2016 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T Review

Wednesday December 21st, 2016 at 11:1212 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

2016 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T

By David Colman

Hypes: Easy on the Eyes, Quick, Well Furnished
Gripes: Gnarly Brakes, Too Much Understeer

For the 2015 model year, Hyundai recast the mid-size Sonata, giving it better insulation, a roomier passenger compartment, and more up-to-date looks. For 2016, they added a hybrid version and a plug-in electric model good for 20 miles on a charge. For sportier types seeking higher performance, the Sport model we test here features a 2.0 liter turbo motor packing a 245hp wallop. This svelte looking front-wheel-drive sedan is beautifully sculpted, with graceful lines stretching from the front end’s signature 7 LED driving light cluster to the tail’s rear diffuser containing quad exhaust tips. The inline 4 really gets with the acceleration program. It’s coupled to a 6-speed automatic gearbox featuring paddle shifts plus a manual control gate on the console stick as well. Since the engine makes 260lb.-ft. of torque all the way from 1,350rpm to 4,000rpm, you almost never need to bother with the paddles or gear selection. Just floor the Sport’s model-specific ribbed aluminum accelerator pedal, and enjoy this sedan’s prodigious passing prowess. When bidden, it jumps.

2016 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T

In addition to the exterior sporting clues, Hyundai has freshened the interior with such performance-oriented features as a D-shaped (flat bottom) steering wheel, and sport leather seating surfaces with standard front seat heating. These handsome pedestals are quite supportive during hard cornering maneuvers. Sports-tuned suspension and steering help raise the lateral limits of the Sonata Sport. If the basic ride quality and steering feedback is too soft for your liking, you can engage a Sport setting via a “Drive Mode Select” button on the center console that stiffens the steering feedback, and favors higher rpm engine operation. There’s also an Eco setting available which makes feedback sludgy and softens throttle response. Really, the Sport Sonata is well enough tuned that you could easily do without either of these Drive Mode Select options. In fact, I chose to spend most of my week in Normal mode, which offered good steering response without artificial heaviness, and lower-rpm shift points which eliminated noise and jerkiness. The standard 18 inch alloy rims bear mid-level Kumho Solus XT tires (235/45R18) that squeal when pushed to the limit. At that limit, this 3,315 pound sedan develops profound understeer, which is safe to control, but not very rewarding to manage.

2016 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T

The list of standard attributes for the Sonata is long and surprisingly complete given its modest $28,925 base price. I really liked “Proximity Key Entry with Push Button Start,” since this allows you to approach the Sonata with hands full and slide right in without fumbling for keys. Likewise, once seated, just bump the large Start button on the dash while the key fob is still buried in your pocket or purse, and the Hyundai lights off without further ado. The remote fob also features a trunk release button that eases the toil you need to expend when loading groceries. These are niceties that many sedans costing twice as much fail to offer as standard equipment. Our rear seat test rider commended the spaciousness of the aft passenger compartment, which is fitted with twin floor mounted rear vents for A/C and heat. The cabin is quiet enough at 65mph to carry on a conversation with aft seat passengers, Despite the fact that our test Sonata lacked a sunroof, we hardly noticed its absence thanks to this sedan’s large and expansive side and rear windows.

2016 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T

The Sonata is highly rated for crash safety by the US Government. It merits an overall score of 5 Stars, the highest evaluation available. It amasses this score by earning 5 stars for both front AND rear passenger, AND driver impact tests, plus 4 Stars for rollover rating. This highly rated protection accrues from front, side impact, side curtain and driver knee airbags. Additionally, the Sport offers standard blind-spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert. Although ABS brakes, with electronic brake force distribution and brake assist is a standard component of the Sport’s specification, the brakes on our high-mile (10,000 mile) test car were grabby and unpredictable. They failed to release when pressure on the pedal was removed.

2016 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T

Aside from this foible, the Sonata Sport is well worth considering if you seek a family sedan with pretensions of performance at a modest price. This Hyundai checks a lot of boxes for the money.

2016 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T

  • Engine: 2.0 liter 4-cylinder, turbocharged, gasoline direct injection
  • Horsepower: 245hp@6000rpm
  • Torque: 260lb.-ft.@1350rpm-4000rpm
  • Fuel Consumption: 23MPG City/32MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $29,885
  • Star Rating: 8.5 out of 10 Stars

Posted in Expert Reviews, Feature Articles, Hyundai |Tags:, , || No Comments »

2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Review – Who said hybrids have to look ugly?

Tuesday July 5th, 2011 at 8:77 AM
Posted by: AKramer

2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
By Alex Kramer


  • Seamless gas-electric hybrid system
  • Smooth shifting 6 speed automatic transmission
  • Eye-catching exterior design
  • Spacious interior with lots of features


  • Less than sporty handling
  • Automatic transmission robs a few MPGs
  • Drab interior gray color

It seems like almost every major car company has at least one hybrid model on the road these days, and why not, with gas prices still clinging to almost $4 a gallon. Although a bit late to the party, Hyundai finally has its own hybrid sedan with the new Sonata Hybrid.

