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2015 Hyundai Sonata Is Competitive Mid-Size Sedan, CR Finds

The mid-size sedan segment is not only the most lucrative in America, it's also the most competitive. For years, Toyota ruled the market with their bland but cheap and efficient Camry. However, a couple of years ago, Honda launched an all-new Accord and fitted lots of toys as standard. In some states, it's actually the best selling car right now.
2015 Hyundai Sonata reviewed 36 photos
Photo: Consumer Reports
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Hyundai also makes a good mid-size. The old one could hold its own with the Accord, Camry and Fusion, but had a number of niggling flaws. Those appear to have been corrected as the Koreans introduced an all-new 2015 model year. The coupe-like roof is gone, giving drivers better visibility out the back. A stronger body will improve driving dynamics and NVH levels have also dropped.

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.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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