With a base price of around $20,500, the 2012 Sonata has a very impressive standard-equipment list. Bluetooth; a USB port; power windows, locks and mirrors; a tilt/telescoping steering wheel; and cruise control are all included.
The Sonata SE adds paddle shifters, a sport-tuned suspension, and some slight trim differences. Both the Sonata SE and Sonata Limited have parking sensors and push-button start. The Limited also gets standard heated front and rear seats; a sunroof; a backup camera; automatic climate control; and an automatic dimming rearview mirror.
Hyundai is known to keep the number of different combinations quite limited, and while there are three engines and several trims, what it means in the Sonata lineup is that there are only a few package upgrades for each model. The base GLS can be upgraded to include a power driver seat and alloy wheels; the SE’s options include a nicely executed navigation system packaged with a sunroof. There’s also a new “Dimension” speaker package for some audio systems. The Sonata Limited adds on a CD changer and HD Radio, and can be equipped with an Infinity 400-watt audio system, bundled with the touchscreen-driven navigation system and the rearview camera.
The Sonata's navigation system is particularly easy to use, with one of the more pleasant displays and interfaces. XM NavTraffic and Bluetooth streaming audio are included, as well as 8GB of flash memory for music storage. There are only a few details we'd like to see added--such as if the sound system would start back up where it left off in playing from your iPod.New this year is Hyundai's Blue Link telematics system; like GM's OnStar setup, it uses live operators to provide information and directions, while also connecting the car via streaming data to the Web, which allows it to find destinations newer than the ones provided on its hard-drive-based GPS maps. Blue Link is offered in a few different packages, with tiered pricing; access to a Web site is bundled in, and allows drivers to set limits on the car's stereo volume, speed, and geographic distance from a certain point.