The acceleration may stem from tall gearing; great for MPG, but a bit sluggish in town. I dunno about the interior though, today's cars are a bit too stylized at times.
Having driven the Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Camry, Accord and Ford Fusion, I'd have to pick the top-rated Fusion, although the Sonata and Kia are way ahead of the tinny Camry and Accord.
Are you sure it wasn't a 2.4L that you have rented? I have a 2.0T now and my previous car was a 2.0T Tiguan, and I strongly disagree with your review. The Sonata is lighter and has 68 more horse power than the Tiguan... and there is no way in hell is it under-powered or slower than the VW. You must be joking or you must work for VW. And the same issue for the gas mileage... I am not sure about your experience, but I have put 120k on the Tiguan and 15k on the Sonata, and it's the opposite of your renting experience. Anyways, maybe I am a lucky dog, but I highly doubt it. Anyone else?
I have a long-standing policy of not buying any car not built by an American company, but I have driven the Sonata and Kia Optima (basically the same car), and found them both to be very smooth and well-built cars; far superior to the Camry and Accord. I do prefer the simpler and more elegant styling of the Optima, though that is totally subjective and a matter of personal taste.
My biggest disappointments were that the cars only come in incredibly bland non-colors (basically black, white or shades of gray), and I did not feel that the cars lived up to their advertised horsepower ratings. They felt no more powerful than the 4-cylinder versions of their competitors that are rated much lower in horsepower.
In regards to the Sonata having 70 more horsepower, yes, on paper it does, but the VW 2.0T might be the most underrated stock motor on the planet. Real world dynos are showing 200+ HP at the wheels for this engine, which means it's making more like 230+ HP at the crank vs the Hyundai/Kia's 274 (at the crank - which might be a bit *overrated* based on dynos I've seen).
To the original reviewer: Thanks a million for taking the time to write such a lengthy in-depth review... I am considering a 2.0T Sonata, and your review was very helpful.