2011 Hyundai Sonata GLS: The Screen is Just Right
November 24, 2010
My colleague, Mr. Austria noted in his Sonata post that he thought the touchscreen display was less desirable because it was on the small side. I completely, but respectfully disagree. Allow me to explain...
To me, quality is significantly more important than quantity, and in this regard the Sonata handily beats the stalwart Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. In my opinion, the Sonata's display is as good as it gets in this segment and bests many systems found in more expensive categories. The on-screen controls feature large buttons and are labeled with legible typefaces. Furthermore, the menu organization is intuitive, with enough redundant controls to quickly find what you're looking for.
The Honda's, by contrast, requires the dial controller and the screen is set deep in a hood. To its credit, the Accord does have a very good voice activation system. When it comes to screen quality, though, it pales next the Sonata's. The new Honda graphics are a vast improvement over the last generation's, which looked like it was designed with Windows 95.
For me, the Camry's screen comes in a close second place to the Hyundai. In terms of screen quality, it's clear and well labeled, but the surrounding hard buttons look a little dated to me. More importantly, I think its placement -- lower in the center stack -- is a bigger problem. This requires a more distant glance away from the road.
But really, the screen is just the tip of the iceberg. Styling is subjective, but I think most shoppers prefer the Sonata's sculpted exterior and refined interior to the Accord and Camry. Then there's driving dynamics and the all-so-important feel behind the wheel. Not only do I think that the Sonata brought it's A-game, I think it's worthy of an MVP trophy.
Happy Thanksgiving, everybody. Drive safe.
Mark Takahashi, Associate Editor