2015 Hyundai Sonata Long-Term Road Test - New Updates

2015 Hyundai Sonata Long-Term Road Test

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Blinded by the Light

by Mike Magrath, Features Editor on November 30, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

By most any measure, our 2015 Hyundai Sonata is a very pleasant and competent family sedan.

Except that it's constantly trying to blind me.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: I Still See You

by Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant on November 27, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Nice Light for Dark Driving

I'm a big fan of our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata. It's quiet, comfortable and fairly decent at the wheel. I agree with Ed about the user-friendly interior design and the generous rear-seat legroom. Brent summed up why the Sonata is great as a daily commuter, including the excellent driver's seat and sound system. I don't have many bad things to say about the car.

The one glaring issue I have is the single, blue LED that illuminates the cabin at night.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: The Long Road to Phoenix

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on November 26, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Duty called me to a business trip in Arizona, where I would hear all about the new Nissan Titan XD. My destination in Phoenix wasn't all that far away, so the decision between driving and flying was easy. Our 2015 Hyundai Sonata sedan got the call because I hadn't road-tripped it yet.

Nominally, the drive to Phoenix is a simple six-hour interstate cruise. But my event started in the morning and I'd lose an hour changing time zones. I had to leave the day before and grab a hotel, and since it was a day off I decided to stray off course and take my time. I'd never been to the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument before, and I had my eye on a couple of other random spots.

All told, my elongated figure-eight round-trip route would amount to well over 1,300 miles.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Warns About Losing Your Grip

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on November 24, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

It was a nice, crisp, early November morning as I headed east on Interstate 8 toward Arizona in our 2015 Hyundai Sonata. The sun was just barely peeking over the horizon and outshining the more distant stars as I left San Diego behind and worked my way over the many 4,000-foot summits of the Laguna mountains.

A small yellow snowflake icon winked on near the outside temperature gauge, which to my surprise read 39 degrees. Funny, it hadn't been near that cold when I backed out of my driveway in the dark some two hours earlier. And that's exactly the point of the light.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: No Problems On the Way to 20K

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on November 20, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

It's almost been a year since our 2015 Hyundai Sonata entered its long-term test, so it wasn't much of a surprise when I looked down at the odometer this weekend and noticed that it had just clicked past 20,000 miles. Time flies in the face of unpretentious competence.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Balance of Power — A Case For and Against the Four-Cylinder Turbo

by Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor on November 18, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

I recently spent a day driving Kia's Optima, the counterpart to the Sonata. Though the two cars look different, they're mechanical twins, depending on equipment, of course.

Our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata is fitted with the volume-selling 2.4-liter normally-aspirated four-cylinder. However, the Optima I drove happened to be the SX Turbo trim, which comes with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo. The 2.0-liter turbo is the top engine available in the Sonata and Optima, but it no longer competes with the optional V6s available in the Camry and Accord.

This, frankly, makes no sense.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Fuel Economy Update for October: A Little More Led in Our Step

by Kurt Niebuhr, Photo Editor on November 5, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

October proved to be another uneventful month with our 2015 Hyundai Sonata. While most of us have always found the Sonata a capable companion, Dan Frio and Carlos Lago got busy picking some nits. Far from heavy criticism, but still relevant, are things like slightly lackluster audio system, clattery engine sounds and a still not-as-refined as-we'd-like suspension.

Meanwhile, Carlos found out the hard way that our Sonata lacks the rear passenger air vents we've come to expect from many midsize sedans.  

Once you're done clicking those links, click the one below to see what kind of mileage we wrung out of this thing.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Smart Trunk Surprise — Here's How It Works (with Video)

by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on November 3, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

I thought it was weird how our 2015 Hyundai Sonata beeped whenever I walked up behind it. Was it a greeting? If so, then why didn't it unlock the doors?

Had I done my homework, I would have realized it was the Sonata's hands-free trunk opening feature, which Mike Monticello has already reported on. I realized this after five amusing minutes in the garage spent approaching the car from various angles trying to replicate the beeping.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Tracking Down the Missing Rear Seat Vents

by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on October 29, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

"It's hot back here."

This is already a potentially volatile situation. My mom and my girlfriend are in the back of our 2015 Hyundai Sonata, and we're stuck in stop-and-go traffic. The climate control system says 70 degrees and auto. My butt confirms this. Our Sonata does a great job keeping cool, so I don't believe the complaint.

I ask them to check the rear vents. Maybe the louvers have been shut. They can't find any.

"That's ridiculous," I say. I reach behind the center arm rest and feel for the vents.

