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If I told you I’m mad for the 2011 Hyundai Sonata four-door sedan, would you think I’m crazy? Well, wrong. This latest incarnation of Hyundai’s bread-and-butter front-wheel-drive machine has the look and feel of cars costing way more than its as-tested price of $28,415.
New for this year – and on the market since springtime – the 2011 Hyundai Sonata so closely resembles cars costing three times its price. With its sloping front end, pronounced straked hood and body side crease, together with its coupe-like sloping roofline, the Sonata has richness to its exterior that belies its value.
Value is what has been the calling card for Hyundai, a Korean firm rapidly overcoming its early entry to the American market with inexpensive cars that were built a little bit too cheaply to survive the daily drive. In fact, it has taken longer for the company’s reputation to catch up with its products, which have been exemplary for at least the last five years.
The pearl white 2011 Hyundai Sonata Limited – top of the model range – looked striking when picked up at the Chicago airport and set off for the hotel. The blue hue inside was calming and when we needed instructions for our destination, the navigation system willingly and inaudibly complied. It was nice not having a voice arrogantly telling me which way to go. (The voice volume can be turned off, or up as you prefer.)
The Sonata sported anything one could possibly want on a car of this class – from one-touch driver’s window to one-touch tilt/slide sunroof, truly comfortable and supportive black leather seating inside, dual zone temperature control, seat heaters front and rear, turn signals in the side mirrors, auto dimming mirror – ah, the list goes on and on and on. The only lack I could see is a manual passenger’s seat, something Hyundai ought to easily handle.