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Hyundai Sonata 2006-2007



  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,624
    Why not wait a few weeks, drive both, and then decide? The incentives won't disappear on the old Sonatas when the new ones come out. I remember when the all-new '01 Elantra came out, there were big incentives on the '00s. (But when I drove the '01, it was so much better than the '00 I knew I had to have it even though it cost more than the '00.) Might want to keep an eye on stock at your local dealers though, to make sure they still have some '05s when the new ones arrive.
  • danf1danf1 Posts: 935
    There are a lot of 05's left. I would take backy's advice and drive both. The 06 will cost you more, but it will probably be worth it.
  • gogophers1gogophers1 Posts: 214
    The "old" Sonata was rated as CR's most reliable car in the April Auto Issue with something like 2 problems per 100 vehicles. It's a safe bet the '06 won't post the same numbers, at least not the first year out of the gate.
  • nick0924nick0924 Posts: 13
    I have read this board for the first time today.

    We own a 1993 Honda Accord LX, 4-dr, original owner, we drive a lot, it has
    272,5xx miles, uses no oil, no major problems.
    On highway driving it gets 30 to 31 mpg (we drive a bit over the speed limit).
    Automatic, 4-cyl, 2.4L I think.

    We also own a 2003 Sonata, automatic, 4-cylinder. It has 24,XXX miles on it.
    Best highway milage is 28-29 mpg, city (we are not really city, but rural city) is
    so terrible, 21, 22 sometimes 17.

    I change oil/filter on the cars every 3,000. I use manufacturer's filters and rings.
    The oil in the Sonata gets really dirty by 3,000 compared to the Honda.

    We have gone to 3 Hyundai dealers for service; Lebanon, Reading and Harrisburg
    Pa. They charge so much more than Honda dealers for routine things.
    They are rude, they do not find anything wrong under the warranty; they
    don't hear noise, they don't hear screeches when the car backs out when
    cold (even if you bring it in the day before so that they can get a cold start).
    They do not like warranty work; service manager and mechanic says "we did
    not hear anything".

    I find the Hyundai routine service far costlier than Honda service, which is not cheap itself!! And I have key things done by dealers and use dealer parts.

    We bought the Sonata in Maryland at Antwerpen Hyundai; that was positive;
    no trade, with rebate we got the car new in May of 2003 for $13,500 internet
    price not including tax and tags (tags were nominal, about $37).

    I toured the Hyundai factory in South Korea that makes Sonatas, XGs and
    Kia Amantis (yes the Kia Amantai is made in the Hyundai plant).

    The quality control at Hyundai is better than at Kia plants, they are still
    a bit disorganized in Kia assembly.

    In Hyundai plant, Bldg-1 has robots and few people monitoring the computers and
    us visitors; its all robots, they stamp and weld the car; the assembly lines
    are not straight line, they go straight, then make a U-turn and come back, then
    another U-turn, over and over, it is more efficient that way.

    Building-2 is the "clean room"; specialists "hit" the hoods or doors, etc., to
    make the metal line up (if it does not) and then the cars move and get painted
    by spray robots. Oh, the cars on the 2 moving lines are interchanged, 3
    sonatas, 1 XG, 2 sonatas, I amanati, etc. and the robots know which sheet
    metal to use, which color to paint for each different car.

    Bildg-3 is where the humans live, here they assemble the car, I think for every
    2 assembly people there is 1 quality control person who inspects and attaches
    a green sticker or paints a green mark with a small paint roller; there are 2 lines
    moving, in the middle is a rest area in which the workers take a break while
    others substitute. Each car is driven on an oval test track when it is assembled; we drove in the XG; cars with problems are pulled off to the side and problems
    are recorded on reports.

    Bldg-4 is where all the engines are made for all Hyundai and Kia vehicles.
    It is fairly automated, but also requires humans at many steps.

    Due to a shortage of 6-cylinder pistons, many are purchased from jobbers.
    One reason I bought a 4-cylinder Sonata was to have the proven 4-cyl engine
    rather than the new 6; also for slightly better gas milage, which I think is poor.

    My 2003 Sonata looks good, but most things are slighly skimped to reduce
    cost. Sonata prices climbed substantially after the Hyundai strike in which
    Hyundai gave very significant wage increases and reduced the work week
    (over time) from 5.5 days to 5 days (they used to work half of Saturday).

    The 2005 Sonata in Korea is the new 2006 Sonata in America, tested in
    Korea first. In person, it looks much closer to the Acura than A6 or Accord.
    The front does not really look that pleasing; my wife thinks it resembles
    the old Elantra. If you look at the new Elantra from the rear, you can see
    resemblance to the current 2003-2005 American Sonata. They seem to
    change the smaller car styling to resemble the bigger cars as the bigger
    car style changes.


    Will it match Honda Accords? I tend to really doubt it. Gas prices are
    going up, up and away and Hyundai has really misjudged that.

