Flash Drive — 2012 Hyundai Sonata

By Lary Coppola

Model Tested:2012 Hyundai Sonata SE 2.0T

Engine: 2.0-Liter, Direct Injection 4-Cyclinder. 274 Horsepower, 269 lb-ft of Torque

Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic with Shiftronic® and Paddle Shifters

EPA Ratings:22/City, 34/Highway

Base Price: $24,645

As Tested: $28,455

274 horses out of a 4-banger? I think that speaks for itself. Acceleration and handling are both much better than I expected – Performs like a 6-cyclinder

Very comfortable thanks to a long list of standard features such as leather sports seats with bolsters; Power driver’s seat with Power Lumbar Support, steering wheel-mounted controls; dual climate controls; excellent audio with all the state-of-the-art tech connections; Bluetooth, and lots more.

Ample room for 5 passengers, good-sized trunk.

WOW Factors:
The sheer amount of upscale standard equipment that is optional on many other cars, especially when coupled with reasonably priced additional features like navigation, rear back-up camera, sunroof and more, as well as a 274 horse 4-cyclinder make the Sonata a surprise in this segment.

A little more road noise than I expected, but not as bad as some.

Bottom Line:
This is just a great car for the money. It’s not a true sports sedan for sure, and isn’t quite meant to be either, although it acquits itself with aplomb, and is a reasonable imitation. When you couple all the standard equipment, and the reasonably-priced upscale options with the 100,000 mile transferable warranty, this may be the best value on the road in this highly competitive market segment. It gives the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Chevy Malibu and Ford Fusion a true run for the money.