• Feb 18, 2010
2011 Hyundai Sonata – Click above for high-res image gallery

The 2011 Hyundai Sonata has a lot of things going for it. Not only does the sedan wear sleek new sheetmetal, it's powered by a powerful yet fuel-efficient 2.4-liter four-pot mill with direct injection, capable of achieving up to 35 miles per gallon on the highway and it's priced below the $20,000 mark. Now, the Sonata can wear another badge of honor, as it has just earned the rating of Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

According to the IIHS, a Top Safety Pick vehicle must earn the highest rating of "good" in all front, side and rear crash tests, and it must be equipped with electronic stability control. This is a relatively big achievement for Hyundai, as the 2011 model is the first Sonata to receive this high honor.

We're in the process of conducting our first drive on the Sonata as you read this, so stay tuned for full driving impressions in the not-too-distant future.



[Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety]


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  • 49 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      When will people appreciate innovation instead of imitation. This is a bad benz rip off, hyundai should be ashamed of itself, design your own car instead of stealing.
        • 4 Years Ago
        As was stated before, if it looked as bland as the camcords they would yell ripoff of those. This at least tries to bring some excitement into a boring segment.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I for one think that this is not only a great looking car but will sell like hot cakes.
      Good Job Hyundai.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Caddy: Coming from a GM owner/fanboy that's a pretty hilarious statement.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Cadillac/Mopar/MGTD/Triumph/Harley/Ford fan thank you. We added a Taurus SHO. We're flying out to Vegas on Friday and I'll let you know the rental count of Hyundai/Kia v. Gm.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Luis,

      You mean the Odyssey that has the dip in the back window? Like that of the Genesis Coupe? Yeah... they've got a designer alright! One that was inspired by Hyundai products!

      I'm kidding of course! But you know that if Hyundai did anything similar to that of Toyonda, they would get a lashing for "copying" the Japanese. When the Japanese do it, it's inspiration!

      Here's the minivan...

      http://www.autoblog.com/2010/02/10/honda-odyssey-concept-chicago-debut/

      I really like the Sonata! I saw one in person and I thought it looked very classy... In the pictures, the red looks even better than the silver versions. We'll see when they start appearing on the roads. We won't have to wait long... I wonder if Luis will feel compelled to write on a blog about how frustrated he feels with the "hideous" Sonata's.

      Luis, you should create a blog and write there so only Hyundai haters can check it. You'll have plenty of support there! Do it! For reals!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Good things keep rolling in for Hyundai.

      And to all you JDM fanboys, admit it. Japanese car companies just don't offer much excitement anymore. In Honda, I only find Accord coupe to be attractive. Crosstour just makes me want to commit suicide every time I see that ugly ass.

      Toyota, Camry was fresh in the beginning, but it doesn't age well (I don't know how to put it). The most attractive car there is maybe the matrix and RAV4 and they don't look all that exciting imho.

      Nissan/Infinity has some interesting cars, notably G series and GTR (on the opposite spectrum Nissan Cube), but Renault has controlling stake in Nissan so you can hardly call it simply a Japanese company.

      Hyundai on the other hand is trying to pick up where Japanese automakers have left off. Especially with Gen. Coupe. Are they perfect? No. But they are getting there and gives me some hope that there might be a car company willing to listen. Hope they don't disappoint me.

        • 4 Years Ago
        The new Maxima is hot, aside from the FWD part. The Impreza sedan is good looking too. There are some good looking Japanese cars.

        The Hyundais are not attractive. The Kia Forte is a good looking product, but the coupe looks like a 6 year old Civic.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Jumping the gun a bit there don't you think?

        There's the RX-8, Mazda3, WRX/STI, Evo..... need I go on?

        Maybe what you meant to say is that Toyota doesn't offer "excitement" anymore, but then we already knew that. As for claiming all Japanese car companies in general seems like quite a broad and inaccurate generalization.

        As for Hyundai, while the Gen coupe might be a nice attempt, it's still got a long way to go itself in terms of excitement.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree with you on the Accord coupe;

        it's the only sleek looking car in the Honda line-up.
      • 4 Years Ago
      A note for the AutoBlog test drive...

      I was running an automatic Sonata through twisty mountain roads using manual mode. As I would approach the redline the transmission would upshift if I let up on the throttle. Now this may not sound like a problem, but it is a problem if you are rapidly approaching a curve and need to brake. The engine revs stay high even with your foot off the throttle then it upshifts giving you a forward surge. No good as you enter a curve already under high speed. The first time this happened it sure got my blood pumping. It would be a whole bunch better if the transmission held the gear you are in.
      A rev limiter should be the only electronic control to prevent over revving, not an upshift.

