Better highway fuel economy in the outgoing model year
Hyundai Sonata gets a complete redesign for 2015 and unlike previous makeovers, nothing went untouched. This is the seventh generation for Sonata and the all-new car is in the competitive mid-size sedan segment with the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Ford Fusion. The South Koreans are moving up in the ranks and this new example, from Hyundai, is the best yet. This week we are test driving the sporty Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T.
What’s New for 2015?
Everything on the Hyundai Sonata is redesigned for 2015 and it comes with a new exterior look and a larger cabin. The Sport 2.0T trim level drops some horsepower and torque is less too than the outgoing model.
Sport 2.0T Features
The 2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T ($28,575) came with the Ultimate Package ($4,950). It featured upgrades like panoramic sunroof, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, rear parking assist, drivers memory seat and mirrors, power passenger seat, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, navigation, Infinity speakers and LED interior lighting. Total MSRP including destination $34,460.
Standard features included steering wheel paddle shifters, HID headlamps, three-bar sport grille, sport front bumper cover, rear diffuser, quad chrome-tipped exhausts, 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels and leather-wrapped, D-shaped steering wheel.
The interior of the new 2015 Sonata is full of soft touch materials and the quality has improved. The Sport 2.0T features sport seats with plenty of bolstering that kept us firmly planted during spirited curvy mountain road driving this week. The instrument panel is new and was redesigned for easy scan and legibility. The Sport’s steering wheel has a flattened bottom, the kind you see in sports cars, something the Sonata is not.
The optional navigation system features an 8-inch touchscreen, which gives Sonata’s cabin a more upscale feel. The cabin is bigger than the outgoing model and there is more room in the back than before. The rear seats come standard with 60/40-split-folding if the need arises to add more cargo capacity. We hauled two big guys in the back to lunch and there were no complaints from the rear.
Engine and Fuel Mileage Specs
The Sport 2.0T comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, producing 245 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. That’s down from the previous model’s 274 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque. The Sport 2.0T has an EPA-estimated 26 mpg combined and 23/32 city/highway mpg. That’s a change from last year’s 22 mpg city/34 mpg highway. The 2.0-liter turbo engine comes mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.
The new 2015 Sonata Sport 2.0T is not a sports sedan, but the dynamics are improved. Sport model comes with a tuned sport suspension and steering and a more rigid chassis that features lowered interior noise and improved driving dynamics. We took the Sonata up I-70 into the mountains and this is where the 2.0-liter turbo engine shines. Even with reduced hp, the Sport had plenty of power to get us moving quickly up the hill.
Using the paddle shifters offered a sporty driving experience and sport flat-bottom steering wheel felt good in our hands. We took the sharp mountain corners at higher speeds and the sedan responded with minimal body lean and roll for a mid-size vehicle.
Sonata Sport featured good ride quality on the highway and handling was superior to most standard sedans. The Sport model comes with a slightly stiffer suspension and a more accurate electric power steering system. With the turbocharged 2.0-liter four cylinder, this car is quicker off the line and got us up to speed quickly when we needed to merge onto the highway. Sport 2.0T is not a sports sedan, but the sporty car features good ride quality, is quiet at highway speeds, and has a solid feel that inspires confidence in all driving situations.
The 2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T is quiet, comfortable, and more refined than the previous generation model. The quality of materials has improved and the fit and finish are in line with the competition in this segment. Handling and driving dynamics in the Sport is engaging and even with reduced horsepower, the sedan has enough power in all driving situations.