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Sunday, March 22, 2015

2015 Honda CR-V - Review

PRICE : For 2015 Honda CR-V $23320 

The 2015 Honda CR-V is kind of like a carton of Tropicana orange juice. Now, don't assume we're being disparaging here. Sure, there are enticing beverage alternatives -- maybe there's even an impartial, o.j.-reviewing Web site out there that trumpets their virtues -- but a whole lot of people still go with this tried-and-true juice. The CR-V appeals because it's a product you can count on year after year.

As it happens, the CR-V has been refreshed for 2015, offering more mpg, fresh features and even a few styling tweaks. The juice, in other words, is smoother and sweeter than ever. The headline this year is the CR-V's revised 2.4-liter engine that's paired with a CVT (essentially, the engine/transmission combo you get in the Accord). The result is a little more torque and a lot more fuel efficiency. With an EPA-estimated 29 mpg combined with front-wheel drive, the 2015 CR-V is 3 mpg better than last year's model and among the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid crossovers on the market. On the outside, Honda has added LED running lights and new front and rear fascias, while the interior benefits from extended touchscreen availability, mildly improved materials and a more traditional center console design. There's also a top-of-the-line Touring trim, which comes with extra luxuries and advanced safety systems.

Still, this Honda's appeal lies largely in what was already there. The CR-V practically invented the genre with its high driving position and carlike handling, and the current model adds a particularly spacious backseat and cargo hold to the mix, the latter enhanced by a nifty spring-loaded mechanism that folds each rear seat at the pull of a lever. Low ownership costs and high resale value further bolster the CR-V's credentials.

Of course, Honda isn't the only company fielding a highly popular small crossover. The 2015 Toyota RAV4 is also excellent at meeting the needs of crossover shoppers. If you want something with a little more personality, we recommend the athletic-handling 2015 Ford Escape or 2015 Mazda CX-5. The Escape also offers an engine upgrade if you want more power, as do the 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, the 2015 Jeep Cherokee and the 2015 Subaru Forester. But for a great many households, this Honda, which earns a top spot in our 2015 SUV Buying Guide as well as an "A" overall rating, will hold more overall appeal than the alternatives.


With an all-new powertrain that delivers more torque, better performance and more refinement, plus available new premium features, the 2015 CR-V is both more ruggedly athletic and smarter. These themes are expressed in the compact SUV’s exterior styling with design changes to the front and rear, the mirrors and wheels. The overall impression these changes provide is aggressive and bold with a wide, solid and planted look, accentuated by premium details and features for a unique Honda style. Available exterior features include brilliant LED daytime running lights (DRL), LaneWatch™ and distinctive 18-inch alloy wheels. Included in the changes is a power tailgate on the new Touring trim, a first for the CR-V.

The bold front fascia’s unified design blends the solid grill and upper air intake with the four-lamp, multi-reflector halogen headlight arrays in a smart upward sweep. This dynamic grill shape is inverted below by the aggressive-looking lower air intake/skid plate design, in contrasting silver, and fog light pods to create a deep, multi-dimensional look. Commanding horizontal lines at the rear and the contrasting silver colored skid plate design continue the wide, planted look of the new CR-V. The 2015 CR-V’s body retains the aerodynamic efficiencies of the previous version, with numerous design elements such as a long roofline and integrated rear spoiler that assist in producing a low coefficient of drag. The EX-L and Touring trims are equipped with roof rails that start at the A-pillars and sweep along the roofline toward the rear end of the vehicle (available as an accessory on CR-V LX and EX). These rails provide an attachment point for an accessory rack, while also providing a dramatic visual element. The rails are fully functional, with three anchor points per side. The Touring trim also receives special badging with black debossing on a chrome background.

Both the 17-inch wheels, on EX and EX-L trims, and the 18-inch Touring trim wheels—both aluminum alloy—have offset multi-spoke aero designs that imply movement even at a standstill and accentuate their large diameter. The angular cast-surface of the 17-inch wheels sport a silver monotone color, while the 18-inch alloy wheels have a sharp-cut style with a gloss black and brush aluminum-like finish. Both the 17- and 18-inch wheels are 7 inches wide, 0.5 inches wider than the previous CR-V’s 17-inch wheels. The LX model rides on 16-inch, five-spoke steel wheels.

When the doors are open, the side-sill garnish covering the rocker panel creates a more direct pathway to the ground when entering or exiting the vehicle. This design creates a lower step-over distance for better comfort and a reduction in the likelihood of leg contact with the side of the vehicle.

Distinctive multi-reflector halogen headlights grace the 2015 CR-V. On EX and higher trims, the headlight arrays include a dramatic and premium-looking Light Emitting Diode (LED) daytime running light (DRL) strip. For the LX trim, the halogen low beams serve double-duty as the DRL. The top-of-the-line Touring trim has multi-reflector and projector headlights, together with LED DRLs for a brilliant and sophisticated look. All headlights include an auto-off feature with EX and above trims also including auto-on capability. Fog lights are included on EX and above trims. The CR-V’S taillight array features incandescent taillights and outboard brake lights, and attention-grabbing LED illumination for the Center High Mount Stop Lamp (CHMSL) that is embedded in the rear spoiler.

Newly-designed power side mirrors have a complementary horizontal design and are aerodynamically optimized to reduce wind noise and minimize turbulence. Side mirror housings on the CR-V LX model are black and those on the EX and above trims have a body-colored upper and black lower. The Expanded View Driver’s Mirror is standard with passenger side Honda LaneWatch™ included on EX and above trims. The CR-V EX-L and Touring trims add heated side mirrors and the Touring trim also adds integrated turn indicators. The side mirrors can be manually folded in for greater convenience in tight parking situations. For more information on the Expanded View Driver’s Mirror and Honda LaneWatch™, see the Safety and Driver Assistance section.

