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Hyundai Sonata 6 cylinders or 4?

guestguest Posts: 774
edited May 6 in Hyundai
Retired..... City/highway driving is 50-50..... Only about 5000 miles/year.

Am seriously considering buying an '07 Sonata. And believe the 4 cyc. should give me enough power.

Can anyone give me a good reason why I should really consider the 6 cyc. over the 4.

Cost is not a problem.
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Comments

  • It's just a matter of priorities really. I wanted to be able to tow a motorcycle trailer. I have had several 4 cyl cars and just wanted the V6. I don't do so much driving that I figure gas purchases are a big problem. Last car I had a Saturn SC2 Coupe got a consistent 35 mpg, this one gets between 26-30 for me so far. I don't feel the size, power and room inside for a loss of 5 to 8 mpg overall was a bad deal. Test drive both and do it on highways, interstate and stop and go traffic. Decide if you like to clutch (grown to hate that) or not. At 5000 miles a year the car should last a decade before it's out of warranty!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,687
    Clutch? Good luck finding a '07 Sonata GLS with a 5-speed--they are quite rare.
  • guestguest Posts: 774
    Who are you really?. You are the stealth poster. :confuse:

    The 6 Cyl models cost less than the 4 cyl models after rebate. The resale value is higher. The growl of the 235 Horsepower (234 for 07) engine is awesome :)
  • Well backy he was talking about purchase of the I-4. I was just citing the reasons "I" got the V6. If price is not a concern for him and he is NOT looking for a standard for the gas mileage he my want to test drive the V6. That's all I was implying. ;)
  • bobadbobad Posts: 1,587
    Can anyone give me a good reason why I should really consider the 6 cyc. over the 4.

    Cost is not a problem.


    *6cyl is jet-smooth, and has good power
    *6 should have a little better resale value
    *Gas mileage is only 2-3mpg better on the 4
    *Car prices are about the same for the 4 and 6
  • djdublmdjdublm Posts: 19
    I owned a 2006 I4 and traded for a V6 2 months ago if i drive normally i dont see hardly any difference in the fuel economy but to have that power when you need it is a great thing, I would say differences in the 2 are that the engine is smoother and quieter. Not knocking the I4 because i loved it as well, you cant get any other car out there with the same standard features that come on a Sonata for the price. I would say more than anything it comes down to price and power, not that the I4 is lacking that but a V6 sure has it read a review on consumer reports that rated it 0-60 in 6.6 seconds. Hope this helps
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,598
    If cost is not a problem, I definitely recommend the 6 cyl.

    At 5000 miles per year, you won't be using enough gas--even if gas were $3 per gallon--to make a meaningful gas price difference.

    Besides V6's generally being smoother and having more reserve power, you'll get more features in the SE or Limited than are in the GLS for model year '07.

    My '05 V6 has 170 HP, only 8HP more than the current I4 and it has plenty of power for me in hilly New England. So the I4 should have have adequate power. I would focus on creature comforts available in the different trim levels if I were you and if I understand your situation correctly.
  • jack47jack47 Posts: 312
    Thanks for your input. Also thanks to bobad and others for theirs.

    Was pretty much leaning towards the SE V6.

    Just a little annoyed...no, make that quite annoyed...that with Honda I can't get a grey interior with a black exterior...

    decisions ? decisions?

    Is Honda going to force me into a Hyundai Sonata???
  • w9cww9cw Posts: 888
    There's no doubt the V6 is smoother and more powerful than the I4. There is a difference in fuel economy, but is it sigificant enough to make up for those differences?

    However, there is one area that the I4 is superior to the V6, and that's maintenance costs. A number of routine, and not so routine, maintenance items are much easier - read less costly - to work on with the I4 than with any V6. For example, I personally know that some V6 engines never get their rear bank of spark plugs changed simply because it's almost impossible to do so. Mechanics hate to change the rear 3 plugs on a transverse V6. And, should you have to re-shim the valves to adjust valve clearance in the V6, be prepared to spend in excess of $1,000. The V6, and the I4, for that matter do not use hydraulic valve lifters - surprise, surprise - they're solid lifters with adjustment shims.

    The Lambda V6 is a nice engine, but long-term maintenace costs are a factor vs. the Lambda I4.
  • miamixtmiamixt Posts: 600
    Aside from an extra 2 Iridium Spark Plugs, there should be no significant extra costs associated with the new V6 Lambda engine in the Sonata.

    And when do the V6 owners need to re-shim the valves?. The Car has a 10 year Warranty. Whether Hydraulic or solid valve lifters... there is no data to back up your assessment on the new 3.3L power plant? :confuse:
  • w9cww9cw Posts: 888
    No data correct, only the words of a trusted Hyundai certified mechanic at my local Hyundai dealer. He's the one who quoted the valve lash adjustment cost, should it be needed sometime in the future. It is NOT a simple task, and takes 8 to 10 shop hours to perform, as the cams must be removed to change the shims.

