2018 Hyundai Sonata Limited

25 Jul 2018 | 782 views | No Comment
By Don Hammonds Looking for a top notch luxury family car for a modest amount of money? That has all the bells and whistles? That has a sturdy warranty to calm your nerves about unexpected problems arising? That pretty much sums up the 2018 Hyundai Sonata Limited.  You seriously cannot go wrong buying one.  They are solid, dependable and unusually quick on the road, too, at least for a family sedan. Speaking of the warranty, the Sonata comes with  five year, 60,000 mile new vehicle warranty, and a 10 year, 100,000 mile warranty on the powertrain.  And there is five years of unlimited mileage roadside assistance that is standard as well. But along with the practical stuff, there's something you need to know. Hyundai Sonata can run with the best of them. 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 powerplant. There's also a Drive Mode Select with this car. 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 pencill eft 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. The Sonata offers more safety features in 2018. 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.  Another interesting feature is Blue Link now talks to Amazon Echo™, allowing you to control your car inside your home, or wherever the Amazon device is located. 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. 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 inexpenive.  Hyundai isn't quite up to the competition when it comes to interior materials quality and presentation. The other problem was the unfinished appearance and materials used for the trunk.  It looks flimsy and frankly cheap. This is not an area to cut corners because customers do notice that sort of thing. But other than that, Hyundai can proudly say it has one of the finest mid sized family sedans in its Sonata.

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