After a busy month, I’m finally able to sit down and assemble a proper 2015 Hyundai Sonata review. There are two major things that I gleaned from my Hyundai plant tour in Alabama back in June:
- You pronounce Hyundai like Sunday.
- The 2015 Hyundai Sonata is a seriously nice car.
Thanks to Hyundai USA for covering all travel and lodging costs associated with this event. All opinions are my own.
2015 Hyundai Sonata Review
For most of the morning, my driving partner Nicole Wakelin and I drove around the rural roads of Alabama in the Sport 2.0T model. Whoo-eee was this thing loaded! The panoramic sunroof went all the way back, the automatic vehicle hold was awesome when waiting at red lights (press a little extra on the brake then let go, the car will stay stopped until you press on the accelerator pedal), and the hands-free smart trunk opener sensed when the key fob was nearby instead of you having to do a one-leg dance to open it.
The new layout of the control console was very easy to adapt to and use. The designers purposely laid everything out to be along one line of sight, lessening the amount of time your eyes need to be off of the road to adjust something. The shape of the side mirrors was genius. In many cars, the use of the blind spot monitoring icon in the mirror slightly obstructs the view. However, the 2015 Sonata is slightly longer to accommodate that extra feature, giving you full view in what’s to the side/rear of you. The navigation touchscreen was clear but I would have brighter, more contrasting colors in the display as it was tough to differentiate the varying terrains and roads.
Handling was good and the ride was smooth. You could choose from three driving modes: Eco, Normal, and Sport. This affected the steering and how the car performed. You could immediately tell the difference. Eco mode is great for city driving to conserve gas, Normal mode works nicely on the highway for an easy and relaxing drive, and Sport mode was just right for the winding turns and uneven side roads. Sometimes, though, I did wish the suspension and handling was just a tad tighter in Sport. The turbo engine gave some great “oomph” for passing slower drivers and merging into traffic.
Inside the car, it was so quiet that you could have a normal-volume conversation with those in the back seat. The seats were also extremely comfortable in front and back. It’s rare that I get into a car and don’t have to do a gazillion adjustments to the height, distance, angle, and lumbar support to get comfy. This car was just such a joy to drive and to ride in.
Sonata Sport vs Sonata Sport 2.0T
During the afternoon, we switched out to a standard 2015 Sonata Sport. Unfortunately, this felt like a completely different automobile. The engine had a larger capacity but lacked the power of the turbo, making the drive feel more forced. With cloth interior, a blind spot mirror on the driver side (has a secondary mirror in the corner verses an electronic detection light), and an non-updated control area, I wasn’t feeling the love experienced in the 2.0 turbo.
Final verdict of this 2015 Hyundai Sonata review? The all-new Sonata is a car that I’d highly recommend to families, carpool groups, and people who want a sensible yet fun car. However, to really enjoy the newest design features and technologies, it’d be best to go with the Limited or Sport 2.0T trim and shell out some extra for those upgrades. In the long run, they are very much worth it and you’ll be happy with your vehicle for a much longer period of time.