There aren't any.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Blind-Spot Audio Alert Promotes Bad Habits

by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on October 27, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Normally, blind-spot monitoring systems provide a subtle and welcome alert. I'll always recommend proper side-mirror placement first, but I'm happy to have the additional safety layer. Except when driving our 2015 Hyundai Sonata. Its system is not subtle. And its effects will make you use the turn signals less, further worsening the world as a place to drive in.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Two Details Away from Being a Benchmark

by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on October 23, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

I like our 2015 Hyundai Sonata. No, it's not the most inspired car, nor the classiest. Not a lot of brand cachet behind that badge and you're definitely not impressing the valet in the Sonata. But as a Monday through Friday car, I could live with the Sonata very nicely. It'll get me to work in comfort and quiet, it lays out all of my techy needs — music, podcasts, phone, navigation — in logical an comprehensive order within the center stack. It's got loads of room the backseat for when I need to ferry the kid, kid-friends, or adult friends.

I can even opt for the turbo "Eco" version if I want a little more sauce. Less horsepower, more sauce, you say? It's true. The Eco model we tested, with its wee 1.6-liter four-cylinder was quicker to 60 mph (7.5 seconds) than our long-termer with its larger engine and additional horsepower (8.2 seconds).

Even the Sonata's audio system is nice.

But there are two things that really hold back the Sonata from asserting itself in this class, both among wonky critics like us and perhaps among shoppers for whom midsize family sedans begin and end at Accord and Camry.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Fun to Play With the "Beats Effect"

by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor October 16, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

When rap producer Dr. Dre signed his name to a line of now-ubiquitous headphones, he had a music industry legend, Jimmy Iovine, to provide the marketing muscle, and consumer electronics manufacturer Monster to build the product. A cool logo, cool, crisp colors, and celebrity and athlete endorsements helped sell thousands of the headphones at around $200 a pair. They were the perfect complement to the iPod Era, flashy sneakers for your big head, and they invigorated a dormant headphone market.

But they didn't sound that good. Early versions were what you might expect from a hip-hop marketing angle: big, boomy and bassy, muddy, with not very accurate frequency reproduction. Even by most objective, not-fussy audio standards, they were more fashion that frequency. Iovine has said that critics missed the point, that the headphones were meant to excite, and not be neutral, audiophile-grade listening experiences. Sorry Jimmy, but they sucked.

To be fair, Beats by Dre headphones have improved. Seems like the company, now owned by Apple, has heard the criticisms and started to address them. But they won't shake the early bass-heavy reputation so easily.

Turns out the whole "Beats Effect" has even touched our 2015 Hyundai Sonata

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: 15,000-Mile Service

by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on October 13, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

It was time for a 15,000-mile check-up on our 2015 Hyundai Sonata, so we made an appointment at Tuttle-Click Hyundai in Irvine. It was a good thing we had. When we showed up at 10:00 on a Tuesday morning, the service line was jammed. One of the service advisors grumbled something about only having two techs on duty before shuffling away in a hurry.  

Thankfully the dealer was prioritizing appointments over drop-ins, much to one agitated customer's grief, who simply couldn't understand why his schedule didn't deserve more consideration than everyone else's. The service advisor that helped him deserved a medal, calling other Hyundai dealerships in the area to see if they could squeeze in Obviously Important Man and help him accomplish the obviously important things he needed to do that day.

Our service advisor, Stephany, gave an ETA of about 2 hours and 15 minutes for an oil-and-filter change, engine air filter change, cabin air filter change, fuel additive service and a tire rotation. It would take a little longer if we wanted the Sonata washed.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Fuel Economy Update for September - Long-Distance Runner

by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on October 6, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

It was another busy month for our 2015 Hyundai Sonata: nearly 2,500 miles added to the odometer in September. That's a lot for a car that many of our staff (and apparently our readership) finds boring, drab, competent, uninspired, and other degrees of faint praise. For the record, I like this car more every time I drive it, but that's for another post. 

Josh's trip to the Bay Area accounted for about a third of our September miles, and although he may have only averaged 30.2 MPG on his trip, his miles helped lift the Sonata's lifetime average a couple of points, from 25.9 to 26.1 mpg.

One of his tanks was even a record-setter: 127.4 miles covered using just 3.6 gallons. That works out to 35.7 mpg, exceeding the Sonata's EPA highway rating.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Exactly What You Want

by Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief on October 2, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Lompoc, California is a sleepy agricultural enclave about 150 miles north of my home in Los Angeles. It's also more famously home to the state penitentiary where Dominic Toretto served two years for attempted murder.

So there's really no reason to go to Lompoc, but I found one. And I asked our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata to get me there.

And the one-day round-trip reminded me how much I like this car.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Fuel Economy Update for August - Many Miles Moves the Needle

by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on September 28, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

We stretched the legs of our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata in August, adding about 3,000 miles to the odometer. A couple of long road trips comprised almost half of those miles, but we ranged pretty far afield even when staying local. Of the 11 times we filled the Sonata in August, five of those tanks covered 300 or more miles.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Road Trip Ruminations

by Mike Magrath, Features Editor on September 25, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

I don't think I've spent much time in our 2015 Hyundai Sonata. Nothing personal really, but I rarely need a four-door family sedan, so when the signout sheet comes around, I pass it along to someone who needs that kind of thing. Then I take something with more cylinders and fewer doors.

