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2011 Hyundai Sonata – Click above for high-res image gallery

Hyundai won't be giving the American automotive media its first crack at driving their new 2011 Sonata until next week. However, new Sonatas have apparently already started rolling off the trucks into Hyundai dealers across the country. Unlike the rest of the media horde (Autoblog included), when the folks at Consumer Reports want to test a new vehicle, they actually go out and buy one.

Such was the case last week when they purchased one of the first examples of Hyundai's stylish new mid-sizer. CR tested a base GLS model Sonata and felt that while it does handle better than the 2009 equivalent, it still isn't quite up to the standard of the sportiest examples in the segment including the Ford Fusion and Mazda6. There is, however, a more aggressive SE model which CR hasn't tried out yet, so this might not be a truly apples-to-apples comparison.

CR's testers did feel the interior was an improvement over the outgoing model with higher quality materials and a particularly roomy rear seat. We'll have our own first hand impressions by the end of next week.

[Source: Consumer Reports]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think the Sonata will either win or be runner up. I think the Fiesta might be in the running although when was the last time a subcompact won car of the year?

      • 5 Years Ago
      Of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but to me, the new Sonata is a great looking car, both in pictures and in the 'flesh'. It's not a Pontiac Aztec, it's not an Edsel, it's not a Fiat Multipla; those are ugly cars!

      A lot of the comments I've read here and elsewhere on the 'net remind me a lot of the reaction to Ford's 1986 Taurus; it was so much unlike anything else on the road that many people just couldn't get their heads around the change. Those people had an image in their heads of what cars should look like, and if a car didn't look that way, then they didn't like it.

      Granted, there are many other cars that look like the new Sonata (Passat CC, Benz CLS), but its styling is such a departure from anything that Hyundai has ever done, that some people just can't accept it. Most people have an image in their heads of what a Hyundai should look like, and if a Hyundai doesn't look that way, then they don't like it.

      The '86 Taurus broke the mold (literally) for the entire car industry, and the '11 Sonata has broken the mold (literally) for Hyundai. Make no mistake, the new Sonata is Hyundai's '86 Taurus. Its styling polarizes the people who COMMENT on cars, but at the end of the day, when push comes to shove, it will strike a chord with the people who BUY cars (and you only get one guess as to which type of person is most important to Hyundai).

      The 2011 Sonata will sell well. In fact, I bet it will sell close to the 200,000 units that the '86 Taurus sold in its first year. And even if it doesn't quite sell that many units, it will share another trait in common with the '86 Taurus...

      ... The 2011 Hyundai Sonata will be M/T's car of the year.

      Remember where you heard it first.

      Full disclosure: I live in Korea and have owned a 2011 Sonata since December 2009.
      • 5 Years Ago
      seriously, what is it with the all the Anti-Hyundai bias. Do I smell Toyota, Nissan, and GM employees trolling this site to attack the Hyundai Perception?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Midsize Sedan Ranking

      1. New Sonata (I have driven the car in Korea. It will blow you away)
      2. Fusion
      3. Malibu
      4. Altima
      5. Accord
      6. Mazda 6
      7. Camry ( used to be top 4, but recall happened..)

      not including Optima, Kizashi, and etc. Optima is too outdated and I haven't driven Kizashi yet.

      • 5 Years Ago
      I can't believe all the people that think this car is ugly.

      How does it look melted? I've seen the car in person and I don't see how that descriptor even applies. A lot of the negative descriptors don't make much sense to me.

      I'm not a fan of big or weird grilles but it seems to be all the rage with every company, except maybe Nissan.

      Maybe it's not as nice as cars that cost twice as much but when comparing it to it's competition, this looks like a pretty sweet ride.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I fail to see what people think looks nice about it...because its shaped like a mercedes? If i want a nice looking mercedes shaped car i'd get a passat CC, but this thing is just plain fugly, imho.
        • 5 Years Ago
        After see this car in person, the Accord/Camry are boring, plain, outdated design.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Too all the Toyota/Ford fanboys and the Hyundai haters:

      Quit bashing on the Hyundai. Almost every major online and paper mag I've read about this car has glowing reviews. It has an excellent interior and a sexy design. Please don't tell me you'd rather buy a Lexus or some car that has some distant resemblance to it exteriorwise, most of you couldn't even afford to buy one! The Toyota fanboys need to take a chill pill and realize that not only does this car have the best interior among regular midsize sedans, its pedals don't stick or in my mother's 08 Camry's case, rattle and vibrate violently while taking the freeway. The fuel efficiency in these times of $3/gallon fillups at the gas station is to die for at this price point and the horsepower is well worth noting.

      So once again, FWIW, give the fanboyism a rest. I've been watching and reading about Hyundai for the past 10-12 years. I watched them rise out of the ashes of bad quality to mediocrity and value. I read the 2005 policy report that addressed concerns about improving car quality among Chinese car companies and the need of Hyundai to address future competitive threats in the low-cost segment by moving into higher-margin cars. Hyundai did exactly that by introducing the Genesis and stepping up marketing and design. It has been incrementally increasing the price of its cars every few years. The 2011 Sonata is a few hundred more than the 2010 Sonata. We should see future price increases as sales rise.

      This car's going to sell well, not that I'd necessarily buy one. More than likely 4-5 years down the road I'll buy a compact or midsize and I'm really excited to see what kind of developmental breakthroughs we'll see at the likes of Toyota, Honda, and Ford in response to this car. No wise car executive or CEO would sit still or laugh after seeing this. This car's the real deal.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like the way it looks. The grille could be a little less "blingy" but I like the car's overall shape.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Unlike the rest of the media horde (Autoblog included), when the folks at Consumer Reports want to test a new vehicle, they actually go out and buy one. "------------------That is why they are unbiased, unlike 99.9999999999999999999% of other auto related websites, including this one.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually, that just means they have to sell them afterwards...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Call me weird but the styling looks paperclip-inspired...don't know how else to say it.

      They'll sell a boat load of these though.

      PS - Hyundai is the next Toyota (recall-problems included)...
        • 5 Years Ago
        At least, this vehicle is not boring as toyotas.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't care what badge is on it. It is one seriously ugly car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow I absolutely love this car inside and out, and every single person I have talked to so far believes the same. I'm buying this car before I graduate from college this year so I can show it off to my friends. I never thought I would be doing that back in the days, but Hyundai has impressed me for the last several years and blown me away with this release. The design is seriously really cool, and almost anyone who thinks otherwise is just jealous or biased. To each his own, but some of the negative comments in this thread just reek of trolling, just doesn't seem like the negative comments that come from real, rational people.
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