2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport: Northbound & Down
May 27, 2015
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.
Interstate 5 is two lanes in each direction, which means traffic gets backed up plenty by trucks. A long line of cars gets stuck behind the grandma going half-a-mile-per-hour faster than the truck she's trying to pass, while the guy in the M5 hangs so close to your rear bumper you can tell what aftershave he's wearing. It can get rather stressful.
In hectic situations like this, I thank the Hyundai engineer gods for Shiftronic. Trying to maintain the train of cool while passing the convoy is easily upset by the constant use of brakes. The Sonata's quick and responsive 6-speed Shiftronic made things so much easier. I could glide at a safe distance with little use of the brakes. This is a key stress relief in a near 400-mile traffic jam.
On the engine side, I'd agree with many other editors. The Sonata' s 185-horsepower, 2.4-liter four is respectable, but not impressive. It gets loud when making spirited highway passes, and it doesn't have the power to make many of the passes I'd like to make, but it does the job.
The only hiccup I had was after starting the Sonata for out return trip. There seemed to be a buzz coming from the engine bay. The sound reminded me of a loose fan shroud. I popped the hood and poked around, but couldn't pinpoint the noise. After the car warmed up, the rattle seemed to go away. Maybe the dealership can find the naughty bit of plastic at our next service interval.
Scott Jacobs, Senior Manager, Photography @ 7,132 miles