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 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 Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief on October 2, 2015
Lompoc, California is a sleepy agricultural enclave about 150 miles north of my home in Los Angeles. It's also more famously home to the state penitentiary where Dominic Toretto served two years for attempted murder.
So there's really no reason to go to Lompoc, but I found one. And I asked our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata to get me there.
And the one-day round-trip reminded me how much I like this car.
by Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor on September 4, 2015
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.
by Philip Reed, Senior Consumer Advice Editor on September 2, 2015
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.
by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on August 31, 2015
Returning home to southern California this past weekend from the more temperate central coast was an eye opener. Temperatures along the way were triple digits nearly the entire drive. Overheated cars littered the road at various spots, but the final push over the mountains into the Los Angeles basin was a particularly tough slog for some.
We counted at least a dozen cars and trucks on the side of the road with their hoods up, yet our 2015 Hyundai Sonata didn't seem to mind one bit.
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.
July 27, 2015
For the July 4th weekend, I drove my family (wife, two small children) to my in-law's house. Compared to the antics of, say, Vacation (either the classic old one or new one), my trip was wholly uneventful. But an uneventful 700 miles with two little kids is just fine by me.
Much of the credit goes to the Sonata.
June 25, 2015
The Whitney Portal Road in Lone Pine, Calif., which climbs to an elevation of 8,400 feet along a twisting road, was a great test for our 2015 Hyundai Sonata. The sedan handled the hairpin corners with confidence and the brakes never faded, keeping us from going through the guardrail and down into oblivion.
But one part of the package was missing: power.
June 22, 2015
I'm beginning to get attached to our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata, and I certainly didn't expect that. As I circled through our company parking garage last week, I realized I was looking forward to my afternoon commute in the Sonata.
As I've previously written and as Scott Oldham has said, the Hyundai engineers did a nice job with the steering in this car. There's a precision that you notice as soon you turn the steering wheel (which, by the way, feels like it has a smaller diameter than the previous-generation Sonata's wheel), and that whets my appetite for the rest of the drive.
May 27, 2015
I got our suitcases into the trunk and my suit on the coat hook. The wife and I were finally ready to take our 2015 Hyundai Sonata six hours north to San Francisco for a wedding. Little did I realize it was graduation weekend for many universities.
I've made this journey, literally, a couple of hundred times in the last 17 years. The fact that I know every landmark relative to arrival time makes it that much more painful when the roads are clogged.
This trip was going to suck. Both ways.
May 1, 2015
I've been driving our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata a lot, often choosing it over sexier, more powerful cars and I never regret it.
Sure, my kids think I'm crazy for passing up our long-term Jaguar F-Type and Ford Mustang GT to drive home in the Hyundai, but this is one of those cars that just feels right to me, from the shape of its seat, to its sightlines and steering feel.
However, I always drive it in Sport Mode.
April 27, 2015
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.
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.
April 2, 2015
Ed has already written that the driver seat in our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata is quite comfortable and supportive on long commutes. I heartily agree with him and would like to add this is a much better driver seat than the one we had in our 2011 Hyundai Sonata GLS.
March 31, 2015
If you're a long-time reader of our long-term road tests, you might remember that we used to have a 2011 Hyundai Sonata GLS in our fleet. I liked the idea of that car, which offered lots of space and lots of features in an attractive wrapper, but the actual execution left me cold. Fortunately, a few of my complaints have been addressed in the 2015 Hyundai Sonata.
February 24, 2015
Look past all those plastic parts on the engine in our 2015 Hyundai Sonata and you'll find a very refined four-cylinder power plant. Whether you're wringing it out while getting on the highway or just cruising around town, the 2.4-liter engine sounds and feels well suited to this sedan.
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 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.
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.