2018 Hyundai Sonata Review
Pros & Cons
- Solid list of standard features and tons of available tech
- Spacious interior accommodations and generous trunk space
- Excellent user interface receives a more upscale redesign
- 10-year powertrain warranty offers peace of mind
- Lackluster power from base engine
- Top turbocharged engine trails performance of its competitors
- Slightly less rear legroom than the segment leaders
- No options available on Edmunds' recommended Eco model
List Price Range
$11,911 - $29,990
Used Sonata for SaleSee all for sale
Which Sonata does Edmunds recommend?
You could go many routes configuring the Hyundai Sonata depending on your preferences. One approach is to splurge on the fully loaded Limited 2.0T model with all the fixings, affording you creature comforts such as heated and ventilated seats, an 8-inch touchscreen navigation system and a comprehensive suite of advanced driver aids. However, we feel the value pick is the Eco model, which comes with plenty of standard equipment and is powered by Hyundai's torquey and efficient turbocharged 1.6-liter engine and a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Edmunds' Expert Review
Power in the top-of-the-line 2.0-liter turbo engine is plentiful for a midsize family sedan, and the driving dynamics are spirited but not sporty. On the whole, it drives in a manner that the typical buyer will find satisfactory, but it doesn't change the game in any way.
The newly updated suspension is a big improvement over past Sonatas. There's the right dose of compliance to smooth out road imperfections yet body roll isn't excessive — a good balance of comfort and control. The front seats deliver long-haul comfort and very effective ventilation.
The cabin does the basics well, from accommodating various driver shapes to facilitating easy entry and exit. The placement of displays and controls is intuitive and easy to use. Even though this cabin isn't all-new, it still asks for fewer sacrifices than some newer sedans.
There's little to complain about when it comes to the Sonata's everyday usability, which is aided by solid cargo capacity and no shortage of in-cabin storage options. It's as good as or better than what you'd get with the typical car in this class.
While its infotainment isn't cutting-edge, the execution is sound and well thought through. The premium audio system might leave audiophiles wanting. It's decent but not exceptional. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard features, a nice attribute that's not universal in the segment.
|Overall||7.7 / 10|
Most helpful consumer reviews
Limited 2.0T w/Prod. End 5/18 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
I’m 6’ 3”, lots of headroom in this car. Easy to exit as the driver’s seat moves rearward when the engine in turned off and the shift lever is in Park. Driver’s seat also has adjustable lumbar support. Has adaptive headlights – front lights turn when steering wheel is turned. Trunk is large, plus the back seats fold down for additional room. The Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) uses radar signals and camera recognition. AEB has many limitations, be sure to read the Owner’s Manual for more info on this. Quite cabin on city streets. As Edmunds noted, some tire noise at freeway speeds. With the turbocharger, lots of power for entering the freeway and for passing. No heads up display, but speed is displayed in a large font in instrument cluster. Looks beautiful in quartz white pearl.
Joe the delivery man,11/30/2017
SE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
I got this car to replace my 2015 Sonata. Not sure the new style is better, I kind of liked the 2015 better, especially the rear with the plates on the trunk. But overall this is a terrific car for your money, save for a few drawbacks. The car drives well, nice quite ride and respectable handling, but ride is not as smooth as a Camry and handling not as good as an Accord, Mazda6, or as precise as a Fusion. Pros include: Slightly better ride/steering over my 2015. Better interior, smart controls (w/ non-auto climate), tuning knob, custom button. Overall is exemplary, very intuitive designed with nice big clearly labeled buttons and knobs. Touch screen is responsive, although some corners don't respond like it's supposed to. The interface is also quite easy to use. LCD Shows date (wish it would also show exterior temperature). Car doors make a satisfying thud when they close. Still a fully printed owner's manual! Cons include: Brakes still too touchy, it makes too abrupt stops. Steering is still too feather-light. Heated mirrors are no longer included in the base model - something Hyundai used to offer all these years. No CD player. I know many cars today omit them, but I really miss it. Home screen should be more customization. Would like to get rid of the AV Off message. Some settings are confusing. Ugly gauges (miss the 2015 Elantra). Only 1 USB for music & Android Auto. Bluetooth makes problems (I have a basic phone). No gap-less music player. Headlight delay is 5 min or none! Overall interior is not too pretty (2018 Accent is nicer). Can't turn off the LCD between the gauges.
