By KBB.com Editors
If there's a single vehicle that distinguishes the new Hyundai from the old, it's the current-generation Sonata Sedan. The redesigned Sonata debuted for the 2006 model year with relevant styling, class-competitive powertrains and a new feeling of refinement, along with every bit of the price-feature value that once was Hyundai's sole reason for being. Over the next couple years, though, the Sonata would begin losing ground in the segment as many of its best-selling competitors underwent complete redesigns. The Sedan's passenger cabin became the greatest area of need, having been left far behind the competition in both styling and features. Last year's update carries over to the 2010 model and is meant to hold customers attention until the debut of the all-new and much sleeker 2011 Sonata.
We think you'll like the 2010 Hyundai Sonata if you're looking for a comfortable, roomy mid-size sedan that won't break the budget. The Sonata continues to offer as much or more equipment as the competition at a lower price.
If you want a family sedan with a sporty flair, you'll be better served by the Nissan Altima, Chevy Malibu or even the larger Honda Accord. The Sonata aims more at luxury than sportiness, though it lacks the chassis sophistication of the car that does this best, the Toyota Camry.
In a nod to improved fuel economy, Hyundai has added its 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine to the SE and Limited trims. A V6 is still available on all but the base GLS model. Auxiliary audio and a USB input jack are now standard on all trims.
Driving Impressions On the road, the 2010 Hyundai Sonata is smooth and comfortable. Road and engine noise aren't very intrusive, but the Sonata isn't as quiet as the best in the class....The Sonata's road manners are similar to those of the Toyota Camry, which has the smoothest ride in the segment. It isn't nimble, though, not even the SE model with its stiffer suspension settings. In fact, we found the SE tended to pound over tar strips at low speeds, making it the model we'd least recommend. In all models, the steering is somewhat slow, but braking is predictable and worry-free. Both of the Sonata's engines are competitive. We feel the V6 is the best choice, but it isn't as powerful as the V6s offered by General Motors, Honda, Toyota and Nissan and we found throttle response to be a bit slow.
One of our favorite features of the Sonata is its standard iPod Interface. A cable is provided to plug in your iPod and charge it, and you can control your iPod through the radio. Also included are a USB port and an auxiliary input jack to plug in other types of MP3 players.
Split-Folding Rear Seat
We also like the Sonata's standard 60/40 split folding rear seat. It expands on the trunk's already generous 16.3 cubic feet of cargo space and makes it possible to haul longer items like skis or snowboards.
Although the Sonata competes in the mid-size sedan category, the EPA actually groups it in the "Large Car" category due to its generous interior space. That means it has plenty of front and rear seat room, enough to carry four or even five adults comfortably. The rear seat is made even more livable by a standard fold-down armrest with two integrated cup holders. Up front, the environment is attractive and the materials are of a higher quality than buyers might expect. All of the controls are within easy reach, and the blue-tinted gauges are easy to read, though they can wash out in bright sunlight. We appreciate the fact that Hyundai has provided plenty of bins and cubbies to hold small items like cell phones and iPods.Exterior
When it comes to looks, the 2010 Hyundai Sonata is a fairly generic interpretation of the modern sedan. It is sized like most of its competitors, and it has a large greenhouse to accommodate a lot of interior space. Though not unattractive, it doesn't stand out on the road, even with last year's refresh of its grille, front and rear bumpers, headlights, taillights, and fog lights. The SE model features a rear spoiler and 17-inch aluminum wheels with low-profile performance tires. The Limited also has 17s, plus a chrome grille and additional chrome exterior trim.
One of the Sonata's key selling points is its impressive equipment list. The GLS model comes with air conditioning, cruise control, cloth upholstery, power accessories, CD stereo with six speakers, XM Satellite Radio, and 16-inch steel wheels. The sport-oriented SE adds cloth seats with leather bolsters, fog lights, a rear spoiler, 17-inch alloy wheels, stiffer shocks and larger stabilizer bars. The top-line Limited is decked out with automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a sunroof, and an Infinity sound system with a 6-disc CD changer. All Sonatas have an admirable array of standard safety features, including dual front airbags, front side airbags, curtain side airbags, anti-lock brakes with brake assist (ABS), traction control, electronic stability control, and active front head restraints.
