Her + His Car Reviews

2018 Hyundai Sonata Limited

There are two sides to everything, right? To keep our car reviews innovative and interesting, we provide an animated, insightful, detailed and sometimes uncouth two points of view on the same car from - Her + His perspectives.

Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate, women-drivers.com
His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com 

$31,310 $31,310 with options.
The 2018 Sonata limited is powered by an Inline 4-cylinder engine that produced 185 horses. With front wheel drive being standard, we like the 6-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC allowing us to change gears on demand. This feature proved quite useful in sub zero degree snowy weather travelling up and down hills. Handling is responsive and power purred in the limited model.

The Unibody steel frame provides structural integrity and stability. Sharp turning radius, too. Supported by smart 17" alloy wheels.
We had a 185 horsepower, 2.4-liter gasoline direct injection four cylinder with a six speed automatic - not even the top of the line engine - and the response is both lively and instantaneous with this power plant. There's also a Drive Mode Select with this car.

The real shocker with the new Sonata, at least for me, and I suspect for other people, is the rather aggressive way the new model takes to the road. Handling is pretty much spot on, with flat cornering, and quick responses to steering input. the acceleration is also stronger than most people will be used to associating with Sonata.

Hyundai explains it this way, "The new Sonata has a refined chassis with improved ride and handling. To achieve this feat, talented engineers increased the torsion bar stiffness within the steering system by 12 percent, which improves steering response and feel in all conditions. They then enhanced that improvement further with new steering calibration, focusing on responsiveness and on-center steering feel. Previous ratings for ride, handling and NVH showed customers were quite satisfied, so engineers just reset an already high bar.

In addition to these steering changes, the Sonata received an updated rear suspension. The trailing arms are 21 percent thicker, making them stiffer and better able to manage heavy suspension loads. New bushings work with the new suspension arms to allow for more ride compliance and yet quicken response time to control all other wheel motions. The result is a communicative, nimble and comfortable sedan.
Fuel Economy
35 highway/25 City with 28 Overall MPG 28 miles per gallon overall, 25 city, 35 highway. The car uses 3.6 gallons of gasoline for every 100 miles driven, and the annual fuel cost is about $1,300 based on 15,000 miles of driving annually with gasoline costing $2.40 per gallon.
The Car
We love this car. Its always been a terrific value but was lackluster in designs. Hyundai had has addressed that straight on and more. The new Sonata is spacious - in fact it delivers more interior space and voluminous than its competitors - over 122 cubic feet. So there is plenty of room for larger passengers or for stretching out. Trunk capacity is 16 cubic feet.

Heated side mirrors, hands free smart trunk opener, leather seating, heated and ventilated front seats, Driver's seat with lumbar, 60/40 split folding rer seats, leather wrapped steering wheel, auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Push Button start and Proximity Key for easy opening. Automatic High beam assist, Dual temperature control for personilzed comfort. Rear side window sunshades.

Competing with the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, this is a strong contender for a family hauler.
The Sonata has always been a big value mid-sized family car that sells right up there with Honda and Toyota, so you don't want to overlook it when shopping. But now, the Sonata is something else that is pretty important to buyers too: It's much prettier!

For the top-of-the-line powertrain, the 245 horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine now includes an eight-speed automatic transmission, which adds ratio range at both the top and bottom of output speeds. The eight-speed allows for extra thrust off-the-line and a quieter, more fuel-efficient dash down the interstate. The 2.0-liter turbo models roll on 18-inch wheels, now with Michelin tires.

Among other news, the 2018 Sonata features a standard seven-inch color display audio touchscreen with both Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto® integration. Speaking of smartphones, driver and passenger alike can keep them charged without a plug using the available Qi standard wireless charging pad. Sonata now adds a second row USB charge port, a nod to today's connected rear-seat passengers. Available navigation systems now come with a bird's eye view feature as well as traffic flow and incident data, without ever having to pay a subscription for the service.

Problems? Only two. Though the interior in the Limited version is attractive and represents an upgrade, Sonata still includes a few too many hard plastic pieces, and the simulated wood looks inexpensive. Hyundai isn't quite up to the competition when it comes to interior materials quality and presentation.
Rearview Camera, Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Vehicle Stability Management with Traction Control, ABS with Brake Assist, Multiple Airbags, Tire Pressure Monitoring, LED Running Daytime Lights. Lane Departure System and Lane Keep Assist. Emergency braking with pedestrian detection.

This vehicle is a IIHS 2018 Top Safety Pick.
In addition to seven standard airbags (dual front, side, and curtain, as well as driver's knee) and a battery of safety systems (VSM, ESC, TCS, ABS, EBD, BA, and TPMS) comes Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA). The Sonata is the only midsize car sold with this safety technology as standard equipment. Despite drivers spending a tiny amount of time in reverse, one-quarter of all accidents happen when someone is backing up. BSD with RCTA gives drivers peace of mind that the road behind them is clear. Furthermore, there's also a new Lane Departure Warning system with an enhanced Lane Keep Assist function available.
There are many attributes to discuss but let's start with a 3-year Subscription to the voice activated Blue Link® Connectivity - the Smart Features include: Remote door lock and unlock, Remote engine start, Remote climate Control, Car Finder, Destination Search and Send to Car. The Easy Maintenance & Assurance part features include: a Monthly Vehicle Health Report, Automatic Collision Notification, SOS Emergency Assistance and Stolen Vehicle recovery. Lastly, it has Smartphone integration and Smartwatch integration (pretty cool!) along with Amazon Echo and Google Home.

