For the Hyundai Sonata, 2015 has changed our perceptions of this formerly average sedan. Our test car for the week was a Sonata Limited which arrived with all the bells and whistles. Built in Montgomery, Alabama, this is the first model year of the new seventh generation. The body has been influenced by the new Genesis and the Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design philosophy. Polished stainless stell rocker moldings and window trim are welcomed additions and help to set Sonata apart from the crowd. The paint quality and body panel gaps are above average and a great compliment to the LED lighting.
Interior quality is also improved, thanks to new materials and a pleasing symmetrical layout. We were happy to find heated/ventilated seats along with a heated steering wheel. A panoramic sunroof and Infinity sound system are also included with the Limited package. A host of safety equipment includes lane departure, seatbelt pre-tensioners and rear cross traffic alert.
The Sonata is a front wheel drive and powered by a 185 HP four cylinder engine. The only reward from the powertrain is the highway rating of 35 mpg. Stylish 17” alloy wheels offer enough sidewall to keep road noise at a minimum, but contribute to body roll in the corners. The six speed automatic transmission shifts well at lower speeds, but higher rpms seem to confuse it. Smart cruise is the best feature of driving this car.
The adaptive system monitors the speed of the car ahead and brings your Sonata to a complete stop at a preset distance. One touch of the resume button will accelerate you back to the previous speed. In stop and go traffic, the Sonata requires no input from the brake or gas pedal. That feature alone justifies the $32,510 price tag. Combined with all the luxury and safety options, the new Sonata is a great choice for a modern American made sedan.
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