Thursday, December 31, 2015

Long Term Test: 2012 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T Limited post #5

Fifth update
Current mileage: 39,578

The Sonata just narrowly escaped being replaced. My in-laws, who daily drive the car, has seriously begun looking for possible replacements, spurred by one of those things that I consider an automotive pet peeve. The Sonata, like many of its competitors of the same generation, offers electric seat adjustment, but no seat memory. It seems like a minor thing, but when multiple drivers of different heights and body shapes share a single car, the driving positions can be equally dramatically different.

With manual seat adjustment, shifting between two driving positions is surprisingly easy because one can simply count the detentes in the various adjusters. That does not work quite so well with electric seats because there is an infinite range of adjustability between the two extremes. Also, it is often the case that electric seat adjusters offer substantially greater numbers it adjustments. That means tweaking the seat to fund just the right seating position to be truly comfortable can take quite a bit of finesse and patience. Without seat memory systems, it can become a hassle to relocate that exact position that was perfect. I know it sounds trivial, but as someone who has done solidly 8 hours behind the wheel without a stop, I can honestly attest to the virtues of a truly find-tuned seat position.
And so, because of this single shortcoming, the Sonata found itself on the chopping block. The car, which has been otherwise reliable and comfortable, was to be retired because the seats lacked a much desired, but not needed position. Funny how such a trivial detail can have such a major impact on a large financial decision.

Fortunately for the Sonata, its record allowed for cooler heads to prevail and it was eventually decided that a replacement was unnecessary at the moment, though I suspect this stay off execution will be short-lived. It is only a matter of time before some other reason crops up that places the Sonata's tenure in jeopardy. Such is the fickle nature of the automotive consumer these days.

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As the final article to run here on East-West Brothers Garage for 2015, we hope you have enjoyed our content from this past year and wish you a Happy New Year. For 2016, we are looking at scaling back our publication schedule to focus on the depth and quality of content and hope you will continue to offer us your feedback.