    Most of the smaller Hyundais and Kias do not get much better milage
    than the Sonata; yet small Toyotas and small Hondas get better milage
    than Accords or Camrys, and Accords and Camrays get better mileage
    than Sonatas.

    Hyundai copies other cars too much; Honda has a Honda look that evolves,
    Toyota has a Toyota look that evolves thru time, you can see the change
    and the non-change and the evolution; Hyundai just changes abrubtly, part
    Jaguar, part Mercedes, part Chrysler, etc. in the 2003 Sonata.

    Hyundai does not understand that they are a major player and need a Hyundai
    look; they copy too overtly rather than progress in style.

    Hyundais are not as good as Hondas or Toyotas and regardless of what you
    write, they do not hold their price as well in resale; Hyundais are better than
    American cars in quality today; they also had a very significant price advantage, which is slowly disappering.

    I am writing this like a science report, thinking of facts rather than emotions.

    Hyundai is getting better much faster than Honda, Toyata and "Datsun"
    improved, but they are not there yet; maybe this new car will get them there,
    don't know; but most Hyundai service garages are not a good experience;
    that really requires improvement.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,624
    I am writing this like a science report, thinking of facts rather than emotions.

    Actually, much of what you wrote is opinion--which is fine, but let's separate facts from opinion/emotion. All the comments on styling, for example, are purely subjective. And I disagree with most of them. For example, I don't think there is any similarity whatsoever between the new Sonata and the "old Elantra", if by that you mean the '96-'00 Elantra. I also see little resemblence between the "new Elantra" (if you mean the current generation) and the old Sonata. And I own two Elantras from that generation. If anything, the rear end of the current Elantra sedan is reminicent of the XG.

    As for the look of Hondas and Toyotas... take a good look at the Accord, Civic, CR-V, Element, Pilot, SU2000, Odyssey. Do you see much similarity across those models? I don't. How about the Avalon, Camry, Corolla, Matrix, RAV4, 4Runner. I don't see much family resemblence across those models either. The hatchback Corolla (Matrix) looks like a totally different car than the sedan, for example. But if you look at current Hyundai models, you do see some family resemblence between the XG and Elantra, Accent and Elantra, Sonata and XG. And looking at the new models, there is a family personality taking shape with the crisper, less busy lines of the Tuscon, Sonata, Accent, and Santa Fe. The Azera has distinctive flowing lines, but I think that may be intentional to set that car apart in the lineup.

    As for facts on mpg: '01 Elantra, 2.0L, 5-speed: 27-30 city, 38-41 hwy average mpg. '04 Elantra, 2.0L, automatic: 24-26 city, 38 hwy. From what I've read in the Civic and Corolla discussions, these numbers are not far off the mpg numbers for those smaller-engined, lower-powered cars. Can the new Sonata achieve close to the numbers for the Accord and Camry? We'll see.

    Thanks for all the details on the manufacturing process--very interesting!
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    From Consumer Reports tests of the Civic 1.7L VTEC, the Elantra 2.0L and the Corolla 1.8L, all tested with automatics (Civic and Elantra May 2005, Corolla June 2002):

    Figures are City/Highway/Overall on CR's loop which they put every car through:

    Civic: 21/40/29
    Elantra: 16/33/24
    Corolla: 20/40/29

    Note: Only the Corolla hit 60 MPH in under 10 seconds in their testing, as well.

    Backy, the new Sonata may be a different story (I actually would bet the house on it), but historically, Hyundai's engines have not compared to the efficiency profiles of those in competing Hondas/Toyotas.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,624
    I will withhold replying in detail to avoid getting further off topic. But one thing to consider is that the Beta engine takes significant miles to "loosen up", and after that point fuel economy increases markedly; for my Elantras, on the order of 15-20%. So what CR and other testers get on their tests will be less than what owners get over time. I don't know if that is true with Hondas and Toyotas or not, but I've owned both and didn't notice such a big difference as with the Hyundais.

    So I wonder if the new engines in the Sonata will have that characteristic, since they are a new design?
  • nick0924nick0924 Posts: 13
    I did not mean similarity between Sonata, SantaFe, etc., but a visible evolutionary
    similarity between Sonata to Sonata as the years progress. You can look at
    Accords, or Civics or Cavaliers thru time and see changes, non-changes and
    evolutionary changes that still resemble the previous years' cars of that model.

    Hyundai sometimes just starts all over and copies at that. When one is confident,
    one changes one's own look rather than trying to dress or look like someone
    else. Hyundai Sonata needs to look like a Hyundai Sonata and then evolve, rather
    then excel in a collage of other competitors. Collage lacks unity. I don't think
    Jaguar copied anyone that strongly, I don't think Accord copies anyone that
    strongly, but Hyundai seems to think to make it, they need the rear of the
    Sonata to look like X, and side to look like Y and front to look like Z. Make it look
    like an evolving Sonata. You will then gain both confidence and stature.
    The car is too good to need that much copying, it hurts it.

