Simon Lai road tests and reviews the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Active.
The new 2015 Hyundai Sonata Active is a car I was looking forward to driving and it certainly wasn’t what I was expecting.
From the outside, the Sonata is mildly elegant while the interior is simple-looking and functional. But this Hyundai sedan has a lot of heart.
The Active contains a 2.4 litre petrol engine that has decent maximum output of 138kW and 241Nm which is more than you’d expect judging from the outward appearances.
It’s quick off the mark with smooth, quiet acceleration. You can enhance the experience by selecting Sport mode, one of three driving modes, giving it higher gearing and faster acceleration. Let me tell you, it can really go!
The rest of the drive is excellent – I couldn’t fault the ride comfort, handling and steering. Although the steering in Eco and Normal modes was a tad light and ‘loose’ but that’s to be expected.
One minus mark may be the slightly high fuel consumption which came in at an average of 10L/100km, however, this was during a week of rainy days (and my reluctance to take it out of Sport mode!).
The Sonata range starts from $29,990 for the base model Active that I tested. From there it jumps to $36,990 for the middle of the road Elite and finally $41,990 will get you all the bells and whistles for the Premium.
As mentioned the interior is simple but by no means cheap-looking. Fabric seats and black plastic with metallic dash and door inserts adorn the cabin. This coupled with the chrome highlights sprinkled across the dash and the uncomplicated layout makes it easy on the eye.
The centre dash houses the usual audio system, a clock and seatbelt alert below that and A/C controls that are button operated with temperature dials and an info screen.
Disappointingly the touchscreen display is a tiny 4 inches and while hi-def and clear, is harder to operate. The display looks all the smaller sitting in the wider than normal centre dash. Even the large buttons bordering the screen take up the same amount area but combined with the steering wheel controls fortunately don’t require you to touch the screen at all. Although only an entry level model I’d expected a larger screen in this day and age.
The Sonata Active has reversing camera, rear parking assist and a foot operated parking brake.
Steering mounted controls contain all the necessary functions on a very comfortable to hold leather bound wheel. Copious storage pockets around the dash, seats and doors never leaves you short of a place to put things.
Space-wise, legroom front and back is roomy and is more than adequate for those larger than average. Cabin space is wide noted by the broad centre console and armrest. A sizeable boot can fit objects both long and wide and there’s a release button from the driver’s seat.
You can let down the back seats from the boot with release latches. What’s puzzling is that after pulling the latch, the seat back doesn’t properly disengage unless you (or someone else) pulls the seat down simultaneously which really defeats the convenience. To make it worse, there is no release button on the seat itself. But this is a minor grievance in what is an otherwise fantastic offering.
If you’re looking for a family car the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Active will no doubt meet your needs with a little added performance. For something with more features check out our review of the Sonata Premium next week.
NUTS and BOLTS - 2015 Hyundai Sonata Active
Engine: 2.4 litre petrol at 138kW and 241Nm
Transmission: Six-speed sports auto
Warranty: 5 Year Unlimited
Safety: Five stars
Origin: South Korea
Price: From $29,990