Saturday Road Test – Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T

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Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T

Sport to a Point

By Ron Amadon

DAMASCUS, MD – The Sonata has built up a reputation through the years as a comfortable sedan with a load of standard equipment that is very easy to live with day in and day out.

For 2015 the plant in Montgomery, Alabama, added a Sport 2.0T model to the lineup. It is powered by a 2.0 liter turbo four with 245 hp @ 6,000 rpm and 260 lb-ft of torque @ 1,350 – 4,000 rpm. For the typical operator that translates into more than adequate low end grunt especially in the “Sport” mode, selected via a button on the center console. It allowed the six-speed automatic to hold gears longer, the opposite of the “Eco” setting.

In normal driving the turbo felt lively and Motor Trend rang up a 0-60 in 8.0 seconds, a nudge slower than some of its competition, but more than adequate for most Sonata shoppers.

The Sport 2.0T adds a different rear bumper fascia, quad exhaust tips and 18-inch alloy wheels. A flat bottom steering wheel is added along with paddle shifts that worked fine but blocked the driver’s view of the stalks for headlights and windshield wipers. On the test car, strangely enough, the stalks were not lighted.

Our old friends at the EPA rate this car at 23 mpg in the city, 32 on the highway for a combined 26 mpg. I came out at 23 in holiday traffic and 25 highway.

Standard equipment included Blind Spot Detection, stability control, Tire Pressure Monitor, rearview camera, heated front seats, Dual Automatic Temperature Control, satellite radio, Bluetooth, HID headlights and LED taillights.

With multiple power adjustments, the front seats were very comfortable with lumbar variations enough to appease most backs. Two not overly tall adults will find the rear seats more than acceptable.

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Ahead of the driver were white in black instruments – always the best combination. Between the tach and speedo was a screen with a wide variety of information at the operator’s beck and call.

There was fine hauling space in the trunk rated at 16.3 cubic feet.

With no navi on the test car, the radio functions and that’s all there was, resided in the rather small 5” center dash screen with redundant controls on the steering wheel. For a base system, the sounds were just fine.

Should you want navi, you will find it tucked into the one and only option package for the Sport 2.0T priced at a hefty $4,950. The “Ultimate Package” contains a long list of features, safety and otherwise, as well as a 9-speaker Infinity audio system. If all you want is navi, check out the much less expensive offerings from Best Buy and other outlets.

The car was quiet on the highway thanks to added sound proofing for 2015. It was no problem to merge with fast moving semis on I-70 and long drives would be a no brainer. “This is nice. I will go one more exit,” and one more and so forth, I thought.

Yet handling was calibrated toward a smooth rather than truly sporty ride – probably what most Sonata owners are seeking.

So what about prices? With zero options, the test car carried an MSRP of $29,510. With the big option package that moves up to $34,460. How you feel about all that depends on your monthly payment expectations.

Frugal shoppers might want to examine other models in the Sonata lineup to get the exact combination of ingredients they want.

You will end up with a very pleasant set of wheels, a long list of standard equipment and that 10 year, 100,000 mile powertrain warranty.

If you are in the market for a sedan, you really should take a Sonata for a spin.

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