Hyundai Sonata

#1 in Midsize Cars Overall Score: 8.8 / 10
2016 Hyundai Sonata View More Photos »
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2016 Hyundai Sonata Overview

The 2016 Hyundai Sonata ranks 1 out of 18 Midsize Cars.

The 2016 Hyundai Sonata hits a lot of chords that harmonize well together. Based on our analysis of car reviews and data, you will find that the Sonata has pleasing driver- and passenger- space on ...

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Pros & Cons

  • Good fuel economy
  • Spacious rear seats
  • Large trunk
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Good projected reliability
  • Trunk opening is a bit narrow

Notable for 2016

  • Android Auto and a 7-inch touch screen now standard

Hyundai Sonata Rankings and Research

The 2016 Hyundai Sonata ranking is based on its score within the Midsize Cars category. Currently the Hyundai Sonata has a score of 8.8 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 23 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.


Overall: 8.8
Critics' Rating: 9.1
Performance: 7.6
Interior: 8.6
Safety: 9.7
Reliability: 4_0


2016 Hyundai Sonata Pictures

2016 Hyundai Sonata Review

By Martin A Davis Jr May 27, 2016

The 2016 Hyundai Sonata hits a lot of chords that harmonize well together. Based on our analysis of car reviews and data, you will find that the Sonata has pleasing driver- and passenger- space on the inside, keeps noise outside the cabin, and provides an engaging, user-friendly infotainment system. The three available engines are up to task for daily driving, and the Sonata’s handling, while far from sporty, will make you feel secure in corners and comfortable on open highway.

It’s also a good value proposition. There are six trim levels and three engines to choose from, and its prices are in line with other class members, ranging from around $21,800 to about $34,100. Moreover, the Sonata gets top-flight safety and projected reliability ratings. And finally, the Sonata comes with a five-year/60,000-mile warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Sonata Interior

Give Me Room, Lots of Room

When it comes to head- and legroom, the Hyundai Sonata offers more than most class competitors. Five people fit in the Sonata, and folks over 6-feet tall will be comfortable in the back. If you need more back-seat space, the Honda Accord offers a slightly larger space.

Trunk space is also expansive. With 16.3 cubic feet, the Sonata’s cargo hold leads the class. However, you should be aware that the opening to the trunk is a bit narrow. Should you need additional space to store longer items, the rear seats fold down.

Easy Listening, Quiet Retreat

As you move the Sonata up to speed, it’s what you don’t hear – road, wind, and engine noise – that will capture your attention.

The hushed cabin makes it easier to enjoy the music and phone calls that come over the infotainment system. The Sonata comes standard with a 7-inch touch screen that wins praise from reviewers for its responsiveness and ease of use. Physical buttons allow you to access the major menus on the screen (navigation, phone, radio, and media). Climate functions are controlled with knobs that are easy to reach and use.

Smartphone users can connect to the infotainment system via the standard Bluetooth connection, and Android users can also connect with Android Auto, which runs a modified version of your phone’s apps through the touch screen.

Pricing, Options, and Trims

The Sonata SE is the entry-level trim and starts at about $21,800. It comes standard with the nonturbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. Standard features include a rearview camera, a 7-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, Android Auto, and heated side mirrors, which are great if you live in a cold-weather climate. Also, brake assist is standard. It will apply emergency braking if an imminent crash is detected.

The Sport trim starts at about $23,400 and adds an eight-way power driver’s seat with lumbar support, and a number of exterior flourishes consistent with its “Sport” moniker. These include dual exhaust, a revised front grille, and side mirror-mounted turn signal indicators.

The Eco trim starts at about $23,700 and comes with the turbocharged 1.6-liter motor, as well as the same basic set of standard features as the SE trim.

The Sonata Limited starts at $27,400. The engine is the same 2.4-liter that's in the SE and Sport trim levels. To the SE’s set of standard features it adds blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert and lane change assist, which are designed to improve your ability to navigate blind spots both beside and behind the car. A sunroof, heated front and rear seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and leather seating are also standard on the Limited trim.

The Sport 2.0T trim has the larger turbocharged engine and offers many of the features that come with the Limited trim. It begins at about $28,900 and adds paddle shifters, a flat-bottomed steering wheel, sport suspension, and a hands-free smart trunk with auto open, which will open the lid if you stand behind the trunk for three seconds with the key fob on your person.

The top-of-the-line Limited 2.0T trim has most of the standard features available on the other trims, plus a larger, 8-inch, touch screen, adaptive cruise control and rear parking sensors, and an upgraded Infinity audio system. It starts at just over $34,000.

Read more about interior »

Sonata Performance

Gentle on Your Mind, and Behind

The Sonata appeals to people who enjoy the journey. To that end, the car’s suspension delivers a smooth ride while keeping the Sonata firmly planted to the road. The steering, meanwhile, turns with ease.

The brakes are confidence-inspiring. They bring the Sonata to a halt as slowly as you desire or as quickly as you may need. All models come with front-wheel drive.

