2015 Hyundai Sonata Review
2015 Hyundai Sonata Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Lots of standard and optional features for the money
- quiet and roomy interior
- smooth ride
- solid build quality.
- Disappointing acceleration from Sport 2.0T
- sweeping roof line compromises headroom for taller passengers.
The Hyundai Sonata is redesigned for 2015 with a more refined look and a larger cabin. A new Eco trim level with a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine also debuts, although the more powerful 2.0T trim level has nearly 30 fewer horsepower.
The 2015 Hyundai Sonata further refines the midsize sedan formula with a new look, revised powertrain and plenty of tech and convenience features. If you want plenty of passenger room and a quiet, easy-to-live-with cabin, this Sonata definitely has what you're looking for.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2015 Hyundai Sonata SE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.12 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$128/mo for Sonata SE
Avg. Midsize Car
The previous-generation Hyundai Sonata was nothing short of a smash hit in the midsize sedan segment. With its combination of daring style, respectable performance, generous standard features and solid build quality, the Sonata easily convinced us that it was finally a true rival to cars like the Accord and Camry. Now redesigned for 2015, the Hyundai Sonata is a little more grown up, gaining refinements to its interior, chassis and feature content. We think it should stay squarely on the radar of savvy car shoppers.
The new Sonata trades some of the swoopy curves of the previous version for more conservative lines that take the styling uptown. Overall, the basic proportions and the sweeping roof line carry over, but the car is a little bigger than before and rear passengers benefit from a little more hip- and legroom. The chassis has also been overhauled to improve both the Sonata's handling capabilities and its ride quality.
The redesigned 2015 Hyundai Sonata comes in SE, Sport, Eco, Limited and Sport 2.0T trim levels.
This year also brings a new 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Fitted to the new Eco trim level, this engine promises high fuel economy along with peppy performance. Curiously, however, those looking for the peppiest performance possible from their family sedan will find the Sonata's 2.0-liter turbo engine (comparable to the V6s found in rival sedans) produces nearly 30 fewer horses this year. The base four-cylinder is also down on power, but by a more modest 5 hp, and certainly remains competitive in the segment.
Yet, even if the 2015 Sonata is down on power, it's up in available high-end features. You can now opt for adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam control, a hands-free trunk opener and the latest in driver safety aids such as blind-spot detection and forward-collision alert systems.
Freshly fortified to face its foes, the Edmunds "A" rated 2015 Hyundai Sonata should be on your must-drive list if you're in the market for a well-rounded midsize sedan. It's also one of our top recommended cars in our 2015 Sedan Buying Guide. Still, with so many excellent choices in this class, we encourage you to get out there and drive as many as you can. We suggest also checking out the highly regarded Ford Fusion and Honda Accord, as well as the Mazda 6, Nissan Altima and Volkswagen Passat.
Performance & mpg
A 2.4-liter four-cylinder rated at 185 hp and 178 pound-feet of torque powers the SE, Sport and Limited models. All Sonatas are front-wheel drive, and all engines except the Eco's are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The Sonata SE has an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 29 mpg combined (25 city/37 highway). The Sport and Limited trims are slightly less at 28 mpg combined (24/35).
The Sport 2.0T comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, producing 245 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. At the Edmunds test track, we recorded an 8.3-second sprint to 60 mph -- an exceptionally poor performance considering this powertrain is meant to compete with V6-powered family sedans that routinely are much quicker. On the other hand, the Sport 2.0T returns an EPA-estimated 26 mpg combined (23 city/32 highway), and we managed to earn 28 mpg on our 120-mile highway-biased evaluation route and over 31 mpg on a long highway drive.
The Eco features a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 177 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission is standard (it is technically an automated manual transmission). Ironically, we recorded a highly impressive 7.5-second time for its 0-60-mph run, beating the Sport model by almost a full second. The EPA says the Eco will achieve 32 mpg combined (28 city/38 highway), and we validated those figures with our own 32 mpg, earned on our evaluation route.
Standard safety features on every 2015 Hyundai Sonata include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag.
In Edmunds' simulated panic-stop testing from 60 mph, the Sonata Sport 2.0T came to rest in 125 feet, which is an acceptable distance for midsize family sedans. The Eco model did even better at 119 feet.
