2012 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T (Limited, SE) Review - Pictures, features, specs

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The 2012 Hyundai Sonata continues to be a huge hit thanks to Fluidic Sculpture design, advanced technology and an all-four cylinder engine lineup. Those four cylinder engines have been recalibrated for 2012 and are now even more fuel efficient delivering even better best-in-class fuel economy.

2012 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T photo -2012 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T photo -Find more new 2012 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T pictures in our 2012 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T photo gallery

In fact, the 2012 Hyundai Sonata GDI leads the entire midsize segment (non hybrid) in city (24 mpg), highway (35 mpg) and combined (28 mpg) fuel economy, while the Sonata 2.0T now achieves 34 mpg highway up from 33 mpg on the 2011 model year.

2012 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T photo2012 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T photo

Hyundai Sonata enters the 2012 model year with even more safety, technology and convenience offerings including Blue Link, HD Radio Technology and new seven-inch touch-screen navigation. Add it all up and there’s a reason why Sonata is one of the most shopped cars in the U.S.

2012 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T photo2012 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T photo

Standard Blue Link - safety, service and infotainment telematics system
Sonata GDI now leads the entire midsize car segment (non-hybrid) in all fuel economy figures – city, highway and combined
With a choice of the original 2.4-liter GDI I4 engine, 2.0-liter turbo I4 engine or 40 mpg Hybrid, Sonata offers a wide variety of fuel-efficient powertrains
Three-piece panoramic sunroof now standard on Sonata Limited
New seven-inch touch-screen navigation with HD Radio Technology
Rear backup camera available on SE with Sunroof and Navigation Package

2012 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T photo2012 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T photo

With the 2.0-liter Theta II turbocharged GDI engine, the 2012 Hyundai Sonata offers an unprecedented combination of segment-leading fuel efficiency and power – with a 34 mpg highway rating, 274 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 269 lb-ft of torque from 1,800 - 4,500 rpm with regular fuel. The Sonata 2.0T delivers an outstanding 22 mpg city and 34 mpg highway. Hyundai’s turbocharged engine features a twin-scroll turbocharger that when combined with the GDI system results in instantaneous power delivery. The 2.0T engine is available on the SE and Limited trim levels, with the 2.0T SE adding an upgraded fully automatic temperature control system, and the Limited adding the SE’s 18-inch hyper silver alloy wheels, dual exhaust, and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

The heart of 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid’s breakthrough Hybrid Blue Drive technology is its remarkable lithium polymer battery pack. The simple Hybrid Blue Drive powertrain with engine decoupling, significantly reduces the amount of energy required to maintain highway speeds, resulting in a remarkable estimated 40 mpg highway fuel rating, the best of any mid-size hybrid sedan in the market.

2012 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T photo2012 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T photo

Hyundai’s commitment to making the Sonata extremely fuel efficient continues with a six-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC manual control or a standard six-speed manual transaxle.

When it comes to transmissions, more gears are definitely better. The addition of a sixth gear enables closer spacing between gear ratios providing a better balance of performance and fuel economy while the wide overall gear ratio helps deliver strong acceleration.

The gearbox has three planetary gearsets and a unique flat torque converter that shortens the unit's overall length by 0.47 inches. Four pinion differentials improve durability and further minimize size.

2012 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T photo2012 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T photo

An advanced four-wheel independent suspension system combines a supple ride with precise handling and steering response for 2012 Hyundai Sonata GLS, Limited and Hybrid models. Sonata uses MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension systems with increased travel for improved wheel control and a smoother ride. All four wheels are controlled by coil springs, fade-resistant dual flow dampers and stabilizer bars. The suspension has been optimized to keep the vehicle flat during cornering and provide quick turn-in response. The rear suspension uses aluminum components to reduce weight and improve suspension performance. The GLS, Limited and Hybrid models also use advanced low-rolling resistance tires to improve fuel economy while maintaining good ride and handling performance.

The 2012 Hyundai Sonata SE is an even more exciting and willing partner for drivers who prefer sportier ride and handling dynamics. The sport-tuned suspension features stiffer springs and larger stabilizer bars, resulting in a 20 percent increase in roll stiffness. Low profile 18-inch tires round out the unique chassis components of the Sonata SE.

All 2012 Hyundai Sonatas have column-mounted, motor-driven electric power steering that adjusts instantly to changing driving conditions while improving fuel economy over a conventional steering system. A quick-ratio steering rack is used for crisp feel on turn-in. Sonata’s turning diameter of 35.8 feet is better than Camry, Accord, Altima, Fusion and Malibu.

Beyond the innovative powertrain, Hyundai's engineering team has addressed all aspects of vehicle efficiency including the most visually obvious one, aerodynamics. The Sonata Hybrid shares the same "Fluidic Sculpture" design language with all other 2012 Sonatas but features a unique exterior that sets it apart from its siblings. The combination of re-shaped front and rear fascias with a deeper air dam, extended rocker panels and lower drag wheels allow the air to flow around the body with less resistance. The drag coefficient for the Sonata Hybrid is the lowest in the industry at just 0.25, which is more slippery than most sports cars including the Porsche 911 GT2 RS (0.34) and the 2011 Nissan GT-R (0.27).

