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2012 Hyundai Sonata

Overview
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2012 Hyundai Sonata Review

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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

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2012 Hyundai Sonata Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 718 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

Great car for the price

By on Tuesday, May 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000

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
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "fun to drive"

Cons: "road noise"

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

"It's a little loud-- road noise is evident. The standard radio sound system sounds like AM radio compared to what I had. Other than that, it's been a great little car, no problems, and no one can beat the 10 year 100K warranty. Apparently they solved the road noise problem with the 2015 sonata. But I'm going for the Azera, which is one small step up from the 2015 upgraded Sonata. It's quiet, a little bigger and heavier, and has lots of upgrades."

Am satisified but will buy somethingelse next time

By on Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 77,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Sporty, good handling, comfortable"

Cons: "Extremely poor in snow, poor trim quality"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"Bought used, great looking car, handles well at high speed on freeway, comfortable, has a gazillion extras, okay mileage. Is turbo, lots of zip. Lots of room, good sized trunk. But, almost no traction in even light snow. Passenger seat is mounted so low that some passengers can't see over the dashboard and dealer can't fix or adjust it. Lots of little trim issues, such as chrome on the door handle and the steering wheel plastic starting to peel. Back seat is small and is sloped uncomfortably for medium sized dogs and kids. Interestingly, except for the seats, most of the problems are with the trim and the paint which are put on the car in Alabama, and no problems with the mechanical parts from Korea. Major dissatisfaction with local dealer and dealer prices! Overall like it, is much much better than the Chrysler, Ford, and especially GM rentals that I get for work but not as good as the Hondas and Toyotas that I've had. Would give it a 7 on a scale of 10, but there are 8 and 9 cars out there for the same price."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

The best car I have ever owned!

By on Saturday, May 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000

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 Design, Quality from top to bottom,"

Cons: "None"

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

"I travel all over the world for a living and, in doing so, get the opportunity to drive all types of cars. In 2011, I had the opportunity to start driving Sonata's and I immediately fell in love with the car... even the less expensive basic models. The exterior design is flawless and elegant. The interior wraps around you and is so comfortable. The interior room is still very roomy, even though you feel enveloped. I decided I wanted a specific model, color, interior and searched for 1 year until I found just the right one. I can't imagine ever parting with this car. I was never more sadden to see they redesigned the Sonata and managed to remove everything that I truly love about my model. Very sad."

Add a Turbo and call it a TEN

By on Sunday, May 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,500

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Easy and comfortable to drive.Reliable and thrifty"

Cons: "needs a turbo for passing and merging"

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

"I hope it continues to be a good as I'm currently experiencing. My 2007 model gave me 200,000 miles with the replacement of only 2 items, a windshield washer motor and a sun visor clip. Wow .. This 2013 Sonata has more room, except in the trunk, because of the hybrid equip. But for a big man, this car has ample room for legs which was a bit scant in the 2007. I'm loving it so far. I recommend getting the power seat option for easier adjustments. Thank You Hyundai."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Many extras

By on Sunday, May 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

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: "Garaged since bought new."

Cons: ""ding" on rear bumper and small dent on ft bumper"

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

"Car has leather seats, Home Link, Bluetooth, and is in excellent condition. Carefully maintained. All service records available"

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

My second one, very reliable.

By on Saturday, May 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,345

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
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Comfortable,pleasant driving."

Cons: "Needs adjustable seat on passengers side. Too low"

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

"Great car,drove to fl,three times since I,be owned it. Very reliable and comfortiable.Excellant gas mileage,high 30's"

3 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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