The Car You'd Have Never Bet They Could Build: The 2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T

Side view of 2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T
The 2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T.

The evolution of the Hyundai Sonata has been an amazing thing to watch.  Seven years ago, this was a car that, if handed the keys to one at the rental desk, you'd ask for a free upgrade and seriously consider paying for that upgrade if that was what it took.  Now it's sleek, stylish, well-made and has a model called the Sport 2.0T.

Rear 3/4 view of 2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T
2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T.
The Sport 2.0T takes all the goodness we told you about in our review of the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Limited and shifts the emphasis from luxury to sport.  The 185-horsepower 2.4-liter four in the Limited gives way to a 245-horsepower 2.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged four, and in this car, 60 horsepower makes a very noticeable difference.

There's not much of a penalty to pay for that performance in fuel economy, either.  The EPA city estimate drops one single MPG from 24 to 23, while the highway number dips three, from 35 to 32.  Still...very strong fuel economy numbers for a midsize with some considerable oomph.

The base price of $28,575 gets you that powerplant and a six-speed automatic with paddle shifters, 18-inch alloy wheels, HID headlights and LED taillights, a rear diffuser with quad exhaust tips, chrome exterior door handles with welcome lights, a hands-free smart trunk opener, proximity key entry with pushbutton start, sport leather seating surfaces with heated front seats, a power driver's seat with lumbar support, a leather-wrapped shift knob with D-cut steering wheel, tilt & telescoping steering wheel with cruise, audio and phone controls, dual automatic temperature control with rear vents, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with compass and HomeLink, aluminum pedals and premium door sill plates, a 5-inch color touchscreen audio display and an AM/FM/CD/SiriusXM audio system with Bluetooth, USB, iPod and auxilary jacks as well as Hyundai's Blue Link telematics system.

Interior view of 2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T
2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T interior.
Which would be one complete car right there, still on the sweet side of 30 large.  But the folks in Hyundai's press fleet went all the way, adding the Ultimate Package.  That's a panoramic sunroof, high-gloss window surrounds, smart cruise control with start/stop capability (one of the best systems out there right now, and amazing in this segment and price class), lane departure warning, forward collision warning, electronic parking brake with automatic vehicle hold, automatic high beam assist, rear parking assistance system, electroluminescent gauges with a 4.2-inch LCD display, integrated memory system for driver's seat and mirrors, a six-way power passenger's seat, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, rear side window sunshades, a navigation system with an 8-inch touchscreen, an upgraded audio system with HDRadio, Infinity speakers with subwoofer and a 400 watt amplifier, SiriusXM TravelLink and LED interior lights.

That's $4950.  And yes, that's 50 bucks shy of 5 grand, which is a shade under one-sixth of the base price of the car. But it transforms the Sonata.  It gets you things that seven years ago, you had to buy a $55,000 Audi to get.  And with $125 for carpeted floor mats and $810 for inland freight and handling, the bottom line is:

$34,640. Smack-dab in the zone for mid-size family sedans, let alone ones with a serious fun potential and upgrades that aren't common yet in the segment.  The Sonata Sport 2.0T is a winner.