2009 Hyundai Sonata SE V6

It's been some time since I've been in a Sonata, and I was remarkably surprised by what I found when I sat behind the wheel of our test car. Somehow, in the past four or five years, Hyundai's bread-and-butter four-door has crept into normalcy. The Sonata is an attractive, thoroughly pleasant mid-size sedan, one that I wouldn't mind recommending to any of my nonenthusiast friends. Gone is the heinously dead steering, the cut-rate interior, and the sluggish, slam-bang transmission of the previous Sonata, and while it's no sport sedan, the current Sonata is at least marginally entertaining to drive. Torque steer has been cut to a minimum, the 3.3-liter V-6 is remarkably strong, and the interior is both quiet and comfortable. The Sonata isn't quite as entertaining as something like a Honda Accord - the engine is too uninvolving, the chassis too distant, the steering too Toyota-like - but it's still a remarkably strong effort, and one that should keep most ordinary drivers perfectly happy.

Sam Smith, Associate Editor

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