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Can Hyundai keep wooing customers with Sonata makeover?

Hyundai's seventh-generation Sonata midsize sedan has received a major makeover for 2015. The styling is toned down, the interior has been revamped and the car now shares some design cues with the Genesis luxury car. Here are some snippets of reviews:

“As in most Hyundai products of late, there’s an obsessive cohesiveness to the interior design that shames many aspirational brands; every piece of text or readout in the car shares the same attractive font and resolution, whether it adorns a button or space on a touch screen. A more satisfying, Genesis-like steering wheel has replaced the previous-generation Sonata’s dished unit, and the driver faces an attractive instrument panel with sharp white-on-black gauges.” 

-- Car and Driver

“The Sonata has traded some strength for better refinement, and it's a swap well worth making. One of the lighter cars in its class, the Sonata was also one of the first to move to an all-four-cylinder lineup, and it doesn't want for more. This year, power ratings actually go down for both the base 185-horsepower, 2.4-liter four and the twin-scroll turbo'ed, 245-hp 2.0-liter four. They're both less freewheeling, but more free-revving, much quieter and almost free of vibration, two bugbears of the last-generation edition. In either case, you get a six-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic manual controls.” 

-- Thecarconnection.com

“The Sonata's standard equipment level is generous, with all models fitted with full power accessories, remote keyless entry, premium cloth upholstery and 60/40 split-fold rear seats. Optional equipment, mostly bundled into packages, includes leather upholstery, a panoramic glass moonroof, heated rear seats, Xenon headlights, radar-based cruise control with full stop capability and Hyundai's hands-free Smart Trunk, a feature launched on the Genesis sedan. There are no hubcaps in the Sonata lineup, as even the base SE model arrives with 16-inch alloy wheels and 205/65R16 tires (the Sport 2.0T model wears the largest wheel/tire package with 18-inch alloys and 235/45R18 tires).”

-- Autoblog.com

“The 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine under the hood of our Limited model is the less exciting of the three engines available to the 2015 Sonata.

It's a respectable mill that outputs a respectable 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque and probably won't disappoint most with its performance. The engine is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission and puts power to the front wheels. Fuel economy is stated at 24 city, 35 highway, and 28 combined mpg -- nearly bang-on identical to the Sonata's primary competitors: the 2015 Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.” 

-- CNET.com

“Like the Genesis, the Sonata adopts an electric steering system mounted on the steering rack itself, rather than on the steering column. But the Sonata still felt strictly midpack in terms of steering and handling. In city driving, especially, the Sonata felt weighty and ponderous, the kind of car that struggles to stay out of its own way.” 

-- The New York Times

“A weak point of the older 2.0T was always its somewhat dogged performance for its segment, despite impressive-looking power figures. Though output is claimed to be reduced, the new twin-scroll turbo does help generate boost quicker than before, giving more immediate power delivery. While Hyundai says that measured acceleration time should be roughly the same, the impression from behind the wheel is much better. The 2.0T Sport also gets 1 mm-thicker anti-roll bars front and rear, along with revised spring rates, though in normal driving, I was hard-pressed to find much of a difference in the way the 2.0T Sport rode versus the 2.4 Limited. The 2.0T Sport is also the only model fitted with paddle shifters (instead of just a lever-actuated manual mode), though they're plasticky in feel and manual shifts still come a bit slowly to be considered sporty."

-- Motor Trend

You can reach at autonews@crain.com. -- Follow on Twitter
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