Be Safe in Your 2011 Hyundai Sonata

Wednesday, December 7, 2011 by Cy Chowattukunnel
For the longest time, the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord dominated the mid-size sedan game. Recently, however, a new contender has entered the ring - the 2011 Hyundai Sonata. And with many Sonata owners valuing safety over dry road handling, it's best they look at winter /  snow tires in the Studless Ice and Snow performance category.

Snow Tire Size

The GLS and Hybrid versions come equipped with 205/65-16 (215/55-17 is an optional Hybrid size) tires, while the Sonata Limited runs either 215/55-17s (2.4L engine) or 225/45-18s (2.0T). The Sonata SE runs on 225/45-18s in both engine models. For the GLS and Hybrid, 205/65-16 gives optimum balance between deep snow, ice and dry roads. Because 16" wheels won't clear the brakes on the Limited and SE trim levels, this makes 215/55-17 the best choice.

Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

The 2011 Hyundai Sonata uses valve-stem mounted TPMS sensors that must be initialized by the dealer to function. We can install sensors ($57* or $64* ea) purchased as part of a Winter / Snow Tire & Whee for free, but your dealer must initialize your sensors in the fall and spring as your summer wheels go back on.

Winter/Snow Tire & Wheel Package for GLS and Hybrid Sonatas

As I covered in a previous blog post, I believe the Michelin X-Ice Xi2 to be a slightly better choice compared to the Bridgestone Blizzak WS70, therefore I recommend a package that includes the 205/65-16 Michelin X-Ice Xi2 on steel wheels with the KT962 wheel covers for $735* plus shipping.

Michelin X-Ice Xi2
205/65-16 Michelin X-Ice Xi2
16x6.5 Black Steel Wheel
16x6.5 Black Steel Wheel

Winter/Snow Tire & Wheel Package for Limited and SE Sonatas

The ideal Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package for the Limited and SE Sonata is the 215/55-17 Michelin X-Ice Xi2 on 17x7.5 50mm offset Sport Edition F7 wheels at $972** plus shipping.

215/55-17 Michelin X-Ice Xi2
215/55-17 Michelin X-Ice Xi2
17x7.5 50mm offset Silver Sport Edition F7
17x7.5 50mm offset Silver Sport Edition F7

2011 Hyundai Winter FAQ:
  1. I would prefer not to use the wheels listed above, can I use something different? When you're creating a Winter / Snow Tire & Wheel Package, different wheel options will be provided to allow you to choose the combination that you prefer. 
  2. I live at the North Pole and need a skinnier tire size for more emphasis on deep snow traction, what sizes can I run? There aren't any great super-skinny 16" or 17" choices, as the 195/60-16 (25.2") size is over 1" smaller in diameter compared to the 205/65-16 (26.5"). While 205/55-17s are 25.9" and their overall diameter is comparable, you're restricted to winter / snow tires which aren't great for the North Pole.
  3. I'm leasing my car and will not have it for a long period of time, can I mount winter / snow tires on the vehicle's wheels? If your leased vehicle is equipped with either the 16" or 17" O.E. painted finish wheels, then it's fine to use them as snow wheels. If you have 18" wheels, then you're restricted to the wider 225/45-18 size. This wider tire will plow through deeper snow instead of cutting through it, so using the 18" O.E. wheels aren't ideal.
*Prices subject to change
**Prices subject to change, excluding sensors

