I am creeping my way into the third trimester of my second pregnancy, and this time around, I know how much worse it is going to get…To distract myself from the agony that lies ahead, I have thrown myself full force into preparing for baby. This includes, buying a new family car. Despite the fact that I am having my second child, I absolutely refuse to buy a traditional “family” car. I have never been one to favor a larger vehicle, and I prefer to drive a sporty sedan over anything else. Yet, with two kids (both of which will be in car seats) it seems like my sedan driving days are over. I refuse to buy a mini-van and a crossover feels like too much for me so this doesn’t leave me with many options. Truth be told, there is a part of me dying to hang onto my youth which might be due to the fact that I am also turning 30 this year. The question remains, can a mother of two find a car to accommodate the family and doesn’t scream “Mom Mobile”? There is some hope.
Hyundai invited influencers to come check out their 2018 Hyundai Sonata for a drive event at the beautiful The Lodge Torrey Pines (yes, with the spectacular golf course. No, I don’t golf, but it was still amazing). I was particularly excited to take it for a test drive because of its sporty look and claims of roominess. When I’m not carting the family around, I want to be able to climb into my car and still feel a sense of self not tied to the demands of being a wife and mother. A sleek ride like the Sonata is a car I could actually see myself driving…with two kids in tow.
The new Sonata has much more room than I expected with 122.4 cubic feet of total interior volume and of that there is 106.1 cubic feet of passenger volume which is more when compared to its competitor the Toyota Camry which only has 100.4 cubic feet of passenger volume. I could easily fit both car seats in the backseat without a problem. There is 16.3 cubic feet of cargo volume whereas the Camry only offers 14.1 cubic feet. All that space means I have room to haul all I need from groceries to strollers. It is classified as a large car because of all that extra room. The Sonata also comes with standard 60/40 split fold-down rear seats in case I need more than the standard trunk space.
Most days I forget my keys in the front door so anything that makes my life a little easier is amazing, and the conveniences the Sonata offers are just what I need to help me keep my sanity
Saves Your Seat
I don’t know how many times I get in my car after my husband has driven it, and I have to fumble with my seat for ten minutes to get it where I want it, but in the Sonata I can save my position. It will automatically adjust when I start the car. There is also optional heated and ventilated seats! That is right, you can heat your butt or cool it down with just a button which is exactly what I need in the varying climates of Michigan.
Fighting with cords is the last thing I need when I get in the car. With the optional wireless charging, I can toss my phone right in the tray and charge while I go. It also has USB plug ins including one in the back seat for the kiddos and their devices.
Rear Side Window Shades
Window shades are available in Limited and standard in Limited 2.0T offering easy shade for the babies I have riding in the back. No more suction cup shades falling off the window.
Hands Free Smart Trunk
The hands free smart trunk is available which automatically opens the trunk when the proximity key is within three feet of the trunk for at least three seconds. That means no juggling to pop the trunk and no foot swinging action. It simply opens when you need it. Without the smart trunk, simply press the Hyundai symbol on the trunk, and it will open.
Each trim comes standard with a 7 inch color touchscreen audio display and an 8 inch touchscreen navigation in the Limited 2.0T. All of these have Android Auto™ or Apple CarPlay™ compatibility. No longer is this modern convenience considered an “extra”. The dash also features new “piano key” buttons that provide a very classic look and ease of access.
This is probably my absolute favorite feature from Hyundai! Blue Link packages are available starting at the SEL trim level, and the accompanying app allows you to control your car right from your phone! You can lock the doors, start the car and adjust the temperature with your app. This is an absolute must for me. While I am running around trying to pack up two kids, I can start the car and warm it up without even having to set foot outside. It also works with Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
Hyundai offers standard in the new Sonata Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Lane Change Assist. It also has a rearview camera that comes in all trims. Hyundai is making safety a top priority in order to help prevent accidents.
Living in Michigan means we deal with our fair share of horrific potholes and inclement weather. I need a car that is responsive and offers optimal handling in every road condition. The new Sonata has an updated rear suspension that gives the car a more immediate reaction. In the Limited 2.0T there is a new 8 speed automatic transmission offering a smooth ride as well as more control. It grips the road with a stiff handling that creates an even, fluid flow from steering wheel to pavement. The Sonata handled beautifully on the crowded roads in San Diego and took risky corners with ease. I am confident it could take on my unfriendly Michigan roads.
At the base level, the SE fuel economy gets 25mpg city/36 highway/29 combined. The models SEL to Limited get 25/35/ 28 while the Sport2.0T and Limited 2.0T get 23/32/26. The Eco model has 178 horsepower with a 4 cylinder Twin-scroll Turbo engine (fuel economy is available at this time). The SE through the Limited have 185 horsepower with an inline 4 cylinder engine. For a little more oomph, the Sport 2.0 and Limited 2.0T have 245 horsepower with a 4 cylinder Twin-scroll Turbo engine.
While the drive was a great experience, I was also pleasantly surprised to learn more about the Hyundai company as a whole. They aren’t strangers to charity, and during the drive, we used all the extra trunk space to make some special deliveries. We brought dog food and treats to the Helen Woodward Animal Center where their AniMeals program delivers almost 3,000 pounds of pet food per month to homebound seniors and people with disabilities. Then, we also took toys to Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego which is a major pediatric clinical research center and has the region’s only dedicated pediatric trauma center. Helping sick children is near to Hyundai’s cause, and it is the backbone of the program Hyundai Hope On Wheels which benefits children battling cancer. Of all the National Cancer Institute Research funding, only 4% is designated for childhood cancer so Hyundai has made it their missions to help raise awareness and funds to help children battling cancer.
At the end of our drive day, we paid it forward. Supplied with Starbucks gift cards we bought drinks and used the remaining balance to pay for others in line. It was a great experience that portrayed the car world in a whole new light. As an industry that is often built upon a foundation of wealth and luxury, it was refreshing that Hyundai found a way to make the whole drive event about giving back.
The Hyundai Sonata is one of the most recognizable of the Hyundai cars, and it has sold over 2.8 million units since it was first introduced in 1989. With its refresh, the 2018 Sonata has had refined sculpting to give it a sleek but toned exterior with the lower bumper adopting a catamaran shape that makes it stable and agile. Minor tweaking has made it the same reliable Sonata but with a more aggressive feel and effortless handling. Available in 9 trim levels, you can create a version that fits your life and drive style. The updates and modern conveniences have placed it at the front of its class, and it has landed at the top of my shopping list. If you are looking for a mid-size sedan, it is well worth a test drive.
I was hosted for a press preview of the 2018 Hyundai Sonata. All opinions remain my own.