A few weeks back I was invited to come checkout and drive the new 2015 Sonata by the good people at Hyundai. I have a good relationship with a lot of the automotive manufacturers because I write for txGarage.com, an automotive news and reviews website dedicated to Texas, and I’m a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association. I always enjoy these trips no matter what vehicle we’re going to drive but this one I was particularly excited about. I own a 2013 Hyundai Sonata and have owned a Genesis Coupe as well. I’m a big fan of what Hyundai is doing and they’ve steadily been winning award after award because of the great products they’ve been putting out. So I thought I’d share a little bit of the excursion I took during this trip; they’re not all as eventful as this one turned out for sure. If you want to learn more about the vehicle itself, well I reviewed those parts on txGarage.com.
If you’re not following me on social media, well, you should be (Instagram, Twitter). If you are, you’ll know we took a trip out to Memphis, Tennessee to get behind the wheel of this car. We started off the day in an Urban Sunset (new orange paint color only offered on the Sport 2.0t trims) 2.0t Sonata with directions heading south. If you know your Tennessee geography, you’ll know you can’t go too far south without leaving the state, and that’s just what we did. We quickly moved from urban Memphis to farm land USA and crossed over the border into Northern Mississippi. We stayed to the west keeping close to the mighty Mississippi River south through Tunica and on down to Clarksdale. Heading down the highway, you’re looking at just over a 76-mile journey. Of course, we tried to take as many back roads as possible. Once in Clarksdale, we stopped off at a hole in the wall blues club for a quick bite to eat. This was a good chance to get some Mississippi style BBQ and listen to some live and authentic Blues music. It was also one of the first opportunities to reflect on the drive down and what everyone’s first impressions of the Sonata were. No surprise that most everyone was pretty impressed so far with the driving dynamics and overall comfort of the new Sonata, as was I. We also had some spirited debates and discussion on the cars new looks and front-end features.
Now it’s time to hop back in and head north, this time on a more eastern track toward Arkabutla Lake. This time we’re in a Syphony Silver Limited trim with the 2.4-liter engine. We purposely kept this car out of sport mode and started to really try and get a feel for its everyday driving capabilities. The rough Mississippi roads came and went almost unnoticed as we sailed through the countryside. Even in normal mode, the handling of this car around bends and turns felt great even at full speed. We finally made it back into Memphis and started to reflect on the time we spent in the car and the vast list of features we loved and others we didn’t get time to even play with. Little did I know at the time, but the next day would bring an opportunity to spend even more time with the new Sonata as my travel plans began to fall apart.
That next morning, while headed to the airport ready to be back home, back in Texas, I get a notification showing the flight to DFW was canceled. Not a good thing. I had already looked up the mileage before coming to Memphis, so I already know that the drive one way is 452-miles and just about 7-hours worth of driving. I talked to the event organizers about renting a vehicle and just driving home as there was no way I was spending the night in an airport, plus many other flights other than mine to DFW had been canceled as well and there happened to be a few more folks from Dallas who were eager to get home. My luck started to turn when I found out that one of the cars in the event was headed to Dallas to be in the media fleet anyway. It was actually going to be driven there by someone who lives in Florida and he would have to catch a flight out of DFW to get home. Easy enough of a solution, all of us Dallas folks will pile in a new Sonata and make the journey through Arkansas back into Texas.
This trip afforded me, as I was the one that drove the whole way into Dallas, a lot more quality time with the vehicle. I was able to utilize more features including the radar guided cruise control which works wonders on a long trip like this. Even when we got into heavy rain passing through Little Rock, the system never missed a beat. I would lock the cruise in at a few miles over the speed limit, set the distance to maximum, and let the car do most of the work. The car was so comfortable to drive in this fashion that we just blew through the state with just a few quick stops. Even the journalist stuck in the back seats for the trip had no complaints about comfort or room.
So after our 2-day excursion and having the new Sonata in 4-different states, I really came to love this car. There is one thing, though, that we really haven’t touched on so I think it’s about time to look at the price of all these new features and specs associated with the 2015 Sonata. The base MSRP will get you in a Sonata starting at $21,150. That’s actually $300 less than the base offering from the current generation. Yes, that’s right, more options, more standard features, yet less expensive. It’s not just the base trim either; every iteration has more to offer for less money. So I’ll circle back around and remind you how much I really enjoyed this car. If you’re looking for a great midsized car for you or a full family, you really can’t be the value of, safety, or warranty of the Sonata. You may look at vehicles like the Ford Fusion, which is a great car as well, but for a higher price and shorter warranty. You can look at the Camry which has made some great updates, but just doesn’t have the feel and solidness of the new Sonata. We also enjoyed our time in the new Accord, but again, there’s no contest when compared to the 2015 Sonata. I really can’t think of a non-luxury offering in the midsize market that I would prefer over this great new vehicle from Hyundai.
Again, be sure to check out the review of the vehicle on txGarage.com if you want more info on the 2015 Hyundai Sonata.