      Again, another example of electronic control not done correctly.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I saw this car at the LA Auto show and love the way it looks, inside and out. If the reviews for the SE find that it's as sporty as a Camry SE or, dare I say it, an Acura TSX (previous gen), then I'll seriously be considering one as my next car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      You hear it here first, Camcord is dead, long live Sonccord, or Accnata.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Why not name it what it will excell in? Avisnata? Sonahertz? Budonata? Enterson? Sonathrift? Rentawrechidata?
        • 4 Years Ago
        @caddy-v so true. rental fleets are getting better (new Malibu, new Sonata)
        • 4 Years Ago
        Of course they're bland. Midsize sedans sell on comfort, room, ride, quietness, perceived quality, and safety. Thus, all bland. But some fulfill the design brief better than others.

        Anyway, before getting all riled about pet brands and which mainstream midsize family sedan is teh gratest, name one that's actually exciting to drive. Hint: none of the above.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'll remember this post when it's proven false.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Interesting... a Detroit fan teasing Hyundai about being a fleet vehicle. I see no irony nor hypocrisy in that whatsoever.
      • 4 Years Ago
      This is the best car in the world. It is nicer than anything on the road. Men will be green with jealousy when they see you drive by in it and will shoot themselves in the head for not buying one.

      Women will jump out of 3rd story windows to get a glimse of it and will throw their bras and panties into your open sunroof as you drive by. Hummers will break in half when they crash into it in a frontal offset impact.

      I'm crying right now just looking at these pictures of it. Tears of joy that a car like this can even exist in my lifetime. I need a tissue...I think I just splooged, this car just gives me a ferocious woooody.





        • 4 Years Ago
        That's just disgusting McG!

        Why would you do that? That's really disturbing bro... How do you know that the Hummers break in half against the Sonata? Too bad you're not a reputable car crash analyst. Your posts just get more and more bizarre. Do you have that much time in your hands?
        • 4 Years Ago
        dan,

        Sorry man, just had to do it. Slow day (slow week actually) bored as hell and it's been entertaining the past couple of days. I know, it's been childish fun but some people get so worked up into a lather and i can't help myself. I like provoking reactions.

        Oh, the ridiculous one-sided comments have died down which is all I really wanted. The truth is that as a businessman, I really respect Hyundai as a car company (I even have January's copy of Fortune on my desk with the fanged Equus on the front cover) They're forcing everyone to make better cars and to rethink their pricing and that benefits us all.

        With that said, I'd never own one. My housekeeper has a KIA and raves about it though.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Luis,

        Yes, Honda/Toyota forced Hyundai to make a better product --and they have. There is definitely room for improvement and I have no doubt that the gap will close if it hasn't already and Hyundai will just be considered another Asian import and not the underdog car company trying to make it in the US market (that title will go to the Chinese and Indian carmakers who will take the reins and will offer cheap sub-par cars)

        Japanese car makers spent decades to gain acceptance on this side of the pond. the Koreans are doing it faster but it won't happen overnight, there is still the unknown (will the quality still be there as they start to really get innovative and as they crank out multiple product lines and significantly up their production?)

        There are also brand perceptions to deal with proven by strong reactions to comments here along with quality control issues over a dacade ago. "Win the Superbowl and Drive off in Hyundai" That talentless Kanye West's Gold Digger song did some damage on a subconscious level for the mainstream pop culture, American Idol-watching middle America populace.

        A certain segment of the population will buy the bottom-feeder cars from any maker based on price alone and that's great since even the cheapest cars will get better. The American buying public is fickle however, there is no nationalistic pride over here and the selection is vast so the Koreans definitely have to battle for mindshare. The Japanese have been slacking off lately in case you haven't noticed so they're in for a fight.





        • 4 Years Ago
        low...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Is safe at least.

      No joke, I can't find this car good looking. Looks like an angry melted piece of plastic.
        • 4 Years Ago
        +1
        • 4 Years Ago
        At least "angry" implies some emotion.
        Compared with the disinterested stick of sheet metal that is the Camry,
        or the somebody-save-me-from-ennui bodywork of the Accord,
        or the gee-I-hope-people-think-zoom-zoom-when-they-see-my-fenders Mazda6,
        or the I-give-up-I'm-no-longer-quirky-looking Legacy,
        or the I'm-gonna-keep-evolving-into-an-Audi-so-I-can-justify-my-price Passat,
        I don't mind a little angry.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Looks like a mix between Venza and Sebring
      • 4 Years Ago
      I can't figure out if I like this car's look or not. When I first saw it it looks very amorphous and blobby, but this shot looks pretty decent. Need to see it in person I guess.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I do have to say that cars need to be seen in person in 99.9999% of cases, Hyundai Accent is ugly anywhere you see it but most other cars need to be seen in real life.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Luis,

      I thought you wouldn't be back... LOL! Slow going in the Toyota blogs? Nothing positive to say there I'm assuming.

      We'll there's always Hyundai and Autoblog to badmouth for you... but one question. Why do you keep posting stuff here? If your so displeased with the Sonata, just ignore it. My question is why do people like you go through so much to discredit a brand new car before you even try it out?
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