Only 1 Hyundai Sonata Model Year Is Recommended by Consumer Reports

This year is the first time in recent history Consumer Reports gave the Hyundai Sonata model year a recommended rating. Redesigned for the 2020 model year, the Sonata is one of a dwindling amount of four-door sedans in the marketplace.

It features a distinctive and coupe-like styling with good performance, including gas mileage of 31 mpg overall, and a host of standard safety features. However, until this year, it didn’t measure up to the Honda Accord, Subaru Legacy, and Toyota Camry, all of which are among Consumer Reports recommended midsize sedans. 

Consumer Reports highlights

A close up of the Hyundai Sonata front grille.
The Hyundai logo | Getty Images

Consumer Reports praises the Hyundai Sonata’s roomy interior and good driver visibility. Like all of Hyundai’s products lately, the controls are sleek and modern, and even the base models can be equipped with premium level options like a power driver’s seat, heated seats, and automatic climate control.  

The Sonata is a capable performer with good reflexes in Consumer Report’s accident avoidance course but has a stiff ride that transmits road impacts through the cabin. They also remarked about “some unpleasant engine noise at high revs” from the 191 hp 2.5-liter four-cylinder. Equipped with the eight-speed automatic, they recommended this engine over the optional turbocharged or hybrid engine. Overall they saw 31 mpg.  

Standard advanced safety features include forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and lane-keeping assistance. Blind-spot monitoring is optional. Consumer Reports liked the lane-keeping and lane-centering features, especially in stop-and-go driving, and the self-parking feature. Overall they felt the 2022 Hyundai Sonata is a good value and recommended it. They ranked it behind the Toyota Camry, Subaru Legacy, and Honda Accord but higher than the Kia K5 and Nissan Altima.   

Hyundai Sonata model years and problem areas 

Consumer Reports has data on the Hyundai Sonata going back to 2012. For most of that history, the Sonata received low scores in several areas due to problems reported with the engine, electrical system, paint, and trim. Things started to change for the better in 2020 when Hyundai redesigned the Sonata. Scores for the problem areas improved, and by 2021, the only areas reported were minor issues with the brakes and paint and body trim. 

The current 2022 model is still too new for Consumer Reports to provide information on problem areas and reliability. Still, based on the steady gains of the past several years, it’s a good bet that this year’s model will improve on the 2021 Sonata’s track record. Historically reliability improves with each subsequent model year because car manufacturers have time to work out the production kinks.  

Should you buy a 2022 Hyundai Sonata model year?    

The Honda Accord and Toyota Camry dominated the midsize sedan category since the late 1990s. Both cars offer value, reliability, and durability that is practically unmatched. If you want a midsize sedan that will last 20 years and 250,000 miles, buying an Accord or Camry is a no-brainer, almost like a reflex action. 

However, the current Hyundai Sonata has a lot going for it. It offers style and lots of value. All trim levels provide a high level of standard safety features. A generous warranty and improved reliability scores mean it should last 200,000 miles. Best of all, it’s an engaging car to drive. Every Sonata is a capable car to drive, and the N-Line is so good, that we thought it made the Accord look weak. That may not be enough to pry a die-hard Honda owner’s hands off the steering wheel of their Accord. But those reasons, and Consumer Reports’ recommended rating, should be enough to win over a lot of midsize buyers.         

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