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2011 Hyundai Sonata

Overview
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2011 Hyundai Sonata Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 8.1

Until the arrival of the previous Sonata, Hyundai's mid-size sedan had never offered much more than a low price and long warranty. But the fifth-generation Sonata, introduced in 2005, was a giant leap forward for Hyundai and kicked off its recent rise to respectability. The latest Sonata, all-new for 2011, has been nothing short of a towering home run with critics and consumers alike. Beneath maybe the most stylish sheetmetal in the segment (the Suzuki Kizashi is pretty sharp), the 2011 Hyundai Sonata combines a well-appointed interior, world-class powertrain and newfound levels of quality. Last three words: An instant favorite.

You'll Like This Car If...

By most relevant measures, the 2011 Hyundai Sonata is among the best mid-size sedans you can buy. You won't find a more compelling combination of style, value and quality in the category.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The 2011 Hyundai Sonata isn't as tech-savvy as the Ford Fusion, doesn't ride as smoothly as the Toyota Camry or Chevy Malibu and doesn't offer the meticulous refinement of the Honda Accord. And until the turbo model bows, it can't match the power of its competitors' V6 models.

What's New for 2011

There's a new mainstream mid-size sedan in town, and it's going to force Honda and Toyota to step up their games.

Driving the Sonata

Driving Impressions The 2011 Hyundai Sonata first impressed us with how smoothly and swiftly it pulls away from a stop, feeling refined and V6-like. Given the Sonata's exceptional fuel economy and that...

many other fuel-sipping standouts are annoyingly stingy in their pedal response, the Sonata's eagerness is refreshing. The responsiveness continues around town, with direct steering and brake feel. It's not as smooth or quiet on the highway as the Chevy Malibu, but we spent several hours in the 2011 Hyundai Sonata's front seats and found it comfortable throughout. And while the powertrain shines on surface streets, the engine works as hard in highway passing situations as do other good four-cylinders. Overall, we count the 2011 Hyundai Sonata's mix of ride, handling and feel as one of its many strong suits.

Heated rear seats
While some luxury-oriented sedans and SUVs offer this feature, it isn't something you generally see in an affordable mid-size sedan. And the fact that they're standard on the Limited trim makes them even more attractive.

HD Radio
HD Radio doesn't have the commercial-free selection of satellite radio, but it sounds better and it's free. We wish more automakers offered HD Radio, and we're glad the 2011 Hyundai Sonata offers it on all trims.

2011 Hyundai Sonata Details
2011 Hyundai Sonata photo Interior

The inside of the Sonata is a mixture of bold shapes and finishes, both welcome additions in a segment where plain vanilla is the norm. We're particularly fond of the dash and doors in two-tone form, which adds extra visual panache. What to look out for? The rakish roofline does wonders for the Sonata's profile, but hinders rear headroom.

Exterior
2011 Hyundai Sonata photo

The 2011 Hyundai Sonata is a study in dynamic, sculptural lines that give the car a decidedly up-market look – accented by a healthy dose of chrome that includes a big, shiny grille. Accentuating all of this bling is the Sonata's high beltline and sloping roofline, which give the sedan a sleek, coupe-like profile. Depending on trim, Sonata offers a choice of 16-, 17- or 18-inch wheels.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Hyundai prides itself on offering vehicles chock-full of standard features, and the 2011 Sonata is no exception. Headliners on the standard equipment list include Bluetooth phone connectivity, iPod/USB music integration and steering wheel-mounted audio/cruise controls. An impressive array of standard safety equipment includes six airbags and electronic stability control. Like many of its competitors, the base-priced 2011 Hyundai Sonata is saddled with covered steel wheels and a six-speed manual transmission.

Optional Equipment

In addition to common upgrades like a moonroof and leather seats, the 2011 Hyundai Sonata extras list includes a touchscreen navigation system, backup camera, pushbutton entry and start, multiple premium audio systems and XM Satellite Radio/traffic/weather.