For the first time on a CR-V, the 2015 model includes the convenience of an available power tailgate. On the CR-V Touring trim, the tailgate can be effortlessly opened and closed by pressing buttons in the vehicle or on the remote smart fob. An interior power tailgate "open/close" button is located on the front console to the left of the steering wheel and a "close" button is positioned on the underside of the tailgate that is accessible with the tailgate open. The remote smart fob also has an "open/close" button. A manual exterior "open" button is located under the tailgate handle. The tailgate can be manually closed at any time during open or close operation. As a safety feature, the tailgate has an auto-detection system that will reverse direction if it detects an obstruction (in the form of resistance against the tailgate drive motor). The power tailgate’s drive unit is located within the left D-pillar.

On the CR-V LX, EX, and EX-L trims, the manual tailgate features twin gas-charged hydraulic struts that ease opening and a single pull-down handle located on the right side. The tailgate can be unlocked with the remote or by pressing a button inside the driver’s door.

The tailgate has a 360-degree gasket for a tight seal against the intrusion of water, dirt and wind noise. In addition, the rear aperture of the CR-V body is specially reinforced to strengthen the tailgate opening, which is the largest opening on the vehicle body. This increased rigidity at this critical location improves ride and handling, as well as interior quietness. The tailgate automatically locks whenever the CR-V is locked.


The CR-V is renowned for its comfortable, spacious and versatile cabin with exceptional cargo carrying capacity and intuitive control layout. To further improve the CR-V interior, a number of changes were made for 2015 to increase visual appeal, convenience and control. Primary among these are the addition of the standard configurable center console with adjustable armrest and rear-facing ventilation ducts, along with premium styling refinements and the first CR-V application of Honda’s 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen telematics interface on EX and above trims.

Added to the CR-V’s already sophisticated styling is chrome and bright silver accents that highlight the complimentary lines of the interior, depending upon grade. Chrome plating or chrome trim around such items as the steering wheel-mounted controls, vent knobs and door levers, on EX and above grades, add a more luxurious look. Bright silver accents around console panels, vents and other surfaces add visual contrast and a high-tech look. On the LX and EX trims, the sweeping full-length console garnish is in deep bright silver, with EX-L and Touring grades getting a premium two-tone wood grain treatment with chrome accent trim. Adding to the contrast of the interior’s high-grade surfaces and stylish lines are the gray and beige color schemes that feature light-colored fabric against black accents, such as on the center console and door armrests. Seat trim and door panel materials have been upgraded with a smooth embossed textured fabric and upscale perforated leather that exude a well-tailored, high quality feel. Standard on all trims is the newly designed configurable center console that not only adds storage versatility but more comfort with its broad, sliding armrest, while also conveying a more luxurious appearance. On EX and above grades, the inclusion of the intuitive 7-inch Display Audio adds technological sophistication.

For 2015 the CR-V retains the three interior colors of black, gray and beige from the previous model. To provide more interior contrast on gray and beige options, the fabric on the seats and doors is colored differently than the other surfaces.

The CR-V has always offered a unique combination of virtues that continue to define the compact SUV segment: relatively small exterior dimensions for easy urban maneuvering, excellent fuel efficiency, and a roomy, accommodating interior that offers great cargo carrying versatility. The 2015 CR-V carries on in that same tradition with an interior that has a spacious feel, lots of storage space and Easy Fold-Down 60/40 Split Rear Seat that combines with a low lift-in and load floor to provide cargo loading convenience.

The “smart interface” design of the 2015 CR-V’s interior means instruments and controls are oriented to the driver for quick readability and easy, natural access. Key design features include large analog instrumentation complemented with an Information Display on the LX trim or Multi-Information Display (MID) on EX and above trims. The Information Display or MID are positioned in the interior of the analog speedometer. A color “intelligent” Multi-Information Display (i-MID) placed high in the central part of the instrument panel within the driver’s line of sight is included on all trims. CR-V EX and above trims feature the 7-inch touchscreen Display Audio that is conveniently positioned for either the driver or front passenger to control. The final element of the CR-V’s smart interface approach is its steering wheel mounted controls. By allowing the driver to operate a range of features without taking their hands off the wheel, distraction potential can be reduced in certain situations. For more information see the Audio and Telematics section. See the Audio and Telematics section for more information about the Information Display, MID, i-MID and Display Audio.

All CR-Vs include multiple sets of steering wheel-mounted controls, including intuitive and easy-to-operate radial controls. Depending upon trim level, up to four sets of buttons allow convenient and easy operation of the MID, i-MID, Display Audio and features such as the audio system, Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® and navigation system.

The CR-V uses clean and simple analog instrumentation with a sophisticated and technical appearance. The centrally positioned speedometer is the largest feature on the instrument panel. It is complemented by a central LED Multi-Information Display (MID) screen that is controlled using the Select/Reset knob positioned just above and to the right of the speedometer. The display provides a range of information, trip computer functions and safety and driver-assistive indicators.

The CR-V's instrumentation uses a progressive illumination sequence when the driver enters the vehicle. When the door is opened, the instrumentation is illuminated at 10 percent of its full brightness. When the key is put in the ignition (encircled with an illuminated ring) or when the push-button start button is depressed, the instrument illumination ramps up to 100 percent. When the ignition is turned on, the illuminated instrument needles and enunciator lights come on, indicating all systems are go.

To maximize convenience and utility, the CR-V’s interior has a wide range of storage features including the newly designed center console. The generously sized front console now has four distinct compartments. The front section of the console has three open sections, all with a non-slip rubberized material to help keep items in place. A smaller section to the front left is perfect for items such as loose change or a parking stub. A longer, shallow section to the rear left nicely fits a wallet or smart phone and is placed so a charger lead will reach from the power outlet in the covered rear compartment. A long and deeper section to the right of the open area includes two partitions that can be rotated or removed, allowing for multiple compartment configurations, including a mode for holding two beverage containers of various diameters, and a mode for storing a tablet PC. The rear compartment is covered by a wide, flip-up and sliding armrest with 2.4 inches of fore-aft travel. The covered compartment includes a 12-volt power outlet and a USB port; a second USB port is included on EX and above trims. An additional power outlet is located at the front of the console. The front of the covered compartment has cable pass-throughs for charging/audio cables. Compartments in each door panel provide additional space for small items and also include bottle holders. In the rear seating area, a flip-down center armrest includes two beverage holders.