Limited 4dr Sedan w/Prod. End 5/18 (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
As much as I want to say that my new car is great in every way... It isn't. But it's extremely GOOD and very well priced. The interior materials use hard plastics in very unfortunate places (hurts to rest elbow or side of knee on door panel!), the seat bolsters aren't big enough for slippery leather, and winter traction has been downright alarming. On the other hand, the stereo has absolutely fantastic sound, the car has a very comfortable suspension and steering, and while it is on the slow side, it's great for cruising once you're up to speed. Fuel economy has also been better than expected. The place where it really shines though, is price. It was a full $4000 less than similarly outfitted midsize sedans. While it isn't the best car I've ever owned, it's not far off, and the value-for-money is outstanding. UPDATE (2.5 years later): My initial impressions have pretty much stayed the same. My initial impressions of comfort have gotten better after a few months of tinkering with the seat adjustments. I don't really have any complaints there. Fuel economy is consistently better than expected, especially on the highway-- on long solo highway trips, I've had over 40 mpg. It's still woefully slow, but then-- it's not really for people who like driving fast. One strange thing is that some gas pumps trigger their automatic stops almost immediately with this car. Never had it happen before, and it only happens with specific pumps, so I'm guessing there's something about this car that trips it for some reason. Not really a problem though. As far as durability goes, I've had exactly 0 thing break, and literally everything has been smooth sailing. I think my final opinion is that this is NOT a car that you love. The emphasis is on creature comforts (Sound system, Android Auto, Ventilated Seats) rather than driving performance. This is NOT a car that anyone falls in love with driving. This is for someone who wants a car to get them from point A to point B in nice, boring comfort. This is not a car your children want to drive, this is the car your mother wants to drive. It's a fantastic car if you car more about getting to your destination than the journey to get there.
SEL SULEV w/Prod. End 5/18 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
I will start by saying I give 2 stars because this is an on-going problem and Hyundai is still sell this car, even after it is supposedly fixed. Very unsafe. I purchased this car brand new in August 2018. In March 2019, I received a recall notice saying I needed to visit my dealer to have the computer for the car's engine updated. I took the car to the dealer 3 days later. Five days after that, I'm driving to NY and 400+ miles away from home, my brand new car begins "limping" as I try merge onto a busy bridge. I took the car to the nearest dealer in Staten Island, NY and it is still there today. Not sure what is wrong. I understand this is a huge problem for the company where the engine or the harness in the Sonata and Santa Fe models need replacing. They think it's the harness, however, the piece has yet to arrive, so no telling. Because my trip was considered interrupted, I called Hyundai’s Customer Care 800 and received directions on what I should do next. They were empathetic, but they could not tell you what amount you would actually get reimbursed. That is up to the case manager to say and you don’t hear from that person for at least 5 days. Anyway, once he called me 5 days later, my case manager was extremely helpful and I was able take care of all the paperwork for the buy back, as well as my reimbursement funds. Prior to this problem, I was relatively happy with the car. I enjoyed the generous warranty, the high safety rating, the huge trunk space, and the beautiful look (although the grill was a bit angry-looking to me). I also loved that it had a lot of “giddy-up”. I don’t think it was as quick on the draw as my 2012 Sonata (that was a rocket!), but it was close. Lastly, I received a great deal on the purchase of this car. I was displeased with the elimination of the CD player, the Sirius service in the base SE version (I should not have to use my phone for music) and the pocket on the back of the passenger seat. Really no need to take these features from the base Sonata; that was just cheap on the part of the company. As I will no longer be a Hyundai customer, I will add that all the service I received at the Hyundai dealership in Fredericksburg, VA was exceptional. The people were always polite and courteous, the place was clean and welcoming for adults and children alike, and my car was always returned to me shiny and clean, inside and out, whenever I went for a servicing. I hope my next dealer is as thoughtful and attentive.
Features & Specs
Our experts like the Sonata models:
- Blind Spot With Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
- Assists the driver by warning of cars in the blind spot of an adjacent lane and if vehicles are approaching from the side when reversing.
- Smart Cruise Control With Stop-Start
- Detects vehicles in front of you and automatically adjusts cruise speed to maintain a preset distance, and can even bring you to a stop.
- Lane Keep Assist
- Applies corrective steering assistance to help keep your vehicle positioned in its lane if it senses the vehicle drifting.