The Hyundai Sonata has a totally new package ready for roll out in the 2011 model. This very slick looking sport sedan has a lot of potential and offers some very big changes compared to last year's model. The Sonata brings a very fluid sculpting and liquid look and design to the rich lineup from Hyundai. The Sonata does not offer a 6 cylinder option in the engine this year, but there is still plenty of horsepower offered from the other 4 cylinder engines ready to go in this model. The 2.4 liter 4 cylinder takes advantage of direct injection to offer 198 horsepower and 184 foot pounds of torque which in this smaller sedan is more than generous.
There is also a turbo charged option that brings the total horsepower to 274 and boosts the torque up to 269 foot pounds. This engine is very strong performer and offers a serious amount of acceleration in the Sonata sedan. As far as transmissions go, the consumer has a choice between a six speed manual or a six speed automatic. The 2011 Sonata offer a longer wheelbase than earlier models which is also slightly wider.
Engines: 2.0L I-4, 2.4L I-4
Transmissions: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic, 6-speed electronic automatic
Models: GLS, SE, Limited, Hybrid
The Sonata is all new for 2011. It's longer and wider, with a choice of a direct injection four, a hybrid, or a 2.0-liter turbocharged four, with three transmission options available depending on the model. Styling has taken an entirely new direction; the previous Sonata was a solid car that was practically invisible, but the new Sonata looks good enough to be mistaken for a luxury car.
The Sonata looks like it could be a much more expensive car. Its swooping lines and coupe-like profile are reminiscent of the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class or Volkswagen Passat CC. It rides on 16-, 17-, or 18-inch wheels depending upon configuration.
Like the new exterior design, the 2011 Sonata's cabin is also classy and modern, with metal-grain accents throughout. Power seats and front and rear seat heaters are optional. Cruise control is standard, as is a six-speaker AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 audio system.
Performance & Handling
The new Sonata is lighter than the previous model, with a new direct injected 2.4-liter engine with more horsepower and torque. No surprise, then, that the new Sonata moved from 0-to-60 in 8.1 seconds -- more than a half-second quicker than the previous model's base engine. The most notable improvement, though, is the new Sonata's handline. During instrumented testing, the new Sonata's skidpad numbers improved from 0.78 g to 0.82 g.
Dual front airbags are standard on the Sonata, along with driver and front-passenger side-impact airbags and front and rear side air curtains. Also standard are stability control, traction control, and four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, electronic brake-force distribution, and brake assist.
EPA Fuel Economy
2.4L: 24 mpg city/35 mpg (manual); 22 mpg city/35 mpg (automatic)
- Great styling
- Excellent performance
- Impressive handling
- Quick steering
You Won't Like
- Rough ride
- Cluttered HVAC controls
- Lacking rear-seat headroom
- No rearview camera
If You Like This Vehicle
- Toyota Camry
- Honda Accord
- Nissan Altima
- Ford Fusion