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Hyundai posts impressive numbers for turbo Sonata

Hyundai launches the turbocharged Sonata at the 2010 New York auto show.

Wayne Cunningham Managing Editor / Roadshow
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
2 min read
Hyundai Sonata 2.0T
Sarah Tew/CNET
Hyundai Sonata 2.0T
Hyundai's turbocharged Sonata boasts 274 horsepower while getting 34 mpg highway mileage. Sarah Tew/CNET

Hyundai Sonata 2.0T (photos)

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NEW YORK--Along with the Sonata Hybrid launched at the 2010 New York auto show, Hyundai also unveiled its all new turbocharged Sonata. Boasting 274 horsepower, the Sonata's turbocharged 2-liter engine mops the floor with many competitors, both turbocharged four-bangers and V-6es.

Hyundai exploited two technologies to eke more efficiency out of its internal combustion engine,: direct injection and turbocharging. The Sonata 2.0T uses a 2-liter four-cylinder engine spraying fuel directly into the cylinders for a more efficient burn. Hyundai's twin scroll turbocharger increases the engine's output up to the previously mentioned 274 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque.

Though Hyundai hasn't posted acceleration figures, that kind of power should get this midsize sedan to 60 mph in around 6 seconds. At the same time, Hyundai says the Sonata will get 34 mpg on the highway--very decent fuel economy for a fast car.

Although Hyundai talked up the performance characteristics of the powerplant, the Sonata 2.0T gets the same suspension as the base Sonata, without any sport enhancements. The company does claim, due to high-strength steel in the body panels, that all Sonata models get better rigidity than all other midsize sedans.

Likewise, the Sonata 2.0T gets saddled with a six-speed automatic, with no option for a manual. The automatic does include a manual shift mode, with paddle shifters on the wheel, but we don't expect it to overcome torque converter slush.

Although the Sonata 2.0T might not be a favorite of sport drivers, a simple numbers comparison of its competitors should give it a boost in the midsize sedan segment. We like any power train that can deliver good fuel economy and loads of power.