But last weekend I had a quicky road trip that would cover 500-600 miles of grueling, terrifically slow Southern California freeway in just a day or so and I thought this might be a good time to get to know the Hyundai.

Here are some thoughts. Presented as a list. Because it's 2015 and we read things in list form these days.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: A Warm Respite from Snakes

By Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on September 17, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

I might be the first person to think, let alone say out loud, that I was ready to trade the keys to a Dodge Viper for a 2015 Hyundai Sonata.

But after I pulled the Edmunds long-term Viper into my driveway after a Labor Day weekend mini road trip, after I'd stretched a leg to clear the baking, expansive door sill and warned my daughter and road-trip companion to do the same for the 16th or 19th time, and after unfolding my frame from the tiny cabin and doing 10 jumping jacks alongside the car, I said to my kid "Wow. That was fun. Now I'm ready for a normal car."

"Me too," she added. "This car is sure crazy."

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: A Hyundai I'd Like to Own

By Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on September 11, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

I drove our 2015 Hyundai Sonata to San Francisco over Labor Day weekend and came away more impressed with the car than ever. Like Mr. Reed, I would buy one if I were shopping in this segment. No hesitation. After years of steady improvement, the Sonata is finally at the front of the pack. It's classy, capable and confident.

The new Genesis sedan is the first Hyundai in history that I'd be genuinely pleased to own, and I'm here to tell you that this Sonata is officially the second.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: A Hotter Hand than Honda?

by Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor on September 4, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

The time has come to buy a second car for my family, so I began considering the 2015 Hyundai Sonata in a completely new light. I had taken it on several road trips recently, including a recent blast to Las Vegas, and was intimately acquainted with it. My wife would be the primary driver of this new car and she's liked the long-term Sonata when I bring it home.

The problem is, I've always been heavily predisposed to Hondas. The only thing that could sway me was to see that the Sonata would either save me (us) some bucks or provide superior features. So I put the two cars in Edmunds' most useful car buying tool, the vehicle comparator (it's gone by several names over the years). I wanted to see if any significant difference jumped out.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Nice Light for Dark Driving

by Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor on September 2, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Driving around Los Angeles at night there is so much light that I hardly notice the effectiveness of a car's interior lighting. But recently I drove to Las Vegas after dark, and on the long stretches of unlit interstate I came to appreciate the design of the 2015 Hyundai Sonata lighting. Two features in particular were especially thoughtful.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Stays Cool in the Heat

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on August 31, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Returning home to southern California this past weekend from the more temperate central coast was an eye opener. Temperatures along the way were triple digits nearly the entire drive. Overheated cars littered the road at various spots, but the final push over the mountains into the Los Angeles basin was a particularly tough slog for some.

We counted at least a dozen cars and trucks on the side of the road with their hoods up, yet our 2015 Hyundai Sonata didn't seem to mind one bit.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Excellent Road Trip Car

by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on August 27, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

After more than 700 miles behind the wheel of our 2015 Hyundai Sonata this past weekend, I'm sold on its road trip capabilities. Here's why.

It has great seats. This is surprising since they don't boast much of a pedigree. They're not heavily bolstered or infinitely adjustable. They're not air-cooled or even covered in leather. But after several multi-hour stints behind the wheel, I rarely got uncomfortable. No squirming around to keep my rear end awake or any noticeable lack of lumbar support. I hardly noticed them at all which is good.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: What I Don't Like About Android Auto

August 24, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

After telling you how much I like Android Auto in our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata for navigating, instant messaging and streaming baseball games, I should also say what I don't like.

My number one complaint is what you see above. The Sonata couldn't find Google, even though my phone had a cell signal. This happened immediately after I had been driving in a subterranean parking garage with no reception.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: So Very Gray

August 19, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

The 2015 Hyundai Sonata is just so very gray and I'm not even talking about our particular car's cabin color scheme, which could inspire the title of an E.L. James novel. Besides "gray," when I think of our Sonata, I think of such words as "agreeable," "sensible" and "pleasant." I struggle to think of anything wrong about it, and yet it's also utterly incapable of getting my pulse above flatline.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Yep, Android Auto Includes MLB At Bat

August 17, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Without question, I wouldn't be as big a fan of Android Auto in our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata if it didn't support apps that I already use and like. I've already told you about my experiences with the Google Maps navigation system takeover and the integration of the third-party messaging app WhatsApp.

