2011 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T Road Test Review

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Hyundai Turbo? That's a new phrase in automotive circles, but not as incongruous as any preconceived notions you may be holding about the automaker might lead you to believe. Reporting on the newfound grace of the turbocharged engine's Hyundai Sonata host earlier this year, we stated nobody would ever term the Hyundai as fast, and suggested power freaks might want to wait for the 2.0-litre turbo.

Well, having now driven the turbo, we're reminded of the old automotive adage, "There's no replacement for displacement." Yes, the 274-horsepower direct injected two-litre delivers the power and torque of a V6 engine. Yes, it gets better gas mileage than said V6. And, yes, it runs on regular fuel. However, waiting for the turbo to spool up and "git things to gittin'" will give you, uh, pause.

We clocked an unofficial eight-second 60 (96.6 km/h), admittedly with three adult American males, weighing a total of just under five hundred pounds on board. Other testers, in more optimal circumstances, are reporting zero to 60 in the mid-six-second range. That said, with your family aboard, you'll probably see 60 in somewhere between seven and eight seconds. Respectable, but not exactly as dynamic as you'd expect with 269 ft-lbs of torque available at 1,750 rpm.

No biggie though, once the turbo is up to speed and boosting, acceleration is strong. On the highway the Sonata is swift, passing maneuvers can be accomplished with little drama. Off the line though, for a few ticks, you'll still only have a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine-until the turbo does its thing. In other words, Hyundai's 2.0T does make numbers like a V6, but to really feel like it, the car has to already be in motion.

Still, some interesting engineering details went into Hyundai's turbocharged engine. The exhaust system's output is split to feed the twin-scroll turbocharger. Cylinders one and four feed one of the scrolls, while cylinders two and three feed the other one. Additionally, the intercooler is force-fed through an air-guiding duct to improve cooling efficiency.

The 2.0-litre turbocharged engine promises to be robust as well, supported as it is by Hyundai's 5-year 100,000-km warranty. Part of its durability testing included running it 300 hours at redline, followed by running it another 20 hours over-revved.

And while the Sonata's powerplant doesn't feel or sound exactly like a V6 engine, its 6.0 L/100km freeway rating, accompanied by its willingness to generate 274 horsepower-on regular fuel-are pretty compelling arguments in its favour. The 2.0T engine is available on Sonata's 2.0T, Limited and Limited with Navigation trim levels, with such standard features as proximity sensing keyless entry and pushbutton start/stop, an audio system with auxiliary, USB and iPod input plus XM satellite radio and Bluetooth connectivity, heated mirrors, heated seats, a powered sunroof, 18-inch hyper silver alloy wheels, dual chrome tipped exhaust, and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The Limited adds dual-zone automatic temperature control, leather seats that are heated front and rear, and a 6-CD changer, while the Limited with Navigation adds a backup camera.
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Sedan, Hyundai, 2011, Sonata 2.0T, $20,000 - $29,999, Turbocharger,

Organizations: Hyundai

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