Ratings: 2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Decent all round, no outstanding aspect

Shaun · Jun 19, 2021 10:00 AM

Ratings: 2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Decent all round, no outstanding aspect 01

This week, we're revisiting the D-segment sedan market and diving into the 2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium. The Hyundai Sonata competes against the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Mazda 6, and Volkswagen Passat.

Ratings: 2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Decent all round, no outstanding aspect 02

2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium: Driving Performance – 34/50, smooth and effortless

2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Facts and Figures
Engine 2.5-litre NA 4-cylinder
Transmission 6-speed automatic transmission
Power 180 PS @ 6,000 rpm
Torque 232 Nm @ 4,000 rpm
Weight 1,481 kg (est.)
0-100 km/h 9.6 seconds
100-0 km/h 37.7 metres

While output figures from the naturally aspirated engine may trail rivals that offer more firepower, the Sonata makes up for that in smoothness.

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Ratings: 2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Decent all round, no outstanding aspect 01

We recorded the Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium's 0-100 km/h at 9.6 seconds, which is nearly a second quicker than the Toyota Camry. The reverse took 37.7 metres to complete.

Ratings: 2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Decent all round, no outstanding aspect 02

Not only are the gear shifts from the six-speed auto ‘box seamless, power delivery is also buttery smooth. Steering is light and effortless to manoeuvre, making the Sonata an easy car to drive on a daily basis.

2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Driving Performances Breakdown
Engine Acceleration 3.5 / 5
In-gear Acceleration 3.5 / 5
Throttle Response 4 / 5
Transmission Shift Logic 2 / 3
Smoothness 4 / 5
Sport/Manual Mode 2 / 3
Steering Accuracy 2 / 3
Response 2 / 3
Weight & Feel 2 / 3
Braking Distance 2 / 3
Feel 2 / 3
Handling Chassis Balance 1.5 / 3
Grip 1.5 / 3
Load Reaction 2 / 3
Total   34 / 50 pts

2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium: Ride Comfort – 37/50, par for the course

Ratings: 2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Decent all round, no outstanding aspect 03

2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Cabin noise
0 km/h (AC off) 39 dB
0 km/h (AC on) 45 dB
60 km/h (AC on) 60 dB
90 km/h (AC on) 63 dB
110 km/h (AC on) 68 dB

Cabin insulation is as expected from a D-segment sedan, with low levels of noise in general. Wind and engine noise are well surpressed at any speeds, but tyre noise can be noticeable at times.

Ratings: 2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Decent all round, no outstanding aspect 04

Ride quality of the Hyundai Sonata is quite decent, with a suspension tuning that's biased towards comfort. Road imperfections are well-managed to keep cabin intrusion to a minimal.

Ratings: 2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Decent all round, no outstanding aspect 05

Although the front seats offer sufficient back and thigh support, the same cannot be said for the back seats, as thigh support at the rear is slightly lacking.

2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Ride Comfort Breakdown
Sound Proofing 7 / 10
Suspension 7 / 10
Passenger Comfort 8 / 10
Seat Support 4 / 5
Ergonomics 4 / 5
Engine Refinement 7 / 10
Total points 37 / 50 pts

2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium: Quality and Features – 38/50, lacks ADAS

Ratings: 2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Decent all round, no outstanding aspect 06

2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Panel Gaps (mm)
Location Driver Side Passenger Side Difference
Bonnet 3 3.5 0.5
Front Fender 3 3 0
Front to Rear Door 3.5 3.5 0
Rear Door to quarter panel 3.5 3 0.5
Tailgate 3.5 3 0.5
2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Paint Thickness (µm)
Location Driver Side Passenger Side
Front Bonnet 118
Front Fender 100 103
Front Door 96 102
Rear Door 91 98
Rear Quarter Panel 101 102
Tailgate 118
Roof -
Average paint thickness: 103 µm ±9

Paint thickness consistency is commendable with a standard deviation of 9. Panel gap consistency is also above average.

2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Exterior Material Use
Bonnet Soundproofing Material Thick
Struts Gas
Front Fenders Soundproofing Material Yes
Doors Front Windows Single Glazed
Rear Windows Single Glazed
Construction One Piece
Tailgate/Boot Opening Manual

Ratings: 2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Decent all round, no outstanding aspect 07

While the interior is stylish, perceived quality is ironically let down by the faux stitching on the dashboard. Though build and selection of materials are decent for its class.

Ratings: 2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Decent all round, no outstanding aspect 08

2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Cabin Material Use
Seat Seat Cover Leather
Armrest Armrest Cover Leather
Dashboard Upper Section Soft Plastic
  Lower Section Hard Plastic
Front Doors Upper Section Soft Plastic
  Middle Section Leather
  Lower Section Hard Plastic

The 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system supports both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and its user interface is easy to navigate. Wireless charging is available.

