Reviews

2017 Hyundai Sonata Driving Impressions

Revving freely, both the 2.0- and 2.4-liter engines deliver power quietly enough, with almost no vibration. Some competitors accelerate more swiftly, but Sonatas earn points for providing a quiet, nicely isolated ride.

Sport models have bigger tires and slightly stiffer suspension tuning, but each Sonata is admirably compliant, absorbing plenty of road imperfections. Cross a railroad track at 60 mph and either the regular or Sport suspension reacts compliantly.

Handling is helped by the Sonata’s relatively light, but stiff, body. Still, the sedan is made for mainstream families, so you can’t expect the steering qualities and firm road feel of a sport sedan. All Sonatas have electric power steering, but the 2.0T’s setup promises better feel and responsiveness, a bit crisper overall.

Downshifts can be hesitant in Eco mode, and the difference between Normal and Sport mode isn’t great.

With its 1.6-liter turbo and dual-clutch transmission, the Sonata Eco beats its mates in gas mileage, but this powertrain emits more exhaust noise. Except at very low speeds, transmission shifts are almost indiscernible, unlike some dual-clutch units. Lower overall weight gives the Eco’s steering a lighter feel, and slight shift-shock can be felt at low speeds.

Gas mileage of the Eco is EPA-rated at 28/36 mpg City/Highway, or 31 mpg Combined. The 2.4-liter is EPA-rated at 25/36 mpg City/Highway, or 29 mpg Combined. Sport Turbo sedans are EPA-rated at 22/31 mpg, or 26 mpg Combined; but the Limited is rated 21/30 mpg City/Highway.

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