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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 762 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

Good Car turbo quit after 5 years

By on Wednesday, April 27, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 116,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Turbo makes it fun to drive"

Cons: "Turbo quit after 5 years had to replace it"

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

"Good car well designed good value for the money but turbo quit after 5 years and we keep it serviced evey 5000 miles"

I love my car.

By on Friday, April 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "good price, good gas mileage, air bags throughout"

Cons: "pay extra for some features if not bought new."

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

"The Sonata looks great, feels great, great gas mileage. I travel to Pennsylvania a lot and it takes 1/2 tank to go round trip to the Poconos. It's a steady car and with all the air bags; I feel safe and feel good my children are safe with the air bags in the back."

2014 Hyundai Sonata Limited

By on Thursday, April 14, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,900

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great value for the money"

Cons: "audio speakers, which are fair."

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

"Very nice overall. Great gas mileage (especially highway driving). Comfortable seats, good controls, & good trunk space. The only negative is the quality of the audio speakers....which are fair at best."

My reason for selling

By on Sunday, April 10, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

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
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Sturdy, comfortable and econimic - looks great"

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

"My Hyundai Sonata is a wonderful car. Factory tinted windows are perfect for Texas summers. I am interested in selling because I suddenly find myself with three vehicles for just myself. My Sonata is the newest and still financed just makes sense to see if I can get out from under the payment. One of the other cars is a Hyundai also, it is a great brand!"

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

I love this car and would buy it again.

By on Saturday, April 02, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000

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: "Gorgeous styling, cushy ride."

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

"I purchased the car because I liked the way it looked. It's a delight to drive. Even in Eco mode it moves without hesitation when you need it to move. The ride is plush and the car is exceptionally spacious. The trunk holds a LOT of stuff."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Nice car. Enjoyable commute of 21 miles

By on Thursday, March 31, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,122

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"Car is excellent value overall. Mileage is decent at 30 mpg for commute of mostly highway and some city (15-20%). I was concerned over the recall of the short block but the car has been checked out and no problems. The manufacturer's warranty was increased to 120,000 for the Powertrain so this makes a good value even better!"

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