, otherwise, I would not have known that I had these features. Overall, this was a graduation gift to myself, I recently received my Masters' Degree, so I"m happy with it.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

One week rental with a sonata se

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Hyundai Sonata

We have a car in the shop, so I've been driving this for a week. I like it - maybe not enough to buy one in this configuration, but I do like the car very much. It's very quiet. It seems to be getting better than 25mpg in reasonably spirited driving. For a 180ish HP engine, I have not felt like there was not enough power at any time - even in the Eco mode of the transmission, which has three modes plus fully manual shifting (1 - 6th gear). The Bluetooth works well from the limited use it has gotten - it will read my text messages on my Windows 8.1 device - this is a HUGE plus for me. I am sorry that the XM trial has expired, I would've liked to judge the quality of the reception. Overall the radio is just OK - kind of 'tinny' and the radio display shows you the radio station (105.1 for example) and nothing else. Maybe XM provides more info, I couldn't test it... It seems really big inside, and it is very comfortable. I've been a fan of the trip computer with two trip odometers, and all of the user-settable configurations for the lights, sounds, language, etc. Tire pressure info for all four tires is handy to have. I really appreciate the auto-off headlights, even in the lowest trim and I've just turned them on and forgot about them - the gauges are still perfectly legible with the headlights on all the time. I appreciated the holder for sunglasses, even in this base car. The Air Conditioning seems to be super effective too. If you unlock the car with the remote, and don't open a door within 90 seconds or so, the doors lock again - I like that. Big trunk, lots of space. The back seats fold down too, but I haven't played with those at all. The rear doors open way up - great for access, and potentially an easy in/out for a kid in a car seat, but I didn't install one while I had it. What didn't I like? The looks are a bit too angular for me, I liked the way the previous model looked. The radio was marginal. The base sedan must have cheap tires, because this rental with only 21K on the clock already had mis-matched tires on it. No compass in this model, that's a bummer. I would really like fully automatic headlights, but that was not a reality in this model. Overall, I think that this is an honest competitor for the Camry's, Altima's and Accord's of the world. I'm glad that I rented one for a week, and if this is seriously on your shopping list, I think that maybe you'd be wise to do the same, and see if you like it as much as I did.



1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Pay for what you get

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Hyundai Sonata

This vehicle was my 1st brand new vehicle. I've had it about 5 months and I'm okay with it, but wish it was a Honda. The Dimension speakers can't handle any bass and the speakers rattle which is terrible. Also, the 5 inch screen isn't capable of that new Andriod auto feature. The 5 inch screen is also very dated and not modern at all. If I could repurchase, I'd select an upgraded model since I'm very tech savvy. Otherwise, the car gets great gas mileage, has a very sporty exterior and is backed with a grear warranty



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

A major change!

