New Hyundai Sonata: The end of apologies? (CNET On Cars, Episode 53)
Cooley On Cars
2015 Hyundai Sonata the end of the apology.
Hypermiling, not just for hybrid heads anymore.
And the top 5 distracting in car interface Time to check the tab.
We see cars differently.
We love them on the road,.
And under the hood, but always check the tech.
They are know for telling it like it is.
Ugly is included for no extra cost.
The good, the bad, the bottom line, this is CNET on Cars.
Welcome to CNET on Cars, the show all about high tech and modern driving.
I'm Brian Cooley.
Hyundai has been making great cars for a number of years now, but you still had to explain your choice.
That maybe changing with the 2015 Sonata.
A heavily revised model, that plays into heart of the best-selling cars in Autodom.
Let's drive this all new version, and check the tech.
Sometimes when you want a major hit in the auto business, you don't have to be hot-looking or super fast, or anything superlative.
You just have to be a nice car.
Let's see how the all new.
All new heavily revised 2015 Hyundai Sonata goes after that bullseye and do they hit it?
Now the Sonata as you may recall got serious in the market with the 2009 model.
All of the sudden it became a real threat to Camry, Accord, Fusion, and the rest but it always had this unfortunate Hyundai trait of looking a little bit ornamented shall we say.
Just not a handsome car.
That's changed now and that's the big story on the outside of the new Sonata.
More urban lines.
Now I'll call your attention to a couple of exterior features.
First of all, the panoramic roof, which is optional, even on this limited trim, there's one bar in the middle, but it opens up a lot of sky.
And an interesting take on the trunk.
Just walk up to the rear of the car with a key in your pocket and stand there for three seconds, and the trunk opens automatically.
If you don't recall what the previous Sonata looked like, here's a look.
Now, here's what we have today.
This is completely different, kind of teutonic.
It's got a little bit of an Audi layout to it.
It's clean, it's handsome, it's modern, it's angular.
That's being continued.
Now our car's pretty loaded up.
It was a limited with almost every option CNET's style.
Navigation system as you see here.
Hyundai's always been a pretty good clean job of that and they've tended to have the fastest touch screen response in the industry by a big margin.
I'm afraid to report that that's a little bit muted now.
It's just, you wouldn't notice it watching me on camera here but I can tell you, shut up, just little milliseconds, little heart beats worth of differences are happening now when you touch the screen.
I will say this, when you're in navigation mode it's got a new, I believe.
Split screen option plus auto zoom and lot of things going on makes it kind of busy.
Your standard audio is gonna be iPod and USB and AUX jack all down here in this new enlarged bin, Sirius XM and bluetooth streaming are also standard.
HD radio and more comes in an optional level which includes our navigation that we've got in,.
Now check this out.
If you don't recognize that little orange icon right there, that's Sound Hound.
Let's say I'm listening to something on a station that doesn't do a good job of putting those RDS tags on the screen.
So I can hit the Sound Hound button and it's going to listen to the broadcast for a certain amount of seconds here, get a nice sample.
Figures out what it is, pulls it right up on the screen.
And it's a really cool tool to have in the car where you don't wanna be fumbling.
With your app on your phone, to do the same thing.
You can mark it as a favorite, go back later, figure out what it is.
There's nothing as advanced as an online buying store for track just yet, but maybe it's just a matter of time.
This car also supports Siri Eyes Free, with your iPhone.
And later in this model years run, in 2015, they'll also support Apple CarPlay.
They're one of the early adopters on that.
Another interesting feature, especially for a popularly priced car, you've got start, stop, and replay on satellite radio.
A 22-minute buffer here to let you capture and go back.
Install the BlueLink Telematics app and you get a wide array of sort of auto remote control functions.
And most importantly, you can get a live online search utility that can tie into the car's navigation system.
There's also remote start via the app with the interesting wrinkle of a delay time of one to ten minutes.
Now under the hood, also not as continue on as four cylinders only.
This or the two liter turbo sport.
That's a different video.
Here we have an interesting story.
The horsepower and torque have come down a little bit, to 185 horse and 178 pound feet of torque, down five and one, respectively.
But what Hyundai says they've done is move the responsiveness lower in the RPM band, where real people drive.
Not riving their car out for a yellow or red line, but loping along.
The numbers changed a bit as they did that.
These guys are all front-wheel drives and go up to a six-speed automatic with a little shift-gate, but there's no paddles on the wheel.
You've got some drive modes, sports, eco, and normal.
Zero to 60 happens in 8.1 seconds.
A car that weighs about 3,400 pounds but delivering quite good fuel economy 24/35.
You're not seeing any turbos, no break energy regeneration, no electrification of any kind.
No auto start-stop.
Pretty straight forward power train, but gets it done.
Now that whole theorem about just be a nice car really is where.
The Sonata prints on the road.
Its overall quietness and ride quality are really exemplary.
The power band is useful where I want it to be.
