2015 Hyundai Sonata

What's new for 2015? The Hyundai Sonata is redesigned for 2015 with a more refined look and a larger cabin. A new Eco trim level with a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine also debuts, although the more powerful 2.0T trim level has nearly 30 fewer horsepower.

The previous-generation Hyundai Sonata was nothing short of a smash hit in the midsize sedan segment. With its combination of daring style, respectable performance, generous standard features and solid build quality, the Sonata easily convinced us that it was finally a true rival to cars like the Accord and Camry. Now redesigned for 2015, the Hyundai Sonata is a little more grown up, gaining refinements to its interior, chassis and feature content. We think it should stay squarely on the radar of savvy car shoppers.

The new Sonata trades some of the swoopy curves of the previous version for more conservative lines that take the styling uptown. Overall, the basic proportions and the sweeping roof line carry over, but the car is a little bigger than before and rear passengers benefit from a little more hip- and legroom. The chassis has also been overhauled to improve both the Sonata's handling capabilities and its ride quality.

This year also brings a new 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Fitted to the new Eco trim level, this engine promises high fuel economy along with peppy performance. Curiously, however, those looking for the peppiest performance possible from their family sedan will find the Sonata's 2.0-liter turbo engine

Exterior Highlights
Full-size luxury sedan available in Signature and Ultimate trim levels

The 2015 Hyundai Sonata is available in SE, Sport, Eco, Limited and Sport 2.0T trim levels.

Standard features on the SE include 16-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, LED running lights, air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, heated mirrors, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, a 60/40-split rear seatback, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a six-speaker sound system (with a CD player, satellite radio, an iPod/USB audio interface and an auxiliary audio jack).

The Sport and Eco trims add automatic headlights, a rearview camera, an eight-way power driver seat (with power lumbar), upgraded door trim, Hyundai's Blue Link telematics system (with smartphone integration) and a 5-inch touchscreen audio interface. The Eco differs with a special fuel-economy-focused engine, while the Sport gets its own 17-inch alloy wheels, dual exhaust with chrome tips, hands-free "smart" and unique body styling tweaks.

The Limited includes the Sport's features (minus the body styling tweaks) and adds LED taillights, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, wood grain trim, a six-way power passenger seat, heated rear seats, rear air vents, rear window sunshades, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an upgraded audio system and driver safety aids (blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert).

The Sport 2.0T includes most of the features of the Sport and Limited trims (less the power passenger seat, heated rear seats and rear sunshades) along with 18-inch alloy wheels, sport-tuned suspension and steering, a rear diffuser with quad chrome exhaust tips, xenon headlights, sport seats with accent stitching, a flat-bottom sport steering wheel and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Many of the upper trims' features are available as options on the lower trims. Other optional features (depending on trim level) include xenon headlights, a panoramic sunroof, an electronic parking brake, adaptive cruise control (with full stop-start capability), an upgraded gauge cluster, sport front seats, a navigation system (with an 8-inch touchscreen), an Infinity 10-speaker premium sound system, ventilated front seats, driver memory settings, rear parking sensors and forward-collision and lane-departure warning systems.

Built-in ventilation system on front seats, generous head and legroom, rear seat DVD entertainment system, elegant style, spacious trunk

The Sonata SE is fairly basic inside, but materials and build quality are improved over those in the base trim level from last year's Sonata. With their plusher door trim and additional cabin accents, the higher trim levels compare pretty well to those of segment rivals. Not surprisingly, the Limited trim, with its available two-tone color schemes and convincing wood grain trim, is particularly appealing. The Sport 2.0T features heavily bolstered sport seats for added lateral support during spirited back-roads drives.

The control layout is straightforward and easy to use, with dedicated buttons for primary functions like navigation, phone, radio and media. The climate controls are simple, and Hyundai's touchscreen interface remains intuitive.

The 5-inch touchscreen provides decent functionality for Sonatas without the optional navigation system. Those with the nav system boast an 8-inch touchscreen, which gives the Sonata's cabin even more of an upscale, cutting-edge feel.

As before, the Sonata has more than ample room for four adults. Those in back even have a bit more hip- and legroom than before. At 16.3 cubic feet, the trunk is a little more generous than average for this segment, and the standard 60/40-split-folding rear seat is at the ready to add more cargo capacity should the need arise. Models equipped with the hands-free "smart" trunk opener automatically open the trunk if the person with the key fob stands behind the car for more than 3 seconds.

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