Best Family Sedan: The All-New 2011 Hyundai Sonata
Cars.com recently organized the $25.000 Family Sedan Shootout to determine which car was most likely to be purchased by the average American family and the all-new 2011 Hyundai Sonata was the easy winner.
The high-achieving Hyundai car easily bested other eight popular midsize sedans that cost $25.000 or cheaper (excluding destination or shipping charges).
The search for the best family sedan under $25.000 involved 8 leading car brands, 6 automotive journalists, a family of four, and 3 days of deliberation.
Two days were used to conduct a 149-mile mileage challenge for all the participating eight cars. They drove through a four-part test loop from Pasadena to west of Los Angeles. Four cars took the run in the morning and the other four in the afternoon, mostly over state and interstate highways. At the end of the test, the trip-computer mpg readouts and how much gas was used were checked. Based on the mileage category alone, Ford Fusion was the best car, while the 2011 Hyundai Sonata came a very close second.
Another component to determining the best $25.000 family sedan was the analysis conducted by industry expert journalists. They were David Thomas, Jennifer Newman and Kelsey Mays of Cars.com, James R. Healey and Chris Woodyard of USA Today, and Brian Robinson of MotorWeek.
How these reviewers analyzed the eight cars accounted for 60 per cent of how the cars were graded. Each car was scored from 1-10 in ten categories. The maximum score is 1,000 points. The other 40 per cent came from the family users, which were represented by a couple, Jill and Ben Tiernan, and their two daughters.
The Tiernans were dubbed as “dream buyers.” The parents are young, college-educated, upwardly mobile, and intending to buy a new car in about six months. They own a 2005 Mercedes-Benz C240 wagon and a 2008 Audi A4.
For the shootout, they not only test drove the cars but also checked the USB inputs, iPod auxiliary jacks, and the seatback pockets and backseat cubbies for their 2-year-old daughter’s toys and crayons, and other little details.
For the family choice category, the choice was the Toyota Camry, but overall, Hyundai Sonata was the clear winner. With a total score of 794 points out of 1.000 possible points, the Hyundai won by 42 points over the second placer, the Toyota Camry.
“Sonata’s striking design won over most, but it was the whole package that grabbed the title. None of the competitors came close,” reported the Cars.com editors.
The all-new 2011 Hyundai Sonata has crushed the competition inside-out. Its design is one of modern elegance and luxurious beauty that emit human emotions. Inside, it is powered by the new Theta II 2.4L gasoline direct injection engine and in-house, six-speed automatic gearbox. It is so powerful and yet fuel-efficient as it features class-leading fuel economy of 22 mpg city and35 mpg highway and 198 horsepower standard.
David Thomas, one of the reviewers, described the Sonata: “Value, value, value. $22,745 for navigation and all the other goodies in such an attractive wrapper. None of the competitors came close.”
Also, at the New York International Auto Show, Hyundai Motors announced the 2.0L Theta II turbocharged GDI four-cylinder engine and Sonata hybrid models.
Also commenting the clear Sonata victory was Scott Margason, the director for Product Planning at Hyundai Motor America who told that new Sonata sedan was built to raise the bar in the midsize sedan category by integrating modern design and tremendous fuel economy into Hyundai’s value equation. Winning the Cars.com Family Sedan Shootout against the traditional segment leaders validates that Hyundai Sonata hit the mark, and is poised to change consumers’ expectations in this competitive segment.”
Other seven vehicles competing to new Sonata were:
Eight: Ford Fusion (669 points)
Seventh: Chevrolet Malibu (697 points)
Sixth: Nissan Altima (711 points)
Fifth: Honda Accord (723 points)
Fourth: Mazda6 (724 points)
Third: Suzuki Kizashi (731 points)
Second: Toyota Camry (752 points)
First: Hyundai Sonata (794 points)