Where to start?
First I can say I am pleasantly pleased with this car. With the 138 hp coming from this direct fuel injected engine the gas mileage is at the top with a consistent 40mpg. I can say that I'm not an easy driver on the car so that gas mileage is for the manual gear box and I do drive the car at a brisk pace.
The engine is so smooth all the way to red line and the shifting is really good. Easy gates to find your gears and with the 6 speed manual the fun never stops. The only thing you've got to get used to is the way you go into reverse so keep this in mind if you're ever wanting to purchase this car.
Handling is above par in my books. As a person that's been building cars for over 35+ years I know how to make a car handle and Hyundai has got this car right from the start. Turn in on the car is perfect with just a bit of over steer and although the car has traction control and stability control, I turn those off to have a more real experience with the handling of the car, and to drive the car as it was meant to be.
The electric power steering is right on target with good feel for the road and feed back too. The car can be a bit twitchy with the way the front suspension is set but with a little tweaking I'm sure that it can be improved upon as the car is paid off but for now I can't complain at all.
The brakes take some getting use to and the pedal feel is quite abrupt when you use the brakes. Most of my other cars the brakes have been a bit better for modulating but the Hyundai seems to have a bit of a propensity to over boost their brakes which again takes some getting used to. Heel and toe downshifting is really a cue on how sensitive the brakes are and can cause you to be a bit jerky in heel toe downshifts unlike other cars I drive the same way. I can't call it a bad thing with the brakes and I must also realize too that this is a sedan made for economic driving and not sporty driving which I love to do.
Pedal placement for heel toe shifting is pretty close to being on target but with the pedal set I purchased I was able to get it right on the sweet spot so again this car can be made to be quite sporty when driven in a sporty mode.
Acceleration in this car is a blast. It keeps up with most anything on the road and going onto Interstate highways is easy with this car and no problem in getting it up to speed.
Interior of the car is good too. Most people would say it's cheap but I say it's cheap but well made and the quality of the material seems like it's going to last for some time before any wear and tear are going to show.
In the 12,000miles I've owned this car I'm quite happy with everything on this car. It's easy to work on, the engine compartment has easy access to most anything, and the gas mileage is a big plus considering that the EPA gives this car much lower EPA ratings than what it actually gives. I also use real, 100% gas and no ethanol so that may have something to do with the little bit of extra go and gas mileage but I wouldn't have it any other way.
As a sports car enthusiast owning Porsche's, Fords, Chevy's, Toyota's, and building cars I can say that Hyundai got this one right. So far very happy with this purchase. :)
I had this car as a long-term rental (1 mo, 3 days), and put around 2,200 miles on it. So I feel comfortable with my thoughts and opinions, and I'll ignore the factors that are the optional rental car features (poor alignment, bald tires, iffy brakes, blown speakers), although this car only has 21k miles on it.
I've been in Hyundais before and had a positive opinion of the brand. Aside from the impossible-to-see-blind-spot Azure, each Hyundai I've known is a great vehicle. Except this one.
Lets start with with the pros:
- Efficient, I was getting 50+mpg cruising down the highway. Active ECO setting gave me another 5 mph everywhere, which was kinda nice. Without cruise control, because it wasn't included :/
- Powerful. Like if you mash the gas it will actually go. And pretty fast for the car class and engine size as well. Even with the 'active ECO' mode on.
- Space. Surprisingly roomy, lots of useful nooks and crannies for stuffing stuff into and the trunk is massive. But that's probably because it lacks a spare tire.
Well that was short. Lets do the cons:
- Transmission. I've never felt more instances of 'stalling out' as I did with this car. You either mash it and the car eventually gets you into 2nd and 3rd gears, or you lightly press the gas and wonder if and when your next gear will even show up. Strange indeed. Also, it is way too easy to shift from Drive into Reverse. Way too easy. If a passenger (or driver, honestly it's not hard to do) just bumps the gear change forward you will be changing gears. Be aware of this.
- Ride. After 2,200 miles, I failed to find a road the car was comfortable on. The suspension just wants to sulk around, the steering wants to lag through turns, and the car certainly thanks you for taking it really really easy through any twisty sections. The seats are abhorrent. At least they are easy to adjust into another uncomfortable position! I didn't sit in the backseat, but apparently they aren't as bad. It might be a judgement aided by Jose Cuervo (Yes Mom, I was D.D.) I will say that I had little tread on the tires and a badly needed alignment, so perhaps I didn't have the best car to experience the drive-train properly.
