by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on November 26, 2015
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.
by Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing on November 24, 2015
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.
by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on November 20, 2015
It's almost been a year since our 2015 Hyundai Sonata entered its long-term test, so it wasn't much of a surprise when I looked down at the odometer this weekend and noticed that it had just clicked past 20,000 miles. Time flies in the face of unpretentious competence.
by Josh Jacquot, Senior Editor on November 18, 2015
I recently spent a day driving Kia's Optima, the counterpart to the Sonata. Though the two cars look different, they're mechanical twins, depending on equipment, of course.
Our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata is fitted with the volume-selling 2.4-liter normally-aspirated four-cylinder. However, the Optima I drove happened to be the SX Turbo trim, which comes with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo. The 2.0-liter turbo is the top engine available in the Sonata and Optima, but it no longer competes with the optional V6s available in the Camry and Accord.
This, frankly, makes no sense.
by Carlos Lago, Road Test Editor on October 27, 2015
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.
by Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on October 23, 2015
I like our 2015 Hyundai Sonata. No, it's not the most inspired car, nor the classiest. Not a lot of brand cachet behind that badge and you're definitely not impressing the valet in the Sonata. But as a Monday through Friday car, I could live with the Sonata very nicely. It'll get me to work in comfort and quiet, it lays out all of my techy needs — music, podcasts, phone, navigation — in logical an comprehensive order within the center stack. It's got loads of room the backseat for when I need to ferry the kid, kid-friends, or adult friends.
I can even opt for the turbo "Eco" version if I want a little more sauce. Less horsepower, more sauce, you say? It's true. The Eco model we tested, with its wee 1.6-liter four-cylinder was quicker to 60 mph (7.5 seconds) than our long-termer with its larger engine and additional horsepower (8.2 seconds).
Even the Sonata's audio system is nice.
But there are two things that really hold back the Sonata from asserting itself in this class, both among wonky critics like us and perhaps among shoppers for whom midsize family sedans begin and end at Accord and Camry.
by Mike Magrath, Features Editor on September 25, 2015
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.
By Dan Frio, Automotive Editor on September 17, 2015
I might be the first person to think, let alone say out loud, that I was ready to trade the keys to a Dodge Viper for a 2015 Hyundai Sonata.
But after I pulled the Edmunds long-term Viper into my driveway after a Labor Day weekend mini road trip, after I'd stretched a leg to clear the baking, expansive door sill and warned my daughter and road-trip companion to do the same for the 16th or 19th time, and after unfolding my frame from the tiny cabin and doing 10 jumping jacks alongside the car, I said to my kid "Wow. That was fun. Now I'm ready for a normal car."
"Me too," she added. "This car is sure crazy."
by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on August 27, 2015
After more than 700 miles behind the wheel of our 2015 Hyundai Sonata this past weekend, I'm sold on its road trip capabilities. Here's why.
It has great seats. This is surprising since they don't boast much of a pedigree. They're not heavily bolstered or infinitely adjustable. They're not air-cooled or even covered in leather. But after several multi-hour stints behind the wheel, I rarely got uncomfortable. No squirming around to keep my rear end awake or any noticeable lack of lumbar support. I hardly noticed them at all which is good.
August 19, 2015
The 2015 Hyundai Sonata is just so very gray and I'm not even talking about our particular car's cabin color scheme, which could inspire the title of an E.L. James novel. Besides "gray," when I think of our Sonata, I think of such words as "agreeable," "sensible" and "pleasant." I struggle to think of anything wrong about it, and yet it's also utterly incapable of getting my pulse above flatline.
July 29, 2015
We've finally driven 10,000 miles in our 2015 Hyundai Sonata. We took delivery of our car back in December, so perhaps a little slow in hitting this milestone. Our goal for almost all of our long-term test cars is to drive them for at least 20,000 miles over 12 months or so. We still have the rest of the year to make up ground, however.
In the meantime, I've recapped our thoughts on the Sonata so far.
July 14, 2015
We received no warning as our 2015 Hyundai Sonata neared the 7,500-mile mark, the point designated for its first service. The onboard mileage-based minder on the Hyundai can be disabled manually and apparently that happened to ours sometime in the past 7,500 miles. No matter, as we record service intervals as part of the check-in procedure for every car in the fleet and knew when the Sonata was due for service.
