Unlike the Accord and the Camry, there's no CVT gearbox option, only a six-speed automatic. That means it's nicer to drive, but the fuel economy rating of 38 mpg highway (Sonata Eco) is off the pace set by its competitors. If sipping fuel is what you're after, know that the old Sonata Hybrid is still available. A full parallel hybrid system allows it to run at up to 62mph using only the 40 hp electric motor.
Sonata's standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder and 2-liter turbo are in place, but they've lost a little power in their official rating. As consumer reports points out, the old model never felt like it actually achieved its ratings, so perhaps it's for the best. The 2.4L pumps out 185 hp, while its turbo brother makes up for the lack of a V6 with 245 hp.
There's also a new Sport trim level for keen drivers. It is only available with the more powerful turbo and gives you stiffer suspension, a body kit and seats with red accent stitching. Sport models also get a very nice flat-bottomed leather steering wheel with paddle behind it.
Prices start at $21,150 plus destination, which is slightly cheaper than a Fusion, and for that you get LED daytime running lights, 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning and a six-speaker basic sound system.
If you're willing to spend big bucks on a Korean car, the Sonata Sport 2.0T we talked about costs $28,575 and features HID Xenon headlights, a sporty body kit and 18-inch wheels. A sports exhaust with four tailpipes, tuned suspension and a rear diffuser ensure it looks at least as sporty as a Passat GLI.