Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • 10 Best Hybrid Cars Under $30,000
  • The 40 MPG Cars of 2014
  • 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000
  • Class of 2015: New Vehicles Ready to Roll
Go

2011 Hyundai Sonata

Overview
Share this page
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

Buying this car?

2011 Hyundai Sonata Review

By

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

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

Buying this car?

2011 Hyundai Sonata Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 717 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

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."

2 people out of 2 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

I like this car very much. I have no regrets

By on Friday, May 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Beautiful, powerful, smooth shifting"

Cons: "too low of a front bumper, seat heating stays on"

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

"It is a jewel on the road. I like the battery. It gives the car a good take off, better than most four cylinder cars. The battery kicks in when we need extra ump. There are a couple of little nit-picky things that I don't like. The main thing is that the front bumper is too low. that may not be a problem in some cities, but in ours they love to put dips in the road to help the water drain across the road as if it could not get there by itself. It is annoying to have to slow down to practically a stop to get across the dips. Another thing is that the heated seats in the front and in the rear are nice, but they do not shut off automatically when the car shuts off. That is they shut off, but they are still set to come on again when the car starts back up. We can notice that they are still on in the front seat, but we don't always look in the back seat to make sure the seats are not heating up. If children play with the buttons and leave them on, it is difficult to remember to get them turned off. The gas mileage is not quite what they advertised, but it is pretty good -- about 30 to 35 around town and about 40 to 45 on the freeway. All in all, we love the car."

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
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

Buying this car?