But Android Auto's support for the MLB At Bat app really makes me happy.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: A Macro Look at Interior Materials

August 12, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Looking at our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata, it's amazing that it costs $24K. In a previous update, Ed Hellwig gave the exterior props for its handsome, tasteful, and expensive-looking styling.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Fuel Update for July - Steady Gains Toward EPA Rating

August 10, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

In July, while doing our best not to blow our fingers off like our NFL role models, our 2015 Hyundai Sonata kept its air dam down and covered another 1,000-plus miles. And while there wasn't much to report, short of an alignment correction and surpassing 10,000 miles, that's not a bad thing as no news is usually good news.

But we did dump a bunch of fuel in our Sonata and you came here to see how efficiently it was used, so let's not waste any more time.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Forget SMS - Android Auto Can Send WhatsApp Messages

August 6, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Unquestionably, Android Auto transforms our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata's navigation system experience for the better. But the main reason I decided to switch to an Android phone a few months back is the interface's support for third-party messaging apps.

Yes, I know. Most cars already give you speech-to-text capability for SMS texts. But I only send regular text messages when I have to. During the workday, my husband and I exclusively use WhatsApp to communicate about things large and small (it was the best app we could find after we gave up our BlackBerrys and could no longer use BBM). And Android Auto supports WhatsApp.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Better Mirror Than BMW

August 3, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Brent's public shaming of the M235i's bare-bones rearview mirror (among other things) struck a chord with me, because I had our $39,745 Audi A3 the other night, and it's got a non-auto-dimming, non-Homelink-having mirror, too.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: A Little Gutless, But Trouble-Free and Comfy After 10,000 Miles

July 29, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

We've finally driven 10,000 miles in our 2015 Hyundai Sonata. We took delivery of our car back in December, so perhaps a little slow in hitting this milestone. Our goal for almost all of our long-term test cars is to drive them for at least 20,000 miles over 12 months or so. We still have the rest of the year to make up ground, however.

In the meantime, I've recapped our thoughts on the Sonata so far.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Impressions from a Family Road Trip For Fireworks

July 27, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

For the July 4th weekend, I drove my family (wife, two small children) to my in-law's house. Compared to the antics of, say, Vacation (either the classic old one or new one), my trip was wholly uneventful. But an uneventful 700 miles with two little kids is just fine by me.

Much of the credit goes to the Sonata.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Navigating with Android Auto

July 23, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Back in May, Hyundai announced that Android Auto would be offered in the latest navigation system update for the 2015 Hyundai Sonata. Our friends at Hyundai helpfully sent us a thumb drive so that we could do the update ourselves in our long-term Sonata.

But it turned out we'd already gotten this update, apparently during a service visit for an airbag light in late December 2014. The dealer never mentioned that detail to us, though. No one on staff had been motivated to poke around for Android Auto either, since most of us have iPhones. I am one of the few editors with an Android phone.

I've started using Android Auto with my Sony Xperia Z3 Compact running the Lollipop 5.0.2 operating system. Although this interface is still in its infancy, I like it a lot so far.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: A Nice Companion When You're Not Going Anywhere

July 17, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

The Los Angeles metro area typically ranks as having the worst traffic in the United States. So that's our starting base. Now add in a big roadside brush fire right at the exact point where two big freeway arteries meet and effectively serve as the only way, once you've committed, to drive in or out of Los Angeles from the north. This fire blocks lanes and causes every motorist to be a looky-loo. Now try to drive through all this at 4 p.m. like I did recently. Fun!

Thankfully, I happened to be driving our 2015 Hyundai Sonata. There's not much else in our long-term fleet right now that can match the Sonata for providing long-duration comfort and serenity.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Veering to the Right

July 16, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

In recent weeks, the United States has seen landmark Supreme Court decisions that have tended towards the social left of the political spectrum. Meanwhile, our 2015 Hyundai Sonata is counter-acting all that by pulling hard to the right, so much so that Mike Huckabee has announced our car will be the official vehicle for his presidential campaign. (Ba-dum-tss! Thanks everybody, I'll be here all week!)

I drove about 450 miles on the highway in our Sonata recently and noticed the whole time that the car had strong tendency to pull to the right, counter-acted by holding the steering wheel slightly to the left. I'm normally forgiving of such things in our long-term test cars, but it was annoying and fatiguing on long drives in the Sonata. Plus, I knew I had another 700 miles of highway driving looming for the 4th of July holiday.

It was time to get this issue addressed. I headed over to my local tire and wheel shop (Tires Pros in Fresno, Calif.,) and had the guys there take a look.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: First Service and Tire Rotation Woes

July 14, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

We received no warning as our 2015 Hyundai Sonata neared the 7,500-mile mark, the point designated for its first service. The onboard mileage-based minder on the Hyundai can be disabled manually and apparently that happened to ours sometime in the past 7,500 miles. No matter, as we record service intervals as part of the check-in procedure for every car in the fleet and knew when the Sonata was due for service.

