2015 Hyundai Sonata: Performance Tested
January 27, 2015
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.Vehicle: 2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport
Driver: Chris Walton
Drive Type: Front-wheel drive
Transmission Type: 6-speed automatic
Engine Type: Naturally aspirated inline-4
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 2,359 / 144
Redline (rpm): 7,000
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 185 @ 6,000
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 178 @ 4,000
Brake Type (front): One piece ventilated disc with single-piston sliding calipers
Brake Type (rear): One piece solid disc with single-piston sliding calipers
Suspension Type (front): MacPherson strut with anti-roll bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent multilink with coil springs and anti-roll bar
Tire Size (front): 215/55R17 94V M+S
Tire Size (rear): 215/55R17 94V M+S
Tire Brand: Hankook
Tire Model: Kinergy GT
Tire Type: All-season
As Tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,362
0-30 (sec): 3.2 (w/ TC on 3.4)
0-45 (sec): 5.3 (w/ TC on 5.7)
0-60 (sec): 8.2 (w/TC on 8.6)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 7.9 (w/TC on 8.3)
0-75 (sec): 12.5 (w/TC on 12.9)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 16.2 @ 86.5 (w/TC on 16.4 @ 86.0)
30-0 (ft): 30
60-0 (ft): 119
Slalom (mph): 65.1 (64.0 w/ESC on)
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.86 (0.86 w/ESC on)
RPM @ 70: 2,000
Acceleration comments: Even with traction control disabled, the Sonata 2.4L Sport cannot manage to get any wheelspin whatsoever. Upshifts are smooth and reasonably quick. In manual-shift mode, the engine reaches indicated redline and auto-upshifts. Very little acceleration difference between Normal and Sport mode (in this test), but in normal driving Sport delays upshifts at part throttle and makes noticeable downshifts while braking. Power is linear and modest, but produces competitive acceleration to its peers. There are no shift paddles, but a manual shift gate is available on the console shifter, where knocking the shifter toward the driver (good) engages it, but upshift = push forward and downshift = pull back (not our preferred orientation).
Braking comments: Medium-firm brake pedal from first to last stop. Very little dive, excellent straight-line stability and little ABS commotion from the brake system or the tires. Negligible distance increase with additional runs, and pedal feel and poise remained. The Sonata manages shorter stops than some similar 'base' cars in its segment.
Handling comments: Like the rest of the Sonata lineup, this is the kind of car that inspires confidence in the rapid transitions of the slalom, but rewards prudence. Sure, the electronic stability control (ESC) system is sophisticated and makes subtle corrections and recedes once it's satisfied. However, if pushed beyond the limit of the chassis (rather than the tires), it can get a little loose at the rear of the car. Commendable grip and poise on the skidpad with the grip going away nearly simultaneously front/rear, but with a slight bias at the front. Steering response is good, weight feels artificial, precision is good, and while it has more "feel" than the previous generation Sonata, it is still rather numb.
Cameron Rogers, Vehicle Testing Assistant @ 2,438 miles