Taking a page from the Ford playbook, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata will be offered in a special "Eco" model that features a small-displacement turbocharged engine, an advanced automatic transmission, a nice boost in torque over the base model, and a +10 percent gain in combined fuel economy. However, the new Sonata variant also will get a typically Hyundai spin on the matter, thanks to a high-value MSRP.
Thus, putting the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Eco up against the automatically transmissioned Ford Fusion with a 1.5-liter EcoBoost unit shows:
The Sonata Eco starts from $23,275 with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that routes 177 hp and 195 lb.-ft. of torque through Hyundai's first seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and achieves EPA grades of 28 mpg city/32 mpg highway/38 mpg combined.
The Fusion is furnished with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder powerplant that serves up 181 hp and 185 lb.-ft. of torque, relies on a six-speed "SelectShift" automatic transmission, and tops out at 28 mpg city/36 mpg highway/28 mpg combined, all with pricing that opens at $24,730.
Further, the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Eco comes fairly well set up, with all of the content offered on the mid-grade Sonata SE, as well as a chrome grille, mirror-integrated turn signals, automatic headlights, a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat, display audio with a 5-inch color touchscreen, and a rearview-camera system. There are plenty of available upgrades, too, although they're only offered in one all-inclusive bundle. That "Technology Package" requires a $4,100 premium, taking the price of the range-topping Eco model to $28,830 but adding features like:
- An upscale leather cabin with heated front seats
- Blind-spot, rear cross-traffic and lane-change safety technologies
- Hyundai's hands-free Smart Trunk
- Premium audio plus navigation, with an 8-inch screen, voice control, access to mobile apps and Siri EyesFree functionality for select iDevices
Said John Shon, manager of product planning for Hyundai Motor America: “Sonata Eco enhances the sophisticated design and confidence-inspiring driving dynamics of the 2015 Sonata with even more impressive fuel economy. This innovative powertrain improves fuel efficiency without sacrificing the driving experience.”
The 2015 Hyundai Sonata Eco is expected to join the Sonata production line at the automaker's manufacturing facility in Montgomery, Ala., later this summer.