2015 Hyundai Sonata: Did We Get the Wrong Car?
January 21, 2015
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.
My point is, I wasn't expecting much the first time I drove our Sonata Sport, with its 185-horsepower 2.4-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder. This is the drivetrain we're thinking will be the volume seller for the Sonata. Boredom was what I was thinking was in store for me.
But then I drove it. And you know what? It's a pretty nice car. Quiet, smooth riding, super comfortable front seats and a well-thought-out interior. The four-cylinder has just enough power so it doesn't feel underpowered, and the traditional six-speed automatic transmission doesn't have any of the low-speed lurching we keep coming across these days. The throttle pedal isn't overly abrupt, either.
So could the Eco model be better? It's possible. We'd need to spend more time with one to know for sure. But what I can tell you right now is that this Sonata Sport is a damn good car.
Mike Monticello, Senior Road Test Editor @ 2,356 miles