2015 Hyundai Sonata Long-Term Road Test - Interior

2015 Hyundai Sonata Long-Term Road Test

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Blinded by the Light

by Mike Magrath, Features Editor on November 30, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

By most any measure, our 2015 Hyundai Sonata is a very pleasant and competent family sedan.

Except that it's constantly trying to blind me.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: The Long Road to Phoenix

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on November 26, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Duty called me to a business trip in Arizona, where I would hear all about the new Nissan Titan XD. My destination in Phoenix wasn't all that far away, so the decision between driving and flying was easy. Our 2015 Hyundai Sonata sedan got the call because I hadn't road-tripped it yet.

Nominally, the drive to Phoenix is a simple six-hour interstate cruise. But my event started in the morning and I'd lose an hour changing time zones. I had to leave the day before and grab a hotel, and since it was a day off I decided to stray off course and take my time. I'd never been to the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument before, and I had my eye on a couple of other random spots.

All told, my elongated figure-eight round-trip route would amount to well over 1,300 miles.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Warns About Losing Your Grip

by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on November 24, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

It was a nice, crisp, early November morning as I headed east on Interstate 8 toward Arizona in our 2015 Hyundai Sonata. The sun was just barely peeking over the horizon and outshining the more distant stars as I left San Diego behind and worked my way over the many 4,000-foot summits of the Laguna mountains.

A small yellow snowflake icon winked on near the outside temperature gauge, which to my surprise read 39 degrees. Funny, it hadn't been near that cold when I backed out of my driveway in the dark some two hours earlier. And that's exactly the point of the light.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Tracking Down the Missing Rear Seat Vents

by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on October 29, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

"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.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Blind-Spot Audio Alert Promotes Bad Habits

by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on October 27, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Normally, blind-spot monitoring systems provide a subtle and welcome alert. I'll always recommend proper side-mirror placement first, but I'm happy to have the additional safety layer. Except when driving our 2015 Hyundai Sonata. Its system is not subtle. And its effects will make you use the turn signals less, further worsening the world as a place to drive in.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: A Hyundai I'd Like to Own

By Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on September 11, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

I drove our 2015 Hyundai Sonata to San Francisco over Labor Day weekend and came away more impressed with the car than ever. Like Mr. Reed, I would buy one if I were shopping in this segment. No hesitation. After years of steady improvement, the Sonata is finally at the head of its class. It's classy, capable and confident.

The new Genesis sedan is the first Hyundai in history that I'd be genuinely pleased to own, and I'm here to tell you that this Sonata is officially the second.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: A Hotter Hand than Honda?

by Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor on September 4, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

The time has come to buy a second car for my family, so I began considering the 2015 Hyundai Sonata in a completely new light. I had taken it on several road trips recently, including a recent blast to Las Vegas, and was intimately acquainted with it. My wife would be the primary driver of this new car and she's liked the long-term Sonata when I bring it home.

The problem is, I've always been heavily predisposed to Hondas. The only thing that could sway me was to see that the Sonata would either save me (us) some bucks or provide superior features. So I put the two cars in Edmunds' most useful car buying tool, the vehicle comparator (it's gone by several names over the years). I wanted to see if any significant difference jumped out.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Nice Light for Dark Driving

by Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor on September 2, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Driving around Los Angeles at night there is so much light that I hardly notice the effectiveness of a car's interior lighting. But recently I drove to Las Vegas after dark, and on the long stretches of unlit interstate I came to appreciate the design of the 2015 Hyundai Sonata lighting. Two features in particular were especially thoughtful.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: A Macro Look at Interior Materials

August 12, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Looking at our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata, it's amazing that it costs $24K. In a previous update, Ed Hellwig gave the exterior props for its handsome, tasteful, and expensive-looking styling.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Better Mirror Than BMW

August 3, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Brent's public shaming of the M235i's bare-bones rearview mirror (among other things) struck a chord with me, because I had our $39,745 Audi A3 the other night, and it's got a non-auto-dimming, non-Homelink-having mirror, too.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: A Nice Companion When You're Not Going Anywhere

July 17, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

The Los Angeles metro area typically ranks as having the worst traffic in the United States. So that's our starting base. Now add in a big roadside brush fire right at the exact point where two big freeway arteries meet and effectively serve as the only way, once you've committed, to drive in or out of Los Angeles from the north. This fire blocks lanes and causes every motorist to be a looky-loo. Now try to drive through all this at 4 p.m. like I did recently. Fun!

Thankfully, I happened to be driving our 2015 Hyundai Sonata. There's not much else in our long-term fleet right now that can match the Sonata for providing long-duration comfort and serenity.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Rear-Facing Convertible Car Seat Fits Better On Side

July 8, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Previously, I installed my daughter's rear-facing convertible car seat in the rear center position of our 2015 Hyundai Sonata. It worked out OK, but I had to use the seatbelt to install the seat rather than the LATCH connectors, and my extra-wide First Years True Fit C680 SI car seat blocked use of the rear passenger-side seatbelt.

This time I felt lazy and just wanted to use LATCH, so I put the seat in the rear passenger-side position. Surprisingly, there was still plenty of legroom for a 5'10 tall passenger to ride up front.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Good First Impressions, But Do They Last?

June 30, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

I pick up my wife from her job every day, and when I showed up in the 2015 Hyundai Sonata, her face lit up. "Nice car!" she said, getting in. "How do you like it?"

At that point, I'd only driven it home, but I was planning to take it on a short road trip. So I didn't have a ready answer for her. But as I drove over 600 miles, up into the mountains and California's Owens Valley, I kept a list of pros and cons.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Does Details Better than Accord

June 2, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

You know what doesn't much matter in the grand scheme of things, but bugs me anyway? A lot of stuff, actually, but in this case, it's when a high-resolution central infotainment display is paired with a back-to-basics trip computer in the gauge cluster.