In government crash testing, the 2015 Sonata earned a perfect five-star overall rating, with five stars overall for its performance in frontal- and side-impact crash tests. In crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Sonata earned a top "Good" rating in moderate-overlap frontal-offset impact test and a second-best "Acceptable" in the small-overlap frontal-offset impact test. The Sonata posted a "Good" rating for the remaining side-impact, roof-strength and whiplash protection (seats and head restraints) tests.
All but the SE also come with a rearview camera and Blue Link, Hyundai's emergency telematics system (includes roadside assistance, crash response, remote door lock control and monitoring features for parents with teenage drivers -- speed, geo-fencing and curfew limits). Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are standard for the Limited and Sport 2.0T and optional on the Sport and Eco. Forward collision warning and rear park assist are optional on the Limited and Sport 2.0T.
Possibly the most striking characteristic of the 2015 Hyundai Sonata is the utter silence with which it goes about its business. This is a quiet car. Swallowing road irregularities with hushed damping and quiet confidence is this sedan's biggest strength. Ride quality, regardless of trim, is well-controlled but never harsh.
Though there's nothing to complain about when you take the Sonata around turns, there's also little that's involving about the experience. Even the Sport 2.0T trim isn't very thrilling, though it will hit freeway speeds quicker than the 2.4-powered trims. It also has handy shift paddles and a flat-bottom steering wheel, which feels better than the round wheel in other trims. Honda's Accord Sport, which offers a six-speed manual transmission, is more involving, as is the Mazda 6 and the Ford Fusion.
All of the Sonata's engines provide adequate power, but this sedan's greatest strength is its quiet ride.
Strangely enough, it's the Eco trim that's the real surprise here. With discernibly more punch than the 2.4-liter engine and quicker acceleration than the 2.0T, it offers peppy acceleration along with the best fuel economy of the group. What's more, is that despite the more mileage-minded tires it wears, its quietness, ride quality and confident handling aren't degraded one bit.
All trims offer three driver modes: Normal, Sport and Eco, which adjust the transmission and throttle calibrations according to your needs. Steering weight increases in Sport mode, as well. However, the difference between Normal and Sport is modest at best. And unless you're more patient than most folks behind the wheel, you'd probably avoid the Eco mode, as it notably dulls the powertrain's response.
The Sonata SE is fairly basic inside, but materials and build quality are improved over those in the base trim level from last year's Sonata. With their plusher door trim and additional cabin accents, the higher trim levels compare pretty well to those of segment rivals. Not surprisingly, the Limited trim, with its available two-tone color schemes and convincing wood grain trim, is particularly appealing. The Sport 2.0T features heavily bolstered sport seats for added lateral support during spirited back-roads drives.
The control layout is straightforward and easy to use, with dedicated buttons for primary functions like navigation, phone, radio and media. The climate controls are simple, and Hyundai's touchscreen interface remains intuitive. The 5-inch touchscreen isn't very big, but it does provide decent functionality for Sonatas without the optional navigation system. Those with the nav system boast an 8-inch touchscreen, which gives the Sonata's cabin even more of an upscale, cutting-edge feel.
As before, the Sonata has more than ample room for four adults. Those in back even have a bit more hip- and legroom than before. Rear headroom is essentially unchanged, however, so taller passengers may feel a bit cramped due to the dramatically sloping roof line.
Like most midsize sedans, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata has a roomy backseat, but taller adults might run short on headroom.
At 16.3 cubic feet, the trunk is a little more generous than average for this segment, and the standard 60/40-split-folding rear seat is at the ready to add more cargo capacity should the need arise. Models equipped with the hands-free "smart" trunk opener automatically open the trunk if the person with the key fob stands behind the car for more than 3 seconds.
2015 Hyundai Sonata models
The 2015 Hyundai Sonata is available in SE, Sport, Eco, Limited and Sport 2.0T trim levels. There's also a Sonata Hybrid, which for now continues on in previous-generation guise and is reviewed separately.
Cloth upholstery is standard in the Sonata Sport, but adding the Premium package upgrades you to leather and cloth seats.
Standard features on the SE include 16-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, LED running lights, air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, heated mirrors, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, a 60/40-split rear seatback, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a six-speaker sound system (with a CD player, satellite radio, an iPod/USB audio interface and an auxiliary audio jack).
