Review 2011 Sonata Limited: with bases loaded Hyundai smashes one out of the park


Let’s just cut to the chase.

The 2011 Hyundai Sonata seats don’t provide enough support.

There you have it. That’s the only critical thing we could honestly find to say about the car.

In all other aspects the 2011 Hyundai Sonata points to the sky, steps up to the mound, and smashes a grand slam over the nose bleed section.

It’s that good.

Let’s start with the design.


About ten years ago Toyota (and of course Lexus) began to design cars that looked like their sheet metal skin was stretched across the body of a automobile like a that of a Olympic sprinter who’s skin covers powerful muscles and explosive power.

The Sonata takes that design language to the next level capturing both the fluidity of sprinter’s motion with the razor sharp creases that help define the character lines of the best modern automobiles like the BMW 3 series.

The result is that the 2011 Hyundai Sonata looks like an Olympic sprinter in the blocks, just itching to explode into a fluid graceful slow-motion pounce.

Inside the 2011 Hyundai Sonata takes another page from Lexus.


Soft touch materials and silky smooth controls greet the driver.

“Yes,” you think to yourself as you sit down behind the wheel. “I do feel special and all of that hard work has been worth it to own a car like his.”

All too often many of the competing cars in the Sonata’s price range (BTW: our loaded tested had a sticker of $28,215) whisper in your ear, “I promise to get you to work but don’t except to have too much fun on the way to the office. You need to spend a few more $$$ for that sort of performance.”

Not the Sonata. Oh no, this car is ready to party with the best of them. Currently the car’s only engine choice, a 2.4-liter inline-4 produces just shy of 200 HP and gets a combined 26 MPG.

Did you get that?

A normally aspirated inline-4 that produces more power than a 5-year-old V6 that was once in many of the Sonata’s competitors.


Not only is the engine powerful and refined, but it’s mated to a silky smooth six-speed automatic that could be out of the latest Lexus or Mercedes-Benz.

No review of the 2011 Sonata Limited would be complete without mentioning the staggering amount of stuff you get with the car.

Seriously, it would be much easier to list all of the features the car doesn’t does not come with.

Think of almost any car that cost twice as much as the Sonata, and you’ll be lucky to get as many goodies as you get in our tested Limited version.

Navigation with a touchscreen display?

Of course.

Heated seats?

You bet.


Do you have to really ask.

Satellite HD Radio with iPod integration?

Certainly and so easy-peasy to set-up as well.

Dual automatic temperature zones?

Doesn’t every car have these now-a-days?

About the only high-end feature that was lacking on our Limited Sonata were headlights that turn along with the steering wheel.


Otherwise the Sonata had pretty much everything that you’d ever want, and so much more that you’d never expect in a car under 30K.

And that’s precisely what makes the 2011 Sonata Limited such a great car…it under promised and over delivers with styling, ride, handling and performance that’s unmatched in its  class or price range.

Really, the only thing that would give us pause from giving it a 100 percent “Buy it!’ recommendation is that fact that there will also be turbocharged and hybrid versions available as part of the model lineup.

You might just want to wait a bit to get the either of those two faster and/or more economical models but if you just can’t wait.

On our TFLcar recommendation scale of:

Buy it

– Lease it

– Rent it or

– Forget it

We say most certainly…


Click HERE for an iPhone First Look video of a 2011 Hyundai Sonata.

Roman Roman Mica is a columnist, journalist, and author, who spent his early
years driving fast on the German autobahn. When he’s not reviewing cars
for the active set, you can find him training for triathlons and
writing about endurance sports for,

Follow on twitter @TFLcar or watch latest car
review videos on YouTube.