Nice Luxuries and Infotainment from Apple Help Pump Up The Sonata’s Reputation
The name Mindy has long been anathema to me. I never liked anyone with that name. But as an adult, I became good friends with a Mindy and overcame my preconceived notions. In much the same way, Hyundai has worked hard to overcome preconceived notions about its cars.
The Hyundai brand was long associated with inexpensive cars, but the Korean company has been delivering well made, and dare I say, even luxury cars to a sometimes skeptical audience; Hyundai bucks this perception, too, with the increasingly luxurious Genesis.
This is most apparent in the new Sonata, redesigned for 2015 with more refined aesthetics, a safe, quiet ride and standard extras like 7 air bags, lane departure warning, auto high beam and park assist.
I spent several hours driving (and as a passenger – passenger-ing?) in both the basic model and the sport 2.0 and came away duly impressed with this entry level car.
Actually, Hyundai’s pricing doesn’t necessarily reflect entry level. The base model starts at $21,150; the fully loaded turbocharged Sonata Sport 2.0T can run $33,525. Each model has a different fuel economy, but the range is from a low of 23 in the city for that Sport 2.0T to 37 on the highway for the SE model.
Sport Sonata: More Luxury and a Sports Sedan Feel
That Sport model had some juicy extras; contrast stitching, a cool steering wheel with a flat bottom, and Apple CarPlay, for iPhone 5 or later; you seamlessly integrate Siri with the car, and can make phone calls or listen to music both hands and eyes free.
We drove during the day, so I didn’t get to test out the automatic high beams, but this is a great feature for driving in the country. In fact, growing up, we called high beams ‘country lights.’ With the Sonata, you always have the high beams on; when the car detects another car approaching, it dims the lights so you don’t blind the oncoming driver.
Smart Features Take the Stress and Hassle Out of Driving
The smart cruise control is another nifty feature. You can set the cruise control, and drive more efficiently – and when the car detects another car in front of you slowing down, the cruise control pauses. It resumes when it’s safe to go faster.
But my favorite thing of all is the smart trunk. This is an amazing innovation for a mom who is holding a kid or two, a bag of groceries and her pocketbook. You merely walk behind the car and when you are three feet away, the key beeps three times and opens the trunk. No sticking your foot under the car, waving your hand like a lunatic, or struggling with packages and a stroller. Just a sensor that opens the trunk, and makes life easier for a mom, or anyone using the trunk of her car. Genius.
The Sonata also has a built in rear sunshade, great for kids, heated and ventilated seats,
I can’t wait to get my hands on the Hyundai Sonata again so I can see how the driver position memory function works, the parking sensors and the heated steering wheel.
I’d like to see how the Sonata’s real world gas mileage matches to its reported mpg.
What We Loved
Smart trunk-opens by itself when key fob is in your pocket or purse
Apple CarPlay phone integration
Adaptive Cruise Control
Hyundai’s amazing warranty of 5 years/60,000 miles bumper to bumper, 10 years/10,000 miles power train ad 5 years of roadside assistance protection
Hyundai’s BlueLink service that provides voice connection, destination assistance and emergency help, among other features
What You Need To Know
The Sonata SE Eco is estimated to get 28MPG/38MPG highway
The Sonata Sport 2.0Turbo is estimated to get 23PMG city/32 highway
Pricing starts at $21,000 for the base model and tops out at over $33,000 for the Sport 2.0Turbo
Apple CarPlay is for iPhone 5 and newer
Sonata compares to the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima and Ford Fusion
Disclosure: I was Hyundai’s guest in Montgomery, Alabama for the Sonata test drive; opinions expressed here are all my own.