The CR-V is designed to offer cargo capability to suit the needs of active owners. The CR-V has 35.3 cubic ft. of cargo space behind the rear seats and a volume of 70.9 cu-ft. with the rear seats down. For easy loading, the CR-V has a lift-in height that is among the lowest in the class. For maximum cargo capacity, the Easy Fold-Down 60/40 Split Rear Seat can be quickly lowered, creating a nearly flat load floor. The load area is sized to accept large suitcases stored vertically, four golf bags or a stroller (rear seats upright), or two mountain bikes (rear seats folded).

A generously sized elastic storage net and well is located on the left side of the cargo area for holding small items securely. In addition, four “D” rings for tying down cargo are located on the cargo area floor. The front “D” rings are chromed for an attractive finished appearance. The CR-V also includes a retractable cargo cover that can hide items stored in the cargo area behind the second-row seats. The cover and mechanism can be quickly removed and stowed on the floor. Located underneath the cargo floor is a temporary spare tire and vehicle jack.

Easy Fold-Down 60/40 Split Rear Seat

For superior rear passenger comfort and cargo carrying versatility, the CR-V has a One-Motion 60/40 Split Rear Seat. With supportive padding, reclining seatbacks and a flat floor with plenty of legroom, the backseat offers a high level of passenger comfort. But if cargo carrying is a priority, the seats can be quickly lowered to provide a large cargo deck. Each side of the split-folding seat is operated independently via an easily accessible release handle, one on each side of the cargo area. There is also a release strap for each seat that’s accessible from each rear door. A single pull on either the handle or strap stows the seat completely, by automatically tilting the seat base forward, lowering the outboard head restraint and folding the seatback forward. The process only takes seconds. To put the seats up, simply raise the backrest, flip up the head restraint and swing the seat base back into position.


Price:$ 23320 (Est.)
Horsepower @ RPM:185 @ 6400
Torque @ RPM:181 @ 3900
Energy:Direct Injection
Displacement:2.4 L
0-60 time:8.8 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:112 mph (Est.)
Layout:Front Engine; FWD, AWD


The 2015 Honda CR-V is offered in four trim levels: the base LX, the mid-level EX, a slightly nicer EX-L, and a new top-of-the-range Touring version that's been added this year.

While it's not a trendsetter in feature offerings, Honda has put considerable effort into adding equipment at each trim level to improve its perceived value for money. None of the basics are missing, and mid-level trims this year offer more standard features than before, though to add the latest electronic safety systems, you have to step up to the top-level Touring model.

The base CR-V LX can be distinguished by its black door mirrors and door handles; it's the only model where those items aren't body color. It  includes air conditioning, cruise control, a tilting and telescoping steering wheel with integrated controls, Bluetooth pairing, a pair of 12-Volt power outlets, and there are two new addition to all models for 2015: rear-seat heating and air-conditioning ducts, and extendable sun visors. Honda only expects 1 in 20 CR-Vs to be ordered with the base trim, however.

The popular mid-level EX and the slightly fancier EX-L will represent the bulk of sales, adding the most popular options in carefully calibrated packages. For 2015, the LaneWatch system that shows a video image of the car's right-hand blind spot when the driver uses the right turn signal is standard on the EX and above, as are LED daytime running lights in the headlamps. The EX also gets a 10-way power adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, keyless entry and pushbutton start. Other EX upgrades include a sunroof, 17-inch alloy wheels, a second USB jack, a security system and cargo cover, and variable-speed wipers.

This year, the audio system sports a new, larger 7-inch touchscreen display. As before, it can handle SMS texting (reading and pre-set replying) and has a Pandora app, with the screen capable of displaying cover art, turn-by-turn directions, and trip computer data. You also have the option to display wallpaper (your personal pictures).

The EX-L adds leather on the seats and steering wheel, a dual-zone climate control system, satellite radio, a heated side mirror, an upgraded audio system, and new this year, an auto-dimming rear-view mirrors. Then the EX-L Navi model adds an in-dash navigation system, plus HD Radio.

The new top-of-the-line CR-V Touring trim starts at $33,600, almost $10,000 more than the base LX model. It adds larger 18-inch alloy wheels, a power tailgate, memory for the driver's seat position, and a suite of new active-safety systems: adaptive cruise control, Lane Departure Warning, Lane-Keeping Assist, Forward Collision Warning, and Collision Mitigation Braking. It also has turn-signal lights built into its door mirrors, the HomeLink system, and special badging. Oddly, even the highest-end Touring still has a manually adjustable front passenger seat. 


Standard Equipment :

A strong value statement, the new CR-V's LX base model includes (inhale): air conditioning, power windows, power locks, cruise control, a tilt/telescoping steering column, steering wheel-mounted controls, a multi-function center console, the 2.4-liter engine with CVT, 60/40-split fold-down rear seat, 160-watt 4-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, a USB interface, exterior temperature indicator, Smart Key/Start, rear A/C vents, and sliding sun visors (exhale). Standard safety features include dual-stage front airbags, front side airbags, side-curtain airbags with rollover sensor, Vehicle Stability Assist, Electronic Brake Distribution, Brake Assist and a multi-angle rearview camera – the latter is standard on all Honda vehicles for 2015.

Optional Equipment :

The CR-V EX adds speed-sensitive and variable-intermittent wipers, auto-on headlights, fog lights, a security system, 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, a power moonroof, 6-speaker audio, and a variety of trim items. The EX-L adds leather, dual-zone A/C, automatic climate control, roof rails, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, heated mirrors, XM radio, and 7-speaker audio. The Touring trim adds 18-inch alloy wheels, HomeLink, mirror turn signals, driver memory seat, a power tailgate, and Honda's Collision Mitigation Braking System. The choices of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, or navigation, are built into the trim levels.


