The dreaded Sport moniker. Some manufacturers add it to an options package, some change driving dynamics, some ruin a perfectly good car. How does this Hyundai do? Quite well.
First of all, this Hyundai exceeded my expectations of build quality. It’s definitely up there with its midsize competitors, if not ahead. The infotainment system is far snappier than previous models, and the voice command works well. The seats are extremely comfortable and well padded, and this tester had orange piping, a nice touch. The only knock is the steering wheel, which has a material that feels artificial to the touch, but it’s a trivial qualm. Room for 5 and a good size trunk add up to a very capable daily drivable package.
What about the Sport part? Well, it’s a mixed bag. The firmer shocks and springs are definitely stiffer, and while not jarring, the car can get a bit upset over large bumps and road imperfections compared to the base car. It doesn’t seem to kill the body roll much either. The sport mode feels strange: the steering isn’t much stiffer, and the car doesn’t really feel all that different. The 2.0t engine is very good, but is held back by the conservative boost mapping. Even in sport mode, the engine just doesn’t give that low end grunt that turbo engines are famous for. While I’m sure ramping the boost on harder would give some wheelspin, I’d at least like to see a more aggressive sport mode. All-in-all, it’s a capable package, but the lack of quick boost onset left me wanting compared to some of the manual turbo Hyundais I’ve driven.
So the price. This car is a smidge under $30k all in, and that’s with the Sport package and a 2 liter turbo engine, orange piped seats and a nice interior, and all the bells and whistles you’d ever need including keyless start. It also has stylish 18 inch wheels, HID headlights, LED tail lights, quad exhaust, and an amazing amount of features for the price. I really enjoyed the Sonata Sport even with my small complaints. I have to say, value for money is definitely the Sonata’s strong suit. With all these features, comfortable driving dynamics, and good gas mileage, I can definitely recommend the Sonata 2.0t Sport to midsize sedan buyers looking for a quality option, but those looking for razor sharp handling and aggressive response should look elsewhere.