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 October 16, 2015
When rap producer Dr. Dre signed his name to a line of now-ubiquitous headphones, he had a music industry legend, Jimmy Iovine, to provide the marketing muscle, and consumer electronics manufacturer Monster to build the product. A cool logo, cool, crisp colors, and celebrity and athlete endorsements helped sell thousands of the headphones at around $200 a pair. They were the perfect complement to the iPod Era, flashy sneakers for your big head, and they invigorated a dormant headphone market.
But they didn't sound that good. Early versions were what you might expect from a hip-hop marketing angle: big, boomy and bassy, muddy, with not very accurate frequency reproduction. Even by most objective, not-fussy audio standards, they were more fashion that frequency. Iovine has said that critics missed the point, that the headphones were meant to excite, and not be neutral, audiophile-grade listening experiences. Sorry Jimmy, but they sucked.
To be fair, Beats by Dre headphones have improved. Seems like the company, now owned by Apple, has heard the criticisms and started to address them. But they won't shake the early bass-heavy reputation so easily.
Turns out the whole "Beats Effect" has even touched our 2015 Hyundai Sonata.
By Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on September 11, 2015
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.
August 24, 2015
My number one complaint is what you see above. The Sonata couldn't find Google, even though my phone had a cell signal. This happened immediately after I had been driving in a subterranean parking garage with no reception.
August 17, 2015
Without question, I wouldn't be as big a fan of Android Auto in our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata if it didn't support apps that I already use and like. I've already told you about my experiences with the Google Maps navigation system takeover and the integration of the third-party messaging app WhatsApp.
But Android Auto's support for the MLB At Bat app really makes me happy.
August 6, 2015
Unquestionably, Android Auto transforms our long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata's navigation system experience for the better. But the main reason I decided to switch to an Android phone a few months back is the interface's support for third-party messaging apps.
Yes, I know. Most cars already give you speech-to-text capability for SMS texts. But I only send regular text messages when I have to. During the workday, my husband and I exclusively use WhatsApp to communicate about things large and small (it was the best app we could find after we gave up our BlackBerrys and could no longer use BBM). And Android Auto supports WhatsApp.
August 3, 2015
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.
July 23, 2015
Back in May, Hyundai announced that Android Auto would be offered in the latest navigation system update for the 2015 Hyundai Sonata. Our friends at Hyundai helpfully sent us a thumb drive so that we could do the update ourselves in our long-term Sonata.
But it turned out we'd already gotten this update, apparently during a service visit for an airbag light in late December 2014. The dealer never mentioned that detail to us, though. No one on staff had been motivated to poke around for Android Auto either, since most of us have iPhones. I am one of the few editors with an Android phone.
I've started using Android Auto with my Sony Xperia Z3 Compact running the Lollipop 5.0.2 operating system. Although this interface is still in its infancy, I like it a lot so far.
June 17, 2015
Good sound doesn't have to carry a big label. I realized that when digging into the stereo system in our 2015 Hyundai Sonata. While sitting in traffic, drumming on the steering wheel, I glanced at one of the car's front speakers to see what brand Hyundai selected for its midsize sedan.
"Dimension." What's that?
June 15, 2015
Just about any new car has at least one USB port these days. They're great for loading music or charging a phone, but they have their limitations. I tried to top off my iPad with this port in our 2015 Hyundai Sonata, only to receive the "not charging" message, which roughly translates into "this port will take three days to charge your iPad."
June 2, 2015
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.
May 7, 2015
You would think most manufacturers would have the whole navigation thing down to a science by now. You would be wrong. Some are too clever for their own good while others use logic that isn't very logical. The setup in our 2015 Hyundai Sonata is one of the better systems I've used in a while.
March 3, 2015
Our 2015 Hyundai Sonata is equipped with the optional navigation system and 8-inch touchscreen display. A couple of my coworkers have written some updates on how they like the center stack control layout (here and here), so I thought I'd follow up with some specific commentary on the Sonata's latest touchscreen.
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.
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.