    Yes, with the 10 year warranty - I "do" own a Hyundai - and the long life of the plugs, there's no doubt one really doesn't have to worry, since the average person doesn't keep a car for 10 years and/or 100K miles. The engine does have mechanical lifters, as does the I4, and the Beta Elantra engine as well. No big deal. When something should go wrong after the warranty period, I would rather be facing the repair charges on an I4.

    It is indisputable fact that "any" V6 is costlier, and harder, to maintain in the long term than a well-designed I4. I know, as I work on the darn things daily! Not Hyundais, but SAABs, both the SOHC and DOHC I4 and the Opel-built OHC V6. I'll take working on an inline 4 anytime over a V6 - or, any "V" engine for that matter.

    I'm not saying that the Lamba V6 is bad - on the contrary, as I intend to buy a new Sonata Limited soon. However, it's a simple fact of life with V-designs - they're more costly to repair than inline engines, primarily because of the labor costs. And, parts costs tend to be higher, as there is two head gaskets, two sets of DOHC systems, etc., rather than the simpler design of an inline engine. This is one of the reasons why BMW still uses primarily an I6 design.

    The simple answer to you question is: when the valve lash is greater than the maximum spec! When will that happen, possibly never, but don't count on it. In solid lifter design wear is natural, and this is the primarily reason most designs today use hydraulic lifters, including direct actuating bucket tappet DOHC designs, which automatically take up the valve lash.

    Remember, I'm a Hyundai supporter, but it doesn't change the fact that long-term maintenance costs (out of warranty) on the Lamba V6 will be higher than on the Lamba I4.
  • jprybajpryba Posts: 201
    I'm pretty happy with the 4 cylinder in my 06 Sonata. I've driven the V6 model a few times as well, and it feels kind of "bogged down" to me in city driving. On the highway, though, the extra power is definitely useful :)

    I believe Consumer Reports found the 4 cylinder model's braking distance to be about 7 or 8 feet shorter than the V6 (126 or so feet versus around 133 on a dry surface from 60 mph).

    As for mileage with the 4 cylinder, I'm getting around 18-20 in the city (a little better than what I got in my last car, an Elantra) and 28-30 on the highway. Overall I'm getting 23-24 mpg, which isn't bad considering how large the car is.
  • w9cww9cw Posts: 888
    Sorry for the incorrect spelling of the word "Lambda" in a few places in my post - it was late here at the time, and it had been a long work day!
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    )) "The V6, and the I4, for that matter do not use hydraulic valve lifters ... they're solid lifters with adjustment shims." ((

    It's worse than that with the new lambda V6 engine series engines used in Sonatas and Azeras. (I haven't dove into the situation with the I4.) Shims are not used for adjustment according to the shop manual. Instead, after measuring the clearances for the 24 valves, the affected camshaft(s) have to be removed for access (after removing the timing chain at the front of the engine) and the out of spec original "MLA"s (mechanical lash adjusters?) removed and replaced with service MLAs of the proper lengths - there are 41 individual service replacement lengths. Once the affected tappets are replaced, then everything has to be buttoned up on each bank and the timing chain re-installed. Given the labor intensity, I don't doubt this service will exceed $1,000.00 and I wish I understood what Hyundai was thinking in abandoning largely reliable and maintenance-free hydraulic tappets. (Yeah - they can fail, but given reasonable oil change intervals, they're more often good for the life of the motor.)
  • I am concerned about w9cw’s comment on Hyundai’s Lambda motor “The V6, and the I4, for that matter do not use hydraulic valve lifters - surprise, surprise - they're solid lifters with adjustment shims.” Does anyone know what Honda, Toyota or Nissan use in their motors? I have tried to do some research on the Internet with limited success.
  • Hello happy owners of sonata. I am thinking of buying sonata 4 cyl. with manual transmission and I'd like to ask you how good and reliable this transmission from your experience. How easy it operates, how you like the clutch performance, what engine rpms you have at 120 km/h. and how quiet a car at this speed. Thank you for any info on these questions. Enjoy your cars
  • dadof6dadof6 Posts: 61
    Toyota started using shims with solid lifters in 1987. They get checked every 60,000 miles per the maint schedule & very rarely need adjustment.
  • ed_ged_g Posts: 16
    I just bought a 2007 Sonata with the v6. I talked with a tech who has been there for 7 years. He told me the time belt is no longer use. They have a timing chain.

    The lifters are hydrolic, but if you have to do any work on the heads the shimming will be needed. Just hope you never do any work there. No other valce adjustments needed.