Read the rest of this entry »

page 1 page 2 page 3

Posted in Expert Reviews, Feature Articles, hybrid, Hyundai |Tags:, , , || 1 Comment »

2011 Kia Optima Hybrid First Impressions Review

Thursday June 23rd, 2011 at 8:66 AM
Posted by: AKramer

2011 Kia Optima Hybrid
By Alex Kramer


  • Eye-catching exterior design
  • Roomy, well-apportioned interior
  • Smooth, quiet hybrid drivetrain
  • Solid handling and ride quality


  • A bit slow for a car with over 200 hp
  • Brake pedal feels squishy
  • Untested fuel efficiency

The folks at Kia Motors are very optimistic. Having launched seven brand new models in under 2 years and with record sales growth over the past year, Kia is transforming itself into a major player in the car market.

Part of this success is surely due to an emphasis on value, which has resonated with buyers in these tough economic times. At the same time, a shift away from forgettable econoboxes and towards quality design and engineering has made for an almost unbeatable combination of high quality at a low price.

To keep the momentum rolling, Kia is now offering a hybrid gas-electric vehicle in the form of its Optima mid-size sedan. With gas prices looking to stay close to $4 a gallon, this could be the perfect time to make a case for fuel efficient motoring and take a bite out of the growing hybrid sedan segment.

Read the rest of this entry »

page 1 page 2

Posted in Expert Reviews, hybrid, Kia |Tags:, , , , || 1 Comment »

Best Mid-size Sedans of 2010 That Cost Less Than $30,000

Monday November 22nd, 2010 at 8:1111 AM
Posted by: AKramer

best_sedans_2010For a little while, it seemed like the mid-size family sedan was going to go the way of the dodo bird. Starting in the late 90s, folks across America began snapping up SUVs like hotcakes, and those still sticking with four doors and a trunk often migrated upmarket to luxury nameplates.

Take one great recession, add some higher gas prices, and viola, the times have sure changed again. Buyers are downsizing away from expensive, gas-guzzling SUVs, and the market for mid-sized sedans is as competitive as it has ever been. Sure, smaller crossovers are popular and wagons are making a small comeback, but for basic transportation that is also practical and affordable, nothing beats a well made four door sedan.

Selecting just 5 excellent mid-size sedans was tough, as almost every manufacturer offers a competitive product these days. Our top 5 needed to really excel in all areas, including build, performance, design and functionality, and of course value. With this in mind, we feel our finalists are all truly well balanced cars, with no major flaws and a lot to admire.


page 1 page 2 page 3 page 4 page 5 page 6

Posted in Chevrolet, Expert Reviews, Feature Articles, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Mazda |Tags:, , , , , || 1 Comment »

2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Video Review by Driving Sports TV

Tuesday November 2nd, 2010 at 2:1111 PM
Posted by: Derek

Hyundai’s first hybrid could offer efficiency above 30 mpg, for thousands below the competition. The all-new 2011 Sonata, a sedan that has so far delivered the kind of styling, efficiency and low MSRP that sends consumers scrambling for their checkbook. Now Hyundai offers the Sonata as a hybrid model that comes loaded with nearly all of the latest and greatest tech to keep fuel consumption at a minimum. Watch Ryan as he delivers a behind-the-wheel review of the Sonata Hybrid.

YouTube Preview Image

Hyundai says that the Sonata Hybrid can cruise on battery power alone at speeds of up to 62 mph. How do they do it? Under the hood, Hyundai has converted its 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine to the Atkinson Cycle and added a 40-horsepower electric motor. The duo is good for a combined 206 horsepower and 193 pound-feet of torque, but the real star of the show is the car’s battery pack.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in hybrid, Hyundai, Video Reviews |Tags:, , , , || 2 Comments »

2011 Hyundai Sonata Review – That's when I fell for the Leader of the Pack

Monday September 13th, 2010 at 11:99 AM
Posted by: anson

By Anson Tse


  • Gutsy 4-cylinder with V6 power
  • Lots of value for the money
  • Huge interior space


  • Styling has a bit too much going on
  • Navigation system could be improved
  • Missing a V6 option

Hyundai continues to improve its product line up in the US by leaps and bounds. Typically it takes an automaker several generations to make some serious headway in to the US market and Hyundai has been at it for over 20 years. However, the latest generation of products that have come from Hyundai are homegrown–designed in California and built in Bama. The Hyundai Sonata has been getting progressively larger just like the average American. Is this another Korean game changer?

Read the rest of this entry »

page 1 page 2

Posted in Expert Reviews, Hyundai |Tags:, || 20 Comments »

First Impressions: 2011 Hyundai Sonata – Changing our perceptions of the carmaker in a good way

Friday May 28th, 2010 at 7:55 AM
Posted by: AKramer

2011 Hyundai Sonata
By Alex Kramer


  • Eager 198 hp 4-cylinder engine
  • Surprisingly agile chassis
  • Eye catching exterior
  • Excellent value


  • Could use a bit more power
  • Design borrows a bit much

Midsize sedans have long been a bread and butter product for car manufacturers, not to mention a great way to gain brand loyalty with customers, as well as earn recognition from the critics. It’s no surprise, then, to see Hyundai go all out with its recent redesign of the Sonata. As one of the few automotive success stories of these tough economic times, Hyundai is on the verge of shedding its value-oriented, second-tier status and becoming one of the world’s top-tier automotive brands. With any luck, the new Sonata will do for Hyundai what the Accord and Camry have done for Honda and Toyota.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Expert Reviews, Hyundai |Tags:, || 4 Comments »

Latest Reviews

Select a Category