2017 Hyundai Sonata Review
2017 Hyundai Sonata Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
Dan spent many years covering the go-fast, look-good, get-loud corners of the automotive universe. First, he served as editor of enthusiast magazines AutoSound and Honda Tuning, then as executive editor at SEMA News, the publishing arm of the trade group that produces the annual SEMA Show (yes, that show). As a contributor to Edmunds, he now likes to keep the volume low and the speed limit legal, providing expert car-shopping advice to drivers looking for the perfect match.
- Spacious interior with seats that are good for the long haul
- A smooth highway ride with minimal road noise
- Very user-friendly entertainment/navigation interface
- Excellent crash test ratings
- ten-year engine warranty
- Optional turbocharged engine doesn't deliver the performance of its competitors
- Slightly less rear legroom than its rivals
The 2017 Hyundai Sonata rearranges some standard and optional features, but otherwise carries over unchanged.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2017 Hyundai Sonata PZEV 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 $3.11 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$130/mo for Sonata Base PZEV
Sonata Base PZEV
Avg. Midsize Car
For 2017, the Sonata remains unchanged, save for a slight reshuffle of some standard and optional features. And it's fine that Hyundai has left the Sonata well enough alone. The cabin is still cavernous and comfortable, with loads of room in the backseat for when you need to ferry the kids, their friends or adult friends. The Sonata also drives confidently, with a smooth ride quality and precise control that avoids that floaty big-sedan feel out on the highway.
You also get plenty of features for your money. Even if you pick the base model, you're not going to feel as if you're getting the short end of the stick, while the top-of-the-line Limited 2.0T has luxury-car levels of equipment.
The Sonata's technology features are impressive, from available driver safety aids like blind-spot monitoring and automatic emergency braking to large, crisp touchscreen displays for navigation and entertainment functions.
Remember, however, that the midsize sedan segment is full of strong competitors. The Honda Accord and Toyota Camry are the long-running standard-bearers in this class for near flawless value and execution. But there are other excellent choices as well, including the handsome and well-rounded Ford Fusion, the stylish Mazda 6, the sporty Nissan Altima. and the Chevrolet Malibu. Despite this formidable company, the Sonata offers plenty of comfort, performance and value to make it a standout.
Standard safety features on the 2017 Hyundai Sonata include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag.
All Sonatas except the base model 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 that include speed, geo-fencing and curfew limits).
Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are standard on the Limited and Limited 2.0T models. Lane departure warning, automatic forward collision emergency braking and rear park assist are standard on the Limited 2.0T, optional on the Limited.
In Edmunds' simulated panic-stop testing from 60 mph, the Sonata Sport 2.0T stopped in 125 feet, an acceptable distance for midsize family sedans. The Eco and Sport models did the job in an even more impressive 119 feet.
In government crash testing, the 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 the top rating of "Good" in the 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.
Edmunds' Expert Rating
When it comes to delivering everything you would expect from a midsize family sedan, the 2017 Hyundai Sonata rarely disappoints. Its has a spacious interior with road-trip-worthy seats, a long list of standard features, well-laid out controls and a smooth ride. If you're looking for a well-rounded and affordable sedan, the Sonata should be on your list.
One of the most striking characteristics of the 2017 Hyundai Sonata is the hushed way it goes down the road. This is a seriously quiet car. Dispatching road irregularities with smooth damping is this sedan's biggest strength, with well-controlled ride quality that's never harsh, regardless of trim.
Though the Sonata feels balanced in quick turns, it's not a very engaging driving experience. Even the Sport 2.0T trim isn't very thrilling, and it's especially hard to understand the disappointing engine performance given its impressive power output.
Oddly enough, the Eco model provides the most excitement. The smaller engine packs more punch than the base 2.4-liter engine and quicker acceleration than the underperforming turbocharged 2.0T. The Eco is actually our pick of the trio.
The Sonata SE's interior is fairly basic, but materials and build quality are on par with the class. The higher trim levels get plusher door trim and additional cabin accents for a more premium feel. 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 more thickly bolstered sport seats for added lateral support during spirited maneuvers.
What the interior design lacks in flash, however, it makes up for in clean, logical layout and controls. We appreciate dedicated buttons for primary functions like navigation, phone, radio and media, rather than burying those functions in a touchscreen menu system.
The 7-inch standard touchscreen is large enough to make selecting functions easy and fairly free of distraction while in motion, while the attractive 8-inch screen used with the navigation system features uncluttered, clearly labeled maps with easily readable text and crisp graphics.
The Sonata has more than ample passenger room for four adults. The front seats are well padded, supportive, and perfect for long-distance cruising. There's slightly less rear passenger room than some competitors, but only larger than average adults will notice.
