Test Drive: 2011 Hyundai Sonata Review

2011 Hyundai Sonata

I have had a ton of questions on the new Hyundai Sonata, and as I have talked about on air, I have driven it briefly and was impressed.  This week, I had the opportunity to spend the whole week with this automobile.

I had the 2011 Hyundai Sonata SE in a beautiful red exterior color, and it was equipped with the 2.4 liter 4-cylinder engine, their most popular model, and a six-speed automatic transmission.  This little four-banger puts out 200 horses and much to my surprise is very capable, while delivering superior fuel economy.

This car draws a lot of attention, and much like the Hyundai Genesis, people are amazed it is a Hyundai.  Hyundai designers did a GREAT job making this car very attractive on the outside.  The wheels are beautiful and they added chrome to side of the car which adds a touch of elegance and makes the car appear larger than it is.  It is not a small car, in fact under EPA guidelines the Sonata is classified as a large sedan.

All Sonatas come well-equipped with antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, front seat side-impact airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints.

In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, the 2011 Hyundai Sonata earned the agency’s “Top Safety Pick” designation. It scored top rankings in both frontal offset and side-impact crash tests, and also scored top marks in the new rear impact test and the new roof crush test.

As far as ride and drive, Sonata is very enjoyable.  The SE version I had comes with a sport-tuned suspension, which may ride a little rough for some.  In that case, you might make the step up to the Limited.  Handling is good, the car is quiet, and the transmission shifts very smoothly.

Inside the car, the seats are very comfortable and dash well designed for driver convenience.  All Sonatas come standard with a terrific and easy to use Blue Tooth wireless connection and the stereo is more than good.  The rear seat has plenty of room for two adults to sit comfortably, but tall people should pay particular attention to headroom, it may be tight if you are over six-feet tall.

It is easy to see why this car is doing as well as it is.  It’s simply awesome and has to be considered one of the best buys in the auto industry.  If all that is not enough, since it is a Hyundai it comes with a 10-year, 100,000 mile warranty on the power train.  This car will most likely make my list of the top-five best cars for 2010.

  • What I liked most: The value of this car and the appearance.
  • What I would change if I could: I can’t find anything.
  • MSRP as tested: $26,015 fully loaded
  • Fuel Economy: Rated at 24 city/35 highway, I got 28 MPG in stop & go traffic.
  • Sonata in a few words: One of the best values out there.
Photo Credit: Hyundai

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