2012 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T photo2012 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T photo

The sleek design, combined with Hyundai’s expertise in interior packaging, delivers class-leading interior comfort, functionality and practicality. A sleek roofline typically compromises headroom and interior volume but, at 120.2 cubic feet, the Sonata has more interior volume than many of its key competitors. It is so spacious, Sonata continues to be classified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a Large car, truly a “class above” Camry, Altima, Fusion and Malibu (all are categorized as Midsize cars). Even in trunk room, the Sonata shines. Sonata’s 16.4 cu. ft. of trunk space gives it a 9.3 percent advantage over the Camry, and a 11.6 percent advantage over Accord.

2012 Hyundai Sonata is rich in ultra-high-strength steel, leading to world-class body rigidity. The Sonata is 25 percent stiffer in torsion and 19 percent stiffer in bending rigidity than its predecessor, yet it is lighter than many midsize sedans, also offering more interior room. This focus on power-to-weight ratio pays dividends across the board. The Sonata owes its ability to deliver both strong performance and excellent fuel economy in great part to its impressive power-to-weight efficiency.

2012 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T photo2012 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T photo

2012 Hyundai Sonata was built from the ground up with safety in mind, with a hot stamped ultra-high-strength steel body structure, advanced airbag technology and Electronic Stability Control (ESC), delivering on Hyundai’s commitment to both active and passive safety technology leadership. Every 2012 Hyundai Sonata has lifesaving ESC as standard equipment. This is important because the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported that ESC results in 35 percent fewer single-vehicle crashes and 30 percent fewer single-vehicle fatalities in passenger cars.

The 2012 Hyundai Sonata also features a state-of-the-art braking package. The package includes four-wheel disc brakes and an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) including Brake Assist, which provides maximum braking force when a panic stop is detected, and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) to automatically adjust the braking force to front and rear axles based on the vehicle loading conditions.

2012 Hyundai Sonata features six airbags—including dual front, front seat-mounted side-impact, and front and rear side curtain airbags—along with active front-seat head restraints. Other passive safety features include shingle-style rear-seat head restraints for improved visibility, three-point seatbelts for all seating positions, front-seat seatbelt pretensioners and force limiters, and a rear-seat Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system for child seats.

2012 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T photo2012 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T photo

2012 Hyundai Sonata comes standard with three months of XM Satellite Radio,
Real-time XM NavTraffic, XM NAV Weather®, XM Sports Ticker and XM Stock Ticker on Navigation-equipped models
Sonata is the first popular midsize sedan to offer the clarity of digital HD Radio Technology from the factory
Bluetooth hands-free phone system standard
Standard auxiliary iPod/USB inputs
Touch-screen navigation is available on SE and Limited trim levels and includes a new high-resolution screen. This easy-to-use unit can be controlled via 7-inch WVGA touchscreen or voice-activation by headliner-mounted microphone.

The system features 8GB of flash memory and comes matched with a sound system that plays compact discs, accesses digital music files via Bluetooth streaming audio or allows driver and passenger to access their personal listening devices through the iPod/USB/auxiliary inputs. Bluetooth audio wirelessly streams music from select mobile phones to the head unit. Also, with a Bluetooth-enabled phone one can look up a local restaurant and call for reservations before plotting the route.

Fluidic Sculpture is a consistent, cohesive design language that is used through the entire Hyundai showroom. It considers the interplay of natural, fluid elements with more rigid surfaces and structures to create the illusion of constant motion.

The exterior of the 2012 Hyundai Sonata is long, light and low. The high beltline allows for a long, sleek roofline accented by a third window. A monoform side profile includes flowing lines highlighted by a Hyundai signature chrome accent that spans the length of the car. Normally, this type of trim is only found around the windows. On the Sonata, this trim extends out from the headlamps, juts up along the hood and through the beltline. The face is bold with a large powerful chrome grille and headlamps that integrate precise details. The stance is completed by 16-, 17- or 18-inch multi-spoke wheels.

The sophisticated look continues inside where Hyundai has created an upscale ambiance thanks to a flow-through center console and instrument panel. These flowing surfaces complement the exterior design and wrap around the driver and passengers.

The 2012 Hyundai Sonata launched with the original Theta II GDI 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with a Gasoline Direct-Injection (GDI) fuel delivery system, which contributes to improved fuel efficiency and lower emissions. This shorter, more direct path of fuel delivery, allows for greater control of the fuel mixture at the optimum moment, thus improving efficiency. The fuel is injected by a camshaft-driven, high pressure pump that operates at pressures up to 2,175 psi. Direct injection also utilizes a higher than normal 11.3:1 compression ratio for increased power. The pistons are “dished” to increase combustion efficiency in the cylinder. This powerplant delivers best-in-class fuel economy, best-in-class four-cylinder horsepower and best-in-class torque.

2012 Hyundai Sonata delivers an impressive segment leading 24 mpg city/35 mpg highway/28 combined fuel economy rating with both the six-speed manual and automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC®. The horsepower and torque ratings for the Theta II GDI are 198 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque. In the SE trim, which includes a standard dual exhaust, the engine delivers 200 horsepower and 186 lb.-ft. of torque. This high-tech, all-aluminum, 16-valve engine features Dual Continuously Variable Valve Timing (DCVVT) and a Variable Induction System (VIS) for better engine breathing. A version of this engine also meets Partial Zero Emission Vehicle (PZEV) standards.

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New 2012 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T specifications, review, photos and images courtesy of Hyundai.

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