The Hyundai Sonata has been completely redesigned for the 2011 model year (and yes, it is already available in showrooms) and has elevated itself from a "very solid choice" to "the top of its segment". It offers a myriad of appealing qualities, including its sleek design, smooth drive, capable handling, spacious interior, impressive feature list, large trunk, excellent safety ratings, long warranty and strong value for the dollar.
In addition to its impressive materials quality and solid construction, the powertrain offers both surprising athleticism and power while still delivering high fuel mileage. And with more standard features than its competitors while still priced $2,000-$3,000 less, the 2011 Hyundai Sonata offers a value that will likely continue it heady sales growth.
Trims, Standard Features And Options:
The 2011 Sonata is categorized as a "midsize" family sedan (although definitely on the large side) and is offered in GLS, SE and Limited trims.
Standard features on the already well-equipped base Sonata GLS include full power accessories, air conditioning, cruise control, keyless entry, heated sideview mirrors, a 60/40-split rear seatback, a tilt/telescoping steering column, steering wheel audio controls, a trip computer, Bluetooth with phonebook download and a 6-speaker audio system with a CD/MP3 player, satellite radio and iPod/auxiliary audio jacks.
There's also two available option packages for the GLS. One adds an 8-way power driver seat, automatic headlights and alloy wheels (16 inch), while the other adds navigation and upgraded speakers to the first package.
The more sport-oriented Sonata SE features everything above (except navigation and the upgraded speakers), plus a sport-tuned suspension, 18 inch alloy wheels with performance tires, keyless ignition, a combination leather/cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, foglights, dual exhaust and a dark chrome grille. There's an optional package for the SE that adds the navigation system, a sunroof and the premium speakers.
The top-of-the-line Sonata Limited has all of the SE's equipment (less the 18 inch wheels, sport suspension and cloth/leather upholstery) and adds full leather upholstery, a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, front and rear heated seats, side mirror turn signal repeaters, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, an upgraded stereo system (with a CD changer and HD radio), special wood grain or gloss black interior trim accents and 17 inch alloy wheels. The one available option package for the Limited adds navigation with a back-up camera and Infinity premium speakers.
Engines, Powertrain And Gas Mileage:
Powering all Sonata models is a 2.4 liter direct-injected four-cylinder engine that produces a robust 198 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. The SE model, thanks to its dual exhaust, gets an additional power boost to 200 horsepower and 186 lb-ft. This engine is mated with either a 6-speed manual transmission (standard on the GLS) or a 6-speed automatic that's optional on the GLS and standard on both the SE and Limited.
Thanks to the direct-injection and 6-speed transmission variants, the estimated EPA gas mileage is quite strong for a car this size coming in at 24 mpg city and 35 mpg on the highway with the manual, while the automatic dips only slightly to 22 mpg city and 35 highway.
With a strong emphasis on safety, standard safety features on all Sonatas include antilock brakes (ABS), stability control, traction control, front seat side-impact airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints.
In government crash tests, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the 2011 Hyundai Sonata with its "Top Safety Pick" designation. It earned top scores in both front and side-impact crash tests as well as the new rear impact and roof crush tests.
The new Sonata's cabin is attractively designed, modern, user-friendly and solidly constructed with higher grade materials. The overall look, feel and control operation is what most would associate with a more expensive vehicle. The Limited is particularly uplevel for this price range with its padded door panels and wood grain accents.
Now technically a large car, the Sonata's space is another of its strong qualities. There's ample room for four adults to truly stretch out and be comfortable in seats that are comfortable and supportive. Like most sedans, there is room for five, however, the middle rear passenger will be less comfortable. Storage capacity is also outstanding for this class with trunk space that measures a huge 16.4 cubic feet.
The 2011 Sonata provides a comfortable ride as well as confident handling thanks to a well-balanced chassis. With impressive four-cylinder performance aided by its direct-injection and six transmission speeds, few will miss the old V6 option. The steering is easy, precise and responsive while acceleration is surprisingly brisk for a four-cylinder. The only downside, and it is fairly minor, is that cabin engine noise increases a little more than average during stronger acceleration. Overall, however, there is much to be pleased with when it comes to the Sonata's driving performance.
How To Get The Lowest Price:
Best Negotiating Tactic: Well, there's definitely a 'best way' when it comes to new car buying. If you want to get the best bottomline, out-the-door price you need to know exactly who to talk to at the dealership, how to make the contact and how to make this person eager to quickly drop prices as low as possible to get your sale.
Those of you in the market for a used car may want to check out this article about how to buy a used car at the lowest price. It details a super effective buying method, one that often beats down prices to wholesale levels.
And somewhat related to this, here's another excellent method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.
In addition, you can also try the Wholesale Auctions in your own geographic area. While there can be a lot of junk vehicles at these auctions, there are often absolute gems sprinkled in as well. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them at no cost in your own area.