Skip to main content

2015 Hyundai Sonata: A Refined Entry In A Crowded Segment

Hyundai's Sonata Is A Solid Entry In A Crowded Market

Hyundai’s latest Sonata is a competent entry into the crowded mid-sized segment. It’s an evolutionary update to the previous generation, which really put Hyundai on the map for prospective car buyers. And that's not a bad thing. The car is more refined, smoother and has plenty of optional capabilities.

In terms of technology, the infotainment system is solid. It's at the top of the pack compared to its competition. I’d go so far as to put it in second place, just behind Uconnect Access in the Chrysler 200. Hyundai knows how to put together a good user interface with plenty of features and connectivity, while balancing physical and touchscreen controls. While Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto support will be fine additions to the system, we find the current infotainment solution is good without requiring you to plug in your phone every time you get in the car.

While the available driver assist features aren't as advanced as what you get in the Genesis sedan, Hyundai gives Sonata buyers a taste of the good stuff, including full-speed-range adaptive cruise control, which makes sitting through stop-and-go traffic more tolerable. While we appreciate the blind spot monitoring system, there's a lot less value in the forward collision and lane departure warning systems. While passive alerts might help, I prefer active systems to prevent distracted drivers from hitting other vehicles over simply reminding folks that they aren't paying attention.

Driving dynamics of the new Sonata in all trim levels are nowhere near the Mazda6. Still, this is a quiet and comfortable car with good steering feel. It’s not a sports car of course, but rather a good contender for the Toyota Camry-buying crowd. The new motors deliver smooth power with great low-end response, though they're not going to win any races.

If you’re shopping for a new mid-sized sedan, you can’t really go wrong with the Sonata. It’s a nice blend of smooth styling and plenty of technology if you want it. While we appreciate the additional power of the Sport 2.0t, it's not particularly noticeable or necessary, based on our time with the vehicle.

For buyers who are fuel economy-focused, the Sonata Eco is a great choice. We really like the instant torque available from its 1.6-liter turbocharged engine, which makes it fantastic in the city. If we could have it our way, the ideal Sonata would have all the goodies and suspension from the Sport 2.0t, but with the 1.6t and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. It's only unfortunate that Hyundai doesn't offer that combination.

In such a crowded segment, the new Sonata doesn’t stand out like the previous generation. But it’s a refined follow-up that will certainly please prospective buyers.

  • blackmagnum
    Thanks for the informative review. My next mid-sized sedan will definitely be a Toyota Camry.
    Reply
  • cknobman
    Yuck, dont like the styling at all compared to the previous generation.
    To top it off the performance engine gets gimped.
    Reply
  • tuanies
    14413041 said:
    Thanks for the informative review. My next mid-sized sedan will definitely be a Toyota Camry.

    The Mazda 6 is still the best in my eyes, but the infotainment system they use is horrible. Toyota Entune is very dated as well.

    14414288 said:
    Yuck, dont like the styling at all compared to the previous generation.
    To top it off the performance engine gets gimped.

    From what I've heard, the previous gen sold very well in the US but was a flop internationally, hence why they went back to more conventional styling. I don't expect them to sell many turbos this time around, or those that will don't care about raw output numbers.
    Reply
  • punahou1
    My next car will NOT be connected to the internet or any other cloud based technology. I can see it now - terrorists hack into multiple cars and initiate an acceleration virus....
    Reply
  • tuanies
    14415149 said:
    My next car will NOT be connected to the internet or any other cloud based technology. I can see it now - terrorists hack into multiple cars and initiate an acceleration virus....

    Or compromise Tesla's Autopilot system remotely...
    Reply
  • gbair
    The new steering wheel controls look pretty similar to the '14 Kia Optimas, which I didn't really like.
    Reply
  • Kary K
    Not terribly impressed with the Apple solution if it requires USB. I probably won't like the Android solution either. but then I'm fairly happy with the various players being able to connect to a car stereo by BT. Smartphones change too much to buy a car based on what they are currently like.
    Reply
  • hst101rox
    I wonder when the Sonata will be offered as a plugin hybrid not just hybrid and a lean burn engine not just Atkinson cycle
    Reply
  • Ninjawithagun
    UGLY! What the hell were the design engineers thinking? Far worse design versus ALL of the previous generation body styles. I don't give a crap about the interior design, if the outside of my car is going to look like that? Hyundai really needs to consider firing the moron senior engineer that allowed this ugliness to go into production. Damn.
    Reply
  • tuanies
    14417533 said:
    Not terribly impressed with the Apple solution if it requires USB. I probably won't like the Android solution either. but then I'm fairly happy with the various players being able to connect to a car stereo by BT. Smartphones change too much to buy a car based on what they are currently like.

    USB is a must IMO or you'll just have something very demanding draining your phone and pissed off customers wondering why their battery life sucks.

    14418678 said:
    I wonder when the Sonata will be offered as a plugin hybrid not just hybrid and a lean burn engine not just Atkinson cycle

    Its rumored to come soon IIRC.

    Reply