The all-new 2015 Hyundai Sonata enters its seventh-generation with three powertrains, new safety features, and a new design that gives it a sportier stance and more interior room.
The changes start on the outside with Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language that sees the Sonata growing by 35mm in length and 30mm in width. This helps give it a wider, more imposing stance and helps increase passenger room. There’s 106.1 cubic feet inside which puts it ahead of competitors like the Toyota Camry (102.7), Honda Accord (103.2) and Nissan Altima (101.9).
You’ll feel that additional space in front and back with plenty of room for everyone. The coupe-like roof might look like it would compromise headroom from the outside, but even the 6-foot plus crowd is going to find plenty of clearance. Legroom, too, is ample with space to stretch out, even behind the drivers side with the seat positioned further back.
The 2015 Hyundai Sonata excels in passenger comfort on several fronts. It starts with the interior room and extends to comfortable seating with excellent adjustability. The driver’s seat was supportive yet plush with good bolstering. Rear seats weren’t forgotten and were equally as comfortable, even on rougher roads. Add more points for an exceptionally quiet ride that had minimal road and wind noise so conversation was easy.
The base engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that will give you 185 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque with fuel economy of 24/35 city/highway for a combined rating of 28 MPG. It’s paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission that is smooth and agile, and has ample acceleration on highways and notably muted engine noise.
Your second option is a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine with 245 horsepower, 260 lb-ft of torque, and fuel economy ratings of 23/32 city highway for a combined rating of 26 MPG. The sacrifice in fuel economy is more than made up for by the increase in power that’s going to appeal to those looking for a more aggressive, sports-oriented drive. The 2015 Hyundai Sonata Eco with 28/38/32 city/highway/combined MPG ratings will be available later this year, but wasn’t available during our drive experience.
The 2.0-liter gets improved aerodynamics, firmer suspension, and power steering tweaks as well as appearance upgrades like a sport grille and front bumper, chrome accents, rear lip spoiler, and chrome-tipped quad exhaust. Its looks definitely match its drive and this is the trim level you want if you’re looking to really enjoy your time behind the wheel.
We found the 2.0-liter much more responsive, especially with the Drive Mode Select in Sport mode. Comfort and Eco modes provided slightly toned down drive experiences, but, unexpectedly, Eco mode didn’t make the drive unbearable as is so often the case when drive modes can be selected in a vehicle.
Safety features in the #NewSonata abound with seven standard airbags, including a new driver’s knee airbag along with new available active safety technologies like Forward Collision Warning, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and a Lane Departure Warning System. The lane departure warning system was one of the more well-tuned we’ve tested, sounding an alert at what felt like a more reasonable drift as opposed to some that seem to expect a perfect drive between the lines that results in the chime sounding far too often.
The 2015 Hyundai Sonata is arriving in dealer showrooms now.
Check out this video with almost everything you ever wanted to know about the 2015 Hyundai Sonata…
Nicole Wakelin fell in love with cars as a teenager when she got to go for a ride in a Ferrari. It was red and it was fast and that was all that mattered. Game over. She considers things a bit more carefully now, but still has a weakness for fast, beautiful cars. Nicole is a member of the New England Motor Press Association and also writes for Automotive IT News, NerdApproved, and GeekMom. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.