The 2015 Honda CR-V has a new and updated powertrain, largely to boost its fuel economy ratings. But like its predecessors, its performance largely fits its mission. It's perfectly adequate for families, without any fancy V-6 or turbocharged engine. If it has a flaw, it's that the entire driving experience is more than a little lacking in excitement.

The 2015 CR-V stays with the traditional 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, but it is an EarthDreams direct-injected unit, rated this year at an unchanged 185 horsepower and but a slightly higher 181 lb-ft of torque.

New this year, though, the engine drives the front wheels or all four wheels through a continuously-variable transmission (CVT). This new unit replaces Honda's old five-speed automatic. As CVTs go, it's in the middle of the pack--not as whiny and howly as some, but not truly best in class. (For 2015, we tend to think Subaru has the best mass-market CVTs, due to control software that actually mimics the behavior of an automatic under certain circumstances.)

Honda's throttle is now a "drive-by-wire" system that analyzes what the driver is asking for and controls the powertrain management software accordingly. You'd never know it, though: Press the pedal, and the CR-V accelerates on cue, with smooth power delivery. There's none of what the car magazines used to call "neck-snapping acceleration," but few family vehicles offer that and their drivers likely wouldn't use it anyway.

The quest for ever-rising fuel economy means that the 2015 CR-V comes with an "Econ" button like the rest of the Honda range, complete with green leaf outline. Press it, and everything gets slightly slower, and the ventilation gets a bit more sluggish. It's tolerable, however, unlike earlier Econ settings on other Honda models that felt almost dangerously slow.

The CR-V handles safely and predictably, but its soft suspension and tall tire sidewalls are there for the benefit of ride quality, not for hustling through winding canyon roads. The electric power steering is the only letdown; it's not quite as nicely weighted as other systems, and requires frequent small adjustments on some types of roads.

The all-wheel-drive (AWD) system is aimed more at all-weather security than any kind of real off-roading. It'll get you to a campsite or the head of a hiking trail, but its strength is on snow-covered roads and slippery mud. The so-called Real Time AWD system doesn't require the front wheels to spin before sending more power to the back.

AWD is an option at all trim levels, and Honda rates the towing capacity of the 2015 CR-V at 1500 pounds


The 2015 Honda CR-V features revised suspension tuning across the line, as well as wider wheels (by half an inch) on the EX and above. While the CR-V isn't exactly a sporty crossover, it does have a very smooth ride and the suspension soaks up many of the bumps along the way. There's also less noise at speed this year due to improved insulation, but we already praised last year's CR-V for its relatively quiet cabin, and the improvement for 2015 is subtle. In short, the CR-V continues to provide a satisfying blend of respectable ride comfort and secure handling.

This year's CR-V has a new CVT. In our experience, some CVTs can seem odd in the way they change and adjust the engine's rpm compared to traditional automatics. But to Honda's credit, the CR-V's CVT doesn't draw attention to itself in normal driving; indeed, it's so unobtrusive that you tend to forget it's there and it is indeed one of the better CVTs out there.

As for the new engine, it adds a theoretically useful 18 lb-ft of torque along with a power peak that arrives 600 rpm earlier, but it's hard to discern a difference on the road unless you're searching for it. Maximum horsepower is the same as before, and the power delivery is still rather peaky, especially compared to turbocharged rivals. We noted last year that the CR-V could use an optional engine upgrade, and our position hasn't changed.


Honda's new CR-V has a direct-injected, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine with a continuously variable automatic transmission with a sport mode. The engine makes 185 horsepower, the same as in 2014 except at a lower engine speed, and 181 lb-ft of torque – good for acceleration – up from 163 lb-ft in the 2014 model and, again, at a lower engine speed. Thus, the latest CR-V has snappier acceleration and superior all-around performance. The CVT acts like a conventional automatic. It will hold a "gear" ratio, which is helpful in mountainous terrain. And the fuel economy is significantly improved: The 2014 CR-V had EPA numbers of 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway for front-wheel drive and 22/30 with all-wheel drive. The 2015 CR-V is rated at 27/34 with FWD and 26/33 with AWD.

2.4-liter inline-4
185 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
181 lb-ft of torque @ 3,900 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/34 mpg (FWD), 26/33 mpg (AWD)


The 2015 Honda CR-V comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and a rearview camera. The LaneWatch blind spot monitoring system (featuring a camera of its own that displays passenger-side blind spot activity on the 7-inch touchscreen) is standard on all but the LX. The Touring boasts a lane departure warning system and a forward collision warning and mitigation system that's able to distinguish between vehicles and pedestrians (and warn the driver accordingly) as well as apply automatic braking intervention to reduce the severity of a collision.

In government crash tests, the 2015 CR-V earned four out of five possible stars for overall crash protection, with four stars for frontal crash protection and five stars for side crash protection. During Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the 2015 Honda CR-V received the highest possible rating of "Good" in the small-overlap and moderate-overlap frontal-offset impact tests. It also earned a "Good" score for the side impact, roof strength and whiplash protection (head restraints and seats) tests. The IIHS also tested the CR-V's optional frontal collision warning and mitigation system and gave it a top rating of "Superior."

During performance testing, an all-wheel-drive 2015 Honda CR-V came to a stop from 60 mph in 119 feet, which is a few feet shorter than average for the class.


The 2015 Honda CR-V gets a substantial boost in its fuel economy ratings from its direct-injected engine and a new continuously-variable transmission (CVT). Its two combined ratings are each 3 mpg higher than the previous year's CR-V, putting it toward the top of the compact crossover segment in EPA ratings.