I'm looking at you, Honda Accord.

In fact, the 2015 Accord's standard 8-inch central display can be supplemented with a separate touchscreen that slots in below it. Dual screens, dude! But you get the same simple trip computer either way, with a circular housing that reminds me of those digital Casio watches I used to collect in seventh grade. They were pretty cool. In 1993.

Happily, our 2015 Hyundai Sonata gets this detail right.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: I'm Impressed

April 27, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Some cars are just overrated. That's how I always felt about the previous generation Hyundai Sonata, which debuted in 2011. It was okay. Maybe even good. But great? Revolutionary? Special? Not really.

I didn't even think it was particularly attractive. There were better cars in its class, including the Kia Optima (which shared many of its components), the Honda Accord, the Mazda 6, the Ford Fusion and others. We had a long-term 2011 Sonata in our test fleet, which we drove about 20,000 miles. It was reliable transportation and others on our staff became quite enamored with it. I didn't.

Instead, I sat back in amazement as the Sonata was bestowed with praise and sales success. For five years it felt like every auto writer loved it and every midsize sedan buyer wanted one. Which brings me to our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata. This is an inspired car.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Aux Controls Keep Your Eyes on the Road

April 21, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

No one is going to buy a car because it has good steering wheel buttons. They're called "auxiliary" controls for a reason, but when the designers get it right, it sure is helpful.

Our 2015 Hyundai Sonata has a great setup that is easy to learn and usable without looking. The latter is important as these controls are intended to keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes focused on the road.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Rear-Facing Convertible Car Seat Fits Well in the Center, Can't Use LATCH

March 27, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

If you only have one child and you don't have a bad back (that would be aggravated by repeated stooping), it's easy to make a case for buying a midsize sedan like our 2015 Hyundai Sonata. There's so much room to spare in here, even compared to most small crossover SUVs and the rare compact minivan like my Mazda 5.

Given all the room in the Sonata, I chose to install my kid's larger-than-average convertible car seat in the rear center position. Hyundai gives you a LATCH setup only in the rear outboard positions, but as usual, I was tempted to use the inboard lower anchors for a center installation. Fortunately, Hyundai lays out what is and isn't OK very clearly in the Sonata's owner's manual.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Spacious Rear Seat in Most Dimensions

March 25, 2015

2015 Audi A3

After sitting in the back seat of our 2015 Hyundai Sonata, I figured the dimensions probably measured up favorably to competitors like the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry. Turns out this Sonata does much better in some respects than others.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: A Slightly Less Distinctive But Very Straightforward Control Layout

March 20, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

There's a reassuring simplicity to the control layout in our 2015 Hyundai Sonata in the daytime, and at night when the illumination is white for the main instrument dials and blue for everything else.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: A Very Likeable Sedan

March 4, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

I've been driving our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata for a few days in a row. It's sort of a sneaky car. It's not going to blow you away with flash and pizzazz, but pay attention and you'll realize that it goes about its business in an impressively polished manner. For just about everything I'd actually want in a midsize sedan, the Sonata's got it.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Sliding Sun Visors

February 20, 2015

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe

It was a super bright sunny morning in Southern California, and as I was headed into the office, I was grateful to find our 2015 Hyundai Sonata has sliding sun visors.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Handy Storage Cubbies

January 19, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

I like the thought that was put into small-item storage in the 2015 Hyundai Sonata. For instance the front bin, where the USB port and your music device reside, has a handy security door to keep things hidden when you're not in the car.

There's also a cubby that's decent at holding cell phones in place ahead of the cupholders. A lot of us end up using cupholders as cell phone holders during transit, so it's nice to have a different, more effective spot for them.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: More Center Stack Observations

January 16, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

The center stack/dash vent combo in the 2015 Hyundai Sonata is different than most we're seeing these days. How so? Well, first off, it's rather simple in its design and layout. It's a huge, flat surface with plenty of large buttons, along with knobs for controls that deserve knobs. Like for stereo volume and tuning.

It's also not perfectly symmetrical, as the central screen and center stack controls don't perfectly line up, and the left-side vent is offset as well. Not a problem in the least, just an observation.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Mottled Seat Design

January 12, 2015

2015 Hyundai Sonata

"I think the seats in this 2015 Hyundai Sonata are what they call mottled," my friend said to me (I know, it's strange, but she quite often talks in a way that has her listing the year, make and model of the car I'm driving, almost as if she knows that later when I write my update I'll need to drop in a hyperlink).

"Modeled, what do you mean they're modeled," I asked?

"No, not modeled with a D, you dumbo, mottled with two Ts," she said.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Love the User-Friendly Design

December 29, 2014

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Our 2015 Hyundai Sonata might not earn many points for originality, but the design of its dashboard controls is as user-friendly as you're going to find in any sedan.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Solid Driver Seat So Far

December 25, 2014

2015 Hyundai Sonata

We haven't had our 2015 Hyundai Sonata for very long, but I've already managed to endure several multi-hour stints in the driver seat thanks to a sizable commute and typical L.A. traffic.

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2015 Hyundai Sonata: Introduction

December 18, 2014

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Just a few years ago, Hyundai shook up the midsize family sedan segment with a radically redesigned Sonata that looked like nothing else on the road. Shoppers in the segment definitely liked what they saw, as sales nearly doubled from 2009-'10.

For 2015, Hyundai took a more traditional approach when it came time to redesign the Sonata. Instead of a curvaceous, extroverted look, it's now boxier and more sedate on the outside. Inside the cabin, the dashboard surfaces that were once angled or contoured are now arrow-straight and simple.

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