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 pop the trunk if the person with the key fob stands behind the car for more than three seconds.
2017 Hyundai Sonata models
The 2017 Hyundai Sonata is a midsize sedan available in Base, SE, Sport, Eco, Limited, Sport 2.0T and Limited 2.0T trim levels. The Sonata Hybrid is reviewed separately.
Standard features on the base model include 16-inch alloy wheels, a rear lip spoiler, air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, heated mirrors, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and a 60/40 split-folding seatback. Technology features include Bluetooth connectivity, a CD player, satellite radio, a USB port and an auxiliary audio input.
Moving up to the SE adds automatic headlights, a rearview camera, a 7-inch touchscreen display, the Blue Link telematics system (with smartphone integration via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay) and Bluetooth audio streaming.
The Sport and Eco trims add LED daytime running lights, side mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators, simulated leather cabin trim and an eight-way power driver seat (with power lumbar). The Eco differs with a special fuel-economy-focused engine, while the Sport gets 17-inch alloy wheels, dual exhausts with chrome tips and unique body styling tweaks.
A Value Edition package for the Sonata Sport bundles a sunroof, keyless entry and ignition, a hands-free remote opening trunk, partial leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
The Limited includes the Sport's features, but trades the sporty chrome and carbon fiber styling accents for a more refined look. It also adds unique 17-inch alloy wheels, LED taillights, leather upholstery, wood grain trim, a six-way power passenger seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, rear seat vents, and dual-zone automatic climate control. Driver aids include blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert systems.
The Sport 2.0T adds a more powerful engine, 18-inch wheels, sport-tuned suspension and steering, a rear diffuser with quad exhaust tips, sport seats, aluminum pedals, a flat-bottom sport steering wheel and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
The range-topping Limited 2.0T includes unique 18-inch wheels, a panoramic sunroof, adaptive cruise control, adaptive xenon headlights, automatic high-beams, rear parking sensors, a lane departure warning system, an automatic pre-collision braking system, automatic engine stop-start, driver memory settings, a heated steering wheel, rear window sunshades, ventilated front seats, an 8-inch touchscreen display, a premium Infinity nine-speaker audio system and technology features from the Limited trim and the Sport's Tech package.
Many of the features from the Limited 2.0T are available as part of options packages on the lower trims.
All Sonatas are front-wheel drive, and all engines except the Eco are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.
A 2.4-liter four-cylinder rated at 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque powers the base, SE, Sport and Limited models. At the Edmunds test track, a Sonata Sport sprinted from zero to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds, an average result for this class.
The 2.4-liter four-cylinder Sonata returns an EPA-estimated 29 mpg combined (25 mpg city/36 mpg highway).
The 2.0T models come with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, producing 245 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. We recorded zero-to-60-mph acceleration in 8.3 seconds, a poor result considering its power advantage over the standard engine.
On the other hand, the 2.0T models return an EPA-estimated 26 mpg combined (22 city/31 highway), and we managed to earn an impressive 28 mpg on our diverse 120-mile evaluation route.
The Eco features a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 178 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. A seven-speed automatic transmission is standard.
Oddly, the Eco recorded an impressive 7.5-second zero-to-60-mph run, beating the 2.0T model by almost a full second. The EPA says the Eco will achieve 31 mpg combined (28 city/36 highway). We validated those figures with our own 32-mpg trip on the Edmunds evaluation route.
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
Sonata Limited 2.0 PZEV
2017 Hyundai Sonata Limited PZEV 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
I owned an Audi A4. I tested a BMW, like the way it rode but did not like the interior (for a female) controls too complicated. I tested the good old Camry XL, the materials and quality of everything that was Camry has deteriorated. Its not the same Camry I knew and owned in the past with very cheap materials. It felt like the old Toyota Tercels inside. I test drove an Accord for … two hours. It does not handle bumps very well. If you have any issues with your spine, neck, hips this car was like driving a washing machine. The next day I had pain in my pelvis, which I never had before and spent a full day in bed on a heating pad.I test drove the Fusion, that car shook so violently, its just the way its made. Then I drove the Sonata Limited 2.0. It rides perfect, handles bumps like cushions. The inside is very nice, quiet. The layout of the instrumentation is so easy and logical I didnt even need to look at the book. It brakes great, I have cross traffic alert and all the bells and whistles on it. It was $30,000 and I leased it for 3 years for 14,000 including tax and tags. We drove this car out of state on a long trip and it drove and handled like a dream. There is not one thing I can say about this car thats negative. I wish I had test driven the Sonata 2.0 Limited before I tried the other cars. If you want a car that rides like a dream, gives you plenty of rear seat room, air conditioned front vented seats, good braking, great visibility, better headlights than the Audi's expensive lights, this is the car for you. Seriously. I spent almost a year looking for cars. I had parked this car in a parking lot and when I came out, I went over to the Audi A6 that was the same size and looked exactly the same (except for the front grille) and thought it was my Sonata. Yes, its that good and half the price of the A6. I had test drove the A6 as well and I didnt like the heaviness of the car plus the complicated information system and the "Ipad" that sticks up from the dashboard blocking your view of the street. Everything about the Sonata was perfect. Im seriously considering leasing again when the 3 years are up. I recommend this car and test drive it against the Camry and youll see what Im talking about. The Limited Sonata has 17 inch wheels, the base has 16. I have the 17 inch wheels which are better than 16. The Audis have low profile tires, which means far less cushion on the road and a harder stiff ride. I have never driven a car so comfortable as the Sonata, so if your thinking of this car, especially if your a female or older, I highly recommend it. I get approx. 35 mpg mixed highway and local. I cant put in the amount in the chart below for some reason.
5 out of 5 stars
Bang for the Buck
James Wright, 10/21/2016
2017 Hyundai Sonata SE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
The Hyundai Sonata is a very good car with lots of interior room, large trunk, comfortable seats, great legroom in the front seats, easy to understand and operate controls. Base model comes with most options one would want on a car. Gas mileage averages 30 mpg. Best of all, it can be bought new for less than 20K. After three years of ownership, still feel the same. A great value!
5 out of 5 stars
Bought the hard to find 2017 Sonata Eco
Bob From GA, 12/04/2016
2017 Hyundai Sonata Eco 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl Turbo 7AM)
I research cars for a couple of years before buying, and this time around I had a list of 12 sedans and SUV's that I slowly eliminated through test drives until ending up with the Sonata Eco. I have 1000 miles on the car and am extremely pleased with it. Before buying, I drove a base model Sonata for a week as a rental and liked the feel of the car. It rides well, has a lot of … features, and the build quality is excellent, but it's a bit slow to accelerate, around average for large sedans. I've followed dual-clutch transmissions for a few years, so the Eco intrigued me. It comes with 1.6L engine with a dual scroll turbo that runs great on regular gas, and a dual-clutch transmission. For those who are unfamiliar, it's a computer-controlled transmission that works something like a manual, but the computer can shift considerable faster than a human. It's also faster than a standard automatic transmission, though not as smooth. The engine produces 179 HP, less than the base model, but 195 ft-lbs of torque with a wide max torque band starting at 1500 RPM. The lighter engine and transmission drops the curb weight from 3587 for the base to 3219 for the Eco. The combination of a faster tranny, max torque at 1500 RPM, and less weight means that the Eco cuts about .7 seconds off the 0-to-60 time, and in high-speed driving, it accelerates beautifully. It passes slowbies in the fast lane like they're not there. It's hard to believe that you can get performance this good out of an engine whose combustion chambers are smaller than a half-gallon of milk. The Eco also gets outstanding mileage - rated at 28 city/ 39 hwy vs 25/36 for the base - if you can resist putting it in sport mode and driving with a heavy foot. Best of all, since the car hasn't caught on yet, you can get good deals on it. I got mine for $4015 off the MSRP. The speakers and the radio are great - it comes with a Sirius XM radio that sounds wonderful. My last two cars were a 2006 VW Passat 2.0T and a 2014 Mazda 6, both really good cars, but I like the Sonata Eco even better. Update 6/5/17 - I now have 11, 500 miles on the car. I still think it's great and that I got an excellent value. It's solid in daily driving around town, but really excels out on the highway. My wife and I have gone on a couple of 1800-mile round trips, switching off driving. The ride is very smooth, the 40-to-80 acceleration phenomenal, and the highway gas mileage incredible given the size and feel of the car. We're getting 38+ mpg in Eco mode even though we're running around 80 on the interstates and passing the slowbies. But it's the overall experience of the car we enjoy. The car is comfortable, we put on music or a book-on-CD and the miles just melt away. The dual-clutch transmission works great in normal driving, but every once in awhile acts up in very slowing driving, like backing into a parking space. If you put it in reverse and back straight in, it works just fine. But if you have to switch between drive and reverse to adjust your position, it seems like the DCT "gets confused", and either takes a few seconds to go into gear, or goes into second instead of first. This is a very minor irritation in comparison to how smoothly the car operates under normal conditions, and it does seems to be a characteristic of DCT's. I'll trade off a little low-speed bumpiness for the beautiful high-speed performance any day. Update 12/5/17 - Have 22,000 miles on the car now and still think it's great. Am still getting 32 mpg combined on daily outings and 38 on long interstate trips driving between 75 and 85. On long straight flat stretches, I can put the cruise control on 75 and it gets 40-42. It's amazing to get that kind of gas mileage without giving up comfort, space and acceleration. Update 6/5/18 - Approaching 30,000 and still very happy with the car. I had a fender bender. The other car had about $3000 in damage but the Sonata was barely scratched. Fixed the dings myself and the car still looks good. The paint has held up well despite parking it outdoors. The gas mileage continues to be excellent. There are three drive modes, normal, eco and sport. For my everyday driving, a combination of street and suburban highway, the normal setting gives me decent power and 32 MPG. On long trips on the interstate, the ECO setting plus cruise control gets me 40. I hardly use the sport setting at all, since it doesn't provide that much better acceleration and the mileage drops into the mid-20's in combined driving. The acceleration in normal mode is more than enough to handle freeway on-ramps and maintain good fast-lane speed. Update 12/5/19 - 42,000 miles and still going great. I really have to be picky to find something I'd don't like, but the horn sounds pathetic. I'd replace it but you have to take the grill off. Other than that, it's the best car I've had.
