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Just In: 2011 Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.0T

Consumer Reports News: December 28, 2010 11:38 AM

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We were very impressed when we recently tested a 2011 Hyundai Sonata GLS. That car stickered for $21,800. (It typically sells for quite a bit less.) It was pretty close to the bottom of the Sonata food chain, with just an automatic and a package including a power driver’s seat (highly recommended).

What happens if you go to the other extreme of Sonata-land? You wind up with a Sonata Limited with Hyundai’s 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. Hyundai doesn’t offer a V6 in the Sonata anymore, so this is the top-dog engine. (There’s a hybrid coming in January.) The Limited trim gets you a leather interior, different suspension settings, bigger wheels and tires, and a fancier stereo. (You pay more for the radio, but lose the tune knob.) We skipped navigation, leaving our car at $28,090.

First thoughts? Power comes quick and easy, but it doesn’t feel like 274 hp. It certainly doesn’t sound like the rivals’ smooth V6s, either. The fancy wheels and leather make a good-looking car even more stylish. But we’re bugged that our Sonata 2.0T pulls to the left, even when not under power. (It’s not torque steer.) Looking at the NHTSA complaint database and online forums, this seems to be a common problem, so we’ll investigate a fix.

Is a Sonata priced closer to $30,000 as compelling as a Sonata priced near $20,000? We’ll find out as we fully test it at our track in the next few weeks.

Tom Mutchler

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