I bought the 2016 Sonata for myself and my wife got a 2016 Camry XLE a week earlier. I'm very familiar with both. I'm glad I got the Sonata, I prefer it over the Camry (more comfortable, quieter) and my wife has been driving Camrys since 1994 so I know that car well. There are many things that I don't use but I knew that going in. The moon roof is only usable at night or late in the afternoon due to the sun. The lane departure warnings (where the car watches the lines in the road and beeps if I cross them) is annoying most of the time so I have that turned off. I would definitely turn it on if on a long highway trip where I might be tempted to get tired and drift. The blind side monitor is great (the outside mirror lights up if someone is in either blind spot). Dynamic cruise control is of little use to me because if the traffic is that heavy, I don't want to be on cruise control anyway. So why did I pay for so may things that I have little use for? To get the what matters most - automatic emergency breaking. That's what is supposed to stop the car if someone stops in front of me and I don't see them or if a kid runs in front of the car and I don't see him. My guess is that within 10 years AEB will be as mandatory as seat belts on all new cars. I like a big car that moves over the road with no noise and I got that with the Sonata. It's not rated as a large car but it feels that way to me. It's hard to believe that this has a 2.4 liter engine. The car moves as effortlessly on the highway as 5 liter V8 cars that I've owned. I drove this for a month in Phoenix over the very nice freeways that they have during low volume traffic (weekends, etc). Those people seem to have one speed that they all drive at (80 mph) and the Sonata did that with no wind or road noise and the tach was hovering at about 2200 rpm. Mixed mileage is about 30 or 31 but if I keep it at 65mph on the highway, I'll get around 40 mpg. The GPS is a little better than the one in the Camry but giving it directions by voice is a hit or miss proposition and to type a destination, you have to be stopped. Mine has memory seats which is great if on a long trip and my wife does some of the driving. I have it set so that the seat does NOT move back when I turn the car off. All in all, this is probably the best car I ever owned and I'm very particular. Update after 9 months: SI still think this is the best car I've ever owned. Some things I missed during the first review - the emergency brake disengages automatically when I shift out of park and the outside rear view mirrors tilt down when in reverse to show the road.
I am spending 2.5 hours every working day in the car: to me it is not choosing "just a car", but a second home and office. I have invested a lot of time in selecting a new vehicle. Each one of us has different criteria when selecting a vehicle. My top ones were: 1. Ride Comfort 2. Quietness on a highway 3. Ability to absorb road imperfections 4. Android Auto/Apple Car Play as a lot of paid options become unnecessary with personal assistance of the these tools and navigation/online music and talk shows. Here are the reasons I did not buy competitors: Accord EX (pros: awesome screens and interior quality, nice open layout, camera on the mirror, handling; cons: suspension is on the stiffer side, road imperfections are quite noticeable). Altima (pros: the most comfortable seats; cons: engine noise, no Android Auto(AA)). Fusion (great car overall, but the cabin layout is claustrophobic, rear seat room is the smallest, no AA). 2016 Malibu (looks awesome, but the ride is on a somewhat stiffer side, interior is simply "fine"). Camry LE (everything is in place, but it lacks Android Auto/Apple Car, which serves as a live personal assistant during the trip, smaller screen. It falls behind in technology equipment). Sonata is the car where all my stars have lined up: it has definitely the smoothest ride of the bunch, the car irons out all the cracks in the pavement - you do not feel them nor hear them. Sonata is the quietest car on a highway - no tire noise, no wind noise, it feels and rides like a luxury car, even though I got the entry level model without a single option. Cabin layout is very open, you constantly "feel" spaciousness especially with the light interior (light gray or beige). Sonata has a very confident handling, and there is absolutely no "floatiness" as you would normally feel with softer suspensions. Entry-level model comes with the most equipment compared to the cars above: nice 7" HD screen with lots of features (XM data - traffic, weather), high-quality HD backup camera, AA works perfect, seats are comfortable on my long rides, and the price tag is unbelievable if you know how to negotiate - very low 18,000s. The sound system generates an unexpectedly good sound quality - it is not what you would think to get in a "stripped-down model". Paired with the cabin quietness the sound is very good. If you choose very nice options like panoramic sunroof, heated/cooled leather seats and a plethora of safety/electronic features, adaptive cruise control, super stereo system - prepare to pay at least 50% more. In my case - it was not worth the extra money, but everyone is different. Paired with 5 year full/10-year powertrain warranty and very low maintenance costs this Sonata SE is my perfect choice to be my 2nd home/office for the next 5 years.
Purchased new Sonata; Silver, SE in March 2016. Now have 4000 miles on the odo. Replaced OEM Khumo Solus tires with Continental TrueContacts at 900 miles. Transformed the car's ride and handling, much quieter, as well. I'm using the manual shift mode with the auto setting on sport which increases the steering effort. Downshifts from 4th to 3rd are sometimes abrupt. I'm accelerating more aggressively, though not revving past 4500-5000 rpm. The engine is quick and smooth with no hesitation or flat spots. Still haven't floored it 100%. Not sure what the Edmund review meant by "unrefined engine". Changed the break-in oil and filter at 3200 miles; the oil was very dirty. Using Mobil 1 Full Synthetic with factory oil filters and will change both every 5000 miles. I check the oil every week and the level is exactly the same each week. Debating whether or not to install a K&N Oil Screen engine air filter. Will continue to search the web to see if anyone else has done so. The radio switches back and forth from regular to HD on weaker stations often, very annoying. There doesn't seem to be any way to reset the sensitivity level or manually select or or the other. I listen to my Ipod most of the time anyway. I will NOT continue the satellite radio or the On-star. In fact, I placed a piece of electrical tape over that annoying blue light. Getting 30.4 mpg in mixed driving. Using Sunoco regular octane exclusively and Techron fuel system cleaner every 4th tank. It's quiet, comfortable, rides and handles very well. It's a good looking car, too. Overall I really like the car. Despite the traffic and crappy Central Pennsylvania roads, it's fun to drive. Looking forward to lots of trouble-free miles.
I bought a 2016 SE to replace my totaled 2013 Outback. I have had the car for 3 weeks and have 1500 miles on it. So far it has been great. I was initially attracted to the car due to the value. I received 5k off MSRP and was out the door for less than $20k. The only other midsize car that I could have gotten for a similar price was a VW Jetta and the Hyundai beat it in almost every way. In no way do I feel I compromised by not going with a more expensive midsize sedan (Accord, Camry, etc). The only feature that we did not get in this car that we wanted was heated seats (3k more to get the trim/options just to get the heating seats). Everything else we were looking for was included in the SE. 7 inch entertainment system with bluetooth/android auto, steering wheel controls, keyless entry, alloy wheels, and the best warranty out there. The car drives very smooth and was completely comfortable on a 800 mile road trip. I cruised at 80 with no issues and returned over 35 mpg on the trip with about 50 miles of heavy city driving thrown in. Car is quiet and smooth. The entertainment system is very responsive. The bluetooth syncs faster than any other car I have used. Rear seats have more space than the outback (we have very large car seats that fit just fine). Hopefully it proves to be reliable.
We spent several weeks researching and test driving different cars before deciding on the Sonata, and then at the last minute saw the value in bumping up to the Sport model with sunroof and other goodies at a bargain. Overall we're very impressed with the car. It feels luxurious and solid, and a quiet ride was an important thing to note as we test drove cars. We didn't test drive the Sport model because we thought it was basically the same car with a sunroof, but I think the Sport model comes with different low profile tires which makes for more road noise than the standard Sonata. Still, this is quieter than most, and I think it will lose more road noise when I change the tires. I also notice a slight dancing of the front wheels when at cruising speed (compared to driving my heavy full-size truck), that may be solved with new tires too. (There are many complaints about the cheap tires the car comes with). Android Auto has a lot of cool features--like GPS and Pandora, but that the phone must be plugged-in to work is really clunky at this stage of bluetooth technology. This is primarily my wife's car, and she simply doesn't bother with it, so those features are lost to her. Sometime in 2016 Waze will be updated to be a GPS option, and it's planned that this will all work over bluetooth, so no need to manually plug in the phone. After a month, our only complaint is that the high end of the mileage rating seemed out of reach. Our average is now, months later, is 30, which seems a long way from the high highway "rating" of 38. Her commute is about 15 miles, 4/5 freeway, and she's on the slower end of drivers out there, rarely leaving the first two right lanes. There is the "Eco" mode, which we were told is supposed to improve mileage by 7%. In the first couple months the engine performance was severely hampered when in Eco mode, and the mileage overall was poor, around 28. But since then--now at 4K, I don't notice much of a difference in the mode changes, and the mileage has now improved too. I've suggested switching to Eco when at speed on the freeway, but this is again something else my wife doesn't want to have to think about to simply drive her car. As a test recently, I refreshed the mileage computer while at speed on the freeway, in Eco mode, with cruise control engaged at 70 mph. It held a mileage of 42 until I got off the freeway. There are now a couple small squeaks that are from the surprisingly tight fit of the interior. For example, there is no gap between the dashboard and pillars, and I suspect it's this tightness of fit where I'm getting squeaks. As I do in my truck, I'll eventually locate the noises and slip cardboard or something in as a washer between squeaking surfaces. Again though, of everything we looked at, the Sonata really stood out. It looks good, is small enough for a daily commuter, but comfortable and roomy for a long drive, with spacious and comfortable rear seats--which was in fact the first thing I looked at, by sitting in the back seat first. At the rate my wife drives, this car will last well beyond the average.