It was already one of the more fuel-efficient models in its class, but now the lighter front-wheel-drive model is rated at 29 mpg combined (27 mpg city, 34 mpg highway). Specifying all-wheel drive knocks all three ratings down by 1 mpg, for a 28-mpg combined figure, though so-called Real-Time AWD system fully disengage the rear wheels when cruising to help save fuel.

The drawback, however, is that the 2015 CR-V isn't particularly fast or sporty to drive--a tradeoff we see more and more as regulatory pressure to boost fuel economy bites harder with each model year.

Across the model line, there's a big green 'econ' button on the dash. With it, you engage a mode that softens throttle response and allows more frugal parameters for accessories.

We haven't yet tested a 2015 CR-V to see how well its real-world gas mileage matches up to its ratings, although if the 2015 Honda Fit (also now fitted with a CVT) is any indication, it should be fairly close.


By : Automotive News & Super Modified Sports Cars

Posted by : Shahen Tharammal

2015 Hyundai Sonata - Review

PRICE : SE 2.4L I4 6-Speed A/T w/SHIFTRONIC® $21,150 - $22,350
PRICE : Sport 2.4L I4 6-Speed A/T w/SHIFTRONIC® $23,175 - $26,625
PRICE : Limited 2.4L I4 6-Speed A/T w/SHIFTRONIC® $26,525 - $31,575
PRICE : Sport 2.0T 2.0L Turbo I4 6-Speed A/T w/SHIFTRONIC® $28,575 - $33,525

The 2015 Hyundai Sonata ranks 2 out of 17 Affordable Midsize Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Hyundai Sonata, as well as reliability and safety data.

Automotive journalists report that the redesigned 2015 Hyundai Sonata has a serenely quiet ride and one of the most upscale interiors in the class.

With the best combination of positive reviews and long-term ownership costs in its class, the Hyundai Sonata is our 2015 Best Midsize Car for the Money. The Sonata also has the best combination of space, reliability and safety ratings, and available family-friendly features. That makes it our 2015 Best Midsize Car for Families. 

Test drivers say the base four-cylinder Hyundai Sonata has strong acceleration from a stop, but lacks highway passing power. They write that the Sport 2.0T trim, which has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, is faster on the highway, and some think it matches the power of the Sonata’s six-cylinder rivals. However, others wish it was more potent. The new Sonata Eco is powered by a turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. All models come standard with a six-speed automatic transmission, except for the Eco model, which has a seven-speed automatic (automated manual). The base 2015 Sonata gets an EPA-estimated 25/37 mpg city/highway, which is good for an affordable midsize car. Some automotive writers think the Sonata offers a well-balanced driving experience with a comfortable ride, precise steering and composed handling, and most agree that it has superb braking power. However, others report that the Sonata has numb steering and driving dynamics that aren’t particularly exciting.

Critics agree that the redesigned 2015 Hyundai Sonata’s interior design and materials are more upscale than many of its competitors’. They also praise the Sonata’s serenely quiet cabin and spacious back seat. At 16.3 cubic feet, the Sonata’s trunk is quite large for the class. Standard features include satellite radio, Bluetooth and a USB/iPod input. Available features include a panoramic sunroof, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats and Hyundai’s Smart Trunk system, which opens the trunk when it detects the key fob behind the vehicle for more than three seconds. Other available features include adaptive cruise control (which can bring the car to a full stop), a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, a 5-inch touch-screen infotainment system or an 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system with navigation. Both infotainment systems are attractive and user-friendly, according to automotive reviewers. Test drivers like that many of the Sonata’s audio, climate and navigation controls are easy to use and kept separate from the touch-screen system.


The 2011 Sonata raised the bar for design in the mid-size sedan segment when it was introduced in 2009. Consumers noticed the groundbreaking design and so did the competition. Sonata's design matures for the 2015 model year with energetic and crisp lines complimented by smooth and subtle surfaces. Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 is a confident evolution of the original fluidic sculpture design language that perfectly expresses Sonata's premium look and excellent value.

A larger, more refined grille with a wide air intake defines the face of the 2015 Sonata. Simple, harmonious lines adorn the exterior while hinting at the improved dynamic performance and human-machine connection Sonata provides. Taut, horizontal rocker panels reflect the chassis' increased stability and surefootedness while the signature Sonata beltline is now stretched tight to accentuate the sedan's strength. The coupe-like roofline remains, but it is balanced by a larger window graphic that emphasizes the roomier interior. Horizontal lines in the rear underscore Sonata's width and give the car a planted look. This purposeful shape achieves a remarkable drag coefficient of just 0.27, lower than any non-hybrid in the mid-size sedan class.

Shoppers looking for a traditional design will appreciate the 2015 Sonata SE's exterior styling that includes standard LED daytime running lights, 16-inch alloy wheels, a rear lip spoiler and chrome surround for the day light opening. Sonata Limited adds rocker panel extensions and dual exhaust for a premium look.

Sonata Sport features a more aggressive front grille and bumper, side rocker extensions and side chrome molding. Sport models powered by the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine feature dual exhaust while Sport 2.0T models feature a unique rear bumper fascia, quad exhaust tips and 18-inch alloy wheels. The Sport model is expected to be the most popular Sonata. With the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T, performance is something you taste and the Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language certainly whets the appetite.

"We crafted the shape of the 2015 Sonata in the same way an award-winning chef refines his recipe over the years," said Chris Chapman, chief designer, Hyundai Design North America. "With the 2011 Sonata, Hyundai took the mid-size sedan from a meal to a gourmet dinner. The evolution to Fluidic Sculpture 2.0's more taut, modern lines reflect the improvements in refinement and driving dynamics for 2015."


Confident, energetic lines define the 2015 Sonata's exterior and are complimented inside the cabin by a premium interior with a special emphasis on ergonomics. Intuitive buttons and controls are placed on the center stack, which is angled toward the driver to make the controls easier to reach. Hyundai's core interior design principles are safety, intuitiveness and simplicity and Sonata delivers in spades.