Push Button start and Proximity Key for easy opening, Automatic High beam assist.

The 8" touchscreen display and infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, Blind Spot Monitoring system. SIRIUS XM radio with 90 day trial. AM/FM/HD radio/HD real time traffic/MP3 with ipod USB and auxillary input jacks, wireless device charging station for your smartphones on the center console, Infinity® premium audio system.

There is a new center stack which uses easy-to-handle knobs.
The 2018 Hyundai Sonata is a midsize sedan available in SE, Eco, SEL, Sport, Limited, Sport 2.0T and Limited 2.0T trim levels. There are three four-cylinder engines available: a base 2.4-liter (185 hp) paired with a six-speed automatic transmission for the SE, SEL, Sport and Limited trims; a turbocharged 2.0-liter (245 hp, 260 lb-ft) that features a new eight-speed automatic powering the 2.0T trims; and a turbocharged 1.6-liter (178 hp) with a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic that's specific to the Eco trim.

The SE has a long list of standard equipment includes automatic headlights, power-folding front mirrors, power windows and door locks, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, a 7-inch touchscreen display, a six-speaker sound system with Bluetooth and USB/auxiliary jacks, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, a rearview camera, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. The price jump to the Eco model is just $600, which comes identically equipped save for the engine.

The next trim up is the SEL, which gets larger 17-inch wheels, keyless entry and ignition, LED daytime running lights, hands-free smart trunk access, heated side mirrors, a 10-way power-adjustable driver seat, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 4.2-inch color trip computer, satellite and HD radio, and a rear USB port. Also included is Hyundai's subscription-based Blue Link telematics system with three years of complimentary service. You can also add advanced driver aids such as adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking and lane keeping assist with the optional Tech package.

Following the SEL is the Sport trim, which isn't available with the SEL's Tech package but does come with unique Sport styling front and rear, including a front grille, rear diffuser, chrome rocker panels and a chrome-tipped dual exhaust. Inside, you get a power sunroof, which is smaller and lighter than last year's panoramic unit, a flat-bottom steering wheel with paddle shifters, a leather-wrapped shift knob, leather sport seats with cloth inserts, and Sport-specific interior trim.

You don't get any of the Sport-specific items stepping up to the Limited trim, though the sunroof remains and you gain dynamic LED headlights, LED taillights, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, full leather seats, a six-way power passenger seat, driver-seat memory settings, front-seat ventilation, dual climate control and wood grain appearance trim. You also have the option of upgrading to the Ultimate package, which adds helpful driver aids such as automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control with stop-start capability, automatic high beams, an electronic parking brake with auto hold, and rear parking sensors. It also adds comfort items such as a heated steering wheel, rear side window shades, an 8-inch touchscreen navigation system, wireless smartphone charging, a premium audio system, HD real-time traffic, a trial subscription to SiriusXM Travel link (weather data, fuel prices, sports, etc.), and a three-year subscription to Blue Link multimedia/map updates.
Aesthetics & Styling
Hyundai gets double kudos with the drastically improved Sonata. The diamond-designed contoured grille, soft lines on the hood and new headlights, give this an enhanced lux look in a competitive space. The front of the vehicle establishes a more authoratian stance while the back has been retooled also with new taillights, trunkline and bumpers.

With the updated interior - complimented with "America's" finest warranty and a very sharp MSRP, the new Sonata Limited gets a top score this year. We like how clean and symmetrical the dashboard is laid out - simple and not tricky. This year's Sonata sports a 3-spoke steering wheel that has an upscale look.
Styling wise, the gently sloping semi-fastback look and the overall more athletic, aggressive looking profile result in the best looking Hyundai Sonata ever.

One of the designers of the new Sonata said, "From the moment that my pen left the drafting paper I knew we had something special in this re-imagined Sonata. He added, "Dynamic lines, strong graphics, and our new signature cascading grille come together in an athletic way."

Supplementing the bodywork, the 2018 Sonata now has LED daytime running lights. When night falls, available LED headlamps with dynamic bending light illuminate the path. Around back, the redesign is apparent with sharp taillight design and enlarged Hyundai badge, which now hides the trunk release button. Chrome accents surround the daylight opening (DLO) and fresh wheel designs cap off its new look.

Inside, you get a redesigned center stack and instrument panel. The trend carries down to gauge dial design and a strong three-spoke steering wheel. Piano key buttons for audio and HVAC controls give a premium look and touch.
What an attractive warranty - 5 Year/60,000 New Vehicle Warranty, 10 Year/100,000 Mile Powertrain Warranty, 7 Year/unlimited Mile Anti-Perforation [Corrosion] Warranty and 5 year/Unlimited Mile Roadside Assistance. 5 year/60,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty; 10 year,100,000 mile powertrain warranty.