There are no Hyundai dealerships near the office, so I took the Sonata home one night and in to Puente Hills Hyundai the following morning.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Fuel Economy Update for June: New Records for Best Range and MPG

July 10, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

June was a busy month for our 2015 Hyundai Sonata as we added close to 2,000 miles to the odometer. A good chunk of that came from Phil Reed's road trip to Mount Whitney plus some long-distance driving of my own. The result was a rise in our lifetime fuel economy average and a new fill-up mpg record.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Rear-Facing Convertible Car Seat Fits Better On Side

July 8, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Previously, I installed my daughter's rear-facing convertible car seat in the rear center position of our 2015 Hyundai Sonata. It worked out OK, but I had to use the seatbelt to install the seat rather than the LATCH connectors, and my extra-wide First Years True Fit C680 SI car seat blocked use of the rear passenger-side seatbelt.

This time I felt lazy and just wanted to use LATCH, so I put the seat in the rear passenger-side position. Surprisingly, there was still plenty of legroom for a 5'10 tall passenger to ride up front.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Real World Numbers

July 2, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Preparing to leave on a road trip, I filled up our 2015 Hyundai Sonata and was shocked to find that it only got 16 mpg for that tank. The previous tank was much better at 22 mpg, but still well below the EPA-promised 29 mpg combined. Looking at our fuel economy updates, I see other editors have flagged this discrepancy.

But, hey, what better side benefit for a road trip than to check the fuel economy? So I filled up before I left, once on the road, and again when I returned from the 609-mile excursion.

Here's what I learned about EPA estimates versus real-world MPG in our Sonata.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Good First Impressions, But Do They Last?

June 30, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

I pick up my wife from her job every day, and when I showed up in the 2015 Hyundai Sonata, her face lit up. "Nice car!" she said, getting in. "How do you like it?"

At that point, I'd only driven it home, but I was planning to take it on a short road trip. So I didn't have a ready answer for her. But as I drove over 600 miles, up into the mountains and California's Owens Valley, I kept a list of pros and cons.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Winded and Wheezy on Mountain Climbs

June 25, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

The Whitney Portal Road in Lone Pine, Calif., which climbs to an elevation of 8,400 feet along a twisting road, was a great test for our 2015 Hyundai Sonata. The sedan handled the hairpin corners with confidence and the brakes never faded, keeping us from going through the guardrail and down into oblivion.

But one part of the package was missing: power.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: I Like Almost Everything About It

June 22, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

I'm beginning to get attached to our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata, and I certainly didn't expect that. As I circled through our company parking garage last week, I realized I was looking forward to my afternoon commute in the Sonata.

As I've previously written and as Scott Oldham has said, the Hyundai engineers did a nice job with the steering in this car. There's a precision that you notice as soon you turn the steering wheel (which, by the way, feels like it has a smaller diameter than the previous-generation Sonata's wheel), and that whets my appetite for the rest of the drive.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Good Sound From Hyundai's Own Label

June 17, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Good sound doesn't have to carry a big label. I realized that when digging into the stereo system in our 2015 Hyundai Sonata. While sitting in traffic, drumming on the steering wheel, I glanced at one of the car's front speakers to see what brand Hyundai selected for its midsize sedan.

"Dimension." What's that?

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Can't Charge Everything

June 15, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Just about any new car has at least one USB port these days. They're great for loading music or charging a phone, but they have their limitations. I tried to top off my iPad with this port in our 2015 Hyundai Sonata, only to receive the "not charging" message, which roughly translates into "this port will take three days to charge your iPad."

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Bright or Low Light, This Blue Is Just Right

June 10, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Whenever I picture our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata in my mind, I see it as a silver car. I'm not sure why, since our test car is actually a very fetching shade of blue. Noveau Blue, to be exact.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Fuel Economy Update for May — Overall Mileage Improves

June 8, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

After a slow April, our 2015 Hyundai Sonata racked up nearly 1,800 miles in May. Scott Jacobs gets credit for many of those miles thanks to a trip to northern California. He found that he liked the manual shift feature even if the engine wasn't always strong enough to make a pass.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Looks More Expensive Than Before

June 5, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Since the day it was revealed to the public, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata has taken hit after hit for its conservative styling. It was inevitable. The previous model was almost universally loved for its extroverted styling. It put the Sonata on the lists of buyers who might have otherwise overlooked it, which was precisely the point, of course.

This time around, Hyundai dialed back the styling.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Does Details Better than Accord

June 2, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

You know what doesn't much matter in the grand scheme of things, but bugs me anyway? A lot of stuff, actually, but in this case, it's when a high-resolution central infotainment display is paired with a back-to-basics trip computer in the gauge cluster.

I'm looking at you, Honda Accord.

