2015 Hyundai Sonata

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Episode 3405
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

The 2011 Sonata was a watershed sedan for Hyundai. It lured buyers in with dynamic styling, and cheap prices, and kept them satisfied with great drivability and reliability. But, that was yesterday. The challenge today is to keep those buyers despite more intense mid-size competition, and to uphold their well-earned reputation. So let’s find out how an all-new 2015 Sonata measures up.

It’s difficult to fathom that the 2015 Hyundai Sonata marks the beginning of the 7th generation of the Korean middle-weight four-door. To say it has come a long way is an understatement. Evolving from a late 80’s boxy also ran, to today’s family sedan trend setter. 

And it’s easy to see those trend setting ways continuing when you climb inside the latest Sonata. You’re immediately treated to a great looking interior that is incredibly comfortable and very upscale in feel. Though this Limited model’s rich 2-tone black and brown theme surely has a lot to do with that. 

Not that it’s perfect. Some of our staff found the sparseness of control knobs annoying, and the few knobs that are present are either a long reach or look too similar to each other, and had some turning up the temperature when they we were trying to crank up the volume. Owners will likely figured it all out in no time, however. 

The folding rear seats offer plenty of head and leg room, and while seat cushions are a little on the hard side there is a very comfortable rake to the seat backs which makes things quite tolerable for long trips.

In fact, interior volume has risen enough that Sonata is now in the Large Car EPA size-class. Trunk space is certainly larger than most mid-size rivals at 16.3 cubic-ft.

An available Tech package gets you a panoramic sunroof, HID headlights, and very competent 8-inch navigation display with touchscreen. But the Ultimate package is where the tech really kicks in with smart cruise control with full stop and start capabilities, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, plus an electronic parking brake with hold feature.

As before all engines are four-cylinder and three are available. This standard, direct-injected 2.4-liter I4 rates 185-horsepower and 178 lb-ft. of torque. Peak power is actually down a little from last year in an attempt to make things more responsive. But, we found it a bit weak and noisy. A 1.6-liter turbo Eco model is new, but only recommended if fuel economy is your number-one priority. The 245-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo looks like the best choice for ample off-the line torque. 

We didn’t find that in the 2.4. Getting to 60 took us a lackluster 9.3-seconds. Well off the previous car. You do start to feel some hint of power mid-range, but slow shifts from the 6-speed automatic keep the fun factor just barely above zero. Running out the ¼-mile took 17.2-seconds at 83 miles-per-hour. 

Things improved somewhat through our handling course. Understeer is certainly there, but it doesn’t bombard you. Steering is quick, but the feel is artificially heavy and disconnected. Much, much better was braking performance, with solid stops from 60 that averaged just 117-feet. 

This is, first and foremost, a family sedan of course, so while it’s doubtful that track performance will be high on any family’s priority list, exterior design will certainly play a much larger roll.

The fluidic sculpture 2.0 styling theme tries just as hard as the previous generation to make a statement, but we’re not sure the results are nearly as successful. Though the look, complete with LED daytime running lights and dual exhaust is now undoubtedly classier, like its better rivals. The rear appears wider and taller, with high mounted LED tail lights pointing in towards the center.

So while exterior beauty is always in the eye of the beholder, from the driver’s seat we all agree that Hyundai has certainly come a long way in chassis and suspension refinement. Ride is both solid and smooth. We also appreciated the lack of CVT transmission and found the 6-speed manual-mode automatic to work very well in daily driving. 

It proved quite efficient for a larger sedan as well, with Government Fuel Economy Ratings of 25-City, 37-Highway, and 29-Combined, which we matched almost perfectly with a 29.2 miles-per-gallon loop on Regular. The Energy Impact Score is also respectable with 11.4-barrels of oil burned annually and 5.1-tons of CO2 emitted. 

One thing that has not changed is Hyundai value with Sonata’s base pricing of just $21,960. Limited trim will cost you a fair bit more, but is still a bargain at $27,335. And of course Hyundai’s America’s Best Warranty is still in effect.

There is nothing that feels cheap about the 2015 Hyundai Sonata, particularly in upscale Limited guise, as it fully showcases the brand in their growth from low price alternative to mainstream staple. 7-generations is certainly proof that this car is more contender than pretender, and carmakers will be trying to out-do this high value nameplate for a years to come.

