The Sonata's dramatic styling and three-pronged attack on the mid-size market have worked.
It's now one of the sales leaders and TCC's Best Car To Buy for 2011.
It still competes in a very tough segment with two of the best selling passenger cars, the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.
The Accord remains very much a Honda in driving feel, even though it's quite a large vehicle now; the Camry's revamped this year for better economy, but the proto-Ford looks and spotty interior neither advance its case or cost it points.
Ford's Fusion and the Mazda6 share some DNA, and both are fun to drive, with excellent road manners making up some for slightly smaller rear-seat space; both have excellent reliability records as well, and the Fusion's Hybrid edition is a gas-mileage leader.
Then there's the Kia Optima: on the spec sheet it's almost identical to the Sonata, but its sleeker styling and slightly beefier handling make it an interesting direct competitor for the Sonata.
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|2012 Hyundai SonataBrowse Used Listings||2012 Ford FusionBrowse Used Listings||2012 Honda Accord SedanBrowse Used Listings||2012 Kia OptimaBrowse Used Listings||2012 Mazda MAZDA6Browse Used Listings||2012 Toyota CamryBrowse Used Listings|
|22 MPG City / 39 MPG Hwy||17 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy||20 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy||22 MPG City / 39 MPG Hwy||18 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy||21 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy|
|Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4|
|Large Cars||Mid-Size Sedan||Large||Midsize Cars||Midsize||Midsize Car|
|4-Door Sedan 2.4L Manual GLS||4-Door Sedan S FWD||4-Door I4 Manual LX||4-Door Sedan 2.4L Manual LX||4-Door Sedan Manual i Sport||4-Door Sedan I4 Automatic L (GS)|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan||Sedan||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan|
|Manual||Manual||Manual||Manual||Manual w/OD||Automatic w/Manual Shift|
|Detailed Spec Comparison|
|2012 Hyundai Sonata vs. 2012 Ford Fusion||2012 Hyundai Sonata vs. 2012 Honda Accord Sedan||2012 Hyundai Sonata vs. 2012 Kia Optima||2012 Hyundai Sonata vs. 2012 Mazda MAZDA6||2012 Hyundai Sonata vs. 2012 Toyota Camry|