So Very Gray - 2015 Hyundai Sonata Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,137
edited August 2015 in Hyundai
imageSo Very Gray - 2015 Hyundai Sonata Long-Term Road Test

The Edmunds long-term 2015 Hyundai Sonata is very gray. And we're not just talking about the interior color.

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Comments

  • thepuffthepuff Member Posts: 87
    Good point but also a very moot one. If people are buying Toyota Camry's and Hyundai Sonata's they usually prefer Vanillas over Rocky Roads when it comes to driving taste...hence, they don't expect nor care about any exciting elements to their vehicle or driving experience; thus, the grey will "do just fine."
  • reminderreminder Member Posts: 383
    Safely unoffensive.
    Pretty standard for a family truckster.
  • misterfusionmisterfusion Member Posts: 471
    Good lord, not the Camry. Are we talking about the same cars? I would take the Sonata any day of the week over the Camry. Hell, I think I would take the current Corolla over the Camry.

    In terms of the family sedan segment, for me it would probably be the Mazda 6, and "everything else"...with the Accord probably leading the "everything else" crowd. I like the Chrysler 200, but it's a bit too small. Maybe VW will actually make the 2016 Passat interesting...
  • emajoremajor Member Posts: 332
    "Good lord, not the Camry. Are we talking about the same cars?"

    It's actually quite good in SE trim. Firm ride, responsive steering, absolutely none of the stereotypical Camry float and wallow, quite flat in hard corners. Refined 4 cylinder matched to a surprisingly responsive and smart automatic. Read Edmunds long-term test of the pre-refresh SE, most on staff liked the way it drove. The refresh rectified the cheapest parts of the interior so it's on par with the Accord's now. I prefer the way the XSE V6 Camry drives compared to the Accord V6, which was incredibly dull in comparison. Imagine that.

    This Sonata, however, is not a competitor to an SE Camry. This is a Camry LE competitor. The Sonata Eco with the quick 1.6 turbo would be a better comparison, and as some of us mentioned at the start of the test, we don't understand why they chose this old known powertrain over the new more interesting 1.6.
  • misterfusionmisterfusion Member Posts: 471
    It's nice that Toyota (finally) caught up to the rest of the class in terms of the interior, fascias, and some suspension bits, but it's too bad everything else is carryover. It's had the same roof since about 2001(?) -- I'm having trouble believing it even as I type it -- and it's still on the same platform since then, too. That is about as far from "moving forward" as you can get, Toyota!

    The SE may indeed handle well, but overall the Camry doesn't seem to be a class leader in any significant category other than sales. I guess it makes sense that the plainest car sells the best, but it seems like Toyota never tries to do more than phone it in, and that makes me unreasonably irritated. :P
  • gslippygslippy Member Posts: 514
    2014 sales:

    Camry: 428k
    Accord: 388k
    Altima: 335k
    Fusion: 306k
    Sonata: 216k
    Malibu: 188k
    Optima: 159k
    200: 117k
    Passat: 96k
    Impreza: 83k
    6: 53k

    [Sorry, this list is not all-inclusive.]

    Despite all the positive talk about the Mazda 6, people vote with their wallets and just don't buy them. "Gray" cars seem to do very well.
  • emajoremajor Member Posts: 332
    misterfusion,
    That probably is unreasonably irritated considering we're talking about midsize sedans. Toyota seems to take a cautious approach to reinventing things, and that seems to pay dividends in the reliability, functionality, ease of use, and resale value aspects of the car. Roofline couldn't bug me less, they've avoided the 4-door coupe styling that kills rear headroom. Camry powertrain carryover is not a problem either. The Camry 4-cyl is largely competitive and the 6spd auto is excellent. I'd argue the Toyota 3.5 V6 is and has been the best powertrain in the class. That includes the Accord's V6 which I thought was an excellent engine hobbled a bit by a less responsive transmission.

    You're not alone in your irritation at bland cars, though, I get unreasonably irritated when the automotive media pumps the Accord up as the sweetest miracle machine ever to haul kids to school and bluehairs to the doctor. It's a very good car. But it's not that great to drive and doesn't feel all that special. The availability of the manual transmission is the only reason I'd consider it over an SE or XSE Camry.

