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2011 Hyundai Sonata

Overview
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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 620 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

My 5th Hyundai

By on Friday, August 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,100

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Cons: "Stiff ride on 18" wheels. OEM tires were terrible."

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

"This is the best looking car I've ever owned. It's also fun to drive. Keeping it waxed with a quality product gives it a finish like a luxury brand - still looks like it came right out of the showroom. Couldn't be happier with Hyundai quality and value for the money. My only gripe about this car is the rough ride on the 18" wheels and performance tires. I just put new tires on after a trip to the seashore and they made a huge difference in handling and ride. I feel I can never go wrong with the Hyundai brand and will most likely never switch."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Great car for the money

By on Saturday, August 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 69,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "all the above"

Cons: "18" tires are expensive"

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

"The car rides and handles like a sports car! 34 MPG on the highway @ 65MPH. Took a 5000 mile trip last winter with my wife and we were pleasantly surprised how comfortable it was on long trips"

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Great value

By on Wednesday, August 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,200

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "features for the price, gas mileage"

Cons: "Leather seat comfort is lacking"

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

"The 2011 Sonata has an attractive exterior styling and provides an excellent value. Excellent highway fuel economy and surprising power for a 4 cylinder engine. Leather seats aren't the most comfortable out there. Rides smoothly but won't ever be mistaken for a sporty vehicle in terms of responsiveness."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Best car I ever owned!

By on Tuesday, August 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun to drive"

Cons: "can't think of a thing wrong with it!"

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

"I love this car more every day! It rides and drives so good and just feels like it was always my car. I love my dealership too."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Basic Transporatation

By on Friday, August 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "Great mileage and Exce[tional Blue tooth"

Cons: "Horrible defroster"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"Had the car for 3 years I would rate it higher if it wasn't for the worst defroster one can imagine,then again maybe I rat5ed it too high because unless you live in a warm climate don't buy The car Great mileage"

5 people out of 10 found this review helpful

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)."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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