The transmission is unobtrusive.
It never leaves the car flat-footed when you need power.
There's a meaningful difference between eco, normal and sport.
The steering is surprisingly heavy for a car made today.
Many cars have over assisted, very light steering.
I think it's part of giving the car a feeling of more mass and more quality to the driver.
Now the driver assist technologies are primarily passive.
The one exception is your active cruise control, which will go all the way down to a full stop with its own braking and back up to full freeway speed, should conditions more.
What's interesting is what they've done with the blind spot technology here.
It's a little more contemplative if you will.
When you have.
Then on and it indicates that you do a turn with your stalk here.
It's going to read not just where cars are.
So if a car off to your side is closing rapidly, you'll have a different sensitivity toward warning than if it's not.
Okay let's price our 2015 Sonata this heavily revised version.
We have a limited which is a really good place to start.
Twenty seven three with destination.
But there are two chunky objects you got to go for.
Packages that really take and see that style.
One, as you can imagine, is called the Tech Package.
That 3500 bucks for the panoramic roof, the eight inch nav screen, xenon high-intensity discharge headlights, HD radio with infinity sound backing it up, a heating steering wheel and ventilated seats.
And the Ultimate Package, for a little over 1500, is a lot of your smart driving stuff.
Adaptive cruise, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, automatic high beams, and rear park sensors on top of the all ready existing rear camera.
All in about 324 for a CNET Style Sonata limited.
The other one you want to look at however is the Sport 2.0T.
Smaller, but turbo charged engine.
More power, [UNKNOWN] performance.
In fact, they think it will be their biggest seller among all the Sonatas.
Bottom line is this is the Sonata that should end excuses for buying a Hyundai.
It's an outstanding car, in the top tier with all the other big boys.
They got a hell of a warranty.
Five years, 60,000 mile bumper to bumper and ten 100 Powertrain.
We don't normally talk about warranties, but this one is so outstanding it's worth a mention.
Find our full take on the new 15 Sonata at cars.cnet.com where you can also look up our latest reviews on the cars that wanna knock it's block off.
Like Fusion, Camry, Accord, and Altima.
Among the flurry of recent recalls, one transcends make or model.
The airbag recall that can turn safety tech into a hazard facing you square in the face.
Is that your car?
We'll tell you how to find out, when we come back.
7.8 million cars on US roads have an airbag made by Takata Corporation that can explode when activated rather than deploying properly and, sometimes, the metal piece will be thrown out like a piece of shrapnel.
The company blames moisture during manufacture and in the car's driving environment from making the igniter and propellant unstable.
Now to find out if your car is one of the 54 models of one of the airbags.
Go to safercar.gov or call the hotline at 888-327-4236.
Have your car's vin number handy.
Know that you cannot deactivate a driver's side airbag.
But your dealer may tell you cease carrying passengers in the front seat of an affected car until the airbag is replaced.
It pays to double check if your car has an airbag with a potentially explosive problem.
Welcome back to CNET On Cars, coming to you from our home at the Mount Tam Motor Club, just north of the Golden gate Bridge.
Well if you have ever heard the term hypermiling I bet you have heard it from a Prius owner possibly a fanatic Prius owner they get some amazing real world mpgs not by modifying their car but by modifying their own driving.
Which means, it's transferable to any car.
Makes for a miserly how-to segment, that you can put to use today.
Hypermiling could also be called momentum conservation, because that's the core of what you're doing.
It starts with mechanical techniques.
Make sure you're at full or even upper pressure on your tires.
Consider using a lower rate, approved motor oil to reduce drag on the engine.
Park in the shade and maintain the gasket on your fuel cap to reduce fuel evaporation.
Use a narrower, but approved, size tire instead of the widest approved one.
No idle roof racks, cargo holders, bike racks, or kayaks that ruin aerodynamics.
Some folks even gas up often and only as much as needed to reduce waste.
And it probably won't hurt to go on a diet and reduce your own weight.
And then theres the driving techniques heres where you get to the core of it.
Modulating your momentum another way to put it is to use the brake and accelerator pedals as little as possible
Look down the field as you're driving, and don't go so fast that you know you're going to have to needlessly brake up there.
That turns precious gas into break dust and heat.
Even cars with regenerative braking throw away energy when you slow down with the brake.
And how do you replace that energy?
By burning more gas.
So seek the least and gentle acceleration braking in traffic.
Hit the sweet spot.
That means keeping the car very generally between about 35 and maybe 60 miles per hour.
Going much faster drags down MPG due to wind resistance.
Going a lot slower isn't good, because combustion engines are inefficient at low speed ranges.
Use tall gears.
This will dampen responsiveness.
But that's not the point here.
Your modern automatic will already seek the tallest usable gear when you're in normal or eco mode.
But stay in sport and stay off those paddles.
Now if you've read about hypermilers or people getting the most out of their hybrid ever you've probably read about a technique called pulse and glide.
