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Roadshow Video Reviews
2011 Hyundai Sonata SEHyundai adds some jam to their bread & butter.
>> It's Hyundai's bread and butter car, and for too long that's what it looked like. But for 2011, the Sonata gets a major redesign, and you can almost feel Camry and Accord getting a little sweaty around the neck. But let's check the tech first. >> Now, the head unit here is optional, but I really recommend it. This is one of the better ones out there, and it's one of the first to be Flash-based -- no hard drive, no DVD for the GPS data. It's all based in memory. As a result, the response is really quick and it's a very good menuing system -- quite easy to use, and again, notice how fast this thing responds. You've got both a really good touch screen. You've also got voice command of this system. So you got any way you want to do it, and both work pretty well. Oh, also you're probably noticing right now, yes, live traffic on this guy via XM. XM also provides weather information, sports and stock quotes. What I also love about this guy is it lets you enter a destination while you're driving. No, I'm not talking about a lot of distraction, I'm talking about your passenger who can enter a destination while you're under way. In spite of all that goes on in that really great hi ray screen, one thing that will not happen on an SE is a backup camera. You can't even option it. That's weird. If you go to the next car up, the LTD, the Limited, then you can. Now, the audio system on this guy -- again, upgraded to the top on this one with what's called the Dimension Sound System, which is extra speakers, better amps, subwoofer. No HD Radio -- media goes to a couple of things, and it all comes out of this slot down here. You've got a multi-jack that has a mini, it has a USB port, and using this hybrid cable from Hyundai, you can hook up your iPod, iPhone, iPod Touch, and a really good display results. Keep hitting that, you'll also go in this case up to the CD drive, which doesn't just play CDs, of course, but also MP3 disks, and I've got one of those in there now. And as part of the Bluetooth setup, you also have streaming audio. Now, Hyundai's in kind of an interesting thing here with the climate controls. They're real simple, and part of it is because they use this little plastic reclining man thing -- kind of lifted from Volvo, as you may know if you've seen in some of our previous videos on their interface. One gearbox on the SE, or the Limited, the higher version more luxury car. And that is this 6-speed automatic, which has a shifting gate on the left, paddles up here on the wheel. Hyundai says the reason they're only offering the manual in the GLS, the base car and not this, the SE, the sportier car, is because GLS folks are real price sensitive and want to save the $1,000 on this gearbox. They don't seem to think that SE drivers want to mix their own gears. Remember, you've got a Hyundai Sonata 2 liter turbo coming down the road. That's going to be the real Sport Sonata. That's another story. >> Styling now is much more high tone than the last Sonata, which had rental car written all over its exterior, as great a car as it was. Our indigo blue pearl 2011 shows off the sort of Lexus GS rear roof slope and a rather dramatic polished metal sphere that runs from headlight to seat color. Inside, an interesting choice of cloth upholstery, offset by leather bolsters. And on the dash and doors, the plastics are okay, but they somewhat betray this car's aggressive pricing. Now, for 2011 no Sonata can be had with a V6 anymore. If you want power, you're going to have to wait for the new Turbo, inline-4, that's coming later in the model year. Here's the engine we've got to work with, and it's a good one. It's a 2.4 liter gasoline direct injection, GDI motor. And that clickety-clacky here, that's characteristic of direct injectors. But it gets 200 horsepower and 186-foot pounds of torque out of that 2.4 liters. That is significantly better than Camry or Accord by somewhere in the mid 20 to 30 horsepower range. Nice. Mileage is 22-35, and 0 to 60's not bad at 8.1. >> Okay, let's price this new 2011 Sonata. Now, we're driving an SE, which is about 23,300 delivered, and that includes everything except for the Nav, the Dimension audio system, and the power sunroof. All of that's one package for 2,600 -- not a bad price as automatic Nav Packages go. The other options that are tech are small. That iPod cable, $35, of course you're going to buy that. And an electrochromic mirror with a compass and homelink buttons is about $250 more. By the way, if you want to get into a Sonata at the least amount of money, these guys start in GLS trim at just about $20,000.