In high school, way back in the mid-90’s, where I walked uphill to school both ways and the world wasn’t quite acquainted with the wide web, I was friends with a set of twins, Kelly and Kim. At first glance, they looked exactly the same physically. The hair color, hair style, clothing, make-up, perfume, nail polish, purses, watches, earrings, the pitch of their voices, etc (hey, I was a teenage boy, of course I noticed all these things!)
It wasn’t until I’d started getting to know them that I realized that they were as different as a turtle compared to a guitar. One was bashful, quiet and reserved and the other was boisterous, outgoing and animated. They did have some common elements, as most siblings do, such as fawning over 90210 and boy bands and whatever else 90’s teenaged girls were into.
Sadly, neither were into awkward 17 year old Jay. Heck, I wasn’t even into 17 year old Jay, all I wanted to do was play guitar.
While they both shared many common elements, they were both divergent in their own unique way.
Which lets me stream nicely into spending another week in a Hyundai Sonata.
Early in 2015, I had a chance to spend some time in the Hyundai’s “Ultimate” trim Sonata and quite enjoyed it. Knowing that there are seven trim levels in the Sonata stable, I wanted to wait a few months before driving the “Sport Tech” model so I could have time to miss the vehicle. Kinda like when a gal says to a guy “let’s have some time apart so I can miss you” and as Hollywood sometimes does, the couple gets back together and lives happily ever after.
I’ll say this much for the Sonata Sport Tech; even though it’s equipped with the 185 horsepower engine (opposed to the 2.0 litre turbocharged engine with 245 horsepower found in the Ultimate trim), it still has plenty of pep beneath the hood. Yes, on paper, there’s a 60 horsepower difference but unless you’re racing on a closed track, it really doesn’t make that much of a difference.
One thing I didn’t appreciate as much the first time around is how spacious the Sonata is. It wasn’t until I did a video shoot that the realization was clear. There’s the common misconception of rear seats being the unfavorable ones in the car and in some cases, it’s true. Hyundai has engineered plenty of space for three rear passengers. Same goes for the generous trunk space.
The 2.4 litre four cylinder engine is matched well for city and rural driving. In a city setting, you’ll find yourself in the 40 km/h to 60 km/h zone, to which the Sonata responds well as it moves through the lower gears. In rural and highway settings, calling upon the upper register of the six-speed automatic transmission executes smoothly, quietly and briskly.
One thing that I definitely remembered was the striking body shape and the well laid out, classy interior.
Everything is ergonomically laid out, easy to operate and is easy on the eyes. Hyundai dubs it the “Fluidic Sculpture 2.0” design. Call it whatever you want, it’s beautiful.
The panoramic sunroof expands the interior perception of the vehicle from decent to huge. With so much light entering from the roof, it allows for a very spacious feel throughout. I’m a huge fan of natural light so these huge glass panels are right up my alley.
Hyundai’s approach of “something for everyone” in the Sonata lineup is a strategic way to have offerings from the mid $20K to the mid $30K range to appeal to the first car buyer to the veteran driver and many demographics in between.
Similarly to AC/DC’s catalogue of music, identical twins and hipsters, although they come across as equivalent, there’s definitely a difference to them. Ok, maybe not hipsters.