From standing at the top of reviewers’ wish lists to earning the title of Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Hyundai Sonata has laid claim to a number of prestigious awards since its dramatic 2011 model year redesign. Perhaps most meaningful among them, however, is the Sonata’s recent AutoPacific President’s Award, given to the new sedan for its outstanding and unheard of customer satisfaction ratings.
Automotive consulting firm AutoPacific performs extensive market studies on the industry and its vehicles. For the 2011 Sonata (starting MSRP $19,195), the firm interviewed nearly 1,000 of the sedan’s new owners, surveying their thoughts and opinions on the Sonata over 48 separate categories. From performance and style to comfort and convenience, Hyundai’s drivers evaluated nearly every facet of their new vehicles, and the results were nothing short of astounding.
The newest Sonata (in GLS, SE and Limited trim levels) didn’t merely score well with its owners, it reset the record books with the highest score ever attained in the survey: 775 out of 1,000. As such, AutoPacific honored Hyundai with the first-ever President’s Award, along with the prestigious designation of having the most satisfied customers of any vehicle ever reviewed.
In a crowded class of vanilla sedans, the 2011 Sonata stands out with sleek, premium styling and powerful, modern features. Hyundai’s sedan goes bold with dramatic, high-quality sculpting, a sweeping roofline and striking available features like 18-inch alloys, chrome accents and a dual exhaust. Hyundai’s latest offers modern, European import luxury style on a midsize budget.
Drivers are more than satisfied by the Sonata’s advanced and dynamic engine choices. The standard engine is an energetic 2.4-liter Theta four-cylinder, the most powerful naturally-aspirated four in its class. With the benefit of an available six-speed automatic transmission (or a standard six-speed manual) and Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing, Hyundai’s Theta reaches 200 hp and 186 lb/ft of torque while achieving an impressive 35 highway mpg. The end of this year promises the release of the automaker’s first-ever hybrid powertrain, which blends the 2.4-liter with an electric motor to achieve up to 39 mpg.
For higher trims, instead of the conventional V6 upgrade used by the competition, the 2011 Sonata integrates a revolutionary 2.0-liter, twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder. The four not only overpowers offerings from Honda, Toyota and Nissan, with 274 hp and 269 lb/ft of torque), it also sports better fuel economy (up to 33 mpg). Hyundai’s sport-tuned SE trim complements its dynamic engine with a modified performance suspension and bigger, stiffer stabilizer bars for tighter turning and less body roll through curves.
Another hit with drivers and reviewers alike is the Sonata’s impressively refined and spacious interior. Sleek and modern as its exterior overhaul, the cabin of the newest sedan delivers an exceptional mixture of premium amenities, modern luxury and convenient technology. Depending on model, the Sonata features available heated leather upholstery (sport seats in the SE trim), an integrated navigation system, a rearview camera, Bluetooth connectivity and a premium Infinity® audio system.
With its ultra-strong unibody construction, the newest Sonata also ranks highly when it comes to safety, both amongst consumers and independent review boards. All trims come standard with electronic stability control, traction control, four-wheel antilock brakes (with electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist) and six standard airbags. And with the addition of standard child seat anchors, active head restraints and daytime running lights, there’s little question as to why the 2011 Sonata earned the IIHS’ coveted Top Safety Pick award.
With its impressive style, performance and luxury, the 2011 Hyundai is highly regarded by reviewers and review boards alike. Its most meaningful ratings, however, are those of its supremely satisfied drivers. See why Sonata drivers ranked their vehicles higher than any others ever tested by AutoPacific.