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2012 Hyundai Sonata

Overview
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2012 Hyundai Sonata Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.8

If ever there was a car that proved that if you build it well, they will come (and buy it), it's the 2012 Hyundai Sonata. The Sonata was once was just a low-priced midsize sedan with a great warranty, but the current Sonata has taken the market by storm. From its stunning sculpted exterior, to its modern and feature-filled interior, to a suite of powerful yet fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engines, the 2012 Hyundai Sonata hits every target with pin-point accuracy. Up against heavy hitters like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, the Sonata comes out smelling like rose, and a very inexpensive rose at that. Its engine uses the latest gasoline direct-injection technology to deliver some of the best fuel economy figures in the segment, and there is even a hybrid model to appeal to the super-green consumer who still needs the practicality of a big, roomy sedan.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a midsize sedan that is fresh, stylish and loaded with the latest technology for less than $30K, the 2012 Hyundai Sonata is a must drive. Its base price starts around $20,000, but it won't cost much more to move to the higher trim levels, which include a turbocharged model and a super-efficient hybrid.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Unless you're turned off by the 2012 Hyundai Sonata sedan's looks or untested long-term repair history, there isn't much not to like about a midsize sedan that looks like a high-end luxury car, has a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and touts resale figures just a few percentage points behind the segment-leading Honda Accord sedan.

What's New for 2012

For 2012, the Sonata Limited gains a 3-piece panoramic sunroof, while all trims receive Hyundai's Blue Link infotainment and safety system. Cars equipped with navigation also come with HD Radio.

Driving the Sonata

Driving Impressions For how quickly and smoothly the 2012 Hyundai Sonata pulls away from a stop, you'd swear there was a V6 engine under its sleek hood. But, what resides there is...

a 2.4-liter direct-injection 4-cylinder engine producing 200 horsepower and delivering fuel economy figures of 24 mpg city and 35 mpg highway. If that's not enough power for you, the 2012 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T sedan adds a turbocharger that brings output to a very healthy 274 horsepower. The Sonata excels in every category, with responsive power steering, excellent brakes and a suspension that delivers smoothness when the road get nasty and level cornering when the asphalt starts to curve. If there is a weak spot with the 2012 Hyundai Sonata sedan, it's that interior noise levels are a bit higher than in competitors such as the Chevy Malibu and Honda Accord. From a comfort standpoint, our Limited trim's seats were very comfortable, the dash and instrumentation were nice to look at and easy to figure out, and all but the tallest test drivers found the rear-seat headroom and legroom to be exceptional.

Heated rear seats
While some luxury-oriented sedans and SUVs offer heated rear seats, it isn't something you generally see in an affordable midsize 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 appeal 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.

2012 Hyundai Sonata Details
Interior

Like its dynamic exterior, the 2012 Hyundai Sonata midsize sedan's interior is a work of art. Following the exterior design theme, the Sonata's interior is a mix of bold shapes, smooth finishes and lots of attractive blue backlighting. The available two-tone interior package looks particularly inviting in black and wine leather, and features such as the Limited trim's heated rear seat are practically unheard of in other competitors. However, while we do like the look of the rakish rear pillars, the design somewhat cuts into rear seat headroom.

Exterior
2012 Hyundai Sonata photo

The 2012 Hyundai Sonata sedan is truly an original that will be hard to top. From its deeply-sculpted hood to the careful use of chrome trim highlighting the beltline, there is something old-Detroit-classic about this car, a throwback to a time when designers took risks and weren't afraid to produce something unique and dramatic. With its beautifully-detailed grille and swept-back headlamps, its high belt line and sharply-raked rear window, the 2012 Hyundai Sonata sedan projects a formidable presence few cars, let alone midsize family sedans, possess. The Sonata's wheel and tire sizes vary by trim level and range from 16-inch steel wheels with plastic covers to 19-inch split-spoke alloy wheels. One of the 2012 Hyundai Sonata's more appealing exterior features is the Limited trim's standard dual-panel moonroof.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Hyundai prides itself on offering vehicles chock-full of standard features, and the 2012 Hyundai Sonata sedan is no exception. The standard equipment list includes Hyundai's new Blue Link infotainment and safety service, 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 2012 Hyundai Sonata is saddled with covered steel wheels and a 6-speed manual transmission.

