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Great car, no complaints

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 9/1/2015 Paul Cocke

A few months ago, I bought a new 2015 Sonata Limited 2.0T. Hyundai moved from the Sport 2.0 with the Ultimate package to the Limited 2.0T. Not sure of the difference between the two but both have a lot of features. The Limited 2.0T I bought has the turbo paired with a four-cylinder engine (245 hp), leather, heated and cooled seats, panoramic sunroof, navigation, great sound system and a bunch of safety features, including rearview backup camera, smart cruise, blind spot warning, lane departure warning and a cool brake hold button that in stopped traffic lets you keep it in drive and take your foot off the gas pedal. I traded in a 2009 Sonata Limited V6 (which never had any problems – just did the regular maintenance and drove it to 108,000 miles before trading in and got another 100,000-mile Hyundai warranty). I test drove a lot of cars and SUVs and narrowed my final list down to the Sonata, Ford Fusion with turbo and AWD and the Suburu Legacy V6 with AWD. I have a 40-mile roundtrip commute on highways through the Cascade Mountains in rainy Washington State. I really wanted AWD because of the weather here but the Fusion and Legacy dealerships simply would not negotiate much of a deal with me. Also, the Sonata Limited 2.0T included many more features and, at least to my eye, the build quality appears really good. I was able to negotiate with several Hyundai dealerships and get good deals on both a substantially discounted new 2015 Sonata and above-Edmunds price on my trade-in. (Note in negotiating: get pre-approved for a loan then make dealerships compete on the price of the car; don’t get too picky on a color as that reduces your ability to negotiate. I made three different dealerships compete – via phone and email – on a price and worked the last one down another $1,000 from a price with incentives already $7,000 below MSRP. Then in the finance office I told them I was pre-approved and they actually got a loan via Hyundai at an even lower rate than my already very low rate). I love Hyundai’s long warranties but watch out for dealer options in the dealership finance office. Why do you need any extended warranties when the regular one is so good? One dealer option in particular, a high-tech service to track your car if stolen, is sometimes included in your contract. It sometimes is as high as $750 or $1,000! They told me it would lower my car insurance. Check with your auto insurance (my auto insurance covers my cars if stolen – no need for it). So far I love the Sonata. The steering is much, much better than my 2009 Sonata. It has three driving modes: Sport, Regular and Eco. The car really gets sporty in Sport and that’s a good time to use the paddle shifters. Eco is for saving gas. I drive mostly in the Regular setting. I liked the extra power of my V6 so was attracted to the turbo, which appears to be a very good engine with some notable differences. The V6 engine really was pretty fast, and could take off quickly. The turbo is not at all in the class of a V6 in starting out from a stop but in the mid-range speeds pulls very well, which is what I was interested in anyway in highway driving. I am getting about 32 mpg highway and about 26 to 27 combined, better than my V6. If you do much highway driving the smart cruise works well and is a great feature. The blind-spot detection has already saved me from an accident. The lane departure warning is annoying and you can turn it off. The cabin is large. I am 6 feet 2 inches tall and weigh 260 pounds and am very comfortable (the front seats lower). The pull-down sunscreens for the back seats have been a huge hit with kids trying to take a nap. The navigation system is good. Very few beefs: the trunk is large but the trunk opening is narrow; I wish the audio/radio had a mute (maybe I just haven’t found it yet) and visibility is slightly obscured to the rear but the rearview camera helps with that. I don’t like the flashy chrome along the sides (tacky) but like the overall slightly Genesis look much better than the fluidic sculpture design of the previous model. The car is comfortable, very quiet, no rattles or squeaks and so far very enjoyable, with no problems. It does not have AWD and does not drive as well as the Fusion (though much better than the Legacy) but I overall am very happy with my purchase.

Average Rating : 5

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