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2014 Kia Optima, Snow White Pearl, 30 mi., $24,195
Review of the 2012 Hyundai Sonata
IntroductionHyundai has redesigned Sonata for the 2012 model year with "Fluidic Sculpture" design and a new powertrain. Introduced at the Los Angeles Auto Show in December 2009, the all-new 2012 Hyundai Sonata appeals to car lovers and nature lovers with a perfect combination of high power output and fuel efficiency. Sonata is the second vehicle in Hyundai's 24/7 version 2.0 product initiative coming close on the heels of the all-new Tucson. It is available in GLS, SE and Limited trims.
Exterior Design and Special FeaturesThe 2012 Sonata is the first popular midsize sedan to offer the clarity of digital HD Radio Technology from the factory. Bluetooth hands-free phone system, auxiliary iPod/USB inputs that allow drivers to fully control and charge iPods directly from the head unit are among the standard equipment. The GLS is equipped with body color front grille, chrome window belt-line moldings, tilt and telescopic steering wheel with cruise and audio controls, Metalgrain interior accents, AM/FM/XM/CD/MP3 with iPod/USB and Aux input jacks, remote keyless entry and alarm, power windows, locks, heated mirrors, air conditioning, advanced trip computer with custom settings, eco indicator and Daytime Running Lights (DRL). It is powered by a 198 hp 2.4L GDI four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed manual transmission and rolls on 16-inch steel wheels with full covers. A six-speed automatic transmission version with SHIFTRONIC and a few upgraded features is also available. The SE includes a 2.4L four-cylinder engine producing 200 HP mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and rolls on 18-inch Hyper Silver alloy wheels with performance tires with a dark chrome front grille, chrome exterior door handles and sport-tuned suspension and steering. It comes with sport seats featuring leather bolsters with cloth inserts, proximity entry with push button start, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, front fog lights and dual exhaust. The premium Limited model has leather seating surfaces with heated front and rear seats, dual automatic temperature control, auto-dimming mirror/HomeLink/compass, premium door sill plates/'Limited' badge, in-dash six-disc CD-changer, HD Radio technology with multicasting and dimension premium speakers, subwoofer/external amplifier. It rolls on 17-inch alloy wheels with a standard tire and includes side mirror turn signal indicators, power tilt and slide sunroof, unique interior accents (Piano Black or Woodgrain) and floor console mounted rear vents. Popular Equipment Package and Popular Equipment Package plus Navigation are optional on the GLS. The SE comes with a Navigation and Sunroof Package while the Limited has an optional Navigation Package.
EngineThe new Sonata derives power from Hyundai's new Theta II GDI 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 98 horsepower and 184 lb ft of torque with a Gasoline Direct-Injection (GDI) fuel delivery system. Sonata is the first midsize sedan to adopt GDI technology as standard equipment in a naturally aspirated powertain. It delivers an impressive 22 mpg city/35 mpg highway fuel economy rating with the available six-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC. (When equipped with the six-speed manual, the Sonata achieves 24 mpg city/35 mpg highway fuel economy rating). The SE trim comes with a standard dual exhaust and the engine generates 200 horsepower. The Sonata offers cargo room of 16.4 cubic feet.
SafetyThe new Sonata is equipped with exceptional standard safety features like front driver and passenger airbags, front seat side impact and curtain airbags, Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Traction Control System (TCS), Antilock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), front active head restraints, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), and a Bluetooth hands-free phone system.