Optional Equipment

In addition to common upgrades, including a moonroof and leather seats, the 2012 Hyundai Sonata midsize sedan extras list includes a touchscreen navigation system, backup camera, multiple premium audio systems and XM SatelliteRadio/traffic/weather. When ordered with the moonroof and navigation package, the SE trim can now be equipped with a rear backup camera.

Under the Hood

A turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and hybrid powertrain join the lineup for the 2012 model year, but the most popular engine choice for the 2012 Hyundai Sonata sedan remains the most powerful, most fuel-efficient 4-cylinder (non-turbo) in the category. The 2.4-liter engine with direct injection is mated to either a 6-speed manual (in GLS trim only) or a 6-speed automatic transmission.

2.4-liter in-line 4
190-200 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm (varies by trim and state)
179-186 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm (varies by trim)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/35

2.0-liter in-line 4-cylinder Turbo
274 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
269 lb-ft of torque between 1,750-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/34

2.4-liter in-line 4 Hybrid
206 horsepower (166 hp from the gasoline engine and 40 hp from the electric motor)
154 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 34/39

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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2012 Hyundai Sonata Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 651 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

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

best of the best sonata gls 2.4

By on Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,500

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: "great price,fun to drive"

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

"The handling is perfect i like sensitive steering wheel make you more professional.The engine 195 hp perfect for a busy freeway everyday and gas mileage 39 to 45 miles/gal just perfect. Not to fast ,not to slow.Good job HYUNDIA.The 2015 sonata pls put it back the horsepower or make it even 200hp w/ the same gas mileage coz it feels boring the 175hp.Im not fun of turbo, maintenance wise.Im looking forward for a 200+hp, same gas mileage 39 to 45."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Excellent vehicle for your value

By on Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,000

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "See body of review."

Cons: "Drivers seat needs better support"

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

"I have no complains about my 2013 Hyundai Sonata that I bought new back then. I've had it for two years exactly and have put over 30,000 miles each year. I've been lucky to only have to do my typical oil changes every 3,000 miles which seems often (monthly) because I love driving the car due to the fairly good gas mileage. I use to own a Dodge Ram 2500 pickup truck that got 11 MPG so this was quite a relief from that. The 2013 Sonata typically gets about 28 MPG on the Highway which I got to say is pretty good since I'm always doing around 80 MPH. It has about 200 HP which is also pretty decent for a 2.5L 4 cyl. I would definitely purchase another Sonata.Pros: Spacious for larger passengers, Trunk space is huge, decent gas mileage (with schedule maintenance's), car is affordable, 100k maintenance package included (Who else offers that in a comparable market?), XM satellite radio, BlueLink (awesome ideas built in.. Unlock you car from your smart phone app... if you want to purchase this car for your teenager then you can track speeds and be notified of locations). Cons: Blue book value of this car depreciates quite a bit. Also the drivers seat needs to be more supportive as this is the seat that is always used. After two years seat is not as comfortable as it use to be."

7 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Dependable, beautiful, compliments all the time

By on Sunday, October 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,300

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Power when I need it along with decent gas mileage"

Cons: "I wish it got better than 36 MPG but I have power"

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

"I have a very long commute. This car allows me to make that drive comfortable and the car is very dependable. At 38,000 miles now I have had NO problems whatsoever. I love it when people ask me about the car and they complement how beautiful it is."

6 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Love the MPG..told 36 to 42 I average 41.2

By on Saturday, October 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,400

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
Not Rated

Pros: "Great Price."

Cons: "Wheel noise."

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

"This car runs great. I also love the Blue Link in the vehicle. The value is nice for what you get. The design is sporty."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Hyundai's are still JUNK

By on Friday, October 10, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Terrible drive, handling, gas mileage, JUNK

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "The exterior looks updated."

Cons: "Everything else."

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

"I really wanted to believe that Hyundai's were better. The new look manipulates you into thinking it has improved. The car is still JUNK. Does not handle well, the gas mileage is much lower than advertised, the interior scratches easily and leather is soft and leaves imprints. The back seat is hard and head room is low. The car is loud on the highway, the radio sounds bad, the doors are light and the car feels like I'll swerve off the road when a little wind picks up. I come from BMW's and thought I'd save some money, but the Hyundai is overpriced for this JUNK. I sold it and returned to my BMW family. I feel safer and feel I could sell my BMW at a great price when I'm finished."

2 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Best vehicle value I have ever purchased

By on Monday, September 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000

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
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great price, performane and amenitys"

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

"For the money, this car can't be beat. Very comfortable, packed with features. It's surprisingly quick and fun to drive."

5 people out of 6 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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