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Hyundai Sonata

1 rating: 3.0
A car by Hyundai

The Hyundai Sonata (Korean) is a mid-size sedan manufactured and marketed globally by Hyundai Motor Company.   First Generation (Y1, 1985-1988) The vehicle was unveiled in South Korea in July 1985. Engine choices include 1.8L or 2.0L engine. The … see full wiki

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1 review about Hyundai Sonata

2009 Hyundai Sonata - impressive bargain

  • Sep 16, 2009
  • by

When I walked up to the white one in the rental car lot and saw that they put me in a Hyundai, I was depressed.  Especially since there was a Mustang right next to it.  As I loaded my stuff and got inside, I noticed how much everything reminded me of circa 2000 Honda Accord.  This was the base GLS trim with fabric seats, but the fit and finish of everything was pretty nice.  I also noticed that this $20K car has satellite radio, traction control, ABS, and 6 air bags...all standard!

The power delivery was surprisingly good too.  So good in fact that at my first stop, I popped to hood to see what was under there as I was pretty sure it was a four banger, but felt like it could have been a V6.  It was indeed a 175hp 4 cylinder with a pretty impressive 168 lb/ft of torque.  If I were to buy one, I would definitely go with the V6 rated at a 249hp and 229 lb/ft of torque as there were a few times when merging that the Hyundai could have used a little more umpf.  The one thing that REALLY impressed me was the fact that the hood actually had a gas charged hood strut!  No hot and dirty hood prop rod! 

The area where this car is lacking is the handling.  The 16" wheels were way too small for this large sedan.  There was way too much travel on the suspension too and the front felt very floaty.  In fact, I turned the wheel over to my wife for one leg of our trip so I could take a nap and she almost lost control of the car as she began swerving at which point I woke up and grabbed the wheel to hold it steady.  This is another big reason why I would step up to the SE trim with a V6 engine.  The SE has 17" wheels standard which would be much more appropriate for this car and the extra weight on the front should increase stability somewhat.  Aside from that little incident, I did not experience any other issues.

Anyone in the market for a Camry or an Accord should definitely give the Sonata a look first.  Hyundai continues to make leaps and bounds in improvements and are very motivated to do so to gain market share whereas Toyota and Honda have pretty much been stagnant and just riding on brand recognition.  Just look at the new Hyundai Genesis and you can tell that Hyundai is determined to improve their product.  You can score a fully loaded Limited model for around $26K.  Good luck getting that deal with a Camry or an Accord.  Don't forget about the famous Hyundai warranty too. 10yr, 100K mile drive train warranty and most importantly, 5yr, 60K mile bumper to bumper warranty.

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