Under the Hood

A turbocharged four-cylinder engine and hybrid powertrain will join the lineup for the 2012 model year, but the 2011 Hyundai Sonata is offered only with the most powerful, most fuel-efficient four-cylinder (non-turbo) in the category. The 2.4-liter engine with direct injection is mated to either a six-speed manual (in GLS trim only) or a six-speed automatic transmission.

2.4-liter in-line four cylinder
190-200 Horsepower @ 6300 rpm (varies by trim and state)
184-186 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4250 rpm (varies by trim)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/35

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 612 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.8/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Traded in Nissan Altima and no regrets

By on Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "great value for price, well made"

Cons: "road noise"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Previously had 2 Nissan Altimas and fell for the Sonata after 1st test drive. Performance and handling much better than Nissan, quality of build and interior is the same or better, got more accessories for the money, better gas mileage. People think it is a Mercedes at first glance. Only drawbacks are some road noise depending on the type of highway pavement and the BlueStar navigation was terrible (I stopped that subscription)."

Comfort, Class, and speeed

By on Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfort, fun to drive, push to start, sleek look"

Cons: "Too popular, not both chairs automatic"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"The 2011 Sonata Turbo is my personal favorite. It is pretty quick, and the comfort is great. Its got style and class, the only thing is its EVERYWHERE.. Must be for a reason. The best part about the interior would be the SEATS, talk about COMFORT to whole new level.."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Great car although about $4,000 to high NEW

By on Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,900

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great ride & econamy. Very nice."

Cons: "Alittle too spendy"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Went in for a elantra equipped the same. Wife fell in love with the Sonata Limited, and the sales staff knew they Had This Car Sold ! They have never seen one with Burgandy and Black Leather."

Sharp car, handles nice, but the ride is stiff

By on Friday, July 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "fast, fun, and still economical"

Cons: "ride is as smooth and silky as burlap"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I have had this car for just under a year, and can only say one bad thing about it. The ride is brutal on your bladder. Granted, I bought the SE model for the looks and the 196 HP, but do I need to feel every single crease in the road. I know it has to do with the tires and the stiffer suspension, but I have been in old Corvettes that seem to have a smoother ride. Now, on to the good stuff. This car is fun to drive, especially with the steering wheel mounted paddle shifters, and still fits a family of five with comfort. Definitely not hard on the eyes, like other Hyundais. However, this car remains a sleeper on the Parkway, meaning the Police will not pull you over as much, even at high speeds. Great gas mileage for the power you get out of this four-banger(33-35 Mpg Hwy, depending on the gas you put in. I recommend BP) Clearly visable and easy to use controls, so turning on the radio or the A/C is not a chore. And of course...THE WARRENTY, which cannot be beat! Overall...I would say that I enjoy this car, but some improvements can be made."

8 people out of 14 found this review helpful

I love this car!

By on Monday, July 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 92,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "fun to drive, great fuel economy"

Cons: "passenger seat sits low for vertically challenged"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"First and foremost is cost of ownership -- This car has required only regular maintenance, as any car does. Fuel economy is awesome....30-40 mpg, depending on how much local driving has been involved. Love the 8-way power driver's seat, especially on long distance drives. I can adjust the seat while driving to reduce back strain."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Stylish, comfortable, but still a slow hybrid

By on Friday, July 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great Mileage, Stylish, Extreme Value"

Cons: "Slow - Don't pull out into oncoming traffic"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"The vehicle is fantastic looking with LED headlight accents and interior accent lighting. The seats are comfortable enough for a 14 hour road trip, and everything inside is superior to similar priced cars. The gas mileage is amazing, I got approximately 45 mpg with the A/C on while on the highway with cruise control in operation at 75 mph. Unfortunately, the vehicle is very slow to switch from battery to gas engine when pulling out into traffic from a complete stop. The engine lacks acceleration and power. It is reliable, has had no issues mechanically in the 3.5 years I've owned it. Buy a spare tire though, because the base model Sonata doesn't come with one."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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