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Hyundai Sonata

I'm slightly biased, I lived in Korea for 12 years; and I have purchased Four (4) Hyundai Products previously. Hence I have known them to be good, solid, reliable vehicles. I traded In my 2014 Kia for the SONATA SPORT. Sitting in my driveway is a 2003 KIA OPTIMA, 88,000 miles and last year, we had to have left half shaft replaced and that's it. I normally drive a Cadillac DTS; my first was in 1973, Coupe De Ville. Hence I have grown accustomed to driving a great riding luxury car with all the bells and whistles. There is truth in that saying' Rides like a Cadillac. I know that the Hyundai is reliable, and a great value, BUT I was totally stunned when I test drove the SPORT Model. Additionally, I've always had more than two cars, and one would always be a Performance Model; Corvette, Z28, Trans Am, Cadillac CTS-V type vehicles. As I initially drove into the traffic I was impressed at it's ease to get into traffic on a Six Lane Major Road. I am NOT a fan of the Four Cylinder Engines, the sound I don't like. But I did not know at that moment that IT was a Four, I felt what seemed to be the V6 type thrust. As I merged onto I65, there is a major intersection; the on ramp and the two lane exit ramp coincide, people coming to the right, and you must cross two lanes to get into the 3 Lane main road. It is a hard trick as the Speed limit is 70 and most folks are truly running 75 MPH, so you have to have acceleration to pull away from the oncoming cars are you traverse 3 or 4 lanes of traffic. I'm Used to a V8 pulling me across this intersection. I was in Normal Mode, and at first it seemed that I was not accelerating, but I then noticed that I was going 70 and pulling away from the traffic. I was going to the far left lane and was going to lock down the speed at 75. I looked down and I WAS GOING 85 MPH! I had been fooled by the silence of the car! For a few minutes I let it run at 80 MPH and intentionally, I had left the Audio off and this was to listen for any odd things. I was stunned at the quietness of this car. I say, damn, this thing rides as good as a Cadillac!! Then I discovered that the Cruise Control works very uniquely by keeping the speed pretty close GOING DOWN HILL! One of my pet peeves is when you go over a hill, hit the brakes, then you have to re-engage the system or it will be definitely speeding. I'm a fairly large man, 6'0", 235 lbs. My comfort test is I get in, get comfortable seat placement for me; I'm paying for it, right? Then I get out and get into the rear seat and see what that comfort level is. I got in back and was totally stunned at the knee room. What totally blew me away was the passenger lowered the back rest very far back while I was sitting in the rear. The rear passenger still had great knee room AND on my side, I had a good Four inches between my knee caps and the seat!! To be honest, more room than a DTS in knee room, and Great for Two Passengers, ONLY! But those two get a fantastic place to ride. On the way back from our 75 mile trip, I put it into ECO and my onboard system began at 29 MPG as were returning but about 20 Miles later it was reading 40 MPG! I took that figure with a mild grain of salt, as the algorithms for mileage calculation is not always the true MPG. But even if it was ONLY getting 35 MPG, I was impressed by the solid and quality build properties of this vehicle. When You slam the trunk down, you get a nice solid chunk. Same with the Doors. I also purchased several additional programs that basically provide me with Seven Years and 70,000 Miles of Bumper to Bumper, what ever happens it gets fixed, free oil changes, tire rotations and more that includes all the High Tech Items!! I believe that the ONLY thing I must do is put GAS in it, and enjoy driving it, and so far, this has been a ball of a car! Thumbs up to the Hyundai Corporation for listening and continually attempting to improve the product in many ways to create a great vehicle. AND I was very delighted with the OWNERS Manual. Small, easy to use and simple. A GM Owners Manual is about one inch thick and is confusing at best; IF you car is equipped with this option... I don't know if it has the Bingo Banga Torque Splitting Auto 7 speed or the 9 speed?? Very Good!! I also found that the Mode Settings actually have some effect as desired. Many vehicles will list great sounding Accessories, but Like the BMW, you can't use the system very well without taking eyes off road. Does it Work? I pretty much used intutive knowledge to operate a lot of stuff prior to reading the manual to find out even more technological features, Hill Hold, KOOL!! OH, and one of the BEST FEATURES of this vehicles is ITS GREAT LOOKING!!



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Very good car

by on
Vehicle: 2015 Hyundai Sonata

i returned my 2013 sonata from lease and got another one. 15 sonata is little bigger and more comfortable and better mpg. one thing i did not like about 13 was all the blind sights but they fixed on 15. i have 10 thousand miles on it already and and this one is giving me 540miles per a full tank of gas and not as sporty as 13 but it is ok.



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Full Expert Review: 2015 Hyundai Sonata

What's New for 2015

The Hyundai Sonata is redesigned for 2015 with a more refined look and a larger cabin. A new Eco trim level with a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine also debuts, although the more powerful 2.0T trim level has nearly 30 fewer horsepower.

Introduction

The previous-generation Hyundai Sonata was nothing short of a smash hit in the midsize sedan segment. With its combination of daring style, respectable performance, generous standard features and solid build quality, the Sonata easily convinced us that it was finally a true rival to cars like the Accord and Camry. Now redesigned for 2015, the Hyundai Sonata is a little more grown up, gaining refinements to its interior, chassis and feature content. We think it should stay squarely on the radar of savvy car shoppers.

The new Sonata trades some of the swoopy curves of the previous version for more conservative lines that take the styling uptown. Overall, the basic proportions and the sweeping roof line carry over, but the car is a little bigger than before and rear passengers benefit from a little more hip- and legroom. The chassis has also been overhauled to improve both the Sonata's handling capabilities and its ride quality.