The Sport and Eco trims add automatic headlights, a rearview camera, an eight-way power driver seat (with power lumbar), upgraded door trim, Hyundai's Blue Link telematics system (with smartphone integration) and a 5-inch touchscreen audio interface. The Eco differs with a special fuel-economy-focused engine, while the Sport gets its own 17-inch alloy wheels, dual exhaust with chrome tips, hands-free "smart" and unique body styling tweaks.
The Limited includes the Sport's features (minus the body styling tweaks) and adds LED taillights, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, wood grain trim, a six-way power passenger seat, heated rear seats, rear air vents, rear window sunshades, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an upgraded audio system and driver safety aids (blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert).
The Sport 2.0T includes most of the features of the Sport and Limited trims (less the power passenger seat, heated rear seats and rear sunshades) along with 18-inch alloy wheels, sport-tuned suspension and steering, a rear diffuser with quad chrome exhaust tips, xenon headlights, sport seats with accent stitching, a flat-bottom sport steering wheel and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
Many of the upper trims' features are available as options on the lower trims. Other optional features (depending on trim level) include xenon headlights, a panoramic sunroof, an electronic parking brake, adaptive cruise control (with full stop-start capability), an upgraded gauge cluster, sport front seats, a navigation system (with an 8-inch touchscreen), an Infinity 10-speaker premium sound system, ventilated front seats, driver memory settings, rear parking sensors and forward-collision and lane-departure warning systems.
All 2015 Sonatas have simple to use controls. The optional navigation system offers a split-screen view.
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
Still a great ride
Paul Cocke, 11/16/2015
2015 Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.0T 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
This is by far the best car I've ever owned. A year and 18,000 miles on the odometer later, no rattles or any problems with workmanship. I drive through mountains on the interstate every day to work (60 miles round trip). The car handles extremely well and I'm getting 25-27 mpg in town and 29-31 mpg on the highway. Since its cheaper now I use high test gas (I heard the turbo likes it … better). Ignore the reviews saying this car is sluggish; it isn't. The car is a bit slow on the front end but it has plenty of power. For freeway driving it can pull ahead in traffic with ease. I recently took it through the Cascade Mountains on a road trip and it breezed through every curve effortlessly. I am over 6 feet tall and this car is comfortable for me to drive. If you want adults to be comfortable in the back seat this car has spacious back seats and works better than most sedans. . The blind spot warning already has prevented an accident or two. * Love the backup camera; the lane departure system is annoying but I leave in on for safety. * My grand children love the pull-down shades in back. * The car handles quite well. I never use the paddle shifters but do switch between eco, regular and sport driving modes. Sport seems to do better in the rain but cuts down on gas. I use eco around town. * I wish the car had fog lights. While the LED lights look cool they do not help with visibility. * Navigation works well and the car stereo is excellent. Between Pandora and XM radio my commute is much more interesting though I do wish the steering wheel had a radio mute button (or maybe I just have not found it). I also wish the car had AWD. * My biggest complaint is the automatic trunk opener. You can stand behind in with your keys in your hand for minutes and nothing happens. Then you casually walk by and the stupid thing opens. Still love the car. I have been watching and these 2015s have good deals right now. Wait until the end of the month for better deals. Negotiate ruthlessly and don't worry about the color. And don't be fooled by the addition of the stolen car service (a waste of money - your auto insurance likely covers it)
4 out of 5 stars
A lot of good, a little bad
2015 Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.0T 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6A)
I put about 40,000 miles on a 2013 Altima before trading for this as an end-of-model year. I also tested a 2015 Fusion and Malibu along the way, as well as a 2014 demo Cadillac CTS V-Sport. The good news on the Hyundai is that the acceleration seems much better than most professional reviewers give it credit for. It is much quicker than the Altima 2.5 was, and that stop-light bobble … (lugging from the CVT) just isn't there. The car is roomy, more so than a Fusion and much more so than the Malibu, though the Altima gets the edge for better long-drive seat comfort. The Hyundai looks very sharp (possibly losing in this segment only to the Fusion), and everyone who has been in it noted the quality of the materials (better than the Altima and Fusion, though maybe less than a top-of-the-line but pricier Accord). The dash lines are clean; they will never be mistaken for the sheer elegance of a Jaguar XF, but are much less distracting than the chromed plastic so abundant in the Caddy. It has memory seats, for which you would need to drop $40K on the Platinum version of a Murano or Maxima to get from anything in the Nissan line. The 16 Altimas have 12 way power seats, but no memory... I'd be tweaking for a week every time my wife drove it !! Hyundai also ties the side mirrors into the memory, so you push one button and life goes back to where it should be. The car tracks very straight, though in all honesty, it took about three times behind the wheel to get the feel of it. Drive it, get out and walk around, and drive it again to see what I mean. It's almost like the car has to get used to you, rather than the other way around. The D-steering wheel looks sharp, but is not real smooth when used in daily life. The heated & ventilated front