    Ed_G
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    )) " He told me the time belt is no longer use. They have a timing chain. The lifters are hydrolic, but if you have to do any work on the heads the shimming will be needed. Just hope you never do any work there. No other valce adjustments needed." ((

    ed_g, your understanding of what the service tech explained to you (or his understanding of what's in the shop manual) is incorrect. These new V6 Hyundai engines do NOT use hydraulic valve lifters (which, by the way, are self-adjusting by definition...). The previous generation of Hyundai-designed V6 engines DID use hydraulic valve lifters. The lifters in the new lambda (Hyundai's internal designation) V6 engines are solid machined chunks of steel. When (not if) lash wears beyond factory specified clearances, the lifter(s) has/have to be replaced outright. (Shimming is NOT an option in the new Hyundai design unless the factory makes a running engineering alteration later.) Service replacement lifters are available in 41 lengths to accomodate wear severity. Hyundai calls for measuring valve lash every 60,000 miles. That procedure is relatively easy - probably a couple hundred bucks. Should any valves measure out of design clearance, the fun begins. The front cover will have to be removed, the timing chain removed, and the affected camshaft(s) (there are four of them) will have to be removed for access to the affected lifter(s). While it's arguable whether this involved procedure will actually be necessary at every measurement cycle, rest assured that when it is, it will be expensive. Expect $700.00 or more because of the considerable labor time involved. If the chain has stretched beyond service tolerance or the chain tensioner is out of tolerance, add those items to the parts count during re-assembly. (Suddenly timing belts and hydraulic tappets look attractive, again. ;)) If you're interested in reading up on what eventually awaits you, you can access the 2006 and 2007 Sonata shop manuals at HMAService.com. While intended for dealership service personnel, free site registration is open to anyone.

    *According to the shop manual, these are designated as "MLA"s (manual lash adjusters?). My initial interpretation from the diagrams in the shop manual was that these were shallow, but full tappets. But on further reflection, perhaps "MLA" is Hyundai-speak for shims? Dunno - I'll leave it to a Hyundai dealership tech to settle the question.
  • guestguest Posts: 774
    One of the main reasons I bought the new Sonata was for 10 peaceful years of ownership (if I live that long), or 100 Thousand miles, whichever comes first!. :shades:

    "While it's arguable whether this involved procedure will actually be necessary at every measurement cycle, rest assured that when it is, it will be expensive. Expect $700.00 or more because of the considerable labor time involved. If the chain has stretched beyond service tolerance or the chain tensioner is out of tolerance, add those items to the parts count during re-assembly. (Suddenly timing belts and hydraulic tappets look attractive, again. ) If you're interested in reading up on what eventually awaits you, you can access the 2006 and 2007 Sonata shop manuals at HMAService.com. While intended for dealership service personnel, free site registration is open to anyone".
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    Certainly I can say, "100K Warranty" (and it's, indeed, OK!) ;). Now, can you say,
    "WHAT IS NOT COVERED (taken from my '03 Sonata's warranty supplement booklet on page 17)
    * Normal maintenance services (yada-yada-yada)

    * Normal maintenance items (yada-yada-yada)

    * Normal deterioration or wear of any [emphasis mine] part (yada-yada-yada - my personal favorite, catch-all gotcha ;))

    Not saying you're wrong - just don't make automatic assumptions that an owner would have the automaker by the short hairs.

    What Hyundai marketing giveth, Hyundai legal may taketh away if it'th tho inclined. Just because Hyundai advertises it has "America's best warranty" Hyundai didn't spell out for whom it's best...
  • miamixtmiamixt Posts: 600
    I do agree with what you just wrote. I also agree with what "unknown" writes. He is highly intelligent, and always speaks his mind.

    I have no idea why the system sometimes does that to me, eh I mean to him :P

    MiamiXT
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Yeah, we're trying to figure out why the system does that to some at certain times, too. :sick:

