The Hyundai Sonata is a good midsize car that really challenges class leaders. But for some reason it has been a very slow selling model.
The particular model here the base Active is really well priced and equipped considering its drive away price is about $30k and the step up to the next model Elite is $7000. It comes with features such as a reversing camera with sensors, 4.3 inch touchscreen, paddle shifters, leather steering wheel, premium gear knob, 17-inch alloy wheels, LED daytime running lamps, bluetooth and more.
It has cloth seats which are comfortable and high quality. Impressive interior quality for such a cheap car and being a base model. The small infotainment screen is a huge let down being the Elite or Premium models have a 8 inch screen, but it does have a reversing camera. The interior is a little drab, but although is very easy to use and operate. The foot operated park brake is the biggest complaint I have about this car. It is the most annoying, useless thing ever! Putting an electric park brake in wouldn't cost much at all as the other models have one and the cut out for it is already in the Active model. Rear legroom is huge, and the boot is bigger than a Holden Commodore.
The 2016 model update brought to the Active model paddle shifters and sports tyres. The sports tyres make a noticeable difference, literally hugging the road and never slipping, even at speed.
The Sonata drives extremely well. The eco mode is not very responsive, but in normal mode it drives smoothly and well. The sport mode is where it really shines, throttle response is perfect for a base model even for a car of this size. Steering is nice and light and heavy when it needs to be, and the sports tyres make it a great driving experience for a base model. The Australian tuned suspension makes a massive difference. It is very solid and compliant on the road, it just feels exceptional. The cabin is very quiet even at highway speed making it a good car for long distance. The fuel economy isn't too bad but what do you expect from a car of this size.
The Hyundai Sonata is an exceptional car. It has a great ride and the Active model is great value. The 2016 update bringing the Active model paddle shifters and sports tyres are welcome additions. Unfortunately Hyundai haven't sold many, the ownership credentials are there, the value is there, but still no one seems to see. It's a shame because the Sonata is such a great car.
If they got rid of the foot brake, and updated the infotainment in the Active model it would be much better. But for the money, it's such great value for a mid size and nearly large car that performs well, rides well, and stands out from the crowd. It is well worth a look.