Texarkana, TX 57° View Live Radar Sat H 50° L 46° Sun H 58° L 38° Mon H 49° L 38° Weather Sponsored By:

Sonata competes on value

Sonata competes on value

February 11th, 2018 by Chicago Tribune in Features

The 2018 Sonata 2.0T is an all-around good choice in terms of performance, spaciousness, safety, fuel economy and all those other functional items important to car shoppers. (Hyundai/TNS)

New cars are special. Baked into that new car smell is a feeling of excitement.

Why else would we pay thousands of dollars more for something that loses 10 percent of its value the first time we use it?

Compared with the redesigned Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, the refreshed Hyundai Sonata fails to excite, even in its top-of-the-line Limited trim.

That doesn't mean the midsize sedan is bad.

In fact, it is all-around good in terms of performance, spaciousness, safety, fuel economy and all those other functional items important to car shoppers.

But car sales are made—and marketing departments built—on something that often counters logic: emotion.

The feeling of the revised Sonata is of exceptional value without sacrificing quality.

This stokes wallets more than hearts, which makes for a compelling emotion all its own: the deal.

The top-of-the-line Limited trim is priced $3,000 to $4,000 less than the similarly equipped but less stylish 2018 Honda Accord Touring and 2018 Toyota Camry XSE.

The last-generation Sonata from 2011 to 2014 might have more to do with the flat feeling of this Sonata.

It made the competitors take notice and reconsider the need for both dull design and a V-6 engine.

While the 2018 Sonata is technically a midcycle refresh, it is about as close to a redesign as you can get without changing engines.

The only change under the revised chiseled hood is pairing the 245-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine to a more efficient eight-speed transmission.

The changes are mostly cosmetic, though significant, in an attempt to keep pace with Accord and Camry.

The grille is a broader mesh honeycomb pattern on the sporting 2.0T Limited trim. The headlights start narrow and wrap around the side, and the daytime running lights rise up from the lower bumper toward the rear, so everything appears to flow back, which is then complemented by wrap-around taillights tapering to the revised rear.

It looks sharper than the 2015, matching the refined suspension with more stiffness and more direct steering.

It's snappy off the line with no lag and 260 pound-feet of torque available at just 1,350 rpm. Output is a tad shy of the 2-liter turbo Accord, and V-6 Camry XSE, yet it's noticeably slower.

It feels more nimble in turns than the Camry, but not as powerful.

The Accord is the benchmark for the midsize sedan, and at 27 mpg combined it beats the Camry and Sonata—even with the eight-speed—by 1 mpg.

On the inside the controls are easy to use and intuitive, the advanced safety assist systems aren't obtrusive, and the overall layout is sleeker and sharper.

It's everything a refreshed sedan should be.

Its most exciting feature is the price, which is the most compelling factor for many new car shoppers. That's special enough.


2018 Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.0T

at a glance

Vehicle type: midsize sedan

Base price: $32,450

As tested: $32,575 (excluding $885 destination)

Mpg: 23 city, 32 highway

Engine: 245-horsepower 2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder

Transmission: 8-speed automatic

Parting shot: You can get a deal.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com