Race Test: 2012 Hyundai Sonata Raises the Bar

Race Review of the 2012 Hyundai Sonata by Tony West and Jamar Lee

2012 Hyundai Sonata
2012 Hyundai Sonata

The new 2012 Hyundai Sonata is definitely a step in the right direction. It rounds out an impressive mid sized car class Hyundai redesigned in 2011. The inside and the outside of the Hyundai Sonata is impressive at first glance. Of course it’s not as luxurious or eye catching as its Uncle Equus, or its Aunt Genesis. But it’s way better than its cousin the Hyundai Accent. After being very pleased with the 2012 Genesis, I was optimistic about the 2012 Sonata.

Even more surprising, the performance of the Sonata gets high marks from everyone who reviewed it. The 2.4 liter 4-cylinder engine gives 198 horsepower and 184 feet lb of torque. The sleeker body style also allows the Sonata to have better pickup and greater pull. Since the 2012 Hyundai Sonata is also lighter, accelerating from 0-60 mph feels effortless – approximately 8.1 seconds of ease.

Interior Dash of the 2012 Hyundai Sonata
Interior Dash of the 2012 Hyundai Sonata

For a moment though, let’s forget about the sleeker design, the heated seat options, the 6-speaker satellite radio, the navigation, the TCS, ABS, EBD, and the ESC. The true test of whether the new Sonata has swag is with a true race enthusiast, Mark Basso, President and Founder of the Autobahn Country Club of Joliet.

Basso, who owns America’s Premier Motorsports Club, is a devout race enthusiast who has his pick of Porsche, BMW, and Audi to take on his afternoon laps. But what would he think about racing the Hyundai Sonata?

Mark Basso hot lapping  the 2012 Hyundai Sonata
Mark Basso hot lapping the 2012 Hyundai Sonata

“I was surprised at how fast it got,” reacted Auto Correspondent Jamar Lee, who was riding with Basso. And though Mark Basso loves to race his 2012 Cadillac CTSV on the track, he had nothing but great things to say about whipping the the Sonata at 70mph and beyond, reacting, “That was surprisingly peppy!”

My only criticism for the Sonata is that with all its innovations, it cost a pretty penny for gas. It cost me nearly $50 dollars for ½ a tank of gas. At a time when gas prices may pique at $5.00 a gallon, that Sonata’s low sticker price may be compensated by how much a city dweller would spend on gas every year.

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