The 2015 Hyundai Sonata is all-new this year which means they took an already well-loved, popular car and decided to shake things up and make it better. At least, that’s the goal when an automaker releases an all-new version of an existing model. Hyundai has made a lot of changes to the Sonata and for the most part those changes work.
There’s a choice of powertrains starting with a base 2.4-liter 4-cylinder giving you 185 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque, but I drove the Sport. This trim comes with a 2.0-liter turbo direct injection 4-cylinder with 245 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque.
That engine lets the Sonata get fuel economy of 23/32 city/highway with a combined 26 MPG to help keep things in line with federal fuel efficiency standards. I averaged 26 on the money which is amazing because those numbers never seem to be what happens in the real world.
This engine isn’t a monster, but it is enough to make the Sonata fun to drive. It responds quickly when you hit the gas and does so without becoming loud and abrasive. There’s just enough torque and engine noise to let you know that the car is ready for action.
The 6-speed automatic transmission is smooth and does its job nicely without any harsh shifts and, should you want a little more control, there are paddle shifters. Yes, you can play, but this is still at a heart a sedan so it won’t set your pants on fire.
What you’ll really notice, especially if you’ve owned or are familiar with previous generations of the Sonata, is how very different it looks inside and out. The new look is part of Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language.
The car is wider, giving it a more imposing stance and making the Sport actually look sporty. That additional width also gives more room for passengers. The official number is 106.1 cubic feet which doesn’t mean much until you compare it to other cars. It’s got more interior space than the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and Nissan Altima.
It is an incredibly roomy car that toys at the edges of the full-size sedan range. There is legroom front and back for even taller passengers and despite a roof that looks low from the outside, inside there is plenty of headroom.
The Sport gets lots of extra details to fit its name including sport-tuned suspension and steering, rear diffuser, quad exhaust tips, chrome details on the handles, pedals, and door sill, and heated leather sport seats. The Urban Sunset paint job on our tester got matching orange piping and stitching inside that really gave the car some pop.
The 2015 Hyundai Sonata looks fantastic, but it doesn’t stand out and demand attention. Sure, the bright paint job makes heads turn, but in a more muted color it would blend in with the crowd. Is this a good thing? Eh, it really depends on what you want as an owner.
If you’re looking for a striking sedan that will have people asking what you’re driving, then the Sport does the job in colors like red and orange. It is attractive, modern, and sporty without being over the top and garish and it delivers on the promise of its looks when you get behind the wheel.
If you want to tone it down, well, that’s why they invented colors like silver and gray. You’ll have all the perks of driving a sporty sedan while looking like you’re driving something responsible.
No matter what color you pick, you are being a somewhat responsible grown-up by not blowing a ridiculous amount of money on the Sonata. At just $28,575 excluding destination and delivery charges, you are getting a lot of car. Not only is the styling fresh and the engine powerful, but it’s loaded with the latest tech and safety features.
The 2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T is a roomy, attractive, and responsive sedan that gives a little taste of performance at a wonderfully affordable price.
2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T
Base Price: $28,575
Price As Tested: $28,575 (not including destination charge)
- Plenty of Interior Space
- Affordably Priced
- Sport Styling
- Turbo Fuel Economy Suffers
- Sport Needs More Oomph