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2017 Hyundai Sonata

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 8/11/2016 Nelson Ireson
2017 Hyundai Sonata© IZMO 2017 Hyundai Sonata

You'll Like:

  • Segment-leading safety features
  • Available hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and Eco models
  • Attractive, easy-to-use interior layout

You Won't Like:

  • Less than punchy engines
  • Handling and dynamics lag competition
  • Refinement and quietness need improvement

New for 2017

Hyundai makes just two key updates to the 2017 Hyundai Sonata's feature set, streamlining options packages across the 2017 Sonata range, and adding a new Dynamic Bending Light (DBL) option on Limited trim models. Rapidly rolling out to many Hyundai models, DBL is a safety feature that rotates the headlights in the direction of a curve as the driver turns the steering wheel.

Vehicle Summary

The Sonata is Hyundai's midsize, mainstream sedan option, slotting in above the Elantra and below the Azera, now that the Genesis and Equus have moved off into their own Genesis sub-brand as the G80 and G90.

Overview

The 2017 Hyundai Sonata offers three engines across its six trim lines. The base engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder rated at 185 hp and 178 lb-ft of torque. This base engine powers the SE, Sport, and Limited trims by default, paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The 2017 Sonata Eco gets a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine good for 178 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque, paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The Sonata Eco improves the base car's 25/36 mpg city/highway EPA rating to 28/36 mpg. The 2017 Sonata Sport 2.0T and Limited 2.0T get a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine rated for 245 hp and 260 lb-ft of toque, significantly increasing over the base car's power and torque levels, but reducing EPA-rated gas mileage to 22/31 mpg (or 30 mpg in Limited form). A Sonata Hybrid model is also available, pushing EPA combined city/highway mileage to 40 mpg or higher.

Safety

The 2017 Hyundai Sonata scores five stars in overall crash safety from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with scores of five stars in front and side crash, and four stars in rollover. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety hasn't yet rated the 2017 Hyundai Sonata, but the structurally and mechanically identical 2016 Sonata earned a Top Safety Pick+ designation, the organization's highest rating, with scores of Good in all categories of crashworthiness and crash avoidance and mitigation.

For the 2017 model year, Hyundai adds to the Sonata's arsenal of safety features with the new Dynamic Bending Light (DBL) system. The DBL system aims the headlights around corners as the driver moves the steering wheel to enhance nighttime visibility. Other active safety features available on the 2017 Sonata include automatic emergency braking, smart cruise control, lane departure warning, and automatic high-beam assist.

What We Think

The current Hyundai Sonata is a solid mid-pack option in the midsize sedan segment, but it's not one of the top picks. While great features, attractive design, and very strong value, the Sonata is a definite up-and-comer, but it hasn't yet resolved refinement and driving dynamics issues that would move it to the top of the segment. Key complaints from our reviewers include engine harshness, turbo lag in turbocharged models, and a lack of smoothness of the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission offered in the Hyundai Sonata Eco. Nevertheless, Hyundai's rapid improvement of the Sonata in recent years led our own Angus MacKenzie to note at the 2015 Car of the Year competition that "Toyota and Honda should be very worried because at this rate of development, the next-gen Sonata is going to be a bona fide Camry and Accord killer."

Cool Fact

The 2017 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T (and Limited 2.0T) packs over 100 more turbocharged horsepower than the original Toyota Supra.

Key Competitors:

  • Toyota Camry
  • Honda Accord
  • Nissan Altima
  • Ford Fusion

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