Should you desire a more dynamic driving experience, you might have a look at the Mazda6 or Ford Fusion.


There are three engines available in the Sonata – none are particularly exhilarating, but all are very much up to the task of day-to-day driving. The base, four-cylinder engine makes 185 horsepower and delivers an excellent fuel-economy rating for the class: 25 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. That’s enough power for driving around town, and it will do fine on the interstate too.

The next engine up is the first of two turbocharged options. The 1.6-liter, only available in the Sonata Eco, provides better acceleration and fuel economy (28 mpg in the city and 38 on the highway) than the base engine, but you’ll find that the transmission gets in the way of its performance, as it doesn't always shift smoothly. At the top of the line is the 2.0-liter that provides plenty of power at highway speed and feels as strong as many of the V6 engines in competing cars. Fuel economy, however, suffers. It delivers 23 mpg around town and 32 on the highway.

All Sonatas, save the Eco trim that the 1.6-liter engine powers, come standard with a six-speed automatic transmission. The Eco trim gets a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Read more about performance »

Safety and Reliability

When it comes to safety features, the Hyundai Sonata offers a great deal. Unlike some cars in this class, the Sonata offers a rearview camera as standard equipment on all trim levels. Brake assist, which can apply emergency braking if a collision is imminent, also comes standard.

Should you find yourself in a crash, the Sonata receives the best possible crash-test scores awarded by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and it was named an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ as a result. On National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests, the Sonata earns the highest possible five-star overall rating. However, on NHTSA’s rollover test, the Sonata earns four out of five possible stars. An excellent rating, to be sure, but there are three nonhybrid cars in this class that do better: the Kia Optima, Nissan Altima, and Subaru Legacy.

You can expect the Sonata to hold up well over the years if you take care of it. It, along with the Toyota Camry, earns a four-circle (better than most) rating from J.D. Power for predicted reliability. Only the Chevy Malibu does better, earning 4.5 circles.

Should you experience problems, you’ll find that the Sonata has a longer warranty than many of its class competitors – five years or 60,000 miles. The powertrain is covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles.

Other Cars to Consider

If you want a midsize car that provides a more dynamic driving experience, you should have a look at the Mazda6. It only comes with one engine, a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that generates 184 horsepower, which is enough for most driving needs. Two of the three trims (Sport and Touring) come standard with a six-speed manual transmission, which is unusual for the class, as very few midsize sedans offer stick shift anymore. Much of the car's excitement comes from how well it handles. The steering provides lots of feedback, the suspension allows you to take fast corners with ease, and the brakes are solid. Fuel economy is also excellent. The base model with the optional automatic transmission delivers 26 mpg in the city and 38 on the highway. If you select the Grand Touring model with the technology package, you’ll be rewarded with an EPA-estimated 28 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway.

The Honda Accord has an available V6 engine that provides plenty of power, but even the base four-cylinder engine gives good acceleration. On the road, the Accord absorbs road imperfections well, takes corners with ease, and maneuvers well in tight spaces. The front and rear seats are comfortable, and there’s plenty of legroom for everyone.

Compare the Sonata, Mazda6, and Accord in more detail »

Details: 2016 Hyundai Sonata

The 2016 Hyundai Sonata seats five and comes in six trims: SE, Sport, Eco, Limited, Sport 2.0T, and Limited 2.0T. A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, front-wheel drive, and a six-speed automatic transmission are standard. Eco models come with a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. The 2.0T models feature a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. The Sonata was completely redesigned for the 2015 model year and sees no major changes this year. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2015 and 2016 model years.

Standard features in the 2016 Hyundai Sonata include Bluetooth, a USB port, a six-speaker audio system, satellite radio, HD Radio, Android Auto, a 7-inch touch screen, a rearview camera, and brake assist, which supplies emergency braking power if the car detects an accident may occur. Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics system, which can recommend nearby points of interest and allows you to lock, unlock, and start the car from your smartphone, is also standard.

Available features include a panoramic sunroof, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, a nine-speaker audio system, blind spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking, rear cross traffic alert, lane change assist, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, rear parking sensors, and an 8-inch touch screen with navigation.

See 2016 Hyundai Sonata specs and trims »

  • "It's no small feat that the 2016 Hyundai Sonata midsize sedan is a strongly competitive alternative to the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. … It all comes with a comfortable and quiet interior, plenty of high-tech, and wrapped in conservatively attractive styling that's sure to stay that way for years to come." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Overall, the 2015 gets some serious improvements in styling, ride quality, interior room, and steering, while gaining a bit more responsiveness across the model range." -- Motor Trend (2015)
  • "By putting economy over performance and using the Genesis sedan as its role model, it has tasked the 2015 Sonata with a more important ambition - going upscale. The resulting four-door sedan is a safe, fuel-efficient, premium offering with an attractive sticker price." -- Autoblog (2015)

Research Prices: 2016 Hyundai Sonata

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$21,750 - $34,075
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