2018 Hyundai Sonata SEL Review

Subtle But Solid Refresh

A solid contender

The Facts:

Base Price: $23,700

Engine: 2.4-liter I-4

Horsepower: 185-hp @ 6,000 rpm

Torque: 178 lbs.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm

Transmission: 6-speed automatic with manual shifting mode

Curb Weight: 3,250 lbs

0-60: 7.3 sec

MPG: 25 City / 35 Highway

Like Bread and Butter:

The Sonata is an extremely important car for Hyundai and one of their best sellers. It’s the brands bread and butter. This extremely competitive segment includes cars like the Ford Fusion, Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. Those are difficult models to go head to head with, especially with the Camry being the best-selling car in America. Hyundai does retain their little niche within this packed segment. For 2018, the Sonata received a slight update and refresh; the most notable changes include a different front fascia as well as rear lighting placement.

Models Galore:

The Sonata has a whopping seven different trim levels to choose from, in addition to three different engines and three different transmissions. We had the SEL: standard 2.4L, I-4 with a 6-speed transmission. They also have an ECO trim which has a turbocharged engine and a 7-speed dual clutch transmission. Lastly, there is a 2.0T Sport trim which is equipped with a powerful turbocharged engine and an 8-speed automatic transmission. The diversity among their lineup is only outmatched by the Ford Fusion.

Soft Like a Cloud:

The engineers did an incredible job creating the suspension. It’s a very soft ride and you don’t get jostled around even over a very bumpy road. The steering is rather numb as you would expect in a vehicle like this. If you’re looking for something sportier, I would suggest the Sport trim: it will have a different suspension tune and steering feel. Another thing to like about the Sonata is the limited amount of cabin noise at highway speeds. Even at this price point, they added a hefty about of sound proofing to keep that pesky noise down.

Those Darn Seats:

The biggest downfall for this otherwise nice model are the sub-par seats. They lack support and become uncomfortable quickly. For a car that’s designed for long drives and commuting, I was hoping they would put more thought into seating comfort. On the flip side , even the base steering wheel is covered in soft leather giving the cabin a more upscale feel.

Plenty of Tech:

Coming in at just under $24,000, the SEL Sonata trim has a lot of tech for the price, especially considering what the competition is offering. Our model has blind-spot alert, forward collision warning and laser guided cruise control with stop and go. Not bad.

Why Sonata:

With a cruising range of over 550 miles and laser guided cruise control (again, with stop and go!) for under 24k, it’s a great value. Buyers will definitely appreciate the soft, quiet ride and will behappy with the practicality and functionality of the 2018 Hyundai Sonata. Plus, if you’re looking for an even more fuel efficient model or want to add some dynamic driving to your daily commute, there will be a Sonata trim level for you.

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