5 out of 5 stars
Sometimes I just want to go on a joy ride!
2017 Hyundai Sonata Sport 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
I was coming off a 2015 Sentra and I never really liked it all that much. I mean it was a great car and had good gas mileage but never loved it. I was just driving by a dealership and decided to stop in to take a look at a Sonata because someone in my neighborhood has a 2015/2016 one and it always caught my eye. As soon as I got on the lot I saw a Blue Sonata Sport, took it on a test … drive, instantly sold. First, pricing makes this a very affordable car giving you the most bang for your buck in this class. The model I got has the package with the sunroof, leather seats, etc etc etc. Second, I am 6'4" 280lb former football player so its hard finding something I feel comfortable in... I fit perfect in this. Easy to get in and out, plenty of leg room, my head isnt right up against the roof, even with the seat back (not even all the way) rear passengers still have leg room. Infotainment system is pretty good. No complaints here. Compatible with Android Auto and Apple Car Play, which my neighbors brand new $50k Acura MDX doesnt have and they are a bit jealous of that ha! Now to driving, in regular driving mode its a little sluggish off the line but I have zero problems getting up up to speed quickly or passing someone. Now if you want to have some fun, throw it into Sport and pop it over to sportmatic shifting and go down some winding back roads. Now its nothing like the Lancer EVO I had in my younger years, but steering and suspension is nice and tight and very responsive. Allows you to accelerate out of tight curves without any body roll and nice solid grab on the road. Bottom line, this is a great car all around. You wont see it featured in the Fast & Furious franchise but it is fun to drive and you shouldn't have any buyers remorse either.
2017 Hyundai Sonata video
JOSH SADLIER: This is automotive editor Josh Sadlier with an Edmunds Expert Rundown of the 2017 Hyundai Sonata. The Sonata is Hyundai's rival to midsize sedans like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. And it's so good that frankly it's easy to take it for granted at this point. But Hyundai has made incredible strides over the past few years. The current Sonata is fully competitive in its class. It's got fuel economy up to 36 miles per gallon with a base 2.4-liter fou4-cylinder. It's got a spacious interior. And as you can see, it's a good-looking car too. And Hyundai's warranty is the icing on the cake. You still get 10 years, 100,000 miles on the powertrain. And that continues to lead the class. We're looking at the turbo version here. And that's one disappointing thing about the Sonata. The 2.0T model, as they call it, doesn't quite have the punch you'd expect. And our track testing would notice that it lags behind other performance-oriented models in this class. Inside the Sonata, the back seat's about average for the class, which means there's room for a couple of six-footers. No problem. Pretty standard stuff here. That's why you get a midsize sedan in the first place. Up front, Hyundai's dialed back the styling of bit on the dashboard. It's a little more conservative this time around. And frankly, we think it's a step up in terms of appeal. It's almost a entry-level luxury look here with the way they've laid out the controls. And Hyundai's got a decent touchscreen infotainment system. And they even give you metal pedals in the Sport model. This is a very competitive segment. We mentioned the Accord. Mentioned the Camry. There's even the Mazda 6 as a dark horse candidate. Bottom line is you want to do a lot of test driving before you make a final choice. For more Edmunds Expert Rundowns, click the link to subscribe.
2017 Hyundai Sonata Expert Rundown
Looking for a well-rounded and affordable sedan? The 2017 Hyundai Sonata might be a great fit. Here's a quick rundown of what we like, what we don't and the bottom line from the Edmunds editors.
2017 Sonata Highlights
|Combined MPG||29 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$130/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 TestGood
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestGood
- 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