seats work very well and hold snugly during corners. The heated back seats are a really nice touch. The back-up camera locates objects precisely, and follows the curve of the steering wheel (cough, Altima don't, cough). The display is mounted high enough to make for much easier viewing than most competitors, though the back-up sensors will ping the crown of the road when you back out of an angled driveway. The driver protection (lane drift and collision warning) work well, and less intrusively than the Cadillac CTS. I'm personally not found of the concept.. all we need is another toy to make drivers lazier, but it does work. The bad lies mostly in the electronics suite. You have one button to cycle through the climate control settings, so you have to look over and push the button several times if you had to run the defroster. I will note the HVAC system works really well; it's just the control that's lacking. The Sonata links quickly to your phone, but Altima would read texts to you and let the other end know you were driving. If you can do that in the Hyundai, I haven't figured out how. The most serious gripe is (and the Edmunds guys and the Hyundai salesmen kind of gloss over this) is that you have to subscribe to the Hyundai service and use a smart phone to be able to use the remote car start. This is beyond stupid... may all you app-lovers be rendered impotent by your dad-gummed toys ! GIVE ME A BUTTON ON THE FOB like any normal car. The nav system, on the other hand, is excellent, with a large display and actually shows the speed limit of 95% of the roads... it even detects school zones. The sound system is surprisingly bland for an Infinity unit, though I'm still tweaking the settings. I've driven in light rain with no issues, but no other weather I can report on. My general opinion is that the car is superior dollar-for-dollar to the Altima and the Malibu, and that you could probably get a slightly better Fusion or Accord, but you'd be laying out quite a bit more cash. If they fix the electronics, this would be a great car. Option you should get that I didn't- heated steering wheel, though the HVAC system is quick to remedy the cold.
5 out of 5 stars
Better than I Could Have Imagined!!!
Stan Morris, 08/06/2015
2015 Hyundai Sonata Limited 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
***UPDATE 8/7/2017*** I'd like to make this review brief as possible, but I know that's not going to happen. I am so blown away by this vehicle that I tell everyone who comments on it that it's now not just the best car I've ever owned, it's the only car to get in my mind(regarding the options/performance/warranty/reliability you get for the money). If you want to drop $70k on a … vehicle with the same options and a little more pep, more power to you(literally). I own a Sonata Ltd with the Ultimate Package, and after driving in the high end Infinity/Audi/BMW, this vehicle is just as comparable in regards to the luxurious feel and amenities. From the Xenon headlights, LED running lights and LED interior lights(so crisp), to the LED taillights, to the sophisticated new styling, this car is the epitome of high class without the high class cost. The smart cruise, which is one of my favorite features, works beautifully and I use it frequently when on a long commute. Also, have you ever been trying to follow a friend or family member on the highway or interstate for a long commute and can't seem to get your cruise control set just right and either slowly gain or lose distance between them? Problem solved! With the smart cruise I just set my cruise speed for higher than I know the car in front of me will go, and simply stay behind them. If they slow, the car slows. If they speed up, the car speeds up. Even better, I can choose if I want to be a car length behind them or a few car lengths behind them. I have not tested it in city traffic, as I do not live in a big enough city, but I could see how it would come in handy(strike that, become a valued asset and seen as a necessity) when in slow moving or quick stop and go traffic. The Xenon headlights and LED taillights are truly remarkable in both functionality and in style. My wife told me she had to drive the vehicle so I could see the lights from the outside, and I was more than impressed. When seeing this vehicle traveling down the road at night you expect to see a familiar luxury emblem on the front, not the ever increasingly popular "H". I currently have my phone hooked up with the "Android Auto", and also have the BlueLink and Bluetooth set up on the car and all flawlessly perform as they should. I was impressed with all of those "little features" that the Android Auto provides and couldn't be happier with that addition. My only complaint, which can't be stuck on just the Sonata, is the visibility. My previous vehicle was a Navigator, and comparatively the visibility felt like it was cut in half. With that said, in all cars visibility has been cut down the same, so again this isn't just Hyundai. One positive note is that the blind spot works beautifully and it has saved me from cutting into a car on multiple occasions. On a side note, the blind spot has an ability to judge the speed of the car behind you, so if said vehicle is coming up really fast the blind spot will adjust to warn you earlier, as opposed to other blind spot systems that simply warn you once the vehicle trips the sensor. I suppose the only real downfall are the leather seats. They are premium leather, but not as soft as the napa leather that I've enjoyed in the past. That being said, it seems like these seats are more durable and will hold up better. Additionally, the heated and cooled seats work beautifully, and I've gotten multiple comments on the heated seats in the back. Alright, I could continue on and on about this car, but it feels like I'm just going through the options package and commenting on how great it is, so you could just look at the package and know that all of it is exceptional. I purchased the extended warranty that covers bumper to bumper, excluding bumpers :-), for 10 years/100,000 miles, which I would suggest wholly to anyone considering this vehicle.
