This week we’re looking at the 2014 Hyundai Sonata SE 2.0T. The whole lineup of Hyundai cars is rather impressive and I continue to sing it praises.
In the early 1960s Japanese cars entered on the scene in America with a great deal of trepidation on the part of the Japanese and American’s. It had only been 15 years since the end of a brutal war in the Pacific between the Empire of Japan and the US. I bought a Datsun back then because I was angry at the American car maker arrogance and wanted to smack them in the chops. It really was not all that good a car. Everything shaked, rattled and rolled and they were so underpowered for the American consumer it’s a wonder they were accepted at all. But they followed the VW Beetle / Bug that became so popular in spite of the brutal between Germany under Adolph Hitler and the US and all its ally’s. What is it about American’s who so freely forgive those who had tried to kill them. I guess we just don’t carry a grudge very long.
Can you imagine those in the Middle East countries who kill themselves if they have no one else to kill at the moment, buying cars or anything else from their enemies?
Well all that to say these Korean cars also follow a war with Korea that began in June 1950 and ended in July 1953 – of course the war was with North Korean Communism. But that was SO long ago that few remember or even care and the younger generation don’t even have a clue there was a World War I, II or Korean war. They may know about Vietnam, but even that is questionable. By now it is a given that we American’s harbor no animosity toward our enemies even when we have lost loved ones. We buy cars from those we fought and we buy oil from other current enemies. We’re a strange people – or at the very least unusual. It was Will Rogers who said “I never met a man I didn’t like”. I guess that sentiment still holds true in the American consciousness.
Parts from the US / Canada 39%; Korea 60%. It is assembled in Montgomery, Alabama, USA, Classification is Large cars. Cars from Hyundai: Accent, Azera, Elantra, Elantra Touring, Equus, Genesis, Genesis Coupe, Santa Fe, Sonata, Sonata Hybrid, Tucson, Veloster, Veracruz.
Handling & Performance:
I found driving the mountain test roads I like to use, that this Sonata delivers an E ride (Disneyland of Old term) or will challenge any 6-Flaggs park ride for the thrill of it all. It sports a 2.0 liter turbo charged gas direct injection 4-cylinder engine that produces 274 horsepower. It has sport tuned suspension and all that promises not to disappoint those who have a need for speed and control. It will pull Gs with the best of them. Nice. After that ride I needed a nap, but I was too pumped to close my eyes.
The whole family of cars from Hyundai are lovely looking cars. As good as it gets. Eat your heart out Lexus, BMW and Audi to name a few who are being successfully challenged for top spot in sales. Say good nite Camry.
Fit and Finish:
Very very good.
Let me also suggest this… if you are interested in a great warranty, a greater product from a great company, and you want to get in on the ground floor while prices are still good from the “Newest Kid on the Block” look very closely at Hyundai and sister company Kia. You will NOT be disappointed.
Conveniences and comfort:
For those who don’t know what Active ECO System is, it is simply a system that modifies engine operation so you get more gradual acceleration, and the transmission tends to shift to higher gears sooner and isn’t as quick to downshift for passing. Active Eco also cuts off the fuel supply during deceleration, and Hyundai says all this electronic management can increase fuel economy as much as 7 percent. But you can turn it off with the flick of a button on the dash.
In a sense there is nothing new under the sun in that some of this stuff was available on cars in the 1950s. It didn’t work automatically but required the driver to adjust how they are applying gas and shifting the transmission. In any case the principal was exactly the same. The device was super simple. There was a gauge attached to the manifold that measured vacuum so you would know when to shift and apply gas for maximum fuel economy.
My 1957 Chevrolet was equipped with a home made electronic ignition that was designed and built by a Phd friend from Cal Tech in Pasadena. Those nerdy brain-e-aks were far ahead of car makers.
One technological advance however was not thought of back then is the “Proximity Key Entry” with push button start/stop. If you haven’t experienced it, you need to. Those who have know what a great feature it is. I would never own another car without it and every woman who can’t seem to find her car keys in that jammed packed purse this is a miracle.
DSSM or Driver Selectable Steering Mode is a nice feature for different driving conditions and at the touch of a button on the steering wheel you can lighten the touch and tension for around town driving all the way to more tension for on the road higher speed driving. Nice.
At this writing the 2015 models are starting to arrive. But I have to say just between you and me and the lamp post you should consider the year old model. It provides the best of both worlds… they are considered a year older price wise and yet are new cars. Save the dough and buy the 2014. You know they will have clearance sales to get rid of the old inventory and make room for the new 2015s. Just a thought.
Hyundai Sonata $26,000, Chevrolet Cruze $24,000, Chevrolet Impala $27,000, Dodge Challenger $26,000, Honda Accord $33,000, Kia Optima $28,000, Mazda 6 $25,000, Nissan Altima $26,000, Suzuki Kizashi $26,000, Toyota Camry $29,000, Volkswagen Passat $27,000.
Great ride, fast, luxurious appointments and standard equipped for today.
It is bad news for the competition because Hyundai is a standout automobile.
2.0 liter 274 horsepower Turbo Gasoline Direct injection 4-cylinder engine, continuous variable valve timing, 6-speed auto transmission with shiftronic paddle shifters, Active ECO system, (see explanation above), Stability management, traction control, ABS braking system with Electronic brake force distribution and brake assist, front, side and side curtain airbags, tire pressure monitor, sport tuned suspension, 18” hyper Silver Alloy Wheels, fog lights, side mirror mounted turn signals, driver blind spot detection, proximity key entry with push button start/stop, sport seats with leather bolsters and cloth inserts, power driver seat with lumbar support and heated front seats, 60/40 split folding rear seat, driver selectable steering modes (DSSM discussed above), leather wrapped steering wheel with cruise, audio and phone controls, dual climate control, rearview camera, 4.3” Touch screen color audio display & Sirius Radio.
$3.98 / Gal avg. June 24, 2014
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21 City and 32 Highway MPG