The redesigned 2015 Hyundai Sonata comes in SE, Sport, Eco, Limited and Sport 2.0T trim levels.

This year also brings a new 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Fitted to the new Eco trim level, this engine promises high fuel economy along with peppy performance. Curiously, however, those looking for the peppiest performance possible from their family sedan will find the Sonata's 2.0-liter turbo engine (comparable to the V6s found in rival sedans) produces nearly 30 fewer horses this year. The base four-cylinder is also down on power, but by a more modest 5 hp, and certainly remains competitive in the segment.

Yet, even if the 2015 Sonata is down on power, it's up in available high-end features. You can now opt for adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam control, a hands-free trunk opener and the latest in driver safety aids such as blind-spot detection and forward-collision alert systems.

Freshly fortified to face its foes, the Edmunds "A" rated 2015 Hyundai Sonata should be on your must-drive list if you're in the market for a well-rounded midsize sedan. It's also one of our top recommended cars in our 2015 Sedan Buying Guide. Still, with so many excellent choices in this class, we encourage you to get out there and drive as many as you can. We suggest also checking out the highly regarded Ford Fusion and Honda Accord, as well as the Mazda 6, Nissan Altima and Volkswagen Passat.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2015 Hyundai Sonata is available in SE, Sport, Eco, Limited and Sport 2.0T trim levels. There's also a Sonata Hybrid, which for now continues on in previous-generation guise and is reviewed separately.

Cloth upholstery is standard in the Sonata Sport, but adding the Premium package upgrades you to leather and cloth seats.

Standard features on the SE include 16-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, LED running lights, air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, heated mirrors, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, a 60/40-split rear seatback, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a six-speaker sound system (with a CD player, satellite radio, an iPod/USB audio interface and an auxiliary audio jack).

The Sport and Eco trims add automatic headlights, a rearview camera, an eight-way power driver seat (with power lumbar), upgraded door trim, Hyundai's Blue Link telematics system (with smartphone integration) and a 5-inch touchscreen audio interface. The Eco differs with a special fuel-economy-focused engine, while the Sport gets its own 17-inch alloy wheels, dual exhaust with chrome tips, hands-free "smart" and unique body styling tweaks.

The Limited includes the Sport's features (minus the body styling tweaks) and adds LED taillights, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, wood grain trim, a six-way power passenger seat, heated rear seats, rear air vents, rear window sunshades, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an upgraded audio system and driver safety aids (blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert).

The Sport 2.0T includes most of the features of the Sport and Limited trims (less the power passenger seat, heated rear seats and rear sunshades) along with 18-inch alloy wheels, sport-tuned suspension and steering, a rear diffuser with quad chrome exhaust tips, xenon headlights, sport seats with accent stitching, a flat-bottom sport steering wheel and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Many of the upper trims' features are available as options on the lower trims. Other optional features (depending on trim level) include xenon headlights, a panoramic sunroof, an electronic parking brake, adaptive cruise control (with full stop-start capability), an upgraded gauge cluster, sport front seats, a navigation system (with an 8-inch touchscreen), an Infinity 10-speaker premium sound system, ventilated front seats, driver memory settings, rear parking sensors and forward-collision and lane-departure warning systems.

All 2015 Sonatas have simple to use controls. The optional navigation system offers a split-screen view.

Powertrains and Performance

A 2.4-liter four-cylinder rated at 185 hp and 178 pound-feet of torque powers the SE, Sport and Limited models. All Sonatas are front-wheel drive, and all engines except the Eco's are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The Sonata SE has an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 29 mpg combined (25 city/37 highway). The Sport and Limited trims are slightly less at 28 mpg combined (24/35).

The Sport 2.0T comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, producing 245 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. At the Edmunds test track, we recorded an 8.3-second sprint to 60 mph -- an exceptionally poor performance considering this powertrain is meant to compete with V6-powered family sedans that routinely are much quicker. On the other hand, the Sport 2.0T returns an EPA-estimated 26 mpg combined (23 city/32 highway), and we managed to earn 28 mpg on our 120-mile highway-biased evaluation route and over 31 mpg on a long highway drive.

The Eco features a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 177 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission is standard (it is technically an automated manual transmission). Ironically, we recorded a highly impressive 7.5-second time for its 0-60-mph run, beating the Sport model by almost a full second. The EPA says the Eco will achieve 32 mpg combined (28 city/38 highway), and we validated those figures with our own 32 mpg, earned on our evaluation route.