Comments on Be Safe in Your 2011 Hyundai Sonata

Thursday, March 28, 2013 by Alex Shum:
Hi, can I use 225/60-16 all season tires on my 2011 Sonata GLS.
Thanks,
Alex
Thursday, March 28, 2013 by cy:
Alex,
225/60-16 on your Original Equipment 16" rims will work fine without rubbing or any other issues.
Cy
Thursday, June 27, 2013 by andrew:
my car 201 Hyundai sonata limited tire size 215/55/17. I would like buy 225/55/17 will work well? Please let me know.
Thanks
Thursday, June 27, 2013 by cy:
Alex, 225/55-17 will fit on your 2011 Sonata Limited 2.4L's 17x6.5 Original Equipment wheels but this size is slightly larger than what we've test fit, so we would consider this to be a "custom size."
I would recommending getting anecdotal feedback from some of Sonata/Optima owners' sites/forums we sponsor. I suspect other Sonata drivers have gotten this size to work. Thanks. Cy.
Monday, July 8, 2013 by Mitzie:
I need tires ASAP my car is a hyundia sonata 2011 I have 205 65 R 16 tires in here now can I put a 215 60 R 16 on here will it be safe and will it rub on my struts
Tuesday, July 9, 2013 by cy:
Mizie, 215/60-16 works fine on your Original Equipment 16x6.5 wheel and won't on the inside (struts) or the the outside (fender). Thanks.Cy.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013 by Zed:
Have a sonata 2013 GL 205/65/16. Can i put a 215/60/16 winter tire on the same original wheel? Is is safe? Same, better or worse on ice/snow?
Thanks
Tuesday, October 29, 2013 by cy:
Zed,
215/60-16 will work on OE wheel as wheel. Being about a 1/2 inch wider 215/60-16 will be slightly less
effective in deeper snow and slightly better in ice/packed snow. Thanks. Cy.
Thursday, November 7, 2013 by Ralph:
I have a 2011 Sonata with the 2.0 turbo and 225/R18 wheels. What is the best tire for me to quiet the ride and that will work in both winter (Live if Detroit) and summer?
Friday, November 8, 2013 by cy:
Ralph, with our rough Midwestern roads, a moderate-length wheelbase and 18" wheels there only so much we can do to improve ride compliance. With this in mind, the optimal choice for your parameters would be the Michelin Primacy MXM4, see:

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tires.jsp?tireMake=Michelin&tireModel=Primacy+MXM4&partnum=245VR8MXM4P&vehicleSearch=false&fromCompare1=yes&affiliate=HK8
Thanks. Cy.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013 by martin:
hi guys. need some advice in getting a new tire and wheels package. i currently drive a 2013 hyundai sonata 2.0T which is fitted with 18 inch rims. I am getting slightly confused cause the dealer had mentioned that 16 inch rims (215/60/16) would be fine for my model but then when I went by to a bigger and well known tire place they had mentioned that the recommended size is 215/55/17 cause apparently the brakes won't clear if i used anything smaller than a 17 inch. Can someone help clarify this to me and also about some insight about the TPMS sensors and if my year has them?
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 by cy:
Martin,

We don’t have any compatible 16” winter wheels for your Sonata 2.0T, only 17’s. All the wheels listed in the Winter/Snow section here:

http://www.tirerack.com/snow/WinterTireCompare.jsp?minLoad=LL&sortSize=17&snowSortCode=20239&autoYear=2013&autoMake=Hyundai&autoModel=Sonata+2.0T&autoModClar=Limited&winterType=AB&startIndex=0&performance=W&search=true&affiliate=HK8

Have been test fit to verify they clear your brakes. We check for circumferential rotor clearance and caliper clearance using a CAD system. The dealer may have been referring to non-2.0T Sonata as we do have compatible 16” wheels for the non-2.0T Sonata’s.

TPMS: Your US-spec 2013 Sonata 2.0T has valve-stem mounted TPMS sensors, so if you want operable TPMS for the winter, we can mount & balance with Original TPMS sensors. Since each sensor has a unique serial number your dealer will have to initialize (input the new TPMS serial codes into the vehicle) every time you switch from summer to winter or vice versa.

Thanks. Cy.
Saturday, March 29, 2014 by BOB:
CAN I USE 17 INCH WHEELS ON MY 2011 SONATA 2.OT? I NOTICED THAT THE SONATA 17 INCH ARE 6.5 INCH WIDE AS VS. THE 18 INCH 7.0 INCHES
Tuesday, April 1, 2014 by cy:
Bob, our 17x6.5 50 mm offset steel wheel will clear your brakes but since clearance varies with spoke thickness and spoke curvature that doesn’t mean every 17x6.5 wheel will clear. If you’re trying to determine if the Original Equipment 17x6.5 wheel clears your 2.0T brakes, I would recommend getting anecdotal feedback from other 2.0T Sonata drivers who’ve attempted to use this wheel.

Thanks.

Cy

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