The Hyundai Sonata is a comfortable and likable midsize sedan that proves Hyundai can build cars that are not just easy on the pocketbook, but also easy to live with as well. Like most vehicles in the midsize sedan class, the Sonata offers front-wheel drive, numerous safety features and a choice of trim levels that include sporty and plush variants. Setting the Sonata apart, however, is Hyundai's lower pricing and outstanding warranty coverage.
For the most part, the Sonata has kept getting better. The current model, in particular, is not only a fully competitive choice for a family sedan, but a standout among its peers. In addition to the strong value proposition, it adds a few things previously not seen in this conservative nameplate -- namely, daring styling and sporty driving dynamics. Newer pre-owned Sonatas are also a solid choice, but models prior to 2006 remain a risky used-car proposition.
Current Hyundai Sonata
Although it's classified as a full-size family sedan by the EPA, the Hyundai Sonata still competes in the midsize segment. It's available in GLS, SE and Limited trim levels. Even the base car comes well equipped, while the SE features sporty suspension tuning and the Limited pampers its passengers with more luxurious features.
The standard engine on every Sonata trim level is a 2.4-liter direct-injected inline four-cylinder good for 198 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque (200 hp and 186 lb-ft for the SE). A 2.0-liter turbocharged engine generating 274 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque is available on SE and Limited models. All Sonatas come with a six-speed automatic as standard.
In reviews we've found that the Sonata provides spirited acceleration as well as responsive handling, with a slightly firm but still comfortable ride. Fuel mileage is also impressive, with 30 mpg being a realistic number for conservative drivers in mixed conditions. Our only notable gripes concern the relative lack of rear seat headroom for adults and a somewhat rough ride for the SE model.
Whether serving family car or commuter car duty, the Hyundai Sonata is a nice place to be thanks to its spacious cabin, comfortable seating, solid build quality and quiet highway ride. Overall we're quite impressed, and we think family sedan shoppers should give the latest Sonata serious consideration.
Read the most recent 2014 Hyundai Sonata review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Hyundai Sonata page.