The Hyundai Sonata is a comfortable and likable midsize sedan that proves Hyundai can build cars that are not just easy on the pocketbook but easy to live with as well. Like most vehicles in the midsize sedan class, the Sonata offers front-wheel drive, numerous safety features, and a choice of trim levels that include sporty and plush variants. Setting the Sonata apart, however, is Hyundai's lower pricing and outstanding warranty coverage.
For the most part, the Sonata has kept getting better. Recent generations are very competitive in the segment and a solid value proposition. Hyundai may have toned down the styling a bit in the newest generation, but it continues to improve performance and add more and more content. Newer pre-owned Sonatas are worth looking into, but models prior to 2006 make for a less appealing used-car proposition.
Current Hyundai Sonata
The latest Hyundai Sonata builds on the company's winning formula of packing its vehicles with features, installing fuel-efficient engines, and offering a range of trims that begin to approach luxury-car territory with their interiors and equipment. The Sonata is available in seven trim levels: SE, Eco, SEL, Limited, Sport 2.4, Sport 2.0T and Limited 2.0T.
Three engines are available for the Sonata. A 2.4-liter four cylinder making 185 horsepower and mated with a six-speed automatic motivates the SE, SEL, Limited and Sport 2.4. The Sport 2.0T and Limited 2.0T come with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four cylinder making 245 hp paired with an eight-speed automatic. The Eco, which is the most fuel-efficient Sonata, gets a turbocharged 1.6-liter four cylinder (178 hp) and a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The Sonata offers some appealing features as standard equipment on even the base SE: a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and blind-spot monitoring, along with old standbys such as air-conditioning and full power accessories. Moving up through the trims gets you more luxury-oriented features such as keyless entry and ignition, heated and ventilated leather-upholstered power front seats, a hands-free smart trunk opener, LED headlights, dual-zone climate control, navigation and extra driver safety aids. The Sport models have more sporting trim and styling pieces, and the Sport 2.0T also gets a sport-tuned suspension.
In reviews, we praised the Hyundai Sonata for its roomy interior and smooth and quiet ride. The front seats are comfortable and well-padded, and the rear has more than enough room for all but larger than average adults. Unfortunately, the driving experience isn't as engaging as what some competitors offer, even in Sport 2.0T trim, and acceleration lags behind the class. Still, there's also no denying the quality of the technology — or its abundance. The Sonata offers a lot of bang for your buck.
Read the most recent 2018 Hyundai Sonata review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Hyundai Sonata page.