I am the proud owner of a 2009 Toyota Camry base model car. The car is a 2.4L four banger with 155 horsepower. The car is nice. It has a nice stereo and a nice ride. It is quiet to ride in it. It seats four people very comfortably. But I don't like my Camry because it is boring. Disgustingly boring. I had a 2003 Corolla that was faster than my Camry. The Corolla wasn't as refined as the Camry is, but from a pure performance perspective, it had the juice. I missed my Corolla.
Over the years I've gone to the car dealer and I have test driven numerous Mustangs and Camaros. Some of those cars were nicer and more fun to drive than others, but for the most part, they are frivolous cars. All fun, but just expensive toys. I had a girlfriend that called those cars "f-dude cars". OK, whatever. That's why she's an EX and why I never married her.
The last six to nine months, I've really been looking at the Hyundai Sonatas. In 2011 Hyundai redesigned the Sonata into its current form. I've been very pleased with how awesome those cars look. I have several friends and neighbors and friends that have Hyundais and they've had really good luck with their cars. So I've gone to the dealership and take a few for a spin. I'm not overly impressed with the normally aspirated Sonatas, but the Sonata turbo is a totally different animal. I've driven a few of those and they are fun to drive. (As a side note, I've driven the Hyundai Genesis Coup with the 2.0T and the Sonata with the 2.0T and the Sonata was more enjoyable to drive than the Genesis Coup and was FASTER!)
I have learned in my married life that there are little windows of opportunity that float by. If you are not ready to pounce on that window of opportunity, it closes rather quickly. That window of opportunity came in 2010 when I got my first (and only) ATV. In February this year, that little window of opportunity came back. At the time we owned two vehicles - the Toyota Camry and a Chevy Suburban. I drive the Camry to work and my wife drives the Suburban. The Camry gets 30MPG, whereas the Suburban gets about 16MPG. My wife has been using the Suburban extensively and it was costing us a ton of money to drive (in gas) and we were quickly adding miles. We still have many children home and at the rate of use, we were going to use up the Suburban before we could realistically give up the large SUV. So my wife said that she would like to have a small car to drive around.
Watch the window of opportunity open... So I immediately go to the local Hyundai dealership and test drive several different vehicles in earnest. I found the car that I wanted, but it wasn't at the dealership. It is in transit from the factory to the dealership. So, I bought the car sight unseen. Not something that I typically do, but I did it because that car could be sold from underneath me if I didn't buy it before it arrived.
That car is fun to drive. It is quick. Normally turbos have a bit of a lag, but this one does not have much of a lag. The only time the lag is very noticeable is when the car is first started and you romp on it. You really need to get the car warmed up to operating temperature in order to appreciate the power of that motor.
So, how does it do on mileage? Well, when I'm driving it like a maniac, it will get mid to high 20s. However, if I am careful in how I drive, I can usually get about 30MPG out of it. One day I filled it up and then drove to work with the cruise control set to 70 MPH. I drove about 45 miles to work and I ended up getting ... get this ... 41MPG. Yep. 41MPG going at 70 MPH down the freeway. In reality, I don't get that because my wife likes to drive my car around town and use my gas. Just a warning... The Sonata Turbo is NOT the car to buy for driving around town. It is very thirsty in stop and go traffic.
Some technical specs about the car:
Engine: 2.0L turbo (twin scroll Mitsubishi turbo) with intercooler.
Horsepower: 274 (same as my 5.3L V8 Suburban!!)
Torque: 269 ft-lbs
Heated front seats
Bottom line: The car is fun to drive. So if you're looking at a Hyundai Sonata, take one for a spin one day. It might end up following you home...