Controls are grouped logically and placed in the most convenient position for the driver. To create a unified experience inside the cabin, designers met with various suppliers to make sure all buttons and switchgear have a consistent feel. The height of the display screen for the audio display or 8-inch navigation system and instrument cluster are optimized for visibility and reside on the same plane to enhance readability during a quick glance. These ergonomic enhancements help the driver remain focused on the road ahead and provide confidence behind the wheel.

All components inside the cabin were examined and opportunities for improvement were taken very seriously. Even the steering wheel went through extensive testing to determine the ideal diameter, shape and tactile feel to maximize driver confidence. Improvements in the design of the steering wheel and changes to the layout of the instrument cluster necessitated a new steering column design. Designers and engineers sweated every detail in their quest to make the interior as safe, intuitive and simple as possible while delivering convenient features with pleasing aesthetics.

Sonata Sport 2.0T receives a unique interior that enhances its more dynamic personality. A D-cut steering wheel and paddle shifters help provide the confidence enthusiastic drivers expect while the sport instrument cluster with six o'clock needle position hints at the improved performance from the more responsive 2.0-liter turbocharged engine.

Reducing undesired noise inside the cabin was a top priority for the 2015 Sonata. Engineers reduced the size of the apertures in the bulkhead and increased use of sound deadening materials in the dashboard to prevent unwanted noise from entering the cabin. Engine notes were tuned to be pleasing to the ear without being intrusive. More sound absorption materials are used under the floorpan and an underbody tray made of fibrous glass expansion board improves aerodynamics while reducing unwanted road noise.

The 2015 Sonata's efficient packaging delivers outstanding passenger and interior volume. With 106.1 cu. ft. of passenger volume and a total interior volume of 122.4 cu. ft., 2015 Sonata is classified as a large car by the EPA


Price:$ 21599
Engine:inline-4 (Est.)
Horsepower @ RPM:185 @ 6000 (Est.)
Torque @ RPM:178 @ 4000 (Est.)
Displacement:2.4 L (Est.)
0-60 time:7.6 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:135 mph (Est.)


Every mid-size sedan worth its salt fields some entry-level model for about $22,000. With the Hyundai Sonata, the base price of $21,960 is one of the lowest in the segment--but the cheapest version we endorse checks in at just over $23,000.

The 2015 Hyundai Sonata lineup is split into five trim levels: SE, Sport, and Limited come with the 2.4-liter four and a six-speed automatic, while the Sport 2.0T comes with the turbocharged four and automatic. The Eco has its unique 1.6-liter turbo four and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. (There's also the carryover Sonata Hybrid, in the older body style).

Base equipment on the SE includes cloth upholstery; 16-inch wheels; an AM/FM/XM/CD player; a USB port; and Bluetooth with audio streaming. To get a rearview camera, which we consider an essential piece of safety equipment, you'll have to spend $23,160 on the Sonata SE with the Popular package. It adds the camera, and a power driver seat.

That SE Popular trim is essentially how the $24,085 Sonata Eco comes equipped. The sole option on the Eco is a Technology package that includes a handsfree trunk opener; blind-spot monitors; pushbutton start; leather upholstery; heated front seats; automatic climate control; navigation; and premium audio with HD radio.

The $23,985 Sonata Sport starts from the SE's list of standard gear and adds a rearview camera; a 5-inch color touchscreen audio system; a power driver seat; Hyundai BlueLink telematics hardware; 17-inch wheels; and heated front seats. Options include blind-spot monitors; sport seats; pushbutton start; and automatic climate control, all bundled in a Premium package. The Technology package adds those Premium features, as well as navigation, HD radio, upgraded gauges, and Dimension premium audio.

To that equipment, the $27,335 Limited adds blind-spot monitors; LED taillights; pushbutton start; woodgrain trim; leather upholstery; a power passenger seat; heated rear seats; and automatic climate control. Options include a Technology package with a panoramic sunroof; navigation; Infinity audio; and ventilated front seats. The Ultimate package adds to that adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warnings, and a forward-collision warning system.

Finally, the $29,385 Sonata Sport 2.0T gets paddle shifters; a sport suspension; blind-spot monitors; LED taillights; quad exhaust tips; 18-inch wheels; the smart trunk opener; pushbutton start; and automatic climate control. The only option is the Ultimate package, which includes the panoramic sunroof; adaptive cruise control; lane departure warnings;  forward collision warnings; rear parking sensors; a power passenger seat; ventilated front seats; heated rear seats; navigation; HD radio and Infinity premium audio. That nets a Sonata priced at $34,335.

Infotainment systems have been upgraded in the 2015 Sonata. The navigation system gets a larger 8.0-inch screen, and smartphone-app compatibility for Pandora and SoundHound, and HD radio. The system also includes improved touch sensitivity, a split-screen view, Sirius XM Travel Link services, and the ability to record up to 22 minutes of satellite radio.

Those models with navigation also have Apple Eyes Free Siri integration—allowing an enhanced level of tasks. Next-generation Blue Link services also arrive in the 2015 Sonata and include such things as Remote Start, Destination Search (powered by Google), and a car-care in-vehicle app. Google’s new in-car Android Auto smartphone system will be included at some point with nav-equipped cars, as will Apple CarPlay.


With a gain in overall length and in wheelbase, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata does a better job of accommodating passengers than it did last year, especially back-seaters.

It's still technically defined by the EPA as a large car, but the Sonata is marketed as a mid-size car, against vehicles like the VW Passat, Honda Accord, Subaru Legacy, Nissan Altima, and Ford Fusion. All but the Passat give up some interior space to the Hyundai--but if we're being more accurate, the Sonata is a bit smaller than its large-car competition like the Chevrolet Impala.

Bottom line, the Sonata is much more spacious than cars like the Chevy Malibu and Chrysler 200, especially if rear-seat space is what you're studying most closely.

