Friday, June 28, 2013

Sonata keeps it rep: get lots for less

Mark Glover’s AutoGlo car reviews also can be seen on the Business page of The Sacramento Bee’s website – via the “GALLERY: Reviews of new cars” link at

Sacramento, California – A fair amount of time has passed since I last reviewed a Hyundai Sonata.

I’d forgotten how much I was missing.

A lot, which is what Hyundai insists on stuffing into its cars as standard features.  Hyundai has won a lot of converts this way, and frankly, I’m amazed that so many people still opt for other automaker’s offerings when Hyundai offers a much more feature-loaded equivalent of the same car for a substantially lower price.

Take my tester, the 2013 Hyundai Sonata Limited PZEV sedan.  PZEV, by the way, stands for partial zero emissions vehicle.  Think green, very good for the environment.

For the $25,845 starting price, the customer gets electronic stability control with traction control, four-wheel disc brakes with assist and electronic brake force distribution, 17-inch alloy wheels, power sunroof, front fog lights, leather seating surfaces, heated seats front and rear, dual temperature control, all the audio bells and whistles and magnificent warranties – all standard.

That’s a steal, believe me.

Add in good gas mileage of 24 miles per gallon in the city and 35 mpg on the highway, and you’re really talking a bargain.

Oh, it looks nice as well.  Swoopy enough to be sporty and squared enough to be sophisticated, the Sonata cuts through the air smoothly and quietly.  Interior space for five is quite good.  Ride smoothness is right there.

The power plant is a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder machine rated at 190 horsepower.  It’s not a neck-snapping engine, but it serves this midsize sedan quite well.  If you really need to get out of harm’s way, you’ll have to put your right foot the floor.  Otherwise, it handles most everything else on the roadways with ease.

One other bonus: safety.  A long list of safety figures is bolstered by a flurry of five-star government safety ratings for all types of crash scenarios.  I typically don’t buy a car based on how I think it might save my life, but those who have this as a priority won’t be disappointed.

All in all, the Sonata remains the car I remember from years past: loaded, safe, attractive and affordable.

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