Before 2010, the Hyundai Sonata was a “ho-hum” if not downright unappealing midsize sedan. In its earlier years, that didn’t matter as much because the competition offered much of the same. However, if Hyundai was to differentiate itself from the pack, then offering a vehicle that was stunningly different would be the only way it could get noticed in the crowded D-segment.
Everything changed in early 2010 when the 2011 Hyundai Sonata was introduced. That car has revolutionized the midsize sedan market, setting several new benchmarks in areas of styling, fuel efficiency, and appointments. Encompassing what Hyundai calls a “fluidic design” the current generation Hyundai Sonata looks a lot more expensive than its $19,125 base price.
The current Sonata leads in several categories including fuel efficiency where it achieves an EPA estimated 22 or 24 mpg city, and 35 mpg highway. Only one engine is offered, a 2.4-liter direct engine four-cylinder paired with a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. With this model, Hyundai decided not to offer a V-6 as in previous years that engine only accounted for 10 percent of its sales. That decision hasn’t hurt the Sonata as sales surged by more than 60 percent in 2010 versus 2009.
Generous amenities are what the Sonata is all about as it offers XM radio, Bluetooth hands-free technology, and available HD radio technology. In addition, Sonata buyers enjoy touch-screen navigation on all trim levels, front and side airbags, stability and traction control, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake distribution, and front active head restraints.
The 2011 Hyundai Sonata also offers best-in-class horsepower, rated at 198 hp with the standard model and 200 hp with the SE. The top of the range Limited offers heated leather seats front and back, dual automatic climate control, power tilt and slide sunroof, in-dash six-disc CD changer, 18-inch alloy wheels, dual exhaust, and fog lights. A navigation package featuring a rear backup camera is also available.
Lastly, all Hyundai vehicles are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program featuring a 5-year/60,000 mile fully transferable bumper-to-bumper warranty. Also, Hyundai’s 10- year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and 5-year complimentary Roadside Assistance complete the coverage.
2011 Hyundai Sonata Specifications
|Standard Engine||2.4-liter DOHC 16-valve inline-four|
|Transmission||6-speed manual or automatic|
|Horsepower||GLS/Limited: 198 @ 6,300 rpm – ULEV
GLS/Limited: 190 @ 6,300 rpm – PZEV (est.)
SE: 200 @ 6,300 rpm – ULEV
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||GLS/Limited: 184 lb-ft @ 4,250 rpm – ULEV
GLS/Limited: TBD lb-ft @ 4,250 rpm – PZEV (est.)
SE: 186 lb-ft @ 4,250 rpm – ULEV
|Curb Weight (pounds)||3,161 (manual)
3,199 – 3,316 (automatic)
|Passenger Volume (cubic feet)||120.2|
|Storage (cubic feet)||16.4|
|Gas Tank (gallons)||18.5|
|EPA Gas MPG||24/35 (manual)
|Manufacturing Plant||Montgomery, Alabama|
Source: Hyundai Motor America