Hyundai's battle-tested player in the midsize sedan segment, the Sonata competes head-to-head with some of the best-selling cars on the planet. If its enduring popularity is any indication, the Sonata belongs right up there with the best of its class.
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2017 Hyundai Sonata Overview
What's New for 2017
The Sonata's trim levels and equipment bundles have been revised to cover more price territory.
Choosing Your Hyundai Sonata
Every Sonata offers a spacious and quiet environment for five passengers. The trunk holds an above-average 16.2 cubic feet, and a split-folding rear seat comes standard.
Most models carry a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that's good for 185 horsepower. The Eco trim receives a 178-horsepower turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder that delivers 32 mpg in combined city and highway driving (versus 30 mpg with the 2.4-liter). At the top of lineup is a 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces a stout 245 horsepower. The 2.4-liter and 2-liter run with a six-speed automatic transmission, while the 1.6-liter gets a seven-speed unit.
What lies under the hood is determined by the trim level:
At $21,950, the popularly equipped SE is a clear bargain for this class. That's just $350 more than the austere base model. If you're looking for above-average performance or all the latest technology, we recommend going straight to the Limited 2.0T, where absolutely everything the Sonata has to offer is yours for just under $35,000.
2017 Hyundai Sonata Review
Mid-size sedan sales may be slowing, but the Sonata remains one of Hyundai's top sellers. Most recently redesigned in 2015, the Sonata is due for a significant refresh in model year 2018 that will bring its appearance in line with newer Hyundai models.
Pricing and Equipment
Prices for the 2017 Hyundai Sonata begin at $22,785 (including $835 for destination) for the SE trim. The 2017 Sonata is available in Eco ($23,960), Sport ($24,235), Sport 2.0T ($27,435), Limited ($27,985), and Limited 2.0T ($35,185) grades. Judging by the standard equipment, we're betting most owners won't look below the Sport trim, which includes:
- Automatic headlights
- LED daytime running lights
- 17-inch alloy wheels
- Dual power-heated side mirrors
- Chrome-tipped dual exhaust
- 7-inch color audio display
- Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
- Rearview camera
- Bluetooth hands-free phone system
Hyundai's packaging system is generally slim, with only one (occasionally two per trim). In the Sport's case, owners can choose the $950 Value Edition Package, which adds a sunroof, heated sport seats with leather bolsters, push-button start, and a hands-free trunk. Option packages on higher trims include Tech and Ultimate package, bringing luxurious things like a touchscreen navigation system, bi-xenon headlights, adaptive cruise control, auto emergency braking, and an Infinity stereo.
Three engine choices are available with the 2017 Sonata:
The Sonata SE, Sport, and Limited use a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque. Teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission, most Sonatas return 25 miles per gallon in the city and 36 mpg on the highway in EPA testing.
The Sonata Eco is the only model offering a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 178 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. Paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission, this model represents the most efficient a non-hybrid Sonata will get, returning 28 mpg city and 36 mpg on the highway.
The Sport 2.0T and Limited 2.0T models use a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 245 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. Alongside a six-speed automatic transmission, these models feature a fuel economy rating of 22 city and 31 highway, according to the EPA.
The Sonata Hybrid and Sonata Plug-In Hybrid are listed separately.
- The 2.0-liter turbo offers excellent performance, while torque steer – the undesirable tendency in high-powered front-drive vehicles for the engine's power to influence the steering under hard acceleration – is kept to a minimum.
- Like most competitors, you can no longer find a Sonata with a V6 engine. The 2.0T offers V6-equivalent power, while the other two four-cylinder engines deliver satisfactory performance under most driving conditions.
- The six-speed automatic transmission offers quick shifts when operated in manual mode. You have three drive mode choices available.
- You can no longer find a manual gearbox in the Hyundai Sonata. The automated manual doesn’t provide the same experience.
- The Eco’s engine supplies fuel economy leadership among the trio of choices available. But the trade off is clear: overall performance seems weak and lag is noticeable.
- Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard equipment this year.
- Our experts noted the cockpit's subdued, eye-pleasing theme. The Sonata's style is conservative, but it's a nice place to hang out.
- Our experts found the woodgrain trim unconvincing, representing one of the few disappointments in the Hyundai Sonata.
- In the all-important noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) category, the Sonata performs well, but it shares a weakness common to competing models: wind noise rises to more than a background whisper when approaching highway speeds.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
We found the Hyundai Sonata awash in storage bins, providing multiple places to stash your belongings. Add to that its generously sized 16.3 cubic foot trunk and your storage options are excellent. We also like that owners can drop the rear seats from inside the trunk, thanks to a pair of prominent levers.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
The previous generation Sonata set the design bar for the segment, but the current version blends in among midsize sedans. The Hyundai Sonata is still handsome, but it no longer supplies the design edge it once offered.
The Bottom Line
You won’t go wrong if you have the Hyundai Sonata on your shopping list. A well-equipped model is available for about $25,000, but you’ll pay at least $30,000 if you insist on all the bells and whistles (including the active safety goodies).
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