The Ah-ha Moment - 2011 Hyundai Sonata GLS Long-Term Road Test

2011 Hyundai Sonata Long-Term Road Test

2011 Hyundai Sonata GLS: The Ah-ha Moment

January 26, 2011

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Finally I've had my Ah-ha Moment with the Hyundai Sonata. It's that miraculous instant when things inexplicably come together and the universe suddenly makes sense.

Naturally it happens in a gas station, which is possibly the only place where car people engage their higher order thinking skills.

I've just finished filling up the Sonata, and it didn't take that much, maybe a bit more than a half tank after the usual weekend of pointless stop-and-go traffic around Los Angeles. So I'm scrolling through the tripmeter information on the instrument display so I can properly complete the blanks in the fuel log, as always fearful that should I make an error, Managing Editor Donna DeRosa (She Who Must Be Obeyed) will be after me with her schoolteacher's yardstick of discipline.

So I scroll through the info and enter the trip mileage info (it's not that far, really), and then set the trip computer to Distance to Empty (DTE). And that's when the universe makes sense.

The DTE info reads, "410 miles."

Want to know why Hyundai equips the Sonata only with a four-cylinder engine even as assorted know-it-alls rattle on about the superiority of a V6's power and refinement?

410 miles.

Want to know which parameter of performance really matters to you when you undertake the refueling of an automobile? It's not speed, trip mileage or exterior temperature.

410 miles.

DTE has a magical allure to many of us, something that Hyundai apparently understands. When you fill up at a gas station after a half tank of the usual inefficient, gas-swilling, urban stop-and-go traffic at an average speed of 35 mph and the tripmeter tells you that you still achieved sufficient mpg to expect the kind of driving range you get only in fuel-sipping freeway cruising, well, the Ah-ha Moment comes to you.

You say to yourself, "Ah, now I get it."

Michael Jordan, Executive Editor,

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