A 3,000-Mile Test Drive: 2015 Hyundai Sonata

Before putting its cars on the road, Hyundai tests them to make sure they live up to the company's standards in every situation. These days, most of the Hyundai products in America are tested at the California Proving Grounds, a 4,300-acre facility that recreates North American road and highway scenarios. Here, Hyundai tests and sharpens its industry-leading safety systems, before putting them into mass production. But with the new 2015 Sonata , Hyundai added an extra test: a cross-country, 3,000-mile test drive.

Jeff Ellingson , a professional photographer from Los Angeles, hosted the test drive and introduced us to the new car and faces across America. The journey begins at Hyundai's manufacturing plant in Montgomery, Ala., where each Sonata is built in just 18 hours by 283 robots and the hands of 1,000 men and women. What we really stands out is the impact Hyundai has made on the state of Alabama and the lives of its nearly 3,000 employees.

Ellingson hits the road to Dallas where he tests the Sonato's safety features with Harold Heaney, a long-haul trucker who has traveled more than five million miles without an accident. Heaney, a man of few words, sat nervously in the passenger seat while Ellingson showed off the Sonata's blind spot detection, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning technologies. After a couple of near collisions with a few RVs and a "Holy Sarsaparilla" from Heaney, Ellingson's journey continues to Colorado's Pikes Peak where racing legend Rhys Millen tested the car's performance. Millen put the pedal to the metal while twisting and curving with a winding mountain road and playing Test Drive Trivia.

The last miles of the journey take us to California. At Google's headquarters in Mountain View, Ellingson anice cream run allows Ellingson to show off the Sonata's Blue Link features. And finally, at Hyundai's headquarters in Orange County, the journey comes to its final stop. Here, we learn about the design of the new Sonata, partially inspired by fashion designer Waraire Boswell's line of high-end suits.

Hyundai loyalists could follow the journey online. But don't worry, if you missed it while it was happening, the videos are still available. Visit hyundaisonata.com to learn how the 2015 Sonata was made with America in mind.

Does the 2015 Sonata sound like the right ride for you? The car's look has been refined and Hyundai has introduced advanced safety and convenience features and options. Added interior space, now at 106.1 cubic feet, makes traveling long distances in the new ride easier and more comfortable. If this sounds like your next dream car, make your way to World Car Hyundai today and take your own (not quite 3,000-mile) test drive.

What was your favorite stop along the 3000-Mile Journey? What do you think of the 2015 Hyundai Sonata? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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