2015 Hyundai Sonata: Tracking Down the Missing Rear Seat Vents
by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on October 29, 2015
"It's hot back here."
This is already a potentially volatile situation. My mom and my girlfriend are in the back of our 2015 Hyundai Sonata, and we're stuck in stop-and-go traffic. The climate control system says 70 degrees and auto. My butt confirms this. Our Sonata does a great job keeping cool, so I don't believe the complaint.
I ask them to check the rear vents. Maybe the louvers have been shut. They can't find any.
"That's ridiculous," I say. I reach behind the center arm rest and feel for the vents.
There aren't any.
Not only are mom and girlfriend uncomfortable, I'm wrong, too. Uh oh.
I push the front vents up towards the roof and crank the air conditioning down to "Lo". I hope it helps, but I can't hear any complaints from the back over the sound of the fans. Once we get to our destination, I hop in the back seat.
Not only are there no vents in the center arm rest, there's nothing under the seats or in the pillars between the front and rear doors.
Curious, I started researching midsize sedans. These vehicles, after all, are built with the idea that you're probably going to put people-like things in the back seat. It's why the back seat is there. It's why our Sonata's back seat feels so large.
I was surprised to find that, as fiercely competitive as this segment may be, no entry-level midsize sedan has standard rear vents.
Because finding this information was such a pain, here's a list of how much you need to spend to get rear vents in a midsize sedan, from least expensive to most. These prices include destination, but not current incentives. I've also opted for the automatic transmission for the Mazda6 and Honda Accord to keep the comparison fair with the rest of the group.
|Ford Fusion SE||$24,555|
|Kia Optima EX||$25,460|
|Chevrolet Malibu 1LT||$25,895|
|Hyundai Sonata Sport (Premium Package)||$26,435|
|Nissan Altima 2.5 SV (Convenience Package)||$26,895|
|Honda Accord EX||$27,100*|
|Volkswagen Passat 1.8T SE||$27,100|
|Toyota Camry XLE||$27,145|
This list leads me towards a well-optioned compact car.
Transporting your mom and your girlfriend simultaneously? It's best avoided.
Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor