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274-HP 2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T Priced From $24,145

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Hyundai almost certainly isn't the first name you think of when you think performance or luxury, but the brand is working hard to change that, most notably with the introduction of the Equus sedan for the U.S. Even its lower-range models are pushing the brand-perception envelope--the new Sonata is one of the nicest cars in its class, and the 2.0T model kicks things up a notch with the addition of a 274-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder. Pricing, announced today, starts at just $24,145.

That's a steal of a deal, though true performance geeks  will bemoan the lack of a manual transmission option. Marty Padgett noted in his first drive review for TheCarConnection, however, that the paddle-shifted auto standard on the 2.0T is capable and far prefereable to the shifter-controlled manual mode found in some competitive cars.

Solid EPA fuel economy figures (22 mpg city/33 mpg highway) plus the low base starting price puts it on solid ground against cars like the Ford Fusion V-6 and the VW Passat. That highway figure is 1 mpg below the predicted 34 mpg, however.

The 2011 Sonata 2.0T will be on sale later this year.

[Hyundai]

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Comments (4)
  1. If there's a hotter car out there what is it! Hyundai is the front runner to compete with VW, for the top overall car company in the world. GM has an eye on that distinction. Great car, one of many. Just goes to show how much damage one CEO can do, the example Toyota.
     
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  2. It's one of those cars that look really nice in the pictures. It never looked hot to me in person and a few months down the road it just started looking cheesy and typically "Korean". It will get old really quick. Maybe I'm boring but for 25K I'd just get a V6 Camry or an Accord, both of which look cool and retain their values well.
     
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  3. The design of the new Sonata came from California Design Center, not Korea.
     
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  4. The design of the new Sonata was done by an American.
     
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