Now, I have driven the regular Sonata before and knew how the car drove and felt but I really wanted to get behind the wheel of the 2.0T. Ive driven a Gen Coupe with the same power train but it still had the really wonky transmission tune in it and it really stole the fun from the car.
The Sonata I drove stickered for $25,445.
Im really not going to talk much about the interior. Having owned an 08 Malibu LTZ, I will say that it was a step above that. The materials, while not great feeling certainly looked much better. I really enjoyed the seats though. Having cloth in the middle and leatherette on the outside, is a really good idea.
Onto the drive. When we first started the car, it idled around 2k RPM until it got a few ticks up on the temp gauge. It was noticeable that it was a turbo car and it did sound like an I4. After it warmed up for a few minutes the car settled in around 900 RPM and became quiet.
Pulling out of the dealers, the TQ is immediately noticeable. It simply feels like a mid-sized V6. There is literally no turbo whine under normal acceleration. That doesnt mean there isnt noise though. The engine emits a faintly noticeable groan when accelerating but its not enough to make it a concern, its just there.
As you would expect there is TQ steer on the car however its not where you think it would be at. Most FWD higher HP cars tend to jerk the wheel in the lower RPM but with the Sonata its in the midrange where it happens the most. Around 3000 RPM and under hard acceleration the wheel just tends to pull to right. Its not hard to fight or predict but it is surprising to find it in the middle of the RPMs.
Where the car really shines is when you put it into select shift mode. The shift paddles are placed in a great location behind the wheel and are easy to operate. Under heavy acceleration the RPMs will climb effortlessly and before you know it, you have to hit the upshift paddle. The high RPM power is there and then you hear it, the turbo whine. Its almost too quiet at full throttle for my tastes honestly. I had to roll down the window just a tad to get a taste of it.
Getting on the interstate is a fun affair in the Sonata turbo. Just roll into the throttle and the car really responds. It didnt hesitate to downshift and when you really want power, the car was very quick to give it to you. Its not a rocket but it certainly feels faster than anything in its segment Ive driven.
In the end, the car has its faults, even the salesmen admitted that some things are left cheap to achieve the price, but with the 2.0T under the hood its very easy to forget those faults.
Has any other GMI members taken them for a drive? What did you think about it?