Friday, June 19, 2015

Long Term Test: 2012 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T Limited post #4

Fourth update
Current mileage: 33,578

It had been a little while since I had gotten much seat time in the Sonata, so a quick jaunt up the Express Lane into the heart of downtown LA gave me a chance to reacquaint myself with the car. On the freeway, the car remains a smooth and steady cruiser with a great ride even on the notoriously uneven and grooved concrete that makes up much of the 110 Express Lane. The issue of the squeaking sunroof had been addressed and the car sounded more solid once again. Speaking of sound, I must admit that I am not a huge fan of the Infinity audio system that is in our long-term car. There is plenty of bass and if you are listening to lower quality recordings it is wholly adequate. However, even after plenty of fiddling around with the settings, the higher frequencies continue to sound slightly muddled and lack a crispness needed to cut through the overpowering bass notes. It probably does not help that the sound stage provided by the Sonata's cabin is hardly ideal given how much road and wind noise manage to seep in. It is certainly one of the noisier cabins I can remember being in, especially since it is nearly impossible to have a conversation with another passenger without needing to raise your voice at least a decibel or two.

As far as fuel economy goes, I will continue to belabor the point that I am wholly disappointed with the Sonata's thirst for fuel. It obviously does not help that where the car is housed is one of the hillier areas of Southern California, but just how far below the EPA ratings the car is performing is almost embarrassing. Right now, a romp to just about anywhere and back nets an average fuel economy somewhere around the high teens. That is around what our long-term MDX is turning in and that is a three-row SUV with a serious weight penalty on the Sonata. Worst of all, even when driven as smoothly as possible with near constant and vigilant use of the cruise control, I have yet to turn in a run that managed to top 30 mpg at any point. Staying out of the boost is not hard to do, but even driving it in full Eco mode and channeling the patience of Gandhi, I never even manage to get close to the EPA ratings. Heck, I am barely able to match the EPA numbers going down a hill. I am not sure if this is a problem with our specific car or if the problem is this bad across the board, but I certainly hope this is something that Hyundai has spent a lot of time and effort addressing in the latest version of the car.