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.
All-new, heavily revised 2015 Hyundai Sonata goes after that bold line.
And do they hit it?
Now the Sonata, as you may recall, got serious in the market with the 2009 model.
All of a 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 call your attention to a couple of the 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 a lot of sky.
And an interesting take on the trunk.
Just walk up to the rear of the car with the key in your pocket and stand there for three seconds and the trunk opens automatically [NOISE].
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 tectonic.
It's gotta little bit of an outie layout to it.
That's being continued.
Now our car's pretty loaded up, with [INAUDIBLE] with almost every option seen at style, navigation system as you see here.
Hyundai's always done a pretty good clean job of that, and they've tended to have the fastest touchscreen 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 heartbeats worth of difference 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 a lot of things going on makes it kind of busy.
Your standard audio is going to be an iPod and USB aux jack all down here in this new enlarged bin.
Sirius XM is standard 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 SoundHound.
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 SoundHound 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 the track just yet bug it's just a matter of time.
This car also supports Siri eyes free with your iPhone and later in this model year's run in 2015 they'll also support Apple Car Play.
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 on line search utility that can tie into the cars navigation system.
There's also a remote start via the app with the interesting wrinkle of a delayed timer of one to ten minutes.
[NOISE] Now under the hood all Sonata's continue on as four cylinders only.
Or the 2 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 5 and 1 respectively.
What Hyundai says they've done is move the responsiveness lower in the RPM band where real people drive.
Not revving their car out to a yellow or red line, but loping along.
The numbers changed a bit as they did that.
These guys are all front wheel drive.
And, go out through a six-speed automatic with a little shift gate, but there are no paddles on the wheel.
You've got some drive modes, Sport, Eco and Normal, very straight forward.
Zero to 60 happens in 8.1 seconds.
It's a car that weighs about 3400 pounds.
But, delivering quite good fuel economy, 24/35.
You are 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.
It's overall quietness and ride quality are.
Are really exemplary.
The power band is useful where I want it to be.
The transmission is unimproved so it never leaves the car flat, and put it when you need power.
So 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 warrant.
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 that 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's off to your side is closing rapidly you'll have a different sensitivity towards warning.
Okay, let's price our 2015 Sonata, this heavily revised version.
We have a limited which is a really good place to start.
27,3 with destination but there are two chunky options you've gotta go for.
Packages that really take it CNet style.
One, as you could imagine is called the Tech Package.
That's 3,500 bucks for the panoramic roof, 8-inch nav screen, Xenon high intensity discharge headlights, HD radio with infinity sound backing it up, a heated steering wheel and ventilated seats.
And the Ultimate Package for a little over $1,500 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 already existing rear camera.
All then 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'll 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, the top tier with all the other big boys.
Don't forget they got a hell of a warranty.
Five years 60,000 miles bumper to bumper and ten 100 power train.
We don't normally talk about warranties but this one is so outstanding it's worth a mention
More cars driven cnet style.
Standing by now at CNETOnCars.com.
Click on the road.