New for 2015
The Hyundai Sonata is all-new for the 2015 model year: the interior and exterior have been updated, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available for smartphone integration, the turbocharged 2.0T engine has been revised, and an Eco model with a turbocharged 1.6-liter I-4 and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is new.
The Hyundai Sonata is a midsize sedan that slots above the compact Elantra and below the full-size Azera in the automaker’s lineup. The Sonata is available in trims to appeal to any buyer, from the more powerful 2.0T, to the practical Eco, to the miserly hybrid.
The 2015 Hyundai Sonata features four powertrains, and all but the Eco feature a six-speed automatic transmission that drives the front wheels. Volume models, the SE/Sport/Limited, receive a 2.4-liter I-4 that makes 185 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque, and is good for an EPA-estimated 25/37 mpg city/highway in SE trim, and 24/35 mpg in Sport or Limited. A more performance-oriented Sport 2.0T model gets a turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 that makes 245 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, and gets an EPA-estimated 23/32 mpg.
Buyers who are more efficiency-minded can choose the Eco, which is powered by a 177-hp turbocharged 1.6-liter I-4 that makes 195 lb-ft of torque, and gets paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, over the standard six-speed, and improves on the EPA rating to reach 28/38 mpg. Truly devoted mileage-misers will opt for the hybrid, which pairs a 2.4-liter I-4 and an electric motor that makes 199 hp combined to get a respectable 36/40 mpg. The 2015 Sonata Hybrid is based on the last-generation midsize sedan; a new Sonata Hybrid arrives for the 2016 model year.
Standout features on the 2015 Sonata include an 8-inch touchscreen for the infotainment, Apple Car Play (for connecting iPhones), Google Android Auto (for connecting Android-based smartphones), heated front and rear seats, blind spot and rear cross traffic detection, lane departure warning, and an available smart cruise control.
The 2015 Hyundai Sonata line received five-star ratings from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars), and is considered a Top Safety Pick+ for 2014 by the IIHS.
What We Think
The 2015 Hyundai Sonata is a conservative yet handsome package that improves on the strong base established by the last-generation Sonata when it launched for the 2011 model year. We like the looks and packaging of the latest Sonata, but especially enjoyed the Eco. The 1.6-liter turbo four has been tuned for efficiency, but when paired with the quick-shifting dual-clutch it feels more powerful than the standard model.
The 1.6T engine is just as quiet as the bigger fours, but emits a perceptible growl under hard acceleration that’s more pleasing to the ear than the coarse noises from the 2.4-liter four. The Eco also has a slightly more balanced feel in the corners thanks to the lighter front end, but doesn’t compromise ride quality in the way the Sonata Sport’s slightly stiffer suspension tuning does.
If you’re considering a midsize sedan, you should take a look at the deceptively named Eco. Hyundai aimed for efficiency, but created one of our favorite Sonata models along the way.
- Eco model pairs efficiency and fun
- Updated new styling
- Google and Apple products make smartphone integration a breeze
You Won’t Like
- Driving the 2.4-liter I-4 hard
- Can’t get a manual on the Eco
- Waiting for the 2016 Sonata Hybrid’s updates
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