2015 Hyundai Sonata Long-Term Road Test: Introduction
December 18, 2014
What Did We Get?
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.
It's an interesting evolution that could turn off those who liked the more expressive styling, or it may attract those who still preferred the Honda Accord or Toyota Camry instead. We liked what we saw enough to give the new Sonata an "A" rating after our initial test, so we figured it was a good candidate to add to our long-term test fleet.
Rather than get a top-of-the-line model with the most powerful engine, we opted for a high-volume model. We expect the Sonata Sport model with the standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission to account for the lion's share of the Sonata's sales, so that's what we ordered.
The 2015 Hyundai Sonata starts out at $21,960 in SE trim. Our Sport trim began at $23,985.
What Options Does It Have?
Very few options packages are available at the Sport level, so it was easy to choose how to outfit our Sonata. The Premium package includes a blind spot monitor, leather seats with cloth insert, dual-zone climate control and hands-free entry. Also on order was the Tech package ($1,750), a bundle that ties together an 8-inch navigation system, Dimension audio and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. A set of floor mats set us back another $125.
With the options packages all tallied up, our tester rings in at $27,560.
Why We Got It
The previous Hyundai Sonata solidified the brand as a major player in the midsize sedan segment. It proved that an eye-catching design can be a big part of a sedan's success even if it's competing in a segment not known for daring designs.
This time around, however, Hyundai has toned down the design and aimed more for the middle. Now that Hyundai has shoppers' attention, the brand is hoping to capitalize on it by offering even more of what it's known for, mainly quality and value.
Does it have what it takes to compete with the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry? Early indications are good, so now it's time to see if those impressions hold up over the long haul. Does the new, more sedate Sonata merely blend in with the crowd now? Or does it still offer something its competitors don't?
We will drive 20,000 miles over the next 12 months to find out. Visit our Long-Term Road Test page for daily updates on its progress.
Best MPG: 24.4
Worst MPG: 23.0
Average MPG over 658 miles: 23.6
The manufacturer provided this vehicle for the purpose of evaluation.