2015 Hyundai Sonata: Better Steering and Shifting in Sport Mode
May 1, 2015
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.
Like our long-term Kia K900, our Hyundai Sonata Sport has three driving modes: Normal (the default setting), ECO and Sport. To activate the ECO or Sport mode, you press the Drive Mode switch on the console behind the Sonata's shifter. Push it once for ECO, twice for Sport. And you must reactivate it every time you cycle the key.
I never use ECO.
In Sport Mode, the changes are subtle but preferable. The Sonata's throttle sensitivity and suspension tuning don't change, but its steering gets a bit heavier and, most importantly, the transmission holds gears longer, or as the owner's manual says, "Up-shifting is delayed."
As I said, the changes are subtle. Nothing is cranked up to eleven. The differences are just enough to give the sedan a little more response, a little more spunk. But that spunk comes with a warning. Two, actually. The Hyundai's owner's manual also states that if Sport Mode is activated, "after accelerating and releasing the accelerator pedal, the gear and engine speed RPM may not drop as soon as in NORMAL mode."
Of course, any real driver will tell you that's exactly what you want.
The second warning simply reads, "In SPORT mode, the fuel efficiency may decrease."
Duh, that's what ECO mode is for.
Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @ 5,733 miles