Safety

Standard safety features on every 2015 Hyundai Sonata include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag.

In Edmunds' simulated panic-stop testing from 60 mph, the Sonata Sport 2.0T came to rest in 125 feet, which is an acceptable distance for midsize family sedans. The Eco model did even better at 119 feet.

In government crash testing, the 2015 Sonata earned a perfect five-star overall rating, with five stars overall for its performance in frontal- and side-impact crash tests. In crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Sonata earned a top "Good" rating in moderate-overlap frontal-offset impact test and a second-best "Acceptable" in the small-overlap frontal-offset impact test. The Sonata posted a "Good" rating for the remaining side-impact, roof-strength and whiplash protection (seats and head restraints) tests.

All but the SE also come with a rearview camera and Blue Link, Hyundai's emergency telematics system (includes roadside assistance, crash response, remote door lock control and monitoring features for parents with teenage drivers -- speed, geo-fencing and curfew limits). Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are standard for the Limited and Sport 2.0T and optional on the Sport and Eco. Forward collision warning and rear park assist are optional on the Limited and Sport 2.0T.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Sonata SE is fairly basic inside, but materials and build quality are improved over those in the base trim level from last year's Sonata. With their plusher door trim and additional cabin accents, the higher trim levels compare pretty well to those of segment rivals. Not surprisingly, the Limited trim, with its available two-tone color schemes and convincing wood grain trim, is particularly appealing. The Sport 2.0T features heavily bolstered sport seats for added lateral support during spirited back-roads drives.

The control layout is straightforward and easy to use, with dedicated buttons for primary functions like navigation, phone, radio and media. The climate controls are simple, and Hyundai's touchscreen interface remains intuitive. The 5-inch touchscreen isn't very big, but it does provide decent functionality for Sonatas without the optional navigation system. Those with the nav system boast an 8-inch touchscreen, which gives the Sonata's cabin even more of an upscale, cutting-edge feel.

As before, the Sonata has more than ample room for four adults. Those in back even have a bit more hip- and legroom than before. Rear headroom is essentially unchanged, however, so taller passengers may feel a bit cramped due to the dramatically sloping roof line.

Like most midsize sedans, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata has a roomy backseat, but taller adults might run short on headroom.

At 16.3 cubic feet, the trunk is a little more generous than average for this segment, and the standard 60/40-split-folding rear seat is at the ready to add more cargo capacity should the need arise. Models equipped with the hands-free "smart" trunk opener automatically open the trunk if the person with the key fob stands behind the car for more than 3 seconds.

Driving Impressions

Possibly the most striking characteristic of the 2015 Hyundai Sonata is the utter silence with which it goes about its business. This is a quiet car. Swallowing road irregularities with hushed damping and quiet confidence is this sedan's biggest strength. Ride quality, regardless of trim, is well-controlled but never harsh.

Though there's nothing to complain about when you take the Sonata around turns, there's also little that's involving about the experience. Even the Sport 2.0T trim isn't very thrilling, though it will hit freeway speeds quicker than the 2.4-powered trims. It also has handy shift paddles and a flat-bottom steering wheel, which feels better than the round wheel in other trims. Honda's Accord Sport, which offers a six-speed manual transmission, is more involving, as is the Mazda 6 and the Ford Fusion.

All of the Sonata's engines provide adequate power, but this sedan's greatest strength is its quiet ride.

Strangely enough, it's the Eco trim that's the real surprise here. With discernibly more punch than the 2.4-liter engine and quicker acceleration than the 2.0T, it offers peppy acceleration along with the best fuel economy of the group. What's more, is that despite the more mileage-minded tires it wears, its quietness, ride quality and confident handling aren't degraded one bit.

All trims offer three driver modes: Normal, Sport and Eco, which adjust the transmission and throttle calibrations according to your needs. Steering weight increases in Sport mode, as well. However, the difference between Normal and Sport is modest at best. And unless you're more patient than most folks behind the wheel, you'd probably avoid the Eco mode, as it notably dulls the powertrain's response.

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The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2015 Hyundai Sonata Sedan in VA is:

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