In fact, the 2015 Accord's standard 8-inch central display can be supplemented with a separate touchscreen that slots in below it. Dual screens, dude! But you get the same simple trip computer either way, with a circular housing that reminds me of those digital Casio watches I used to collect in seventh grade. They were pretty cool. In 1993.

Happily, our 2015 Hyundai Sonata gets this detail right.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport: Northbound & Down

May 27, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport

I got our suitcases into the trunk and my suit on the coat hook. The wife and I were finally ready to take our 2015 Hyundai Sonata six hours north to San Francisco for a wedding. Little did I realize it was graduation weekend for many universities.

I've made this journey, literally, a couple of hundred times in the last 17 years. The fact that I know every landmark relative to arrival time makes it that much more painful when the roads are clogged.

This trip was going to suck. Both ways.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Grocery-Smashing Trunk Hinges

May 25, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

It's not the first time we noted the 2015 Hyundai Sonata has intrusive hinges in its cargo area. But today I realized just how annoying the Sonata's trunk setup can be.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Clawing Back MPG In Eco Mode

May 19, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Somebody has to drive our 2015 Hyundai Sonata in Eco Mode. The boss ain't gonna do it. Might as well be me.

With 60 mostly-highway miles ahead of me and light, nighttime traffic, I figured this might be a good time to try out Eco mode. In this scientific, controlled experiment, I simply wanted to see if I could endure the commute tethered to the electronic ballast, namely duller throttle and lower rpm upshifts.

It wasn't so bad.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Fuel Economy Update for April - City Miles Drop Our Combined Average

May 13, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

It was a rather uneventful month for our 2015 Hyundai Sonata. We only added around 500 miles to its odometer and most of those were in town. As a result, it turned in one of its least-efficient tanks so far at just 17.5 miles per gallon. That dropped its overall average to 24.7 mpg, which is well below its rated number in combined driving.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Easy-to-Use Navigation System

May 7, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

You would think most manufacturers would have the whole navigation thing down to a science by now. You would be wrong. Some are too clever for their own good while others use logic that isn't very logical. The setup in our 2015 Hyundai Sonata is one of the better systems I've used in a while.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Hey Driver, Your Wheels Aren't Straight

May 5, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Parking on a hilly street the other night, I left the wheels of our 2015 Hyundai Sonata turned in toward the curb. When I got back in the car, the Hyundai quickly flashed me this message:

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Better Steering and Shifting in Sport Mode

May 1, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

I've been driving our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata a lot, often choosing it over sexier, more powerful cars and I never regret it.

Sure, my kids think I'm crazy for passing up our long-term Jaguar F-Type and Ford Mustang GT to drive home in the Hyundai, but this is one of those cars that just feels right to me, from the shape of its seat, to its sightlines and steering feel.

However, I always drive it in Sport Mode.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: I'm Impressed

April 27, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Some cars are just overrated. That's how I always felt about the previous generation Hyundai Sonata, which debuted in 2011. It was okay. Maybe even good. But great? Revolutionary? Special? Not really.

I didn't even think it was particularly attractive. There were better cars in its class, including the Kia Optima (which shared many of its components), the Honda Accord, the Mazda 6, the Ford Fusion and others. We had a long-term 2011 Sonata in our test fleet, which we drove about 20,000 miles. It was reliable transportation and others on our staff became quite enamored with it. I didn't.

Instead, I sat back in amazement as the Sonata was bestowed with praise and sales success. For five years it felt like every auto writer loved it and every midsize sedan buyer wanted one. Which brings me to our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata. This is an inspired car.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Aux Controls Keep Your Eyes on the Road

April 21, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

No one is going to buy a car because it has good steering wheel buttons. They're called "auxiliary" controls for a reason, but when the designers get it right, it sure is helpful.

Our 2015 Hyundai Sonata has a great setup that is easy to learn and usable without looking. The latter is important as these controls are intended to keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes focused on the road.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: BMX Bike Fits

April 14, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

"Daddy, will my bike fit in your car? I thought it would be fun to take it over to the beach and go for a ride."

I wasn't sure. In our driveway sat our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata. It has a good-sized trunk, but I didn't know if my daughter's 20-inch BMX bike would fit.

"I don't know honey," I shot back trying to hide the doubt in my voice. "We can try."

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Earns "A" and "B" Ratings From Edmunds

April 10, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

By virtue of utilizing Hyundai's 2.4-liter four cylinder engine, our long-term Sport trim 2015 Hyundai Sonata earns a "B" rating from our editors. Other models in the Sonata line score higher. Read on to discover why.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Fuel Economy Update for March

April 6, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata didn't go on any long road trips during the month of March. It hit the 5,000-mile mark early on in the month, but from there it was mostly city miles and short commutes for the Sonata.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Vastly Better Seats Than Before

April 2, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Ed has already written that the driver seat in our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata is quite comfortable and supportive on long commutes. I heartily agree with him and would like to add this is a much better driver seat than the one we had in our 2011 Hyundai Sonata GLS.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Rides and Steers Better Than Its Predecessor

March 31, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

If you're a long-time reader of our long-term road tests, you might remember that we used to have a 2011 Hyundai Sonata GLS in our fleet. I liked the idea of that car, which offered lots of space and lots of features in an attractive wrapper, but the actual execution left me cold. Fortunately, a few of my complaints have been addressed in the 2015 Hyundai Sonata.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Rear-Facing Convertible Car Seat Fits Well in the Center, Can't Use LATCH

March 27, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

If you only have one child and you don't have a bad back (that would be aggravated by repeated stooping), it's easy to make a case for buying a midsize sedan like our 2015 Hyundai Sonata. There's so much room to spare in here, even compared to most small crossover SUVs and the rare compact minivan like my Mazda 5.

Given all the room in the Sonata, I chose to install my kid's larger-than-average convertible car seat in the rear center position. Hyundai gives you a LATCH setup only in the rear outboard positions, but as usual, I was tempted to use the inboard lower anchors for a center installation. Fortunately, Hyundai lays out what is and isn't OK very clearly in the Sonata's owner's manual.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Spacious Rear Seat in Most Dimensions

March 25, 2015

2015 Audi A3

After sitting in the back seat of our 2015 Hyundai Sonata, I figured the dimensions probably measured up favorably to competitors like the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry. Turns out this Sonata does much better in some respects than others.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: A Slightly Less Distinctive But Very Straightforward Control Layout

March 20, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

There's a reassuring simplicity to the control layout in our 2015 Hyundai Sonata in the daytime, and at night when the illumination is white for the main instrument dials and blue for everything else.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: 5,000 Miles So Far

March 13, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

We've had our 2015 Hyundai Sonata in our long-term fleet for about three months now. Just a few days ago we also clicked off 5,000 miles, which puts us on schedule to achieve our typical goal of amassing 20,000 miles for a car with a one-year stay.

So far, our Sonata has been very well received.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Big Trunk

March 9, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

I've loaded a few items into the trunk of our 2015 Hyundai Sonata so far. Each time, I thought to myself that the trunk seemed pretty roomy. And in actuality, the Sonata is a leader among its main rivals for trunk space on the spec sheet, too.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Fuel Economy Update for February

March 5, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

In February we didn't use our 2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport for any road trips. Much of the driving was commuting around in Edmunds' home base of Los Angeles. In total, we added about 1,500 miles.

As a result our fuel economy for the month hovered around the lower end of the spectrum.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: A Very Likeable Sedan

March 4, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

I've been driving our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata for a few days in a row. It's sort of a sneaky car. It's not going to blow you away with flash and pizzazz, but pay attention and you'll realize that it goes about its business in an impressively polished manner. For just about everything I'd actually want in a midsize sedan, the Sonata's got it.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Opinions on the Touchscreen Interface

March 3, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Our 2015 Hyundai Sonata is equipped with the optional navigation system and 8-inch touchscreen display. A couple of my coworkers have written some updates on how they like the center stack control layout (here and here), so I thought I'd follow up with some specific commentary on the Sonata's latest touchscreen.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Smooth and Refined Engine

February 24, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Look past all those plastic parts on the engine in our 2015 Hyundai Sonata and you'll find a very refined four-cylinder power plant. Whether you're wringing it out while getting on the highway or just cruising around town, the 2.4-liter engine sounds and feels well suited to this sedan.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Sliding Sun Visors

February 20, 2015

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

It was a super bright sunny morning in Southern California, and as I was headed into the office, I was grateful to find our 2015 Hyundai Sonata has sliding sun visors.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Fuel Economy Update for January

February 4, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

January was an active month for our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata. We drove it for 1,373 miles and gave the Sonata its first track-test and evaluated it on our standard ratings loop.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Hands-Free Smart Trunk

February 2, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

I was reading through the Monroney (or window sticker) of our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport and noticed that, as part of the $1,700 Premium package, our car has a Hands-Free Smart Trunk Opener.

I asked Road Test Assistant Cameron Rogers if he knew anything about this. Not because he's our resident Hyundai Sonata expert or anything, but rather because he was the nearest person to me at the time.

"Nope," he said. "Let's go find out."

Off to the Edmunds parking garage we went.  

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Performance Tested

January 27, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

We took our 2015 Hyundai Sonata to the test track to collect some performance data.

It's not the Eco as Monty mentioned. We opted for the Sport trim which adds a sport grille, sport door chrome molding, sport turn indicators on the side mirrors, sport touchscreen audio display, and sport automatic headlight control. But will it be sporty at the track?

Read on to find out.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Did We Get the Wrong Car?

January 21, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

I'm not going to lie to you. When I realized our 2015 Hyundai Sonata was not the Eco model, I was a little bit bummed. "We got the wrong car," I thought to myself.

