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Hyundai Sonata 2015 review

EXPERT RATING
6
Peter Barnwell road tests and reviews the Hyundai Sonata Premium turbo, with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

Jumping straight out of Hyundai's new entry level Sonata into the top of the line model provides quite a contrast. The base car has a 2.4-litre petrol four cylinder engine that goes pretty well all things considered. But the Premium 2.0T has a turbo petrol 2.0-litre with a robust 180kW/350Nm output - making it something of a front wheel drive, medium-size sports sedan.

We didn't put it over a 0-100kmh sprint but from a seat of the pants feel, the Sonata 2.0T would be quick - possibly around the 6-6.5 second mark which is impressive in anyone's measure.

Medium size sedans are supposed to be boring, family cars or so called 'repmobiles'.

The Sonata $41,990 2.0T Premium is most definitely not.

Engine / Transmission

The turbo engine features variable cam timing and direct fuel injection and is of the latest generation from Hyundai. It drives the front wheels through a six speed auto transmission with paddle shift.

Don't expect Mazda6-equalling fuel economy

The engine runs sweetly and smoothly and is almost undetectable when cruising. It becomes a tad more vocal when you drive vigorously.

But don't expect Mazda6-equalling fuel economy because the Sonata 2.0T consumes 9.2L/100km combined. That's about the same as a Commodore V6, though lower fuel use would be easier in the Sonata on a trip.

Premium fuel would be advisable for the 2.0T to function at its best.

Hyundai didn't only bless this car with a strong engine, they took pains to make sure it can cope dynamically in terms of ride and handling, braking and steering. A localisation program arrived at a specific (sporty) set-up for the 2.0T that is both comfortable and controlled.

It's similar to stablemate Kia's localisation program with its cars.

No complaints there at all. There's even a full size spare in the large boot.

Features

Being the top of the three model Sonata range, the Premium has all the fruit including dual zone climate control, proximity unlock with button start, 8-inch touch screen incorporating satnav, 18-inch alloys, eight way electric adjustable driver's seat, leather, premium audio, bi-xenon headlights with static cornering lights, trip computer, a spectrum of connectivity options and good looking alloy and carbon look interior fascia. 

The new Sonata range itself is well endowed with standard features including a reverse camera, auto headlights and wipers and park assistance systems.

We'd lose the panoramic glass sunroof if we could, but the Premium model has it as standard.

Bluetooth connectivity is good for phone and audio and the actual driver controls are easy to find and use.

The heated/ventilated front seats might seem largesse but are actually really good on hot or cold days.

It's a large car for the medium class offering plenty of interior room for five, and added benefits such as the 60:40 folding rear seats and multi wheel controls. 

Advanced driver assist systems are thin on the ground however, with nothing really sexy making an appearance despite the Sonata benefiting from tech flow down from the Hyundai Genesis large car.

The car's styling inside and out is pleasing to the eye

Driving

We could easily live with this 1560kg car because it has most bases covered and the drive feel is engaging enough to keep you interested. Punch it hard off the line and the Sonata doesn't mess around. It has robust mid-range response and the ride is a great compromise for our widely varying conditions.

The interior is comfy and the car's styling inside and out is pleasing to the eye.

We saw better than the claimed combined fuel economy on the highway.

Verdict

Getting up there on price but Sonata 2.0T Premium looks good, has excellent performance and dynamics and plenty of kit. Really and truly, the base model 2.4 is good enough for most applications and costs heaps less.

Pricing guides

$17,995
Based on 50 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$13,950
Highest Price
$22,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
Active 2.4L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $9,400 – 14,190 2015 Hyundai Sonata 2015 Active Pricing and Specs
Elite 2.0L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $11,900 – 17,490 2015 Hyundai Sonata 2015 Elite Pricing and Specs
Premium 2.0L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $14,100 – 19,910 2015 Hyundai Sonata 2015 Premium Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
6
Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.