Photo by Vince Taroc.
The Hyundai Sonata hasn't established a large footprint in the commercial fleet world, yet the 2015 model of this mid-size sedan may be poised to gain greater traction with its appealing exterior styling, stout highway fuel economy, and bevy of interior and safety features.
At the moment, fleets mostly choose the Sonata SE with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder married to a 6-speed transmission. We tested the Sonata Limited powered by that exact powertrain. Hyundai also offers the Sport and Limited with the 2.0T with a 2.0-liter turbo, and the Sonata Eco with the 1.6-liter engine paired with a 7-speed transmission for more frugal fleet buyers.
This seventh-generation Sonata brings a new, more muscular and elegant look especially noticeable on a front end with a higher hood level, more pronounced grille, and more-tucked-in LED headlights. Hyundai tells us they've increased the cargo capacity in the Sonata's trunk.
The Limited's driving experience is pleasantly surprising. It gives a sportier feel than you'd expect, mostly due to the well-controlled steering feel paired with effective handling and cornering.
Photo by Vince Taroc.
The Sonata's fuel economy is very competitive with an EPA-rated 31 mpg highway, 21 mpg city, and 25 mpg combined.
A few other bells and whistles on our model arrived via the optional Ultimate Package, including stop-start, lane departure warning, forward collision alert, navigation, and a back-up camera system.
The Sonata's map interface was pleasant enough and in the upper range in this class. The system allows drivers to input points of interest by name, address or city. This mostly works, yet I added "landmark" hoping to get a route from Long Beach to West Lost Angeles to reach The Landmark movie theater and got suggestions from San Antonio and Mission Viejo. To be fair, this term may be a bit too generic, because specific addresses worked better.
The Sonata's cabin packs in plenty of features you'd expect to find on higher-end passenger cars, such as heated seats, 60/40-split folding rear seats, Bluetooth connectivity, and satellite radio. The HVAC controls are well placed and the 8-inch touch-screen display is angled enough to fight off glare.