The 2012 Hyundai Sonata is one of those rare cars that does just about everything well, a trait that earned it an extremely impressive Total Car Score.
Before its total revamp last year, the Sonata was just another plain family sedan. Now, the Sonata is a standout. Its styling is more daring and contemporary than some of its bland competitors. It offers a wide range of powertrains, from fuel-miserly to turbocharged. Its interior is roomy and well appointed, with standard features that are optional in more expensive sedans. Plus it offers one of the longest and most comprehensive warranties in the class, and it earned nearly perfect crash-test scores.
The Sonata did get a couple of complaints. Some felt a V6 should be in the lineup, while others found the cloth seats of sub-par quality and the rear-seat headroom a little tight. But most agreed the Sonata's tremendous value should put it on any sedan buyer’s short list.
Changes are few for the 2012 Hyundai Sonata, as it was fully redesigned last year. Hyundai’s Blue Link infotainment system is now standard equipment, a sunroof is now standard on Sonata Limited, and a backup camera has been added to the SE’s Sunroof and Navigation package.
The 2012 Hyundai Sonata is a four-door, five-passenger sedan powered exclusively by four-cylinder engines. (A gas/electric Sonata Hybrid is also available and covered separately.)
GLS and Limited models have a 2.4-liter engine rated at 198 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The SE has the same engine, tuned to produce 200 hp and 186 lb-ft. The GLS is equipped with a six-speed manual transmission; a six-speed automatic is standard in the SE and Limited. Both versions achieve an EPA-rated 24 mpg city, 35 highway and 28 combined.
The sporty 2012 Sonata 2.0T has, as its name implies, a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine sending 274 hp and 269 lb-ft through a six-speed automatic. Despite the extra oomph, the 2.0T’s fuel economy isn’t far behind the mainstream Sonata at 22/34/26.
Standard equipment on GLS models includes 16-inch steel wheels, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, keyless entry, an AM/FM/CD/satellite audio system, and Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics. The SE adds 18-inch alloy wheels, push-button start, leather and cloth upholstery and a powered driver’s seat. The Limited version drops to 17-inch wheels but includes a sunroof, automatic climate control and heated front and rear seats.
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