Reviewing a new Hyundai Sonata used to be easy. I'd sit here, tell you that the newest Sonata offered a lot of features for the money, looked nice, but since it wasn't as nice to drive as the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, Hyundai would have to rely on that low price to move the sheetmetal. 

This time, things are different. Even if you take price out of the equation, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata poses a significant challenge to the Accord and Camry. From the classy but conservative exterior styling, to its comfortable and contemporary interior, fuel economy, features, or any other metric you care to mention, this Hyundai is a seriously compelling midsize sedan

Also: The Class of 2015 -- New Vehicles Ready to Roll

Ridiculously roomy

Take comfort. The rear seat is ridiculously roomy, with enough legroom that even at 6-feet 2-inches, the new Sonata passed the self-behind-self test with flying colors. The seats in our Sport model were upholstered in a grippy combination of leather and cloth that felt upscale without the thigh-burning effect all-leather chairs would have. Ergonomics are great, with everything easy to find and operate, and at speed the Sonata is commendably quiet. Then there are clever touches, like how the LCD display between the gauges tells you what intermittent speed your wipers are set to. Hey, it's the little things, right?

The Sonata offers up a smooth ride, takes a corner well enough, but now the steering -- long a sore point in Korean cars -- feels good enough that it doesn't draw attention to itself one way or the other. Power from the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder model we drove was fine, and the Eco and Sport modes both made notable differences in the car's behavior, softening throttle response in Eco, and sharpening it in Sport. 

Also: 2014-2015 Midsize Sedan Buyer's Guide

Bang for the buck

So the 2015 Hyundai Sonata is, by nearly any measure, just as good a car as the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, and quite frankly leaves the Nissan Altima in the dust. And, yes, it does it at an excellent price, although one that's not so far removed from competitors. Our 2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport rang in at about $27,500, including navigation, blind spot detection, dual-zone climate control, and the cool info display between the gauges. 

Hyundai offering a lot of stuff for the money is an old story. But offering a car that would be class-leading even without that price advantage? That's a whole new chapter.

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