By the numbers, the Sonata is now 191.1 inches long, up 1.3 inches from the last-generation car. It's also 1.2 inches wider than before. It does more with its assigned dimensions than the Honda and Nissan, which are longer but less spacious. The Sonata now has the same wheelbase as the VW Passat, at 110.4 inches, but packages in more people and cargo space than the Volkswagen--barely. Inside, there's a total of 122.4 cubic feet of space, split 106.1 cubic feet to the humans, 16.3 cubic feet to the Samsonite--a cube or two down from the Impala.

Off the spec sheet and in the Sonata's seats, there's very good space for six-footers in the front seats, and the seats are better than in the past Sonata--there's more bottom cushion length and better bolstering on the Limited and Sport 2.0T models we drove. A power passenger seat can now be had, though it's only offered on upper trim levels, where you'll also find heated and ventilated seats and a serviceable grade of leather upholstery. (Sonata SE, Sport, and Eco models come with cloth standard; Sport editions have an option for leather-trimmed seats).

The Sonata's positively awash in storage bins, perfect for hiding stuff from drivers and passengers. The covered bin ahead of the shifter tucks away USB and power points, and there's a handy rubber-lined bin to the right of the lever that's made for smartphones. The console and glove box are deep enough for hiding tablets. Cupholders, door pockets, a trunk with pulldowns for the rear seat inside the trunk itself--it's all where you need it.

In back, sitting behind my own six-footer driving position, I found plenty of knee room in the Sonata, enough to cross over a knee into a freestyle yoga pose/desk. The back-seat leg room isn't quite as expansive as in a Passat, but headroom is like most of the cars in this segment--a little snug when the sunroof is ordered, but fine for anyone smaller.

The comparisons to the Passat go a little deeper, as Hyundai benchmarked the VW when it came to tightening up their sedan's body. The new Sonata is composed of a lot of high-strength steel and a lot more structural glue--it's 41 percent more resistant to twisting and 35 percent more resistant to body bending, according to Hyundai. That does a few things for ride and handling, but it also helps to quiet down the cabin--that, and the additional sound deadening that's been fitted. For the first time in at least few years, the Sonata is  quiet at a good driving pace, so quiet I could hear front-seat conversations without straining.


The 2015 Sonata embodies Hyundai's Modern Premium brand direction by providing convenient technology formerly reserved for luxury sedans in the mid-size segment without the premium price tag. Switching the high beams on and off manually doesn't seem like a hassle, but Sonata's High Beam Assist allows the driver to keep their eyes on the road and let the headlamps deliver maximum visibility without accidentally blinding oncoming traffic. Bright LED daytime running lights give the 2015 Sonata's face a premium look. Smart Cruise Control (SCC) with full stop capability helps make driving on the freeway less stressful. This system allows full function down to zero mph to operate seamlessly using the front-grille-mounted radar sensor. SCC enables the 2015 Sonata to help maintain safer, consistent spacing with the vehicle ahead in varied traffic conditions.

Smart trunk gives drivers a convenient hands-free way to open the trunk while keeping both feet firmly planted on the ground. The owner simply needs to approach the Sonata's trunk with the key fob in a purse or pocket and wait three seconds. The trunk will automatically open, making it easy to place groceries or luggage inside when hands are full. Rear seat passengers are treated to segment-exclusive sunshades, an option typically found on luxury cars. Feedback from current Sonata owners resulted in a height-adjustable passenger seat and now both front seats can be heated and ventilated. Even rear-seat passengers enjoy the luxury of heated seats on a cold day. A heated steering wheel will be a favorite feature for owners of the 2015 Sonata Limited equipped with the Tech package. The desire to deliver class-above value allows these convenient technologies to trickle down from the all-new Genesis to the all-new Sonata making it the most sophisticated mid-size sedan available.


Now that it's responsible for a couple hundred thousand sales a year, the Hyundai Sonata has something to lose. Not weight--it's been one of the lighter cars in the segment since it was redone in 2011, and gains only about 7 pounds in this renovation.

What it has to lose are some of the brash and downright unrefined edges it brought along with its radically different look in the just-past generation. It was always fascinating to see roll by, but it wasn't always the smoothest, quietest sedan to drive when carting around disapproving in-laws.

The stylistic flourishes and gutsy horsepower and fuel-economy numbers were so brazen, it was easier to overlook the Sonata's fairly stiff, noisy ride and wandery steering. No need for that anymore: Hyundai's put in good work, cleaning up the Sonata's rougher edges, stiffening up the body, using lessons learned with Lotus Engineering in the tuning of the latest Genesis to substantially improve the Sonata's performance profile.

First, power. Power ratings actually go down a bit for both of Hyundai’s engines in the 2015 Sonata, versus last year’s model, but the automaker says that the different tuning gives the new car better responsiveness at low and mid revs. The base 2.4-liter in-line four-cylinder engine now makes 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque, off 5 hp from its recent peak (and 15 from when it was launched), but it winds happily and smoothly through its powerband. It seems marginally slower but perfectly content.

The Sport 2.0T Sonata has a smaller-turbine, twin-scroll turbocharger and makes 245 hp and 260 lb-ft. It's decidedly less freewheeling (as well as quieter) than last year's unit, at 274 hp, but it's much quieter and almost free of vibration, two bugbears of the last-generation edition. 

In either case, you get a six-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic manual controls, in this front-wheel-drive sedan, fully reworked this time for quicker, more muted shifts. Sport 2.0T models get paddle shift controls, and all Sonatas get a three-mode driving selector that fiddles lightly with power steering assist, shift timing, and throttle delivery through Eco, Normal, and Sport modes. In Eco mode, the Sonata really dithers over downshifts, but the milder differences in normal and sport modes probably mean owners will play with the feature once before letting it go in default mode.

No all-wheel drive is offered in this Sonata, although it's becoming more common in the class (200, Fusion, Legacy). Hyundai admits only to looking at the possibility.

