- below average 1,597
- 1,495 great
- Tampa, FL
- 2 weeks
- below average 1,597 sedan white
It costs less than the name brands, but measures up well against them. the sonata is packed with features, considering it starts below $17,000. The interior is nicely finished and has a general feeling of quality. Driving the sonata is convenient and hassle-free with well-designed controls located exactly where expected. The styling is distinctive, sleek and rounded with rich-looking details. sonata cruises comfortably down the highway, even at elevated speeds. Its steering is sharp and responsive. The v6-powered sonata gls and lx deliver satisfying performance. lineupthree models are available: sonata 15,999); sonata gls 18,779); and sonata lx 19,799). the base hyundai sonata is well equipped for its price. The 2. 7-liter v6 comes with an automatic transmission, and the car is fitted with high-performance tires on 16-inch alloy wheels for improved handling. The gls is upgraded with deluxe cloth upholstery, woodgrain accents, better carpet, an upgraded stereo, an improved center console, dual map lights, and rear cup holders. It also comes with heated mirrors and a power antenna. sonata lx is the luxury model, and comes with all of the above plus leather seating surfaces, automatic climate control, and an eight-way power driver's seat. the v6 engine and automatic transmission are available on the base model as an option package 1650). Gls and lx can be ordered with anti-lock brakes 550). Base models with automatic transmission can be ordered with a power tilt-and-slide glass sunroof 700), or with a package 1250) that includes the sunroof and anti-lock brakes. Traction control is available, but only as a package with the sunroof and anti-lock brakes on the gls 1400); or with the sunroof, anti-lock brakes, electrochromic rear-view mirror, and homelink transmitter on the lx 1695). walkaroundthe hyundai sonata is handsome. It's expressive without being oppressive with graceful lines and rich details that one would expect on a more expensive automobile. The sonata's overall shape suggests the feline form of a jaguar; while its sophisticated headlight treatment could have been borrowed from a mercedes-benz. It's better looking than the kia optima, which shares the hyundai's architecture. the waterfall grille is formal but not pretentious. Like jewelry tastefully worn, chrome enhances rather than distracts from the sonata's appearance. Chrome is well placed around the grille, over the doors and on the trunk. The bold headlight design is more than stylish. The small low-beams are halogen projector lamps that produce a uniformly bright pattern, and the complementary high beams are bright. Good headlamps are extremely important, especially on dark and stormy nights. The sonata's are excellent. the sonata's pull-type door handles feel solid. The doors close with a solid thunk. It's quite nice, and conservative in appearance. The materials are of good quality, and vastly superior to what's found in the saturn l-series. Fit and finish are better than in the saturn, also. hyundai has wrapped the sonata's steering wheel in a leather-like urethane that's buttery soft and wonderful to the touch. It's characteristic of the attention given to detail throughout the sonata's interior. The ignition switch is on the dash, more convenient than having it on the steering column. the sonata's front seats are broad for maximum comfort, and lightly bolstered, making it easy to slide in and out. The gls and lx also have a two-compartment center armrest. The glovebox opens with a firm feel. Only the ashtray feels flimsy. Gauges are clearly marked. A splash of artificial wood around the center stack of the gls and lx won't fool anyone, but looks somehow appropriate. A frame of burnished aluminum surrounds the automatic shifter quadrant, with the shiftronic manual-override slot alongside. Radio controls are big, clearly marked and easy to manipulate. Hvac is straightforward, with two rows of big buttons and knobs that are easy to discern and operate. Window switches are conveniently mounted on the doors, but, alas, are not illuminated. Electric switches for the trunk and fuel door releases are placed on the driver's door, where they are easy to reach and operate. Map pockets on the backs of the front seats add useful storage space. sonata's trunk volume is a decent 14. 1 cubic feet. The rear seat splits and folds 60/40, allowing long items to pass through from the trunk. The available 2. 7-liter v6 provides quick acceleration from a standstill. when equipped with the v6, the sonata accelerates smoothly and without great drama. It idles quietly, but not silently. Hyundai doesn't have the most powerful v6 among mid-size sedans, so the sonata would probably lose a drag race to a toyota camry v6 or honda accord v6. But the sonata costs $4,500-$5,500 less than the camry or accord. the sonata's automatic transmission is responsive and sophisticated. Shifts are smooth, almost unnoticeable. Stepping on the gas brings a prompt downshift for quick acceleration when passing. Using fuzzy logic, the transmission's electronic controller adapts to the driver's style and minimizes hunting when climbing hills. The transmission has a manual mode called shiftronic that can give the driver more precise shifting control. Slap the shiftronic lever to the right and, once there, row it fore and aft to shift up and down manually. The transmission will hold the selected gear rather than shifting automatically. It does not, however, offer strong power, especially at higher elevations. It lacks the response of the v6, particularly at lower revs. It does deliver 22/30 mpg with the manual or automatic transmission, compared to 19/27 for the v6 automatic. the sonata rides smoothly, soaking up tar strips and potholes. Some popping over seams can be heard, and at speed, the sonata has a tendency to drift within its lane. We enjoyed even the pianissimo passages of classical music on the sonata's standard cd player. The sonata's tires don't feel as connected as we'd like on a wet road. Abs is optional and we recommend it as it allows the driver to brake and steer at the same time in an emergency stopping situation. summarythe hyundai sonata is a handsome family sedan that sells for thousands of dollars less than comparably equipped, name-brand mid-size cars. Drivers will immediately feel comfortable and in contro.
1,495 Tampa, FLTampa, FL 2 weeks at autoshopper.com