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2011 Hyundai Sonata

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Review

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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 742 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

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

I really enjoyed this car!

By on Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Upgraded to a new Sonata with more bells and whistles.

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "It's a fun car to drive and I like the design."

Cons: "?"

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

"I totally enjoyed driving my red Sonata for five years. The main reason for trading it in was to get a built-in GPS system. My new one is a blue Sonata Sport. Sonatas are very easy to navigate and have great styling. The price and warranty makes it even better."

Drove this new car off the lot in 2011

By on Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Looks great and drives great w/ECO or Reg setting"

Cons: "passenger seat"

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

"After looking at Toyota Avalon and similar, delighted I was able to purchase this luxurious car for over $10k less and still be very happy. The ride is still smooth (28,000 miles now), have only had to replace factory tires-nothing else! Drivers seat is very comfortable, but passenger is just a slide up/back and way too low for comfort of passenger. Paint and assessors still functioning and love the XM radio w/speakers installed while driving."

Hyundai Sonata GLS Provides Speed and Comfort

By on Sunday, August 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,450

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great Looks - Nice Interior - Plenty of Technology"

Cons: "Sun Roof - Leather Seats - Passenger Seat Controls"

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

"I was an owner of a 2009 Honda Fit Sport. Going from 115 HP to almost 200 HP in a 4 cylinder car is quite a jump in power for us so the non-limited was fine with us. Bought our Sonata used and from the reviews we should have a pain-free vehicle for some time to come. Routine maintenance is understandable, like oil changes, but I hope it's not much more than that. My Honda had about 130,000 on it and around 110,000 needed major tune up work so I did it as the factory required. This Hyundai only has 34,450 miles on it when purchased and is still like new. I would have purchased the fully loaded 2.0T Limited but it was too high for our price line. The GLS is loaded with amenities with only three things I would have liked to see in the GLS and that is sunroof, leather heated seats all the way around, plus electronic seat controls on the passenger side. But we will get around that and it's not a real big deal. Overall great looking car with a nice amount of power and nice interior refinements. I drove many BMWs in the past and that is the only reason this car did not score a 10 out of 10 with me."

love

By on Thursday, August 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 43,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "safe, pretty, smooth"

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

"We are devoted to the Sonata, this was the upgrade to the 2010, which we adored. It saved our lives, which is why we will always buy Sonata. Great Car!!!!!!"

Terrific Vehicle

By on Wednesday, August 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 123,400

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "comfortable, great value, good power"

Cons: "tiny bit squeaky inside"

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

"This vehicle has been marvelous! Very reliable. Very comfortable! Sexy vehicle (I don't care for the newest Sonata body style; I prefer the 2011-14 body style!) Everything is lasting forever on this vehicle! This vehicle has good 'get up and go.' Only drawback is that the interior squeaks! Odd noises--seems like the padding up on the interior around the moon roof is loose. Other than this, the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Limited has been an amazing, comfortable, reliable car!"

Nice car that handles nice ,good gas mieage, but t

By on Friday, August 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun car,with great milage"

Cons: "cup holders are very hard to clean"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Well satistified , but it could use a little more lux. Inside road sound is too load. You have adjust the radio volume a lot, especially on bridges."

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