2014 Hyundai Sonata


2014 Hyundai Sonata
$21,150 base MRSP (2015)
25/37 MPG (advertised)
20.9 MPG (real-world, over a week of driving–a bit lower than advertised, and quite a bit lower than the last time I drove one)

Overall Impressions:

This is the second time I’ve rented this care in the recent past, and it’ll be interesting to see if I like the car as much this time as I did previously. I’ll update the comments I made then, and we’ll see if the Sonata’s sores improve (or maybe drop).

I do continue to like this car. Has reasonable pickup, and visibility is reasonable.  Gas mileage was not as good as last time, but probably just due to more city driving.

Yet I still am lukewarm on the styling. It is indeed just like every other car on the market. It doesn’t pluck at the heartstrings, and in many ways, I wish it did.

TMS (Tall Man’s Score): B+

Headroom: B+

Headroom was acceptable. Nothing to shout home about, but my head wasn’t scraping the headliner. I do have to put the seat all the way down.

Mirror Location: A-

The mirror location was also acceptable. Still think there is room for improvement, but I could live with this.

Headrest: B+

Also not bad, but I still knew the headrest was there. Really wish they could just go back to normal headrests.

Legroom: B+

Didn’t feel legroom was an issue, but I’m still waiting for the car that makes me move the seat up to be comfortable (it hasn’t happened yet).

Seat Comfort: B

Good seats–wish the material was a bit better–had a cheap feel (and wondering if it will last) but the seat comfort was acceptable. Probably the biggest “wish it was better” item for me.

 Vehicle Review

Engine: B+

Gave this a bit of a higher score than last time. Maybe I had a better engine (certainly my gas mileage dropping indicates that, and they do have a couple of different engine choices…)

Transmission: B+

Better shifting than most. Also upgraded the score here from last time.

Sure wish the manual shift was set up “the right way” (push to downshift)

Interior: B

Basic interior. Wish there was more I could say–there isn’t.

Visibility: B

I’m seeing that with most cars now, the only way to get headroom is to put the seat all the way down. Then you no longer have any hope of seeing the nose (all the aerodynamics to save gas mileage no doubt) and with such a sloping nose you’re going to be “parking by feel”.

Electronics: C+

Again, basic transportation.

Utility: B

Just another econobox. Four doors and a trunk.

Appearance: C+

Line up the sedan offerings from Hyundai, Kia, Chevy, Nissan–bet you can’t tell most of them apart.

 Miscellaneous Musings:

Once again I liked this car. It did nothing really poorly (not enough to stand out anyway) although it did nothing exceptionally well either (and as I commented previously maybe scoring “average” on everything is a good thing?)

If I had to buy a sedan today, of all the cars I’ve driven this might be it–yet again, cars should inspire, and this one just doesn’t. As I said last time, I can’t see myself announcing with pride to my friends: “Hey–I just bought a Hyundai Sonata!”

That makes it tough to spend $21,000 on “just average”.

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