This is getting on the throttle kind of hard to get up to speed with the engine running at a sweet spot.
Then coasting until you're down to a speed where you've got to pick it up again and repeat the cycle.
It requires fairly open traffic conditions, of course.
And is maximized by having the car in neutral or even turning off the engine during the glide part.
Cuz coasting in gear introduces quite a bit of engine drag.
It reduces the game.
However coasting in neutral or turning off your engine on the road are illegal, inadvisable, or both.
Another technique I do not recommend on regular public road is drafting.
This is tucking in tight behind a large or at least larger vehicle to reduce your wind resistance.
But to do it, you really have to violate the three second gap rule.
On public roads, just not cool.
Especially behind a vehicle that isn't in on the game.
As you can see, hypermiling has a lot of little pieces to it.
You've got to make some things second nature that aren't right now, and you've got to get some new muscle memory, if you will.
But the nice thing about it is you can use it on demand with the current car you already have.
Why not try it, see how much you can wring out of your current vehicle.
You might need to buy that hybrid, afterall.
And, when you do want to crack it open on a fun country road, you can still do that as well.
It's not like you had to make a hard mechanical commitment to a different kind of machine.
In a moment, a quick shortcut to the list of the best MPG cars, gas, diesel, or electrified when Cnet on cars returns.
I am Bruce Meyers, I'm a Southern Californian that created this little car behind me called a Meyers Manx.
It's the world's first fiberglass dune buggy.
Or you can go buy yourself a Porsche or a Jeep or a Corvette but all those cars are made in factories.
These are all made in the family garage so there's something different there isn't there?
Find more from the Xcar team of CNET UK at cnet.com/xcar.
Welcome back to CNET on cars.
I'm Bryan Cooley.
Time for some of your email, this one coming in all the way from Saudi Arabia where Hani writes in can you do a top 5 best.
Best MPG cars that are strictly gas powered.
Meaning no electrics or anything like that.
And can you also do one for diesel cars?
Well, Hani, we typically do a year-end top five of the best MPG cars, but you don't need to wait.
You can actually use the U.S. government rankings and look this up anytime you want, which is a.
Pretty good barometer.
So go over to fueleconomy.gov, click on Find a Car, then drop down to Best and Worst Vehicles, and from those results, you can choose cars excluding EVs right there at the top.
Now, as I mentioned, this is not a ranking unique to your market, it's a U.S. market barometer.
But, as car makers get increasingly globalized with their cars and sell more of the same cars and similar configurations around the world, this is becoming a better and better barometer.
At least of who's on the top, who's on the bottom, who's in the middle.
Also note that we have a lot fewer diesels in the US.
So some models you're thinking of may not be in our list at all.
Last episode we brought you the new top five in-car media sources.
But how distracting are the new interfaces you use to get to them.
Here's a top five of recently evaluated and highly distracting dashboard displays.
They told us voice technology was going to solve in-car distraction.
New research from the Triple A and University of Utah shows that talking to your car keeps your mind on that and less on driving it.
Here are the top 5 distractions in the dash that are voice oriented rated on a scale of relative distraction value.
Climate or radio commands via voice.
I've always found these kind of ridiculous.
I mean radio and climate is pretty darn easy without talking to the car.
In the time it takes you to simply activate voice command, you could already change the station or the temp.
Destination search via [UNKNOWN].
Even if it's error free, it's real tricky.
Getting the voice command gear to understand every command you say, every detail of street, and that happens about once a year that it gets it right, remains a complex task.
Number three, emails and texts.
This should be a no brainer.
I'm actually surprised they aren't number one.
The range of scores here is because it varies whether you are composing or listening and whether you have a natural or one of those computerized voices coming out of your car, either way composing is always foreground obviously, as can be listening when the text or email is infuriating.
Number two is just sheer menu navigation.
Let's face it, you can't just talk to your car.
On most cars you need to give it the exact.
Stilted command it wants to hear from a strict menu of choices.
That means you either memorize all those.
Or glance at those on screen prompts.
That's sort of like getting around a foreign country with nothing but a phrase book.
And you know how well that goes.
Before I get you to our surprising number one dashboard distraction, here's a list of how the same study ranked some of the most popular in car systems overall.
The number one voice-oriented dashboard distraction is, believe-it-or-not, Apple Siri being used for almost anything.
This will surprise some folks, because Siri is a natural conversation tool.
But that open-endedness, along with the range of tasks it can control, along with the fact that you might end up drifting off into an inane conversation with her it.
Miss it perhaps a bit too much.
Hope you enjoyed this episode, thanks for watching.
Keep the emails coming, it's firstname.lastname@example.org.
And find us on just about any of your favorite streaming platforms.
Like YouTube, where you can subscribe to our channel.
Head to your Roku box and just search CNET On Cars, or go to Cnet.com/apps to find all the ways that you can get CNET to go.
This show and our other content.
I'm Brian Cooley, I'll see you next time we check the tent.
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