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2011 Hyundai Sonata Review

After a full redesign, the automotive press agreed that the 2011 Hyundai Sonata was a top contender in its class. The Sonata’s bold styling, spacious, well-equipped interior and high safety scores should appeal to a wide array of used car shoppers.

Pros & Cons

  • Dramatic styling
  • High safety scores
  • Well-equipped, roomy interior
  • Some complaints of inexpensive cloth seat upholstery




Critics' Rating: 9.5
Performance: 8.2
Interior: 8.7
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.3
Safety: 8.9
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2011 Hyundai Sonata Overview

Reviewers said the 2010 Hyundai Sonata was a run-of-the-mill midsize car with bland looks, but the revamped 2011 Sonata received a lot of positive press. Test drivers liked its dramatic styling, long list of standard features, spacious interior and fuel-efficient four-cylinder engines. The Sonata’s high safety scores help make it a solid choice among used midsize cars.

Despite all the praise, the 2011 Sonata has a few flaws. Reviewers said the base model’s cloth seats felt low-quality, and suggested shoppers go for models with leather seats. Although the majority of test drivers liked the base engine’s strong acceleration, one test driver mentioned that the engine was particularly noisy.

The 2011 Hyundai Sonata comes with either a four-cylinder or turbocharged four-cylinder engine. A six-speed manual or automatic transmission transmits power to the front wheels. The base Sonata gets up to 24/35 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class. Standard features include keyless entry, cruise control, a six-speaker stereo, satellite radio, Bluetooth and USB connection. Push-button start, leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control and navigation were all available as options or on higher trim levels when the Sonata was new. On the safety front, six airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control and traction control are all standard on the 2011 Sonata.

See the full 2011 Hyundai Sonata specs »

Other Cars to Consider

Reviewers said the 2011 Sonata’s handling struck a nice balance between soft and sporty. If engaging handling is high on your must-have list, you should test drive the 2011 Mazda6. Reviewers said it was one of the most fun-to-drive cars in its class, thanks to its lively handling and good steering. In addition to its stand-out looks, the 2011 Mazda6 also offers all the practicality and space that families need.

When the 2011 Honda Accord was new, test drivers liked its smooth, powerful available V6 engine and massive interior space. The Accord sedan has a smaller trunk than many rivals, including the Sonata, and reviewers said its exterior styling was bland and starting to show its age. If bold looks are important to you, the 2011 Sonata is probably the better choice. 

Compare the Sonata to the Mazda6 and Accord »

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