2011 Hyundai Sonata: Even the Base 4-Cylinder Isn't Bad
October 13, 2010
You may have seen our track tested piece on the Hyundai Sonata 2.0T with the company's turbocharged four-cylinder engine, It's numbers were quite impressive, certainly enough to make anyone wonder why to bother with a V6.
There's a reason many four-cylinder engines have gotten a bad rap though. More often than not, they are weak, noisy and generate plenty of vibrations. Clearly, a turbocharger helps to take care of the power problem, but what about the smoothness and refinement issue?
Well, Hyundai addressed that problem like many other automakers by adding a balance shaft to the Theta II engine. The engineers also added a fair amount of acoustic insulation in the engine bay. There's foam on the underside of the hood along with some fairly thick rubber gaskets around the perimeter.
So does it work? Sounds like it to me. I wind that little 2.4-liter out left and right and it rarely sounds harsh or even overworked. In fact, it's not only surprisingly refined, it's plenty powerful too. The six-speed automatic transmission helps keep it from getting bogged down, and when it's in the heat of its power band it pulls the Sonata along just fine. That 2.0T model looks great on paper, but the base GLS feels just fine on the road.
Ed Hellwig, Editor, Edmunds.com @ 7,958 miles