If you were to hop right out of the entry-level Hyundai Sonata and jumped straight into the top of the line Sonata Premium, you will notice a lot of contrasting differences. For starters, the standard model has a 2.4-litre, four-cylinder engine that does the job whereas the Premium offers up a 2.0-litre turbo engine that gives the Sonata a much sportier feel.
The Sonata Premium is reported to be able to do 0-100kmh in just over six seconds which makes the general consensus that medium sized sedans are boring family cars, completely wrong on this occasion.
Under the Hood
That engine is the latest generation from Hyundai and it makes use of some excellent features such as variable cam timing to enhance its performance. It brings its power to the front wheels through a 6-speed auto transmission and also uses direct fuel injection.
One thing that is instantly noticeable when driving is that you can barely hear the engine unless you really drive it with a bit of vigor.
If you are looking for a medium sedan that has as good fuel economy as that which is found on the Mazda6 however, this is not going to be the car for you. This is not to say that the fuel economy is poor however, as you will still manage 100km from about 9.2 litres in the Sonata Premium.
While the Sonata Premium obviously offers up more grunt, this is not the only aspect of the Sonata that has improved. It offers up better handling, braking, steering and just generally a better driving experience all around.
As the top of the range model Sonata, you would expect it to have all of the best features and that is what you get. Dual zone climate control, proximity unlock, stunning 18-inch alloys, a touch screen satnav, electric adjustable seats, cornering lights and button start are just a few of the features that can be found on this model.
This is of course on top of the standard features that are found across the Sonata range such as a reverse camera, automatic headlights and a parking assistance program that is extremely handy.
The premium model also has great options for connectivity on both audio and phone and the systems are easy to locate and use.
The interior offers up plenty of space compared to rivals in this category of car with the option to increase that space through 60:40 folding seats. There is easily enough room to fit five people comfortably.
The car weighs around the 1550kg mark but moves extremely impressively if required. It is a family car after all but if you punch it hard you will quickly see what it is capable of. The Sonata Premium is also incredibly comfortable when driving due to its interior and it looks good when looking on from the outside as well.
It might be considered a tad expensive at $41,990 but when you consider that it looks great, provides excellent levels of performance and comes with plenty of extra features, it might just be worth it. To be honest however, the standard model which costs far less will be suitable for most applications, so this is just for those that want to have the best of the range.