- Quality/interior. The driver side door struggled to stay closed or close properly, which is ridiculous for any vehicle on the market. The interior was the cheapest design and feature set I've has since my first car: a beater 93 Grand Am. At least there was an accessible AUX port, but that was the only creature comfort that puts this car over a Gen 3 Civic. The air settings will drive you insane. I can walk my dog (two pees and a poo) faster than this car defrosts on a 25 degree morning. The fan squeaks like a purring cat with Emphysema, though not as bad at higher settings. I don't know why the A/C automatically kicks on when its 36 degrees out and the heat has been running for 4 minutes, but this is what happens. And if you turn the A/C off, turn the fan off and then switch the fan right back on? Yeah the A/C kicks back on too. Even if you are on max heat setting. -__-
- Safety. As others have pointed out, the headlights are horribly aligned. But beyond that, the road-holding is a joke. I felt like I would spin out driving around cloverleaf interchanges, even at 30 mph. Also, if you drive in a sunny area, you will DESPISE this vehicle. See, the top of the dashboard has a textured material, and its reflection throws a translucent pattern across the entire windshield. So everything in front of you has a strange 'textured effect' and an awful glare. Polarized sunglasses makes this worse, as the reflection is even more obvious. If you are unlucky enough to be driving over a body of water on a bridge on a sunny day, you are seriously driving blind.
- Looks. This is a downright uninspiring car. I don't really care what I look like in a car (because I'm sure I look like a fool), but stepping out the door every morning to see this definitely failed to lift my spirits. It's not a Honda Fit smile. No Chevy Sonic grin. Not even a Nissan Versa inquisition! Just a face that goes 'bleeeehhhh lets get some McDoubles and drink Natural Light this morning'
Verdict: I'd probably buy this car for someone I didn't like. And I feel bad that it's your rental car.
I rented this car (not sure which sedan) for three days, and observed a number of problems with it. The most noticeable was the poor safety on two counts. One is that if you are driving uphill at night and you have on your dim headlights, the road in front of you for a FEW feet is clearly lit, but there will be a line across the road partway up, and above this line, it is pitch black! If you have an oncoming car, this can be a fatal hazard, and even without an oncoming car, I consider it an unacceptable safety hazard. The other safety problem I noticed was that the car doors lock when the car is in motion, and these CANNOT be overridden. The problem here is that if you are driving in a desert climate when it's hot, presumably the air conditioner will be running and all the windows rolled up. If you get into an accident, presumably the air conditioner will not keep running, or the manual door open lever working, and it is not clear that it will be possible for someone to open the door to extract a person. If you cannot open the door, then all the occupants (driver, passengers) can easily die of the heat in only 10 minutes. If they need to fetch a Jaws of Life, you're cooked. I routinely keep my door unlocked, while locking all other doors, for precisely this reason, which is what is recommended. It is not up to the CAR to make this decision. The occupants should make it. I rated the car one star because safety is paramount.
I found the gearshift and some of the other controls (and their locations) less than intuitive, and drove for a fair distance in 2nd gear before I knew why the car was racing. The gear is displayed on the dash, but unless you happen to know that is what is being displayed, it's easy to be confused. The path of the gearshift lever was less than obvious to me. I also had trouble locating other controls, such as the lever that unlocks the gas cap. Since I was renting the car, I didn't have access to the manual to figure these things out. The size of the clock display was rather small when the radio was turned on. And when you are not operating the car, you can't see the clock at all. The trip meter button's function was less than obvious until I actually tried it, and I was wondering where the mileage is located, but I liked some of the information I got from pressing it repeatedly. The range in miles is useful, but if you put a gallon of gas into the tank, it doesn't increase the range. It just decrements more slowly. That was disconcerting.
It's a rather spunky car compared to my 1992 Volvo, but it took some getting used to, in terms of handling. One feature I did like was the variable power steering assist: easy at slow speeds, stiffer at higher speeds. It was the only feature I really liked. Other than that, it was pretty nondescript, and the ride was rough: I could feel every bump and crack in the road. I don't like a cushy feel, but that was a bit much. The lack of ability to see the front end of the car was disconcerting.
This is the second Hyundai I have owned the first being a 2001 Elantra. I had it for 13 years and was very satisfied. So far this car has proven to be almost like the Elantra. Since my other car is a Lincoln MKZ, it is hard to compare the comfort level and overall components. Let's just say I'm satisfied with what I have purchased.