Tuesday, May 15, 2018

2018 Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.0 Turbo: A Refreshed Midsize Vehicle

Highlight: Hyundai’s Blue Link feature talks to Amazon Echo, which allows the owner to control the Sonata inside their home or wherever the device is located.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $33,460 (Base Model: $22,935)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: ABS; airbags; traction control system; a rear camera; a vehicle stability control system; electronic brake distribution; a blind spot detection system; a rear cross traffic alert system; a temporary spare tire; and a tire pressure monitoring system

Standard Equipment (Base SE Model): 16-inch wheels; a 7-inch touchscreen compatible with Apple CarPlay/Android integration; a remote keyless entry system; a manually operated tilt/telescopic steering wheel; air condition; a leather steering wheel; a leather-like interior door panel trims; HD radio; USB ports; and Hyundai’s Bluelink telematics

Standard Equipment (Limited 2.0 Turbo): 18-inch wheels; an 8-speed automatic transmission; a 245-horsepower engine; dual power heated folding exterior mirrors; LED headlights; LED daytime running lights; automatic high beam; rear parking sensors; power sunroof; dual chrome rear exhaust tips; leather seats; power front seats; memory front driver’s seat; heated front seats; rear seat adjustable head restraints; door sill scuff plates; a sport type shift knob; aluminum gas and brake gas pedals; electric parking brakes; rear seat heat and air vents; steering wheel mounted paddle shifters; a heated steering wheel; an 8-inch infotainment screen with a 9-speaker Infinity audio system and HD radio; a navigation system; rear USB charge ports; an in-vehicle wireless charging system; Hyundai’s Blue Link concierge system; a radar activated cruise controls system with a start/stop function; all window switches are illuminated; rear side window manual sunshade; a keyless ignition system; a hands free trunk open system; an automatic rearview mirror with compass; automatic emergency braking; and a lane keep assist system

Options On Test Vehicle: carpeted floor mats

Other Trim Level:

SE, SEL and Sport

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 6-speaker AM/FM with a satellite radio

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB Connectivity: Yes

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 10 years or 100,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder/185-hp

Recommended Fuel: Regular

Standard Fuel Mileage:

What’s New: Hyundai’s midsize family sedan just experienced a midcylce refresh. With that being the case, the Sonata wears a new fascia, rear tail lights and wheel designs. In addition to the noted exterior changes, the overall ride and handling of the Sonata has been enhanced.

Why In an effort to stay competitive in the midsize segment, where consumers are leaving sedans behind for crossovers, the folks at Hyundai tweaked their family sedan.

The 2018 Sonata exterior now mirrors the brand’s best-selling car, the compact sized Elantra. Depending upon the trim, the vehicle is now available with a heated steering wheel, a wireless charging system, HD traffic for the navigation system, and a redesign infotainment system.

Blind spot detection system, with a rear cross traffic alert system and lane change assist system, is standard for the 2018 model year.

The mildly redrafted Sonata can currently be outfitted with a variety of powertrains: a 2.4-liter engine, a 1.6-liter turbo engine, a 2.4-liter engine and a 2.0-liter turbo engine. A plug-in and a hybrid model are available too.

The Sonata offers one of the largest interiors in the segment, making it feel more like a fullsize vehicle.

Previously we had an opportunity to review a Sonata SE, with the base 4-cylinder engine. This time around we spent time behind the wheel of the brand’s four-cylinder turbocharged engine, which pushes out close to 250-horsepower. It’s a great alternative to those seeking the additional power usually provided by a 6-cylinder engine, but aren’t necessarily wanting to sacrifice gas mileage. With this refined 8-speed transmission, the powertrain team is giving consumers the best of both worlds.

Moreover, the Limited model offers many of the amenities one would expect in a luxury vehicle, but at a price point below $35,000. Buyers who step up to the higher end trim can expect such standard features as a radar activate cruise control system, a navigation system, leather seats, a heated steering wheel, blind spot technology and a premium audio system.

Yes, the Korean automaker has managed to rework the Sonata, offering a variety of trims, features and affordable price points.
But: The conservative design coupled with consumer tastes for crossovers has not been the magic that has been needed to reverse the sales slide with this midsize sedan. In fact, most of the vehicles in this segment are struggling..

For the 2018 model year, the vehicle drops its panoramic roof, reverting back to the conventional, smaller roof, because of previous design concerns. We prefer the larger sunroofs.

Verdict: For buyers who are seeking a dependable, value oriented family sedan that provides a segment leading warranty, a powerful engine, the latest safety driving aids and near luxury amenities, at a price point that undercuts the competition, the Sonata Limited, with the turbo charged engine, is worth considering.

Competition: 2018 Toyota Camry; 2017 Chevy Malibu; 2017 Ford Fusion; 2017 Honda Accord; 2017 Nissan Altima; 2017 Kia Optima; 2017 Mazda5; 2017 Subaru Legacy and 2017 Volkswagen Passat


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