While we're pleased by the powertrains' stint in finishing school, we're more impressed by the suspension and steering changes. The body's much stiffer, and that makes for an easier job damping bumps and taking direction. Hyundai heavily reworked and reinforced the Sonata's subframes, and upgraded the rear suspension to dual lower control arms--so now, it responds with the gentler, abler feel that the calmer styling promises. It's more settled at any speed: roll over a train track at 60 mph and the skittishness present last year is replaced by more compliance, and a lot less drama, even on the 17-inch tires on Sport and Limited trims.

Sport 2.0T sedans have slightly different tuning, with a 1-mm bump in anti-roll bars, and moderately beefier P235/45R-18 tires. It's an almost imperceptible difference, especially on Alabama's broadly winding backroads. Turbo sedans also get an electric parking brake (as do the Limited sedans), while other versions have a foot-operated brake.

Steering is driven by electric motors on all Sonatas. All but the turbocharged cars have column-mounted setups, while the turbo sedan has a dual-pinion rack that's supposed to deliver better steering feel and finer responses. The slight uptick in the turbo's attentivenes probably comes as much from the bigger tires as from the more costly steering rack. In either setup, tracking and directional stability are a magnitude better on the Limited and Sport 2.0Ts I drove. Most of the wandering has been filtered off, leaving behind the sense that even if it's not talking back to you, at least the steering is listening.

Eco is new, Hybrid lives on

As for the Sonata Eco, our brief exposure to it was mostly a good one.

The new Eco is no mild hybrid. It combines a small turbocharged 1.6-liter four with a seven-speed, dry dual-clutch transmission for higher fuel economy than the non-hybrid models. It has an output of 177 hp and 195 lb-ft. The turbo is a twin-scroll for quicker boost, the DCT has electronic clutch and gear actuation, and generally, the powertrain here has more exhaust noise and peakier behavior than in either of the other choices.

I drove it around downtown Montgomery and immediately compared it with the 1.5-liter Ford Fusion, as much for the perky acceleration feel as the booming exhaust note. It's a hard worker, hauling around a little more than 3,200 pounds, but not an unhappy one. Some pre-production dual-clutch chatter aside, it was hard to perceive the transmission's shifts at anything but very low speeds. Minus a couple hundred pounds or so from the Sonata Limited I drove, the steering lightened up considerably, too.

We'll get some more seat time in this one, for sure--it's likely Hyundai will make this the future base Sonata, since its fuel-economy numbers are so strong.

By the way, if you're wondering, the Sonata Hybrid carries over in the older body style for the 2015 model year; a new hybrid and a plug-in hybrid model are expected to replace it within a year or two.


Three engine choices are available for the non-hybrid 2015 Hyundai Sonata sedan models: a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4, a 2.4-liter inline-4, and an all-new 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder. This new engine will be paired with a new 7-speed dual clutch transmission, while the other engines use a 6-speed automatic. With fuel efficiency being the focal point of the 1.6-liter, it offers up the least amount of power with 177 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. The 2.0-liter is rated at 245 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, while the 2.4-liter produces 185 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of peak twist. The Sonata Hybrid lives on for 2015 virtually untouched from the 2014 model before a refresh comes for 2016.

Sonata Hybrid
2.4-liter Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder engine + 35-kilowatt electric motor (Sonata Hybrid)
159 hp @ 5,500 rpm
199 net horsepower (engine and motor combined)
154 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 36/40 mpg (6-speed automatic)

Sonata Eco
1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4
177 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
195 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/38 mpg (7-speed automatic)

Sonata SE, Sport and Limited
2.4-liter inline-4
185 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
178 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/37 mpg (6-speed automatic)

Sonata Sport 2.0T
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
245 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 1,350-4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/32 mpg (6-speed automatic)


The redesigned 2015 Hyundai Sonata has managed some quite impressive safety ratings from both the federal government and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

It recently released has earned an excellent five stars both overall and in frontal and side-impact categories. That includes five stars in both subcategories of the frontal test (for a male-size driver and female-size passenger), as well as a perfect five stars in all subcategories of the side barrier test and the side pole test.

That's in addition to the new Sonata's almost perfect set of scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which rank it 'good' in all tests except the tough small overlap frontal test, where it achieves 'acceptable.' The 2015 Sonata also earns the IIHS 'Basic' nod for front crash prevention, when equipped with the optional Forward Collision Warning system, as part of the Ultimate Package; as the IIHS notes, it's strictly a warning system, not one that will automatically brake as the systems in some rival models. All that together merits the IIHS' Top Safety Pick award.

The Sonata otherwise includes seven airbags, now including a driver’s knee bag. Other new technologies lifted from the 2015 Genesis include blind spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning, and active cruise control. There’s also a new Lane Change Assist system that places warning lamps in the side mirrors to warn of approaching vehicles.

Not every member of the 2015 Hyundai Sonata family is such a high achiever. Keep in mind that the Sonata Hybrid continues into this model year in the old body style—and continues with the former Sonata's four-star frontal impact score (although it does also achieve five stars overall).


The 2015 Hyundai Sonata has bettered itself in a lot of ways. Count gas mileage among them: fuel economy is up across the board on all non-hybrid models.

Last year, the EPA rated the Sonata with the 2.4-liter four at 24 miles per gallon city, 35 mpg highway. The turbocharged version was rated at 22/33 mpg.

This year's models step up accordingly. The 2.4-liter four now earns 25/37 mpg, or 29 mpg combined, while the turbocharged Sport 2.0T is rated at 24/35/28 mpg. Neither meets the best-in-class Mazda 6, at 32 mpg combined in four-cylinder form, equipped with Mazda's i-ELOOP energy-storage system.

The new Sonata Eco does. The Eco, equipped with a 1.6-liter turbo four, is expected to clock in at 28/38 mpg, or 32 mpg combined, for a 10-percent improvement over the base Sonata.

The carryover Hybrid models (in last year's body style, too), are still rated at 36/40/38 mpg.


By : Automotive News & Super Modified Sports Cars

Posted by : Shahen Tharammal