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Hyundai Sonata: Big is Standard

July 2015, by Tariq Kamal - Also by this author

Redesigned for 2015, the Hyundai Sonata is positioned to continue its momentum in the midsize sedan segment, where it competes against such stalwarts as the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Nissan Altima.

To help even the odds, the Sonata packs a long list of standard features into a competitive sticker price and offers a range of trim levels and engines, including a fuel-sipping “Eco” edition. (The Sonata Hybrid carries over from the prior generation.) Better yet, it features class-leading passenger, cargo and interior volume.

The new Sonata is available in SE, Eco, Sport, Sport 2.0T and Limited trims. The SE, Sport and Limited get a 2.4L four-banger that delivers 185 horsepower (hp) and 178 pound-feet (lb.-ft.) of torque. The Eco makes do with a turbocharged 1.6 engine that delivers 177 hp and pushes the Sonata’s combined fuel economy from 29 miles per gallon (mpg) to 32.

The Sport 2.0T is equipped with a new, turbocharged 2.0 that delivers 245 hp and 260 lb.-ft. of torque. That’s a loss of 30 horsies from the outgoing Sport, but an improvement on the 2014’s woeful 21 mpg in city driving; the 2.0T now gets 23 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the road for a combined fuel economy of 26 mpg.

The outgoing model’s frenetic design has been replaced with a sleek exterior and sophisticated interior. The cabin features consolidated controls on a center stack angled toward the driver, an available 5- or 8-inch touchscreen interface, a race-inspired instrument cluster on the 2.0T and wood-grain accents on the Limited.

Standard features on the base model include 16-inch wheels, remote keyless entry, power everything, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, two 12-volt power outlets, cruise control, automatic bright headlights and more.

Sport and Eco trims feature 17-inch wheels, a rearview camera, 5-inch touchscreen and power driver’s seat. The Limited adds dual-zone climate control, power passenger seat, rear-window sun shades and blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warnings.

The top-of-the-line Sport 2.0T brings 18-inchers, a sport-tuned suspension, paddle shifters and dual chrome exhaust tips. Other options — including upgraded audio, navigation, driver memory settings and a panoramic sunroof — can be had in packages or as stand-alone options, depending on the trim level.

The 2015 Hyundai Sonata is in showrooms now. Pricing starts at $21,150 for the base SE and tops out at $33,525 for the Sport 2.0T.

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