The Sonata GLS offers a Popular Equipment Package that adds automatic headlights, a power driver's seat with power lumbar control, woodgrain interior accents, steering-wheel audio controls and a trip computer. A power sunroof is also available. The Limited trim can be equipped with Hyundai's touch-screen navigation with voice control.
The 2010 Sonata's base engine is Hyundai's second-generation dual-overhead cam Theta II 2.4-liter four-cylinder. A newly redesigned intake resonator and the addition of dual camshaft continuously variable valve timing (CVVT) raises horsepower to 175 and torque to 168 lb.-ft. It can be ordered with a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift capability. Also newly revised is Hyundai's Lambda 3.3-liter V6. It develops 249 horsepower and 229 lb.-ft. of torque. This V6 is only available with the five-speed automatic transmission.
2.4-liter in-line 4
175 horsepower @ 6000 rpm (ULEV)
168 horsepower @ 6000 rpm (SULEV)
168 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm (ULEV)
163 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm (SULEV)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/32 (manual), 22/32 (automatic)
249 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
229 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/29
By Murph on Friday, December 06, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 140,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Highest quality car I have ever owned, even better than my Honda Accord or Toyota Supra. 140,000 miles and the only thing I have replaced is a fuel sensor at about 120,000 nukes. New brakes at about 110,000-120,000 miles and new tires at 80,000 (when I had the tires replaced they laughed and said it was no where even close to needing brakes)as well as regular oil changes. Unbelievable how great this car's quality is!!!"
By Bub (FL) on Saturday, November 23, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 86,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Great car for the money. Only problem I had in 5 years was driver visor had to be replaced. 86000 miles and just change oil every 4000 miles. I LOVE THIS CAR!"
By mrslewisoutdoors (LA) on Friday, November 22, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "price, dependability"
Cons: "cheap interior, slack in differential"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"Maintenance thus far: new tires, new battery, reprogram transmission (simple malfunction; no physical repairs) driving dynamics: load road noise inside car. makes tight turns. doesn't like to shift smoothly from drive to reverse (hard jerk if don't come to complete stop) design: accents on interior & exterior made cheap. many items inside car are reflective causing sun to beam into driver's eyes. trunk doesn't pop open; it only unlocks which means you have to give tough pull to open it. beige clothe interior stains easily...supposed to have stain-guard. stereo system won't play anything besides regular cd (no mp3, mp4, or wma). do like the usb port & 2 dc power ports comfort & convenience: seats are comfortable, gear shift stick is on floorboard which takes up much storage space; prefer it to be on steering column. rather cup holders in rear to be inset into doors instead of part of the seat"
By kathy (NY) on Tuesday, November 19, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 99,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "very dependable and comfortable ride"
Cons: "no cup holder in rear"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love my car,owned it since day 1....I don't know if I even want to sell it.Its been so dependable."
By Rob (NY) on Sunday, November 17, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Solid value"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"Good interior room and trunk space, never a problem with engine. Only complaint is very poor ice/snow performance."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By BP 83 (FL) on Monday, November 11, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,500overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Size of this vehicle easy to park"
Cons: "See comments below"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"Interior components are 90% plastic. Seat material thin & cheap. Exterior paint shows fingerprints where touched that must be buffed off. Paint chips off in spots. Rear view hampered due to tiny rear-view mirror & rear seat too high. Fuel/ mileage quoted is false. Not even close. Trunk too small. Door handles break off/or pull out of frame like dry twigs under normal use. Google > "Hyundai door handle breaks" See owner comments re: this problem. Not a good vehicle. All show, cheap components & construction. Will trade for Toyota A.S.A.P. Sorry Hyundai."