Specifications

  • Engine: 2.4-liter
  • Horsepower: 185
  • Torque: 178 lb-ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 9.3 seconds
  • 1/4 mile: 17.2 seconds @ 83 mph
  • EPA: 25 mpg city/ 37 mpg highway
  • Energy Impact: 11.4 barrels of oil/yr
  • CO2 Emissions: 5.1 tons/yr
2024 Genesis G70

2024 Genesis G70

New Standard Engine For The G70 Means More Power And More Performance

Episode 4345
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

It was 5 years ago, at a time when sedan sales were rapidly declining, that Genesis decided to unveil an all-new four-door, the G70. And just to make things more difficult, it was designed to compete directly against the best European compact sport sedans, which it did impressively well. So yes, the G70 is still hanging around; and what’s more, it’s gotten even better!

The Genesis G70 sedan has been on the road for half a decade now, and looks to have some real staying power, having outlasted its platform-mate, the Kia Stinger. But this 2024 Genesis G70 is not just surviving, but thriving, with a new standard powertrain, upgraded performance and an enhanced interior.

The standard engine in the G70 is now a 2.5-liter turbo I4 with 300 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. That’s a 48-horsepower increase over last year’s 2.0-liter turbo-four. Genesis has also included a Brembo brake package as standard equipment. The 3.3-liter twin-turbo V6 remains available and carries over unchanged at 365 horsepower; both engines powering the rear wheels as standard, with all-wheel-drive optional.

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The approach for the interior remains more of a sporty presentation instead of the outright luxury slant of larger Genesis sedans, and the main updates here include new touch-panel controls for climate and a frameless rear-view mirror. A reasonably priced Sport Prestige package adds leather seating, aluminum trim, a big sunroof and additional driver assistance features. Front seats are both sporty-feeling and comfortable, while things remain a little tight for adults in the rear seats.

No new sheet-metal for the outside, as that was freshened up for the ’22 model year; the design remains polished and smooth, void of garish details, but it does sport the new Genesis engraved emblem front and center above the grille.

Automatic shifts were very punchy, with a noticeable hit of power as each new gear was engaged.

We pointed that logo down our Mason Dixon Dragway test track to see what the new turbo-four engine is capable of. It felt plenty powerful off the line, even with a hint of turbo lag, and power delivery only became more aggressive from there. We hit 60 in 5.8 seconds, almost a half-second quicker than we saw with the 2.0-liter. That’s also with all-wheel-drive, which provided plenty of grip at takeoff, and good stability down the track, though spring track maintenance kept us from getting full quarter-mile times.

All G70s now work exclusively with a rev-matching eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters and intelligent drive modes; the six-speed manual transmission has gone away with the 2.0-liter. Automatic shifts were very punchy, with a noticeable hit of power as each new gear was engaged. Engine noise is pleasant but relatively muted, with just a hint of exhaust noise seeping into the cabin.

2024 Genesis G70 3

While the G70 can feel like a big sedan in everyday driving, here in our handling course, it felt tidy, nimble and quite comfortable working through the cones. We felt very connected to it, with great feedback through the chassis and steering wheel. Dynamic Torque Vectoring Control is in play to tighten up turn-ins and provide steadiness, and it worked great allowing us to be very aggressive without stability control systems stepping in, even when it began to show a little bit of understeer as we pushed the envelope.

As for everyday driving, Government Fuel Economy Ratings with the new four-cylinder and all-wheel-drive are 21-City, 29-Highway, and 24-Combined; we averaged a very good 27.8 mpg on Premium fuel. All for an average Energy Impact Score, using 12.4 barrels of oil annually with 6.2 tons of CO2 emissions.

The more powerful standard engine and interior upgrades add about two-grand to the G70’s new base price, which is now $42,750, $44,850 with all-wheel-drive; the twin-turbo V6 starts at $51,200.

These days, we’re just glad to see someone still making sporty 4-doors. So, when a brand puts the effort into making a good one even better, as Genesis has done with the 2024 G70, well that’s really a cause for celebration. The G70 may be a relative newcomer to the luxury sport sedan scene, but its comfort bang for the buck, along with its additional standard power and proven all-around performance, gives it the staying power it needs to succeed long term.

Specifications

As Tested

  • Engine: 2.5-liter turbo I4
  • Transmission: 8-speed auto
  • Horsepower: 300
  • Torque: 311 lb-ft
  • EPA: 21 City | 29 Highway | 24 Combined
  • 0-60 mph: 5.8 seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: N/A
  • 60-0 Braking: N/A
  • MW Fuel Economy: 27.8 mpg (Premium)