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The 2012 Hyundai Sonata SE 2.0T – Great Styling, Value, & Performance All In A Well Built Package (Written for Best Rated MPG)

By D. Brian Smith

Photos by D. Brian Smith and courtesy of Hyundai USA {Review Best Rated MPG}

In 2011, the Hyundai Sonata changed from being a nice midsize sedan into being a leader of the pack midsize sedan. Hyundai decided to give the Sonata an all new redesign. As a result, exterior styling is marvelous. All of the Sonata sedans have an energy-saving, slipstream cheating .28 coefficient of drag, with the exception of the Sonata Hybrid sedan. That fuel sipping wunderkind of an automobile has a CD of .25, which obviously enhances the Sonata Hybrid’s being able to avoid many stops for more fuel at filling stations.

There are five separate trim levels for the front engine/front wheel drive 2012 Sonata. These include the GLS with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder mill and manual gearbox; the GLS PZEV with the same 2.4-liter four powerplant sided by an automatic transmission; the SE with that same base 2.4-liter four and an auto gearbox; the Limited with the 2.4 and the Limited PZEV with the base 2.4. Now, here’s where things get intriguing. The base 2.4-liter DOHC makes 198 horses, which is no slouch. But, also available is a 2.0T. The 2.0T is a two-liter DOHC four that’s turbocharged to produce 274 horsepower – in a word, outstanding!

Thankfully, Reggie and Javier supplied me with the proximity key to a Sparkling Ruby 2012 Sonata SE 2.0T. That act of friendship from R and J was most appreciated. My Ruby beauty vehicle was loaded with enough amenities to transport me in the sort of comfort, safety, convenience, performance and style that I had rapidly grown accustomed to in my stint as chief test driver and humble scribe at Heller Hyundai in Escondido. To borrow a phrase from some movie that I’ve seen in my illustrious past, “Release the hounds!”

My beauty Ruby would be the perfect sedan to take on a cross country cruise to visit my brother Kevin and his wife Agneiska, in Suwannee, GA. Or perhaps I could take a west coast to east coast jaunt to visit my buddy Larry in Bethesda, MD. How about my sister and her family in Milbrae, CA? I could take Highway 1. I could blast out to Fort Knox, KY and freeload on my buddy Ben and his wife Tanya. Come to think of it, there are a couple thousand facebook friends around the world that I could visit and get to know better. The Sonata is the perfect sort of automobile to make such a junket. It has rakish coupe-like styling and so much room in the interior the vehicle is classified as a large car {in the midsize category no less}.

To give you an idea of how I can tend to fantasize, I actually daydreamed about such a road trip while I was driving the Sonata SE 2.0T, so much so that I used the included SE Navigation and Sunroof package. I figured that, if I’m driving cross country, I might as well bleach out the dirty part of my blondish hair and catch some vitamin E. The navigation guided me back to the dealership, after I managed to misplace myself and Ruby, without having to resort to dropping bread crumbs to find my way back.

The Sonata receives a five-star frontal crash driver safety rating, which is the highest available. The frontal crash rating for the passenger is four stars. For side crash or rollover, the rating is five stars across the board for front seat and back seat occupants.

In essence, every aspect of the Hyundai Sonata is top of class. Safety, style, comfort, fuel economy, build quality, reliability, room, performance, value, cost of ownership, environmental impact…you name it and the Sonata aces the test in every discipline. That to me equates king of the hill. There’s an old saying that applies, “It ain’t braggin’, if you can do it.” Enough said.

For more information on the lineup of Hyundai Sonata models, including the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, visit www.HellerHyundai.com or www.HyundaiUSA.com. Don’t be surprised if you see some auto enthusiast running around with a camera draped on his shoulder, wearing a big smile, or better still, zooming out of the lot in a new Hyundai.

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