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8.8

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.2
Performance: 7.6
Interior: 8.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.1
Safety: 9.7
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Hyundai Sonata Review

The 2016 Hyundai Sonata ranks near the top of the affordable midsize car class. This Hyundai has a comfortable ride, an upscale interior, user-friendly features, as well as great safety and reliability ratings.

Pros & Cons

  • Good fuel economy
  • Spacious interior
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Trunk opening is rather narrow

New for 2016

  • Standard 7-inch touch screen
  • Standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Brake assist added to forward collision warning

2016 Hyundai Sonata Overview

Is the 2016 Hyundai Sonata a Good Used Car?

The Hyundai Sonata is one of the few midsize cars that get nearly everything right. The Sonata has a smooth, comfortable ride – even over bumpy pavement. Its cabin is spacious and features quality materials. Its engines are muscular yet fuel-efficient, and it rates well for reliability. All in all, the Sonata deserves consideration if you’re shopping for a used car. We review the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid separately.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve researched 24 Hyundai Sonata reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2016 Hyundai Sonata?

You can expect to pay between $10,900 and $19,000 for a used 2016 Sonata. These figures are based on more than 2,100 listings for the 2016 Hyundai Sonata on our site. The average price is just under $14,000. Prices will vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Cost to Own?

The Sonata’s ownership costs are about average for the midsize car class. Over five years, you can expect to pay around $21,300 for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance – or about $4,300 per year. By comparison, the ownership costs of the 2016 Sonata Hybrid are about $18,100 over five years. Most of these savings stem from the hybrid’s higher fuel economy ratings.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Sonata?

The 2018 Sonata starts at around $22,050. That’s an attractive price for a new midsize car, but it’s still about $8,000 more than the average price for a 2016 Sonata. Going with a used Sonata should save you considerably on upfront costs, and you’ll get similar performance and fuel economy. Both the 2016 and 2018 models feature the same engines. That said, there are a few perks to buying new. The 2018 Sonata has a refreshed exterior, which you may find more attractive. A new vehicle will also have longer warranty coverage, and since you’ll be the first owner, you won’t have to worry about a questionable maintenance history.

Read about the new Hyundai Sonata »

If you can step down a class size, you might want to consider the compact 2018 Hyundai Elantra. A new Elantra starts at about $17,000, but Hyundai often offers cash back deals that knock the MSRP down to around the same price as the average used 2016 Sonata. The Elantra has less rear head- and legroom than the Sonata, and its engines aren’t as zippy, but it earns better fuel economy while offering many of the same infotainment and safety features.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Hyundai Sonata?

The 2016 Hyundai Sonata earns an above-average predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power. The Toyota Camry tops the class with a perfect score of five.

Read more about Sonata reliability »

2016 Hyundai Sonata Recalls

At the time of this writing, there are five safety recalls for the 2016 Sonata. One involves a faulty switch that can cause the parking brake light to go on and off intermittently. Another addresses a faulty warning light for the anti-lock braking system. Two recalls cover issues with the driver’s airbag. A fifth recall addresses issues with the sunroof, which could detach at higher speeds. Before buying a used Hyundai Sonata, make sure these recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Hyundai Sonata safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Hyundai Sonata Is Best?

The Hyundai Sonata's seventh generation began with the 2015 model. It’s a great pick if you’re shopping for a used Sonata, but the 2016 model is an even better starting point. The 2016 Sonata benefits from additional standard features, including a larger 7-inch touch screen and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Both are available for the 2015 Sonata via software updates, but only on select trim levels. The 2016 Sonata also added available automatic emergency braking. There were no major updates for the 2017 Sonata. All three of these models rate well in reliability.

You can save more money by shopping for 2013 and 2014 Sonatas, which also rate well for reliability. However, these models offer lower fuel economy, fewer advanced safety features, and more-sedate exterior and interior styling.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Sonata »

Which Used Hyundai Sonata Model Is Right for Me?

The Sonata is available in six trim levels: SE, Sport, Eco, Limited, Sport 2.0T, and Limited 2.0T. The base model Hyundai Sonata SE has a 7-inch touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite radio, Bluetooth, remote keyless entry, alloy wheels, and a rearview camera. That’s an excellent array of standard features, and it makes the SE model a great buy.

The Sport trim doesn’t add much, aside from a few exterior accents. The Sonata Eco, however, comes with a turbocharged engine that feels peppier and returns better fuel economy. You'll find the best features in the Limited and 2.0T trims, which come standard with leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, and blind spot monitoring. Only the Limited and Limited 2.0T trims are available with active safety features like forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, and lane departure warning.

See 2016 Hyundai Sonata trims and specs »

Certified Pre-Owned Hyundai Sonata Warranty

Certified pre-owned Hyundai vehicles receive the balance of the original new-car, 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Hyundai CPO vehicles must pass a 150-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read Hyundai’s warranty page carefully. The model's original sale date determines whether it is eligible for the CPO program.

