Road Trip Ruminations - 2015 Hyundai Sonata Long-Term Road Test

2015 Hyundai Sonata Long-Term Road Test

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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.

Before we get started, keep this in mind: Some of these are legitimate issues while others are the personal opinion of a guy with annoyingly specific taste and preferences.

  • Good grief this thing is quiet. Like "accidentally go 50 over the highway speed limit" quiet. There's some seam-slap from the tires over LA's horrible, randomly placed concrete slabs we call freeways, but it's minor. This thing's a tomb.

  • The powertrain doesn't agree with my driving style. At freeway speeds, I like a car to accelerate when I hit the throttle. The Hyundai likes to debate the issue of changing down a gear. Dislike. Sport mode kinda fixes this.

  • Meh seats. These featureless buckets don't breathe or hold you in place. Would a little thigh support kill anyone? My passenger thought the seat heating was weak.

  • I'm not a fan of the steering wheel material. The spec chart suggests that it's leather, as part of the $1,900 Premium package, but I' m not sure which animal it comes from. Something kind of oily.

  • Graphics on the infotainment system are great. So is the functionality. Sadlier already told you this, though. He's unfortunately wrong about the central IP being impressive in any way. But we can't start down the road on what JS is wrong about. We'll be here all year.

  • It's about $2,500 cheaper than I expected it to be. I had a rough idea where Sonata pricing started (+/- $21,000) and that the Sport* starts a little above that. But I guessed that this car, as equipped had a sticker price of $30,000 or just under that. It doesn't. It stickers at $27,560. That's an impressive price for this level of quiet, stuff and comfort. Very compelling. Add in the big warranty and you've got a package that's hard to beat. If a family member or close friend was in the market in this segment, this would be among my top recommendations.

  • *I'm not 100 percent sure that Hyundai knows what this word means. It's not what this is. At all.

  • I'd buy an Accord. Even if it is more expensive, I just prefer the way the Accord drives and feels. I like the steering wheel better, I like the seats better and I like the big new touchscreen display better than I like this one. I prefer Honda's powertrain, too. And for sure I like the way the Accord looks more than I like this one. Once again, Sadlier disagrees with me here. Disagreement is good. People have different opinions on styling and that's why they have different car designs. He thought the last one had a "melting candle" look. My thinking was that at least getting your inspiration from a melting candle is better than this design which can best be praised for its efficiency of sheetmetal stamping. Also, he wears glasses so....

Mike Magrath, Features Editor

 

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