5 out of 5 stars
15,000 Mile Review
2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
I've had this car for about 8 months, 15,000 miles, and not a single problem. It is very comfortable, there's minimal road noise, and highway fuel economy is great. It's been very reliable thus far, only needing routine maintenance. We also have a 2015 Toyota Camry in the family, and this vehicle trounces the Camry in nearly every way. The interior materials are better, the ride is … better, MUCH less road noise, etc. The push button start, proximity key, automatic climate control, heated seats, etc. in a sub $25,000 car is a phenomenal value. I'm still enjoying my Sonata as much as I did the day I drove it home. Go check it out!
2015 Hyundai Sonata videos
[MUSIC PLAYING] JAMES RISWICK: The Hyundai Sonata was completely overhauled for 2015. Some may find its less stylized design to represent a more refined take on the family sedan segment. Others might find it kind of dull and easily lost in parking lots. But all should be thoroughly impressed by this A-Rated sedans long list of merits. The Sonata's interior is bigger than before and is indeed, one of the most spacious family sedans. Rear headroom, in particular, has improved. And adults of most shapes and sizes should easily get comfortable. The trunk is also enormous with 16.3 cubic feet of space and a wide opening. Although the cabin design isn't as interesting to look at as before, it's now more functional with an almost dramatic look to it. Even if the quality of its plastics are just so-so and hardly dramatic, the buttons are big, logically placed, and easily reached. The available touch screen is also very easy to use. Below those controls are several large, truly useful bins and cup holders. There are several Sonata trim levels, each of which are very well equipped for the money. But it's important to note that different trims are available with different engines. The standard engine on the SE, Sport, and Limited is a regular 2.4 liter, four cylinder good for 185 horsepower and 178 pound feet of torque. It's a capable engine that returns good fuel economy and decent acceleration. It's thoroughly average. The Turbocharge 2.0 the engine returns but it has less power for 2015. And in our testing, its acceleration was unimpressive, both in comparison to the other engines and its competitors. New for 2015, though, is a sort of Goldilocks engine, the new Sonata Eco has a 1.6 liter turbo four. And a special seven speed automatic transmission that together, boasts better acceleration and fuel economy than the other two engines. Considering it only costs $100 more than the similarly well-equipped Sport trim, it's the one we most recommend. Every Sonata impresses behind the wheel. It's not engaging like a Ford Fusion or Mazda 6, but like the Honda Accord and revised Toyota Camry, there was a composer to its right competence to its handling and a precision to its steering that speaks to the lengths Hyundai has gone to make the Sonata as good as those competitors. So the Sonata is spacious, generously equipped, easy to use, good to drive, and fuel efficient. It also has a best in class warranty, five star crash scores from the government, and is a top safety pick from the IIHS. It checks off most boxes. And even if it isn't the most interesting or engaging family sedan, it's certainly easy to recommend. What do you think of the Hyundai Sonata? Let us know and visit edmunds.com for more information.
2015 Hyundai Sonata Review
The Hyundai Sonata was completely overhauled 2015. Some may find its less stylized design to represent a more refined take on the family sedan segment. Others might find it to be kinda dull and easily lost in parking lots. But all should be thoroughly impressed by this A-rated sedan's… long list of merits.
2015 Sonata Highlights
|Combined MPG||29 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$128/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||front wheel drive|
|Warranty||5 years / 60,000 miles|
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover10.5%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestAcceptable
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalGood
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
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