There are no Hyundai dealerships near the office, so I took the Sonata home one night and in to Puente Hills Hyundai the following morning.
June 10, 2015
Whenever I picture our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata in my mind, I see it as a silver car. I'm not sure why, since our test car is actually a very fetching shade of blue. Noveau Blue, to be exact.
June 5, 2015
Since the day it was revealed to the public, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata has taken hit after hit for its conservative styling. It was inevitable. The previous model was almost universally loved for its extroverted styling. It put the Sonata on the lists of buyers who might have otherwise overlooked it, which was precisely the point, of course.
This time around, Hyundai dialed back the styling.
May 5, 2015
Parking on a hilly street the other night, I left the wheels of our 2015 Hyundai Sonata turned in toward the curb. When I got back in the car, the Hyundai quickly flashed me this message:
April 21, 2015
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.
April 10, 2015
By virtue of utilizing Hyundai's 2.4-liter four cylinder engine, our long-term Sport trim 2015 Hyundai Sonata earns a "B" rating from our editors. Other models in the Sonata line score higher. Read on to discover why.
March 13, 2015
We've had our 2015 Hyundai Sonata in our long-term fleet for about three months now. Just a few days ago we also clicked off 5,000 miles, which puts us on schedule to achieve our typical goal of amassing 20,000 miles for a car with a one-year stay.
So far, our Sonata has been very well received.
March 4, 2015
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.
February 12, 2015
As you can see, the lights on our 2015 Hyundai Sonata aren't aimed quite right. Well, maybe you can't see from this particular photo, but the driver's side beam is off to the right and a little high, while the passenger side beam is slightly off to the right and a little low.
February 2, 2015
I was reading through the Monroney (or window sticker) of our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport and noticed that, as part of the $1,700 Premium package, our car has a Hands-Free Smart Trunk Opener.
I asked Road Test Assistant Cameron Rogers if he knew anything about this. Not because he's our resident Hyundai Sonata expert or anything, but rather because he was the nearest person to me at the time.
"Nope," he said. "Let's go find out."
Off to the Edmunds parking garage we went.
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.
January 21, 2015
I'm not going to lie to you. When I realized our 2015 Hyundai Sonata was not the Eco model, I was a little bit bummed. "We got the wrong car," I thought to myself.
The reason I thought this was because we had a short-term Sonata Eco test car in here a little while ago and it actually outperformed the more powerful 2.0T Sonata (which has an extra 68 horsepower over the Eco!) in a straight line, the Eco hitting 60 mph in 7.5 seconds, the 2.0T in 8.3. That surprised us, but then the Eco is the only Sonata with the new quick-shifting dual-clutch seven-speed transmission, and that 1.6 turbo is a lively little piece.
January 19, 2015
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.
January 16, 2015
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.
January 14, 2015
Sunday traffic was pretty light, partially in thanks to a reasonably early start time. The lack of stop-and-go no doubt helped the Sonata's fuel economy numbers. The 31.3 mpg we achieved for this almost-entirely highway trip was a bit off the EPA's 35 mpg highway estimate for the Sonata Sport. There was a very minor bit of puttering around town.
Data from the trip:
Total roundtrip miles: 512
Actual trip mpg: 31.3
Onboard indicated trip mpg: 34.2
January 13, 2015
I used our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport for a quick weekend trip to Morro Bay. This small California village is best known for Morro Rock, a nearly 600-foot-high volcanic plug. At least, that's what Wikipedia says it is.
To me, it's a giant rock with a small tourist trap disguised as a fishing village nearby. But it's a neat little town to visit, with some great restaurants and hotels and fun things to see and do. And this time of year it's not too crowded, and it was even blissfully chilly (into the 40s at night).
Our long-term Sonata Sport with its 185-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder did well on the trip. This naturally aspirated engine isn't brimming with power, but it does okay in most situations.
January 12, 2015
"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.
January 7, 2015
Our 2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport logged 1,824 miles in December, its first month of service in our fleet. It averaged 26.0 mpg for the month, a bit below its EPA rating of 28 mpg combined (24 city/35 highway).
Our best fill of the month was 31.7 mpg during a mostly highway road trip to Morro Bay, while our worst fill was 23.0 mpg. It achieved a best range of 370.4 miles, and that's likely to increase in upcoming months as editors experiment with how far they can run the Sonata's fuel tank down.
December 18, 2014
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.