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 grandma on Saturday, December 13, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "roomy, safe and comfortable"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Test drove all the competition in 2007 and liked this one most of all. Much better value for the dollar than anything in its class. After 7and a half years only thing I replaced on the car was tires recently, other than standard oil + filter changes. Rides like a full sized luxury sedan with as much room as any of them and yet still gets great gas mileage. I will be buying another Hyundai in the future without a doubt."
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By James on Saturday, November 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 78,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I bought this car because it was cheap and I thought it would be reliable. It is not reliable. The transmission needed rebuilt at 65000 mile. I will never buy another hyundai again. I will stick with Honda. These Korean cars are very inexpensive and maybe I just had bad luck and got a lemon but the build quality and driving experience are so very poor. I feel like I'm driving a plastic throwaway toy. Never ever ever buy a 2006 Hyundai Sonata. Bottom line poor quality and poor driving experience. Buy a toyota or a Honda."
8 people out of 15 found this review helpful
By butterum on Saturday, November 15, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 96,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "engine is the best (oil),comfortable,affordable"
Cons: "Not good with potholes"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This car was purchased as a "new used" car at 38000 miles. I have had no engines problems until because learning it is very important to change the oil at least every 3 months. I am having issues with the oil pump and it is taking a haul on my engine. But this car has amazed close friends and family while having it for about 6 years with very little Maintanence. It ran well with minimal problems. Not good for city streets, many axle problems due to pot holes. DC potholes are enormous! If you visit, it's worth swerving to miss them."
4 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By SuziBinSC on Monday, November 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "For a medium sedan the value cannot be beat"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I had to special order the car because I wanted the Cocoa Metallic paint color, and was certainly happy when it arrived. The mileage I get is wonderful-3 weeks on a tank of gas-and a very reliable vehicle to boot! My father is over 6 ft tall and can sit in the back seat comfortably, the trunk holds just about anything, and the back seats fold down for everthing else. I love this car, one of the best I've ever owned, and plan on buying a new Sonata in a year or so, but I'm not tired of this one yet. I'm waiting to see what new colors they come out with, as I like something a little different than all the silver and white ones on the road. The only probelms were when the dealer service dept scratched the dash and left the battery terminal loose(reset all my xm stations!)"
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By jerry on Monday, November 03, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 69,775overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Cons: "Rough Ride"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"My wife and I have really enjoyed our car. No mechanical problems is a plus. Our Hyundai Service department has been outstanding."
5 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By maddogmorgan on Tuesday, October 21, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "mechanically reliable, fast enough, better than ma"
Cons: "Slow poke gas savings, cramped legs after hr drivg"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"This car ran reliably and without mechanical failure. The car mileage was hard to create: to match what the manufacturer promises, the car needed to be driven slow poke slow. It handled mountain driving at reasonable speeds, but with a loss of mileage. My husband liked the interior better than I did. The trunk held lots of stuff: definitely a value for people with lots of stuff or who want lots of stuff."
8 people out of 18 found this review helpful