Ratings: 2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Decent all round, no outstanding aspect 09

While all passive safety features such as stability control and 6 airbags are accounted for, the Hyundai Sonata lacks the all-important ADAS in Malaysia. However, it does feature the Blindspot View Monitoring (BVM) camera.

2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Quality & Feature Breakdown
Exterior Paint Finish 4 / 4
Panel Gaps 3 / 4
Assembly Quality 2 / 2
Interior Build Quality 4 / 5
Materials Used 4 / 5
Features Safety 9 / 10
ADAS 0 / 5
Luxury 4 / 5
Convenience 4.5 / 5
Infotainment 3.5 / 5
Total   38 / 50 pts

2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium: Space and Practicality – 32/50, airy cabin

Ratings: 2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Decent all round, no outstanding aspect 10

Space in the Hyundai Sonata is par for the D-segment course, with a little over 3 tennis ball of kneeroom and 1 tennis ball of headroom for a 170 cm tall individual.

Ratings: 2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Decent all round, no outstanding aspect 11

Practicality of the Hyundai Sonata is decent, with relatively large centre storage space and glove compartment, though door bins are small. The Sonata is equipped with the Smart Trunk feature, which releases the boot when it detects the key fob within the area for about 3 seconds.

Ratings: 2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Decent all round, no outstanding aspect 12

The Hyundai Sonata's boot space is rated at 510 litres, which is slightly more than the Toyota Camry but trails behind the Honda Accord and Volkswagen Passat.

Ratings: 2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Decent all round, no outstanding aspect 13

2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Interior Space Breakdown
Front Row 7 / 10
Middle/Back Row 8 / 10
Third Row 0 / 5
Boot Space 4 / 5
Practicality 3 / 5
Storage Space 3 / 5
Visibility 4 / 5
Storage Flexibility 3 / 5
Total 32 / 50 pts

2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium: Fuel Economy – 13/20, highly dependent on driving condition

Ratings: 2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Decent all round, no outstanding aspect 14

Two fuel consumption tests were conducted for the Sonata, both in different driving conditions and traffic. The 2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium returned an average fuel consumption figure of 9.1-litre/100 km.

Based on the average figure, Hyundai Sonata is more frugal than the Toyota Camry (10.5-litre/100 km), but is behind the Accord (8.8-litre/100 km) and Passat (6.5-litre/100 km).

Ratings: 2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Decent all round, no outstanding aspect 15

2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Fuel Consumption Test Breakdown
Fuel Consumption 9 / 15
Eco Mode 2 / 2
Indicator Accuracy 2 / 3
Total points 13 / 20 pts

2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium: Purchase and Cost – 17/30, above average maintenance cost

Ratings: 2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Decent all round, no outstanding aspect 16

Fuel cost is based on RON 95 price @ RM 2.05/litre

The fully-imported 2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium is priced at an introductory RM 189,888 (OTR without insurance, with SST incentive), and will retail at RM 206,888 with full SST in place. This makes the Sonata pricier than most of its rivals.

2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium service costs
Month Mileage (km) Cost (RM)
1 1,000 515.60
6 10,000 515.60
12 20,000 515.60
18 30,000 726.40
24 40,000 607.30
30 50,000 515.60
36 60,000 1219.80
42 70,000 515.60
48 80,000 939.30
54 90,000 863.30
60 100,000 618.10
Total 7,552.20

Warranty given is 5 years/300,000 km, whichever comes first. Based on the information extracted from Hyundai Malaysia's website, service costs are higher than the segment's average which is around RM 5,000.

2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Purchase & Cost
Purchase Car Price 9 / 15
Warranty 3 / 5
Cost Maintenance 2 / 5
Fuel Cost 3 / 5
Total   17 / 30 pts

2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium: Conclusion – 171/250 pts overall

Ratings: 2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Decent all round, no outstanding aspect 17

The 2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium scored well in most areas, with good ride comfort as well as quality and features.

The only aspect in which points were deducted is maintenance cost that is higher than segment's average. Also, it lacks ADAS, which puts the Sonata at a disadvantage against its Japanese rivals.

Ratings: 2021 Hyundai Sonata 2.5 Premium - Decent all round, no outstanding aspect 18

The Hyundai Sonata may not have a standout quality objectively but subjectively, its design sets it apart from the competition. And it may well tilt buyer's favour towards the Sonata.

Full Ratings list: https://www.wapcar.my/car-ranking

Also read:

Review: 2021 Hyundai Sonata (DN8) – Is this enough to topple the Camry and Accord?

Ratings: 2020 Honda Accord 1.5 TC-P - High score in most areas, 192/250 pts overall

Ratings: 2019 Toyota Camry 2.5V - Top marks in comfort, 173 pts overall

Ratings: 2020 Volkswagen Passat 2.0 TSI Elegance - Good score in fuel consumption, 186 pts overall

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Up to 20% higher than average trade-in price

2017 Hyundai Sonata 2.0 Elegance

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