The reason I thought this was because we had a short-term Sonata Eco test car in here a little while ago and it actually outperformed the more powerful 2.0T Sonata (which has an extra 68 horsepower over the Eco!) in a straight line, the Eco hitting 60 mph in 7.5 seconds, the 2.0T in 8.3. That surprised us, but then the Eco is the only Sonata with the new quick-shifting dual-clutch seven-speed transmission, and that 1.6 turbo is a lively little piece.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Handy Storage Cubbies

January 19, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

I like the thought that was put into small-item storage in the 2015 Hyundai Sonata. For instance the front bin, where the USB port and your music device reside, has a handy security door to keep things hidden when you're not in the car.

There's also a cubby that's decent at holding cell phones in place ahead of the cupholders. A lot of us end up using cupholders as cell phone holders during transit, so it's nice to have a different, more effective spot for them.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: More Center Stack Observations

January 16, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

The center stack/dash vent combo in the 2015 Hyundai Sonata is different than most we're seeing these days. How so? Well, first off, it's rather simple in its design and layout. It's a huge, flat surface with plenty of large buttons, along with knobs for controls that deserve knobs. Like for stereo volume and tuning.

It's also not perfectly symmetrical, as the central screen and center stack controls don't perfectly line up, and the left-side vent is offset as well. Not a problem in the least, just an observation.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Road Trip to the Rock, Part 2

January 14, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Picking up from where we left off in Road Trip to the Rock, Part 1, the trip back from Morro Bay, California to Orange County in the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport went smoothly.

Sunday traffic was pretty light, partially in thanks to a reasonably early start time. The lack of stop-and-go no doubt helped the Sonata's fuel economy numbers. The 31.3 mpg we achieved for this almost-entirely highway trip was a bit off the EPA's 35 mpg highway estimate for the Sonata Sport. There was a very minor bit of puttering around town.

Data from the trip:
Total roundtrip miles: 512
Actual trip mpg: 31.3
Onboard indicated trip mpg: 34.2

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Road Trip to the Rock, Part 1

January 13, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

I used our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport for a quick weekend trip to Morro Bay. This small California village is best known for Morro Rock, a nearly 600-foot-high volcanic plug. At least, that's what Wikipedia says it is.

To me, it's a giant rock with a small tourist trap disguised as a fishing village nearby. But it's a neat little town to visit, with some great restaurants and hotels and fun things to see and do. And this time of year it's not too crowded, and it was even blissfully chilly (into the 40s at night).

Our long-term Sonata Sport with its 185-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder did well on the trip. This naturally aspirated engine isn't brimming with power, but it does okay in most situations.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Mottled Seat Design

January 12, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

"I think the seats in this 2015 Hyundai Sonata are what they call mottled," my friend said to me (I know, it's strange, but she quite often talks in a way that has her listing the year, make and model of the car I'm driving, almost as if she knows that later when I write my update I'll need to drop in a hyperlink).

"Modeled, what do you mean they're modeled," I asked?

"No, not modeled with a D, you dumbo, mottled with two Ts," she said.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Fuel Economy Update for December

January 7, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Our 2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport logged 1,824 miles in December, its first month of service in our fleet. It averaged 26.0 mpg for the month, a bit below its EPA rating of 28 mpg combined (24 city/35 highway).

Our best fill of the month was 31.7 mpg during a mostly highway road trip to Morro Bay, while our worst fill was 23.0 mpg. It achieved a best range of 370.4 miles, and that's likely to increase in upcoming months as editors experiment with how far they can run the Sonata's fuel tank down.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Airbag Non-Issue

January 2, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

We've all been in relationships where the slightest lapse in communication or feedback results in a spiral of worry, doubt, confusion and dread. Your day got busy and you forgot to call. You didn't return a text within the allotted 60 seconds. Some offhanded comment was reinterpreted through many layers of psychoanalysis and next thing you know, you're sitting down for "a talk."

In most cases, there's no need to jump to conclusions. Sometimes we just get preoccupied. So it is with our new 2015 Hyundai Sonata. It flashed us an airbag light. Our younger, less-emotionally developed selves would have kicked in the gauge cluster and dislodged the side mirror with a Louisville Slugger.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Love the User-Friendly Design

December 29, 2014

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Our 2015 Hyundai Sonata might not earn many points for originality, but the design of its dashboard controls is as user-friendly as you're going to find in any sedan.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Solid Driver Seat So Far

December 25, 2014

2015 Hyundai Sonata

We haven't had our 2015 Hyundai Sonata for very long, but I've already managed to endure several multi-hour stints in the driver seat thanks to a sizable commute and typical L.A. traffic.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Airbag Warning

December 19, 2014

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Not even 500 miles into our time with our new 2015 Hyundai Sonata and up jumps the airbag light. Boo.

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