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2011 Hyundai Sonata Review

The Car Connection Expert Rating Breakdown?

8.6
on a scale of 1 to 10
Styling
8.0
Expert Rating
Performance
8.0
Expert Rating
Comfort & Quality
8.0
Expert Rating
Safety
10
Expert Rating
Features
9.0
Expert Rating
Fuel Economy
9.0
Expert Rating

The Car Connection Expert Review

The 2011 Hyundai Sonata takes some smart styling and performance risks to raise its profile.

It’s true in cars as it’s true in politics—to rise above the clutter, you need to make a dramatic statement. While Hyundai won’t be telling anyone it can “see Russia from its house!” anytime soon, it’s given its mainstream, mid-size Sonata a refreshing new look and a new mission.

The goal: to dislodge some Nissan Altima and Ford Fusion buyers (along with shoppers considering the Camry, Malibu and Accord) and bring them into the Hyundai fold.

So, how’s the hopey-changey thing working out for the big Hyundai four-door? Very well, thanks. Sales are the best ever, and it’s largely a matter of the right look, matching up with the right features and the right fuel-economy number on the sticker. The Sonata’s ditched formality for fab new lines, inside and out. It’s skipping the V-6 route and instead fitting the car with a four-cylinder that rates up to 35 mpg—a little lower if it’s fitted with a turbocharger, considerably more if it’s teamed with Hyundai’s new hybrid technology. In any version it meets our performance expectations; both the Hybrid and 2.0T versions thrill us beyond the norms, for their own distinct reasons.

Inside, there’s more usable room than ever, and it’s finished in an agreeable way, though we’d love to see softer seats and a little less gloss black plastic. The steering could use some more refinement in feel, too. It works great in sweeping turns, but wanders a touch on some highway surfaces. While they’re at it, Hyundai needs to buckle down on interior noise. On asphalt roads, the Sonata’s low rolling resistance tires generate lots of noise, overpowering even the good mid-level speakers.

You’ll probably overlook those minor flaws given the Sonata’s extremely smart pricing. All this space, frugality and good looks can be had for less than $20,000—and comes with USB, Bluetooth, and satellite radio. The turbo version adds more than 80 horsepower, but only raises the price to about $25,000 base. The Hybrid will earn around 39-40 mpg in highway driving—with a base price of about $26,000, not much more than the much smaller Honda Civic Hybrid.

The Car Connection Consumer Review

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Wednesday, May 13, 2015
2011 Hyundai Sonata 4-Door Sedan 2.4L Automatic GLS

A real work horse

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I bought this car on lease @ THE $199 SPECIAL. When the lease was up I couldn't part with it! I bought it from the leasing company...I now have 100,000 trouble free miles on the car! I would get another if... + More »
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Thursday, April 16, 2015
For 2011 Hyundai Sonata

Very good value for the money

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Great gas mileage, comfortable and many bells and whistles. Would buy again
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Monday, April 13, 2015
For 2011 Hyundai Sonata

Overall a very nice car with panache

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I purchased the new, redesigned 2011 Sonata back in mid-2010 when it had just been introduced, and at that time nothing else compared for the money. Attention grabbing style? Yes. Interior style? Yes... + More »
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