    It's not your problem, and I am told a fix is in the works. Sorry 'bout that.
  • Something to consider as well is that the 4 has a timing belt that needs to be changed at a hefty cost where as the V6 has a timing chain with an automatic chain tensioner that should never need to be changed. Overall, V6 engine maintenance should be less that the 4 and the power of the 6 is well...WOW!
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    "WOW!" is right - the persistant urban myth of timing chain indestructability... Reality check - what you posted does not reflect the current status of the latest generation Sonata (and Azera) engines according to the 2006 Sonata (and Azera) shop manuals. The 2.4L I4 used in the latest generation Sonata does not have a timing belt. This engine carries no less than three chains - a main timing chain from the crankshaft up to one of the camshafts, a secondary timing chain interconnecting the two camshafts, and a balance shaft chain. If you believe that routine servicing of the V6 engine will be less costly than that for the I4, you apparently have not had the pleasure of attempting to change the firewall bank of spark plugs on Hyundai V6 engines in front-wheel drive vehicles. The intake manifold ram-induction runners and plenum chamber are smack-dab in the way. ;) I recently read that the average life of a timing chain is in the neighborhood of 165,000 miles - though some have been known to go 300,000+ miles while some have failed in as little as 100,000 miles. While it's true that timing chains are generally longer lived than belts, timing chains can and do break with equally disastrous results to that which occurs when a timing belt snaps. Even if the vehicle owner is fortunate enough not to break pistons or bend valve stems due to open valves interfering with piston travel, a broken chain thrashing around in the confined space between the engine block and the engine's aluminum front cover casting will show no mercy - often with a good chance of breaking the front cover casting and possibly rendering the engine block useless from internal cracking in the web area of the front main bearing support. In addition to the expense of the chain itself, a stretched chain that requires replacement will often mandate changing out the chain guides, sprockets*, and auto-tensioner. Since none of the latest Sonata engines use hydraulic or manually adjustable tappets any longer, the solid tappets now used need to be checked at 60,000 mile intervals for excess valve lash. Should the measured valve lash be in excess of permissable limits, the timing chains will have to be removed along with the camshaft(s) in order to substitute the proper length replacement tappet(s) (available in 41 service sizes). When buttoning everything back up, the engine will have to be re-timed even if the chains and associated guide and tensioning paraphenalia are still in acceptable condition. The labor charges involved will surely be every bit as, if not more, significant than that for replacing a timing belt.

    *When chains wear and stretch, they also cause excessive sprocket wear.
  • w9cww9cw Posts: 888
    Ray - you're exactly correct as to timing chains. Properly maintained, excluding any fluke breakage or separation, there is really nothing wrong with a well-designed timing belt configuration. I've been saying this for a long time on various forums. Plus, they're external to the engine and typically much more readily accessible. Timing chains are fine, as I have them in my classic SAAB 900's, but repair can be costly. One of the funny things about timing belts is the initial reason(s) for implementation in an OHC design was: more quiet operation over a typical chain, and ease of replacement and repair. I guess we've come full circle.

    The more I study and mull-over the Lamba V6 design, and the new 2.4L I4 design for that matter, I start thinking about possibly not buying a Sonata. Maintenance on this design "could" become quite expensive over time, and I keep my cars for a long time.

    Hmmm . . . easy spark plug replacement and long-term, and relatively cheap lifter replacement, makes me want to consider a longitudinal domestic V6 design with good-old hydraulic lifters - if there are any left. I guess I'd have to consider a RWD vehicle! Not many choices there! Of course, there will be those who point out that the spark plugs commonly used today with the HEI ignitions typically last 100K, but still . . . I know what you mean trying to change plugs in a transverse V6.
  • Ray, interesting in that my comment stemmed from a conversation I had with the dealership before purchasing the car. I was torn between the 4 and the 6...the mileage versus acceleration dilemma. I decided to go with the 6 since the rebates brought it down to about the price of a 4. The dealer said good choice since the 4's have timing belts that can break and need to be replaced every 60K miles. The 6's on the other hand have chains and never need to be replaced.

    This was the basis for my posting so, as we all do, live and learn and never take as gospel what is said to you by a car dealer ;)
  • w9cww9cw Posts: 888
    Cableguy06 - The old 4's did have timing belt, but the new 2.4L 4 used in the Sonata has a timing chain as per Ray.

    If the salesperson you worked with was relatively new, he or she may still have been on "the learning curve." As customers, we generally are very informed on the specific vehicle we're considering, but the sales staff must know the specifics on all of the vehicles they sell, and this is not necessarily an easy task, especially for a new salesperson and with new models appearing on the lot. Their knowledge, or lack thereof, is totally dependent upon the dealership's training program. However, they should "check their data" before giving you the info.

    Interestingly, the Service Manager and Service Advisor at our local Hyundai dealership also recommends the V6 over the 4. It begs the question if their recommendation is based upon fuel mileage differentials, reliability and/or overall satisfaction, or the benefits "they" may receive on increased service costs over the long-term. I don't know, as only time will tell.
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    Here's the link to the archived online shop manuals at HMAService. Registration is required, but is FREE. You'll need Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader. Once connected, check the "Site Requirements" button - even if you're already running Reader or Acrobat, you may still need to install some Adobe plugins to access the diagrams. The plugins are set up to automatically connect to Adobe's website, download, and install painlessly. Good reference material to have at hand for Hyundai owners as well as independent service techs.
  • mort6mort6 Posts: 11
    I am getting ready to purchase a 2007 Sonata I4. I am concerned about the most recent discussion concerning the solid lifters used by Hyundai. Keep in mind i do about 30K per year and plan to keep my care until it dies.

    Should i be concerned. what other mid size vehicles use the hydraulic type lifters. Thanks in advance for your replies
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