Hyundai Sonata 3-3 GLS
Keywords: Hyundai Sonata 3-3 GLS
Description: 2011 Hyundai Sonata review and ratings by Motor Trend. Find Sonata prices, real MPG, specs, photos, and videos.
When the all-new Hyundai Sonata debuted as a 2011 model year vehicle, it sported the Korean automaker’s swoopy new “Fluidic Sculpture” design theme. The striking new styling cues on the new Sonata erased any memories of the previous car’s nondescript styling. The 2012 Hyundai Sonata sports those same design elements and is essentially a carryover from the much changed and improved 2011 Sonata.
The Sonata’s engines were also new for 2011, starting with a direct-injected 2.4-liter four cylinder with 198 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque as the new base engine, mated to either a six-speed automatic or manual transmission. A turbocharged 2.0-liter four that puts out 274 horses and 269 pound-feet replaced the last generation Sonata’s V-6 engine. It comes exclusively with a new six-speed automatic transmission.
While essentially the same car as last year, Hyundai has made a few changes to the 2012 Sonata. Fuel economy for each engine has improved slightly, with the 2.4-liter picking up two mpg city and the 2.0-liter turbo one mpg highway when mated to the six-speed automatic. The Limited trim also gains a three-piece panoramic sunroof. For customers opting for HD Radio, a seven-inch touch-screen display is included. Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics package is now also standard across the board.
The Sonata was significantly revised for the 2011 model year, with a choice of a 2.4-liter direct injection four or a 2.0-liter turbocharged four, with two six-speed transmission options available depending on the model. It also gained Hyundai’s “fluidic sculpture” design language that makes the new Sonata look more contemporary. For the 2012 Hyundai Sonata, both engines when mated to the six-speed automatic have been retuned to be more efficient. The 2.4-liter gains two mpg city and the 2.0-liter turbo gains one mpg highway. A three-piece panoramic sunroof is now standard on the Limited trim and a seven-inch touch-screen display is included with HD radio. Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics is also now standard.
The Sonata’s side profile features a bold character line that starts at the trailing edge of the front fender and swoops all the way to the rear of the car, even wrapping around to the top of the taillights. Meanwhile, a chrome strip runs the length of the Sonata’s waistline, terminating not at the mirrors, but all the way up to the headlights. The sleek look is for more than just show. Aerodynamic testing reveals a coefficient of drag that handily trumps the old Sonata (0.28 vs 0.32). The front grille is bolder and chrome plated and the rear roofline is aggressively raked. The 2012 Sonata rides on 16-, 17-, or 18-inch wheels depending upon trim level and engine configuration.
Inside, the Sonata’s seats are comfortable and reasonably supportive. Chrome trimmed interior door pulls, shift lever, and gauge bezels are attractive, as is the gauge cluster, with two large pods for tach and speedometer set inside a larger compartment. Just below the display, an eye-catching chromed human figure is portrayed to change the ventilation mode. This proved to be a bit disappointing though, as the figure operates a single toggle, rather than directing airflow towards the section pressed. A power driver’s seat and front and rear seat heaters are optional. Cruise control is standard, as is a six-speaker AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 audio system. The optional navigation system adds a backup camera. Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics is now standard.
The new Sonata is lighter than the previous model, and the direct-injected 2.4-liter engine has more horsepower and torque than the last-generation model. No surprise then that in Motor Trend testing the new Sonata moved from 0-to-60 in 8.1 seconds – more than a half-second quicker than the previous model’s base engine. The 2.0-liter turbo engine moves from 0-60 mph from a standstill in 6.5 seconds. Stopping from 60 mph in the Sonata turbo takes 126 feet, average for its class. The most notable improvement, though, is the new Sonata’s handling. During instrumented testing, the new Sonata’s skidpad numbers improved from 0.78 g to 0.82 g, putting it near the top of the class.
Six airbags are standard on the Sonata including: dual front airbags are, along with driver and front-passenger side-impact airbags, and front and rear side air curtains. Also standard are Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Traction Control System (TCS), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. The Sonata is designed with front and rear crumple zones and an energy absorbing steering column. A Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) is also standard.
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