The Hyundai Sonata Sport has proven to be a very spacious car with a lot of versatility options, and it was more sporty than the more standard versions, but, to call it a sport version would be slightly exaggerated. Don’t get me wrong, it is a good car and it can be driven fast, but it doesn’t invite you to do so, it doesn’t tempt you to do so, and therefore the association with sport is more decorative than substantial.
When I get a sport version of a car, I expect to hear a resonance in the exhaust, I want to feel an impatience with the throttle pedal, I want to see flippers at the steering wheel or have an inviting manual gearbox that just needs to be changed a lot. I want to see an interior trim that I would associate with sport, light weight, Alcantara trim, Recaro type seats, anything to make me think I am driving something more than I am.
I didn’t find any of that. The suspension was on the soft side for me, driving through the curvy mountain roads I was more at ease at a reduced speed rather than pushing the limits of road holding. I did not hear any different exhaust note, did not feel any urges coming from under the hood to step on it, and the gear change was just a gear change, nothing more.
It’s a big car, spacious, and of course the now renowned Hyundai quality in build and trim, and I value it for exactly that, but the sport tag deserves a bit more than just a badge if you want to be taken seriously. Hyundai does enough in various forms of motor sport to know this and to transfer these impressions to the sport version of any of their range of vehicles. I hope they will soon.