Hyundai has one of the lowest-rated CPO programs among nonluxury brands. Better bets are the CPO programs offered by Honda and Mazda.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Sonata?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Hyundai Sonata a 2016 Top Safety Pick+. The sedan received perfect scores in all areas tested. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Sonata a perfect five-star rating for overall, front, and side impact safety, as well as four stars for rollover safety.

All 2016 Sonatas come standard with a rearview camera. Available features include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, forward collision warning with brake assist, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and rear parking sensors.

See Sonata safety scores »

2016 Hyundai Sonata Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Hyundai Sonata or 2016 Mazda6?

Those seeking a bit of fun behind the wheel will prefer the Mazda6 to the Sonata. It's one of the best performers in the class, thanks to its responsive steering and agile handling on twisty roads. Its four-cylinder engine produces fine acceleration, and it earns slightly better fuel economy estimates than the Sonata does. That said, the Mazda6 isn’t as comfortable on rough roads, and it has a lower predicted reliability rating.

Which Is Better: 2016 Hyundai Sonata or 2016 Honda Accord?

The Honda Accord is another attractive used car pick. The Accord has a luxe interior, refined driving dynamics, and excellent fuel economy. Like the Sonata, it’s available with many advanced safety features. Ultimately though, the Honda has a lower predicted reliability rating and higher projected ownership costs. Stick with the Hyundai.

Which Is Better: 2016 Hyundai Sonata or 2016 Kia Optima?

The Kia Optima is the corporate cousin of the Sonata. Both cars have the same transmission and engine options, as well as the same active safety features. Both also rate well for crash safety, earn great fuel economy ratings, and offer comparable ownership costs. In the end, the differences are few and far between, but the Sonata offers more standard tech features, and its cabin is a bit roomier. Both are fine used car options.

Compare the Sonata, Mazda6, and Accord »

2016 Sonata Performance

How Does the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Drive?

The 2016 Sonata has three engine options. The Sonata SE, Sport, and Limited models have a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 185 horsepower. The Sonata 2.0T models have a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 245 horsepower, and the Sonata Eco has a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder with 178 horsepower. A six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard. Eco models have a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic.

All three engines scoot the Sonata up to speed with confidence, but the two turbocharged engines offer better passing power at highway speeds. The six-speed automatic changes gears smoothly and responds briskly when pressing the gas pedal. The dual-clutch transmission is even quicker, but it tends to jerk and shudder in stop-and-go driving. All Sonatas benefit from a soft, comfortable ride – even over rough pavement. The brakes slow the sedan assertively, and the steering is precise, albeit a little too light at highway speeds.

Does the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Get Good Gas Mileage?

The Sonata Eco gets 28 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, which make it one of the most fuel-efficient nonhybrid cars in its class. The Sonata’s 2.4-liter engine also gets respectable fuel economy estimates of 25/36 mpg city/highway. The turbocharged 2.0-liter engine gets 22/31 mpg, which is still fine by class standards.

Read more about Sonata performance »

2016 Sonata Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 Sonata Seat?

The Hyundai Sonata has five seats. The front seats are soft, supportive, and provide generous head- and legroom. The rear seats can accommodate even tall passengers with room to spare. Cloth upholstery is standard; leather is available, as are heated and ventilated seats. The Sonata’s cabin is well-insulated, and it remains hushed at highway speeds. Material quality is excellent and rivals that of some luxury cars.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Hyundai Sonata?

The Sonata has two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child safety seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Sonata's LATCH system a Marginal rating for ease of use – the second lowest score – because its lower anchors are located deep in the seats and can be difficult to maneuver around.

2016 Hyundai Sonata Features

All 2016 Sonatas come with a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a CD player, a USB port, Bluetooth, satellite radio, a rearview camera, and keyless entry. Available features include a navigation system, a sunroof, and dual-zone climate control. Hyundai’s touch-screen infotainment system is one of the best on the market, and it benefits from user-friendly menus and quick response times. It also has redundant buttons and knobs for easily adjusting the air conditioning and audio settings.

See 2016 Hyundai Sonata specs »

Read more about Sonata interior »

2016 Hyundai Sonata Dimensions

Hyundai Sonata Cargo Space

The Sonata has 16.3 cubic feet of trunk space, which is more than many of its competitors. However, its trunk opening is rather narrow, making it tough to fit larger items.

2016 Sonata Length and Weight

The 2016 Hyundai Sonata is 15.9 feet long and has a curb weight ranging from 3,250 pounds for 2.4-liter four-cylinder models to 3,589 pounds for models with the 2.0-liter turbo engine.

Where Was the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Built?

The 2016 Hyundai Sonata was built in Montgomery, Alabama, at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama. The Hyundai Elantra is also assembled there.

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