2022 Hyundai Sonata Review
Over the years Hyundai's Sonata has been a consistently good pick for a sedan that's big on value. But back in 2020 it would seem Hyundai wasn't quite satisfied with just value. That's when it redesigned the Sonata and gave it a wallop of avant-garde style. Then it followed up for 2021 by cranking up the performance with the N Line version of the Sonata. Fitted with a 290-horsepower engine, the N Line sets a new midsize sport sedan benchmark.
The changes are comparatively small for the 2022 Hyundai Sonata. Notably, the once optional Tech package on the already value-stacked SEL Plus trim is now standard. And the recently christened N Line gets a new appearance package, known as the Night Edition, that adds a mix of matte and gloss black exterior finishes and a spritz of carbon-fiber trim.
Overall, the Sonata is among the best midsize sedans out and is a worthy rival to the Honda Accord, Kia K5 and Nissan Altima. Check out our Expert Rating below to get our team's full take on the Sonata's comfort, performance and more.
The Sonata has the aura of a more expensive vehicle. It's stylish and it overdelivers in key areas, including its great-looking and easy-to-use infotainment system display, cool parking camera system and long warranty coverage. But in other areas, the Sonata merely matches what you'd expect from a midsize sedan, and it falters slightly when it comes to ride quality and seat comfort.
How does the Sonata drive?
We tested a Sonata Limited with the turbocharged 1.6-liter engine. It's not exceptionally quick but the Sonata can edge out similarly powered family sedans, with a 0-60 mph time of 7.6 seconds. It doesn't have trouble keeping pace with traffic or accelerating on freeway on-ramps, but doing so requires more pressure on the gas pedal than you might be used to.
Steering, handling and braking are matter-of-fact, though there are some strange traits. The firm overall ride doesn't net a worthwhile handling balance. And the brake pedal emits a slight pulsation under light, constant application, like when you're heading down a gentle grade. There's nothing particular to object to, but there isn't much to praise either.
How comfortable is the Sonata?
The Sonata gives the appearance of refinement, but its interior comfort comes up short of expectations. The seats are firm and lack the supple comfort and adjustment ranges found in segment leaders. The ride also falls on the firm side. The Sonata is far from uncomfortable, but it transmits bumps and impacts into the cabin that other similarly priced family sedans wouldn't. The interior is a touch louder too.
On the upside, the climate controls, including heated and ventilated front seats, are quiet and effective. Overall the interior gets the job done, but it doesn't go any further.
How’s the interior?
Nearly all of the controls are simple to intuit, which is impressive considering the abundance of interior features. A push-button shifter remains the biggest wart. The layout requires extra attention to make sure you're selecting the right gear, which can add needless anxiety to a quick three-point turn.
The size of the interior is excellent, matching interiors of larger vehicles in the segment and ensuring there's plenty of room for occupants of all sizes. On the other hand, even people of average height have to duck slightly while getting in and out. We'd like more driver's seat adjustment range, especially in seat height.
How’s the tech?
The Sonata's available 10.3-inch touchscreen looks crisp and is quick to respond to your touch. The excellent voice controls understand most natural language commands for stereo, navigation and phone. Smartphone integration was flawless in our car, and it supports both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay in widescreen format.
The Sonata, like most family sedans, has a suite of advanced safety features. But some of these features — such as blind-spot cameras that appear in the digital gauge cluster and the driver-free Smart Parking Assist — are mostly gimmicks. They're neat to show to your friends but don't have much practical value.
How’s the storage?
The trunk opening is large, and the reasonable liftover height allows plenty of space to load items. We also like that switches to flip down the rear seats are easy to access in the trunk.
The Sonata's center console is deceivingly capable. What looks like a mere open flat area has clever touches, such as a textured surface and a partition between the cupholders for a spare phone. The front passenger also has access to a small but nice storage area on the right side of the tunnel. When it comes to car seats, the lower car-seat anchor points are squished between seat bottoms and seatbacks so you have to dig a bit to reach them.
How’s the fuel economy?
The EPA estimates the Sonata with the turbo 1.6-liter four-cylinder and eight-speed automatic gets 31 mpg combined (27 city/37 highway). These figures fall right in line with those of similarly priced and equipped midsize sedans, though we were not able to match it. We averaged 26.4 mpg over about 400 miles of mixed city driving. It's worth noting that the base engine — a 2.5-liter four-cylinder — holds a slightly better combined rating of up to 32 mpg.
Is the Sonata a good value?
A ton of technology features, a large interior, a class-leading warranty and strong ownership perks give the Sonata killer value on paper. If you prioritize advanced safety features and look-at-me style, the Sonata provides your money's worth.
The trade-off is a driving experience and interior that don't relay the sense of quality promised by the style. Top performers in the segment do both better. The Sonata's interior has some non-uniform panel gaps and occasional cheap-looking bits of trim that stand out against the otherwise stellar appearance.
If it only drove as neat as it looks. The exterior style causes double takes, and many people we talked to during our test assumed the Sonata was a luxury car. It's distinct on the road and in a crowded parking lot, but not in an ostentatious way. Big credit to Hyundai for making a family sedan that stands out.
While riding the boost of a turbocharged engine is always enjoyable, there's little else in the Sonata to muster enthusiasm. Ride, steering and handling get the job done but lack the tactile satisfaction you'll find in more enjoyable sedans. Also, similarly priced sedans offer more powerful and entertaining engines, making them more compelling propositions.
Which Sonata does Edmunds recommend?
Consider the SEL trim to get the best value for your money. On top of what you get from the base SE, the SEL adds desirable features such as heated seats, keyless ignition and blind-spot warning. You can also get it with the optional Convenience package to get a few more extras (leather upholstery, for instance) without having to pay for the SEL or Limited. Of course, if performance is a priority, the N Line is the one to get.
Hyundai Sonata models
The 2022 Sonata is available in five trims: SE, SEL, SEL Plus, Limited and N Line. Hyundai also offers the Sonata Hybrid variant, which is reviewed separately. Feature highlights for the Sonata include: