Balance of Power — A Case For and Against the Four-Cylinder Turbo - 2015 Hyundai Sonata Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 10,137
edited November 2015 in Hyundai
imageBalance of Power — A Case For and Against the Four-Cylinder Turbo - 2015 Hyundai Sonata Long-Term Road Test

This update to Edmunds' long-term Hyundai Sonata details driving its turbocharged brother, the Kia Optima SX Turbo.

Read the full story here


  • bankerdannybankerdanny Member Posts: 1,021
    I seem to recall that performance testing of the Sonata/Optima turbos never produced acceleration results commensurate with the advertised power.

    I suspect that Hyundai had originally rated the car based on a carefully prepped engine (like what Ford did with the 5.0 back in the late 1980's) and decided that the advertised power was writing checks that the average 2.0T just could not cash.

    Plus power alone wasn't going to get people to choose a 4cyl Hyundai/Kia over a V6 Camry/Accord, so there was no reason to match the power ratings.
  • banhughbanhugh Member Posts: 315
    I'm afraid this is a lose-lose-lose situation. The new 2.0 turbo engine lost power, has the same or worse fuel economy AND the performance lags behind the older 2.0 turbo engine!
  • yellowbalyellowbal Member Posts: 234
    And the 2.0 turbo is slower than the Honda or Toyota V6 and gets worse real world fuel economy.
  • dgcamerodgcamero Member Posts: 148
    And, IIRC, according to one source, the 2.0t is slower than Hyundai's own 1.6t!
  • 57belair57belair Member Posts: 2
    One point that this article doesn't mention is that some buyers of midsize sedans opt for the V6 for the additional smoothness that the V6 provides, not necessarily the added performance. To me, that is one shortcoming of only offering two four cylinders instead of a L4 and a V6, regardless of performance or fuel economy.
  • gslippygslippy Member Posts: 514
    The 1.6T has been tested to be quicker than the 2.0T, and the 2.0T HP claim was lowered after the fuel economy kerfuffle. I'd opt for the 1.6T over the 2.4 (which is adequate), but especially over the pricey 2.0T.

    Hyundai/Kia doesn't need to compete against the niche V6 engines from Honda or Toyota. The take rate on them is less than 10%, and it makes the vehicle less costly to design it only for 4-cylinder engines.
  • emajoremajor Member Posts: 332
    Nothing about what H/K did to this 2.0 turbo makes sense to me. The prior 2.0T couldn't quite catch a Camry or Accord, but came pretty close and delivered reasonably close fuel economy. Now it makes less power, is slower to 60 than a 4 cylinder Altima, and slower than the in-house 1.6 Eco trim. Every other 2.0T by other manufacturers are far quicker, including the kinda pokey & very heavy Fusion.

    I have a hard time imagining that this huge performance loss was accidental. So what is the point of this engine? What were H/K trying to accomplish here?

    Question for Josh: The 0-60 of the new Sonata 2.0T has been recorded at 8 seconds by three individual sources (Edmunds, C&D, MT), which is profoundly pathetic and about a full second off what a 245hp engine should accomplish in a vehicle of that weight. Does it feel this slow in the real world, or is it kind of like a diesel with nice low range pull and nothing on top?
  • allthingshondaallthingshonda Member Posts: 878
    Don't expect the Accord or Camry to have V6 optional engines for much longer. The Accord will probably lose the V6 on the next generation Accord since Honda's new 2.0 Turbo 4 is going into production and is rumored to have 300 horsepower or more.
  • nagantnagant Member Posts: 176
    The Chrysler 200 is a great example of having no turbo is a problem. The Tigershark 2.4 is just a terrible NVH engine and struggles to move the 200 at low speeds because of a lack of low end TQ. The Pentastar 3.2 is a nice engine but at $2k it is VERY expensive for an optional engine and has way more power than needed. So your choice is cheap, buzzy and gutless or smooth and expensive. The Fusion has the 1.5 turbo at only $895 and has plenty of power for a mid size. I would rather have the small turbo for the better TQ curve and hi altitude performance than the standard NA engine any day. The new Civic is a good example of the perfect engine for a small car.
  • jdubbs115jdubbs115 Member Posts: 3
    I'm confused by the mass confusion - Hyundai already explained the in-depth reason when they debuted this new generation, and it was accompanied with comparative graphs and a technical breakdown at the media release (was Edmunds not there?). They didn't simply remap the ECU for lower power output, this new 2.0T has a smaller turbo than the last one that produces less boost, but spools up faster. In addition to the retuning they did for lower emissions, they also made adjustments to enable that boost to come in sooner, where its more usable for normal driving. The better driveability leads to greater predictability as far as fuel economy is concerned, making the rating more realistic. The tradeoff was lower peak horsepower and lesser torque. Watch here for more details:
  • zigster38zigster38 Member Posts: 117
    Hyundai gets caught 'overestimating' with every engine and every new model. They still sell, so I guess people don't care. 
  • mrbizness1mrbizness1 Member Posts: 93
    zigster38 said:

    Hyundai gets caught 'overestimating' with every engine and every new model. They still sell, so I guess people don't care. 

    I believe Sonata buyers are not that into horsepower. They are family sedans for most people who care more about fuel economy. I rented a Sonata with the 2.4 while my Maxima was in the shop. I'm 67 years old, did 300 miles of mostly highway driving on it. I was impressed with the Sonata for comfort, and it rode quieter than the Maxima. Looking into a lease for a Sonata.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    small motors with turbos tend to eat gas when you have to push them hard--this is just an engineering fact of life.
  • shabadoo25shabadoo25 Member Posts: 232
    First of all, the 1.6 beat the 2.0 in one highly publicized test where the turbo may have failed in the 2.0 engine.

    Second, while the 2.0t has less hp than the previous version, it's application is smoother especially bringing it up to speed. In the old model, you hit the gas and nothing happened until the turbo engaged.
  • 03hondaaccord03hondaaccord Member Posts: 18
    @shabadoo25 So the old Hyundai 2.0t is like the old Acura 2.3t in the first gen RDX? *Pushes gas* waits... *Whoosh!*
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