    To each their own, of course. I test drove most of the 2012 field about a year back when looking for a nicely discounted 2-3 yo sedan for kid hauling duty. From that I learned the Camry SE was far better than the enthusiast media gave it credit for and if it weren't for the higher resale we would've ended up in one.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTMember Posts: 16,305
    I think I could find that Sonata interior to be 'calming'.
    Everyone knows Toyota keeps their Camry sales lead with super cheap LE leases.
    A nice Fusion with the 2.0, is a much better used car as a driver and value.
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT
  • emajoremajor Member Posts: 332
    edited August 2015
    "Everyone knows Toyota keeps their Camry sales lead with super cheap LE leases"

    Sounds just like how Ford maintains sales dominance with the F-series, and how the other two try to take it down. Cash. On. The. Hood.

    "A nice Fusion with the 2.0, is a much better used car as a driver and value"

    The solidity and interior of the Fusion remind me of my VW, which I like. But the powertrains in that car are a let-down. The bitty base turbo engine hasn't compared well to the Camry's 2.5 in fuel economy or acceleration, and the 2.0 just gets slaughtered by the Camry's V6. A Fusion is a used car bargain, which is good for the second buyer but bad for the first. Guess which of those buyers ford should be caring more about? If the Camry is a bad used car deal because holds more value, but Toyota is still pushing them out the door new for a discount, guess which car suddenly looks very appealing from an economic standpoint if I'm a new car buyer?
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTMember Posts: 16,305
    @emajor, I guess you've never driven a Fusion 2.0. It's a great combination of power and fuel mileage. Not as good as an NA 4 cyl for mileage, or raw power of a V6. but on the road, works great.
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT
  • emajoremajor Member Posts: 332
    No, I haven't driven the 2.0. And while I'm not one to rely solely on objective test data, the gulf in acceleration between it and the Toyota/Honda V6s is just too much to ignore considering the fuel economy benefit isn't there. On its own merits I am sure it is fine, but it has competition to be judged against.

    I'm not trying to dump on Ford, I like a lot of what they are doing. I think their cars look and feel expensive on first impression, they handle well, they ride well, they are quiet. Looking down the road a few years, an AWD Fusion with the 2.0T is even tempting, even though the smaller Ecoboosts are a definite low point for the brand. Toyota is dropping that lovely 3.5 V6 for a 2.0T soon, and that's sure to be a disappointment. The only question is how big of one.
  • 1997montez341997montez34 NJ, USAMember Posts: 202
    I like the black interior in mine way better.
  • clownstrikeclownstrike Member Posts: 58
    The editor's opinion is certainly valid. He is familiar with a great number of auto interiors. But his opinion is certainly not universal, even among the Edmunds staff (see the recent post with a different take: http://www.edmunds.com/hyundai/sonata/2015/long-term-road-test/2015-hyundai-sonata-a-macro-look-at-interior-materials.html). I drive the same car and find the interior very tasteful. At this price point, trying to get more exciting could easily become cheap or disjointed. Yes it's gray, but there are some very well done accents that may not be appreciated until you live with it for a while. The faux carbon fiber is attractive. The two tone door treatment is excellent (light and airy cabin, but dark where you want to hide footwear scuffs). There is a also a beige and faux wood version available if you lean in that direction. I drove the competitors and nothing in this Sonata felt like a compromise. Shop the competitor models at the same selling price and you'll be impressed (my Sonata, equipped exactly as the Edmunds tester, sells at $22k-$23k). If you're shopping at a higher price point, have fun and enjoy!
  • dfrissdfriss Member Posts: 23
    Personally, I don't look to my car to get my pulse blipping each day. What's interesting to me is that for such an 'unexceptional' vehicle that as a whole it is rather exceptional. Very good pricing, it's comfortable for people with legs in all seats (most cars in this class chinse on front seat passenger legroom), it handles well, has a great turning radius, great fuel range, fair mpg, good looks (especially in the sun), decent sound, very good nav panel feature set and great warrantee. It's not a lambo in my garage so my pulse is steady.
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