Written by: Adil Arif
Photography by: Adil Arif
If you read our review on the 2015 Hyundai Genesis, you’d know that we were very impressed with Hyundai’s new approach to styling, value, and performance. If the 2015 Genesis is a precursor of what’s to come, then it’s going to be an exciting year for this Korean automaker. Here we have the second offering for their 2015 reboot, the Hyundai Sonata, a four door, sport-tuned, euro-fighting machine with some serious soul. And just like the Genesis, the list of standard options can fill up a few pages. For the week we were spoiled with the top-of-the-line Sonata Ultimate 2.0T. Ultimate is what Hyundai is calling their high end trims and frankly, we hopped into our test car with some pretty high expectations. It’s safe to say that we weren’t disappointed.
The Sonata Ultimate 2.0T is without a doubt a good-looking car. Aggressive styling, 18-inch wheels, and a dual twin-tipped exhaust give it an updated next generation look. My eyes were immediately drawn to the chrome dual, twin-tipped exhausts, it’s more of a cosmetic touch but one that pushes the Sonata’s styling from being infamously conservative to downright sporty. Standard updated LED lights, chrome accents, a sharper nose and a stout stance give this mid-size sedan an edgier look compared to the more refined posture of the Genesis.
Beyond question, the new Sonata is a drastic improvement over the outgoing model and it’s clear where the inspiration comes from. Attention to detail is right on par with the higher-end Genesis with an abundance of tech features and creature comforts available at your fingertips. Never would I have thought a Hyundai, yes a Hyundai, would come equipped with a flat-bottomed steering wheel and paddle shifters. The wheel is on the small side, but grips nicely and the paddles emit a nice plushy clunk when flicked. Firm racing-inspired seats keep you snug and can be warmed or cooled with touch of a button (rear passengers only receive heated seats). In Ultimate form the Sonata receives the panoramic glass roof treatment, which we loved in the Genesis, and adding to the senses, a punchy 9-speaker Infinity sound system. Along with all the added features, we were particularly impressed by the amount of headroom and legroom in the cabin. There’s an abundance of space in the rear and even a 6”2 adult can stretch their legs out comfortably.
Our Ultimate’s 2.0L GDI turbocharged four-cylinder represents the most powerful engine option in the Sonata lineup. Though not an all-out powerhouse compared to other vehicles in this segment, it’s 245 horsepower and 260 pound feet of torque is more than adequate for daily driving. What it lacks in power it makes up for in its chassis and gearbox - a sport suspension with MacPherson struts, strong brakes, a rigid structure, and a smooth 6-speed automatic transmission that sing in unison. Shifts are quick with the paddles with minimal lag and auto-up-shifting at redline. The 4-wheel disc brakes grab strongly and the electronic brake force distribution and ABS worked very well in the snow, only intruding when needed. You can also select between Eco, Normal and Sport driving modes, which automatically adjusts the transmission and throttle response, the latter being our favourite with aggressive shifts and instant pedal feedback. Admittedly, with gas prices being at an all time low, our tester rarely saw Eco mode. We did however for “testing” purposes try to muster up driving in this environmentally-friendly mode, but it just extracts the confidence out of the car. The throttle is numb, and overtaking becomes an impossible feat. Sure you’ll save on gas but I don’t think the few dollars you’ll save is worth the anesthetized trip.
All in all, we weren’t disappointed with 2015 Hyundai Sonata, in fact we loved it. Hyundai’s mid-size sedan offers so much value with its turbocharged engine, a surprisingly cavernous interior, and enough tech gizmos to justify actually reading the car manual. The base Sonata asks for a starting price of a paltry $23,999, but our tester rings up at $35,872. However, with all the options that come standard, the Sonata is nothing but a bargain on four wheels. The Honda Accord and Toyota Camry may have a bit more power with their respective V6 engines, but with twin-scroll turbo response from as low as 1500 RPM, the new Sonata has no problem keeping pace. Cross traffic warnings, adaptive cruise control, active lane guidance with blind spot detection, heated rear-seats with sunshades, the list goes on and on with industry leading technology that the competition doesn’t offer. If you’re looking for a fun to drive mid-sized family sedan that offers all the bells and whistles on a silver platter, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Ultimate 2.0T should be on your most wanted list.
型号 Model: 2015 Hyundai Sonata Ultimate 2.0T
顏色 Paint Type: Coast Blue
廠方建議售價 Base Price: $34,799
試車售價 Price as Tested: $34,799
軸距 Wheelbase(mm): 2805
長闊 Length/Width/Height (mm): 4855 / 1865 / 1475
車重 Curb weight (kg): 1590
引擎 Engine: 2.0L DOHC 4-cylinder Turbo
最大馬力 Horsepower: 245 hp @ 6000 rpm
最高扭力 Torque: 260 lb-ft @ 1350-4000 rpm
波箱 Transmission: 6-speed automatic
擺佈 Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, FWD
前懸 Suspension-Front: MacPherson strut with coil springs and Mando Dual Flow Dampers
後懸 Suspension-Rear: Multi-link (4) with coil springs and Mando Dual Flow Dampers (DFD)
煞制-前 Brakes-Front: Vented disc
煞制-後 Brakes-Rear: Solid disc
油耗 Fuel Consumption (City/Highway/Combined)- L/100 km: 10.4 / 7.4 / 9.1
輪胎尺碼 Tires: P235/45R18