Like the Drivetrain. A Lot. - 2011 Hyundai Sonata GLS Long-Term Road Test

2011 Hyundai Sonata Long-Term Road Test

2011 Hyundai Sonata GLS: Like the Drivetrain. A Lot.

March 17, 2011

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Last night, our long-term 2011 Hyundai Sonata GLS and I came to an understanding during a 50-mile freeway drive: I still don't care for the way it rides or steers, but I completely respect it in the powertrain department.

I really dig this direct-injected, 2.4-liter inline-4, because unlike the engines in the previous two generations of the Sonata -- and I'm including the optional V6s -- this four-cylinder has enough torque for any normal driving situations. Peak torque is rated at 184 pound-feet at 4,250 rpm, but that doesn't tell you much about the nice flat torque curve.

Getting on the freeway, passing a truck, shooting into a gap to get your exit, the grunt is there and it's delivered so easily and smoothly in the Sonata, you barely notice it.

The six-speed automatic does a nice job, too, shifting smoothly under heavy throttle and generally not making a big, dramatic show of how many forward gears it has. I'd make an exception to my three-pedal policy here and choose the automatic over the six-speed manual. The manual gearbox is just kind of there in the 2011 Sonata, offered to get the price down in dealer advertising and to appease that mythical fringe buyer (who also doesn't want A/C, a backseat or glass windows).

The automatic is the transmission you're supposed to get, and in our long-term Sonata, it suits me just fine.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 14,795 miles


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