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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Quick Drive: 2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T

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    Movie sequels can be a hit or miss affair. They can either be more memorable than the first movie (example: Empire Strikes Back) or leave a bad taste in your mouth (example: The Matrix Revolutions). This is true for vehicles as well; get it right and you’ll elevate yourself into a real player in the class. Get it wrong and you’re destined to become a nobody. So where does the new 2015 Hyundai Sonata fall? Well I spent a few days in the Sonata Sport 2.0T to find out.

    I think it is fair to say the new Sonata’s design has arrived with a bit of a thud. It isn’t to say the new Sonata isn’t a good looking sedan, but compared to the groundbreaking design of the previous-generation model, the new Sonata doesn’t have the same excitement. Such details as the coupe-like roofline and chrome trim running along the underside of windows are still there, but with a splash of boringness. The front and rear-ends feature a more upright design that makes it more Genesis-like. Sport models come with unique rear fascia treatment and quad exhaust tips to try and give it an aggressive look, something I think actually works.

    While the exterior is slightly disappointing, the interior is a massive step forward. Thanks to increase in the overall size of the Sonata, the interior has grown as well. This is noticeable when sitting in the back as there is more legroom then in the last-generation model. Headroom is still bit tight for taller passengers due to the sloping roofline. Other interior improvements include more soft-touch materials on the dashboard and a new centerstack design which makes it easier to find the HVAC and radio controls. On my Sport tester, it boasted a flat-bottom steering wheel and charcoal leather with burnt orange body-matching piping and thread. Seats provided good comfort and support.

    Now the Sport is available with either 2.4L four-cylinder or turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder. I had the latter engine which produced 245 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. This is paired up to a six-speed automatic. As I wrote in my first-drive last year, the Sonata 2.0T feels a bit more punchy and has improved acceleration thanks to a smaller turbocharger. This very much holds true during my week long test as the turbo-four feels very lively. Stepping on the accelerator, it felt like I was unleashing a cannon as power came on instantaneously. NVH levels are kept down, making it more akin to a six-cylinder. The six-speed automatic delivers smooth and unobtrusive shifts. The EPA rates the 2015 Sonata Sport 2.0T at 23 City/32 Highway/26 Combined. My week saw an average of 26.1 MPG.

    As for ride and drive, the Sonata Sport gets aggressively tuned dampers and springs, along with a new steering system to make it a bit more fun in the corners. But it doesn’t feel any more sporty than the standard Sonata. It might corner slightly better, but you really can’t tell if it does. Now on the positive, the Sport 2.0T provides a comfortable and smooth ride. But if this is a Sport model, there should be a noticeable difference. Steering also has the same problem as there isn’t a real difference between this system and the steering system found on the standard Sonata. Both systems feel slightly numb, but provide decent weight.

    I hate to say it but the Sonata Sport 2.0T is quite the disappointment. Hyundai dropped the ball on some key areas such as exterior design and making the Sport model feel sporty. In fact, Hyundai Motor America’s CEO Dave Zuchowski said the current Sonata doesn’t have the same impression as the last-generation one and they are planning to do a redesign in a year. But there has been some improvements that has improved it for the better such as the interior and changes to the turbo engine. However, those changes can’t save the Sonata Sport 2.0T from falling down.

    Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Sonata, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2015

    Make: Hyundai

    Model: Sonata

    Trim: Sport 2.0T

    Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L DOHC D-CVVT Four-Cylinder

    Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive

    Horsepower @ RPM: 245 @ 6,000

    Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 1,350 – 4,000

    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 23/32/26

    Curb Weight: 3,505 lbs

    Location of Manufacture: Montgomery, Alabama

    Base Price: $28,575

    As Tested Price: $29,510 (Includes $810.00 Destination Charge)

    Options:

    Carpet Floor Mats - $125.00

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    Nice but a not a Winner Winner Chicken Dinner.

     

    MPG is pathetic, exterior is just bland, agree the interior looks nicer. Over all much better options to this. For Lemmings who buy based on what they hear about past models it will sell but I do not see this as a conquest car.

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    I never saw one of the new ones that looked good until the other day. It may have been a sport. It was dark in color and all shiny as it was new. It was dusk so the lights looked more interesting. Aside from this lone example, I think these are duds. My test drive of the regular 2.4, I saw nothing about that I found compelling. Interior is garbage.

    However, these things are selling like hotcakes around here. I see them all over and new ones every day. I can't figure it out. Returning lessees?

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    I never saw one of the new ones that looked good until the other day. It may have been a sport. It was dark in color and all shiny as it was new. It was dusk so the lights looked more interesting. Aside from this lone example, I think these are duds. My test drive of the regular 2.4, I saw nothing about that I found compelling. Interior is garbage.

    However, these things are selling like hotcakes around here. I see them all over and new ones every day. I can't figure it out. Returning lessees?

     

    Look for the barcodes.

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    My friend has a 2015 red Limited that he loves. It is so well equipped that it is totally unnecessary to even look at the Azera unless you must have that V6 engine. One flaw is that Hyundai refuses to make the turbo available for the actual Limited model. There is a turbo Limited but it's basically just a more loaded Sport turbo with the silly flat bottom steering wheel, boring silver interior trim and hard high seat bolstering. The actual Limited car comes with a normal steering wheel, nice leather seats and wood interior trim which we prefer to the drab silver look. He has had zero issues with the car which now has 30K miles on the clock and almost always averages well over 30 MPG. The 2.4 has livened up quite a bit since new. We positively spanked a 2014 Passat with it's mighty 1.8 turbo engine in a drag race and the kid driving that car looked quite embarrassed. If only the car looked more exciting!

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    A drag race between a 185hp bar of soap and and a 170hp bar of soap....... oh boy! that's the way to spend a friday evening! 

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    A drag race between a 185hp bar of soap and and a 170hp bar of soap....... oh boy! that's the way to spend a friday evening! 

    The point being made was that the way many go on and on how wonderful the VW 1.8T is that a mere 2.4 NA spanked it in a race from a Hyundai doesn't say much for VW's new mill. The kid was driving that VW like it was a race car. It was worth the look on his face to see a Sonata move right by him so yeah it was a fun evening on Saturday actually!

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    A drag race between a 185hp bar of soap and and a 170hp bar of soap....... oh boy! that's the way to spend a friday evening! 

    The point being made was that the way many go on and on how wonderful the VW 1.8T is that a mere 2.4 NA spanked it in a race from a Hyundai doesn't say much for VW's new mill. The kid was driving that VW like it was a race car. It was worth the look on his face to see a Sonata move right by him so yeah it was a fun evening on Saturday actually!

     

     

    I never really considered the 1.8T to be anything more than a more refined replacement for the consumer grade 2.5 5-cylinder.    

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    Did the 2.0T really have good acceleration?

     

    I thought the old 274 hp 2.0T utterly lacked the power to back up the rating, and this one has been tested significantly slower than the last gen's acceleration times, now taking 8 seconds to hit 60 mph. My 6 year old humble V6 crushes that. If you're paying $1000+ for better acceleration, the Sonata 2.0T totally misses the mark. Most reviews peg the 1.6T/7-speed model as the fastest.

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