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Hyundai Sonata

A Hyundai Sonata review to aid your research

The Good

With agile, responsive steering, excellent performance and acceleration, nimble handing and flashy styling, the 2012 Hyundai Sonata is as great to look at as it is to drive.

The Bad

Headroom in the rear seats is suboptimal. The interior ergonomics and control layout could use improvement. The vehicle’s suspension isn’t very flexible, leading to a rough ride on bumpy roads.

The Bottom Line

With refined styling and excellent performance that still delivers good fuel economy, the Hyundai Sonata is one of the top options in its class.

Price

The 2012 Hyundai Sonata is available in three trim packages: the base GLS, the mid-range SE, and the top-end Limited. The Hyundai Sonata prices given below mark the range between the GLS and the Limited editions of the vehicle.

MSRP: $19,795 to $28,195

Average paid: $19,274 to $26,904

Performance

Acceleration and power

With the redesign to the 2011 Hyundai Sonata, a significant amount of weight was shed from the design, which predictably led to greatly enhanced acceleration and performance. The move shaved about half a second off the vehicle’s performance in 0 to 60 mph tests; the 2012 Sonata hit the 60 mark in a trim 8.1 seconds. If you upgrade to the turbo engine package, you will experience significantly improved performance which can propel you from a standing stop to highway speed in an impressive 6.5 seconds.

Handling and braking

Hyundai Sonata reviews since the 2011 redesign are raving about the improved handling of the new model, and for good reason. In closed track conditions, the Sonata displays performance more akin to what you might expect from a sports car. It corners extremely reliably and tightly, handles well and is very responsive. However, its suspension is a little lacking in its ability to absorb shocks, so your ride may feel bumpy at times.

The 2012 Sonata decelerates from 60 miles per hour to a full stop in 126 feet. This is about average for the midsize sedan class. Power-assisted four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes are standard. Brakes measure in at 11.8 x 1.1 inches (rotor diameter x thickness) in the front and 11.2 x 0.4 inches in the rear.

Interior

Seating

The seating offers good lumbar support and is, on the whole, very comfortable. However, the seat cushions cut off a little abruptly, so if you have long legs, you may feel a little short-changed during a long trip. Rear seats were adequately padded, with the center seat being slightly elevated to create separation between the left and right rear seats. You can choose between cloth and leather seating material.

Features

The 2012 Hyundai Sonata comes standard with Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to upload your mobile phone contacts. The factory stereo is an AM/FM/XM six-speaker system, with auxiliary input jacks and MP3 capability. Power windows, power door locks, power seating and remote keyless entry with a built-in security alarm are also standard on all trim packages, as is heating and air conditioning. All trim packages have a telescoping tilt steering wheel, with climate control and audio system controls mounted on it. A wide range of other ergonomic and informatics features are also standard, providing you with a secure, easy and comfortable driving experience.

Cargo space

The trunk offers 16.4 feet of cargo space, which ranks it near the middle of its class. Cargo space is somewhat limited by necessity, as the vehicle’s sporty design makes for a short back end.

Safety

The 2012 Hyundai Sonata offers a long list of safety features, including:

  • Driver and front passenger advanced dual-stage and side impact airbags
  • Brake assist
  • Electronic brake force distribution
  • Preventative hood buckling creases
  • Tire pressure monitoring
  • Four-wheel anti-lock brakes (ABS)
  • LATCH anchors and tethers
  • Internal trunk release

The 2012 Sonata has an overall crash test rating of five stars. It also earned five stars for side crashes, driver’s side crashes and rollover resistance. Front and rear passenger ratings all totaled four and five stars as well.

Specifications

Compared to the 2011 Hyundai Sonata, only a standard Bluetooth mobile phone link has been added as standard equipment on the 2012 model. The Sonata last underwent a major redesign in 2011. The specifications below are for the base GLS model.

  • Transmission: 6-speed manual with overdrive (automatic available)
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel drive
  • Engine Type: Inline 4
  • Engine Size: 2.4 L
  • Horsepower: 198 @ 6300 rpm
  • Torque: 184 @ 4250 rpm
  • Hyundai Sonata MPG, City: 24 miles per gallon
  • Hyundai Sonata MPG, Highway: 35 miles per gallon
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