Thursday, January 21, 2016

Turbocharged Sonata gets better with 2016 perks

Mark Glover’s AutoGlo car reviews also can be seen on the Business page of The Sacramento Bee’s website

Sacramento, California ­– Even in the land of the highly recommended, practically priced midsize sedan, a little performance must prevail.

And so it is with the willing 2016 Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.0T, a vehicle I last tested in 2014 trim.

Things have changed since then.

For 2016, Hyundai turned the engineers loose to make changes inside and out.  The changes include aluminum suspension components to make the ride more sporty, a conventional sunroof standard on all Limited models and freshly designed 18-inch alloy wheels.

On the outside, it works.  My tester looked ready to rumble at first glance.

On the move, it more than rumbled.

The tester’s turbocharged, four-cylinder engine was a growling, enthusiastic power plant maxing out at 245 horsepower.  That number of horses on a car this size will plant you firmly into your seat.

Not that I was complaining.

The tested Sonata was incredibly responsive, with no turbo lag attached.  It zipped into tight holes during busy freeway commutes and in heavy downtown traffic.  The jump-to-it response dished up a big dose of driver security.

And yet, fuel mileage comes in pretty nice at 21 miles per gallon in the city and 31 mpg on the open road.

This being a Sonata, you get a lengthy, generous list of standard comfort and convenience features.

On the tester, that included an 8-inch touchscreen on the navigation system, leather seating surfaces, an electronic parking brake, a hands-free smart trunk opener  and the previously mentioned tilt/slide sunroof.

The list of safety technology was likewise generous.  It included automatic emergency braking, a lane departure-warning system and a blind sport monitor/rear cross-traffic alert.

By the way, the 2016 Sonata gets top-tier federal government five-star safety ratings nearly across the board, the only exception being a still-strong four-star rating in rollover tests.

Not surprisingly, the generous load of goodies on the turbocharged tester bumped the starting price up to $34,075, compared with a bare-bones starter Sonata starting at 23,400.  To be honest, I’d splurge for the better-equipped Sonata as you’re still getting a deal at 34K and change.

I recommend the Sonata to a lot of folks looking for a no-nonsense, run-forever, midsize sedan, and none of the changes in the 2016 Sonata have changed my mind about that.

I give this current-generation Sonata a solid “A” grade.

No comments:

Post a Comment