    I don't mean to fight or disagree with anyone, it is what I perceive.
    I will not be posting again and again regarding these issues as I have seen
    others do. These are my first two posts to the boards; I went thru them all today searching for what the estimated mileage will be on the 2006 4 cyl automatic Sonata.

    If anyone knows that, or if I missed it, please post it for me. I would like to
    replace the 2003 Sonata if mileage is better; I need a Korean car, my wife is
    Korean but the city/mixed mileage really kills us.

    The 2005 Elantra, if you look at the rear taillights, trunk, etc., as well as one
    of the smaller Kias has some very similar looks to the 2003-2005 American
    Sonata; and that is OK; I'm just pointing out that they appear to give the smaller
    cars the look of the previous larger car as the larger car look changes. It is a good
    idea because if one can only afford a smaller car, they still can get the look of
    what the bigger model used to look like and look forward later to moving up.

    I am not a typical car owner, we put very many miles on our cars, keep them long
    and service them religiously. I have been disappointed that the smaller 4 cyl engine
    (which is enough power for us) in the automatic Sonata gets less mileage than
    the 1993 automatic Accord on highways and much, much less in city/mixed
    driving. New Accords and Toyota Camrys get more mileage in city/hiway than
    their older models, thus Hyundai has somehow misjudged the situation; I think the difference between an automatic Elantra and automatic Sonata is not
    great, but the difference between an automatic Civic and automatic
    Accord is greater.

    As I wrote before, Hyundai has made great strides in improvement at a much
    faster rate than Honda, Toyota and Datsun did; it took Japan a long time to
    eliminate problems, mechanical, rust, everything; their main thing initially
    was price; those early Accords used to rust everywhere, evene around the windshield.

    Hyundai engine life is probably second to Honda, which is really great.

    The automation in their new Hyundai factories is unparalled, second to none.
    We were very fortunate to get the tour; my wife's family has a small business
    that makes offsite parts for the Hyundai and Kia cars. They also purchse
    cylinders with rings for the six cylinder engines from someone else and resell
    to Hyundai; now that scares me. Hyundai cannot make enough of the pistons
    though they do make the blocks and heads and valves.

    We had to wait 16 months to get touch-up paint for the Sonata in our
    white color (not pearl white but noble white). Some things like head
    gaskets are unavailble for Kias in America because they (Hyundai) did not forsee
    them as failing that quickly. So Kia dealers have to cut them from generic
    material and they leak. These are some of the problems that I'm sure they will
    outgrow in time but can be troublesome now.

    Does anyone have an estimate of gas mileage for the 2006 4-cyl automatic Sonata?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,624
    EPA 24 city, 33 highway (34 highway with stick shift).

    BTW, respectful disagreement is common in these discussions. Disagreement is not attacking someone, but expressing a difference of opinion. It is not expected everyone on these discussions will agree on every point.
  • codata99codata99 Posts: 123
    The Amanti is built at Kia's own assembly plant in Hwasung.

    When did this "tour" take place? :confuse:
  • nick0924nick0924 Posts: 13
    We toured the Ching Chong Namdo plant, or within 2 or 3 miles of that town.
    It is in south west Korea near the ocean to facilitate ship transporting.

    They make Sonatas, XG, and Amanti there plus engines for all Hyundai and
    Kia cars.

    The tour was given by the manager of my wife's family's off-site factory.

    He is not a Hyundai employee, but used to be; his stature was enough to get
    us in and he gave the tour himself; most of the floor managers knew him.
    We took all the time we wanted in each of the 4 buildings.
    We must have been there at least 3 hours.
    In building-1, where the robots stamp and weld, the sparks actually came
    onto the floor where we were walking. There were no hardhats or safety glasses; we had to use our own judgement in where we stood and how close we got.

    Not many people are permitted to get this tour; we were most fortunate.

    Behind the buildings is one of the world's largest parking lots of newly
    build cars. In korea, dealers only have a few cars in the showroom; you look
    at a vehicle and then the literature, pick a car and color and it gets delivered from
    the factory to the dealer and you then see it for the first time.

    No huge inventories by dealers, inventoryies are at the factories.

    Appears the Amanti may be built at 2 sites per your information.
  • codata99codata99 Posts: 123
    Well, I can tell you Hyundai does not make them. I know one supplier for the Sonata/XG engines; not sure they make all the pistons, but I'll certainly ask them about the piston shortage.
  • bklynguybklynguy Posts: 275
    No navigation system is mentioned on the 2006 Sonata website. I also wonder if the MP3-compatible CD player can list ID3 tags (artist/title/folder) on a display :confuse:
  • codata99codata99 Posts: 123
    Google "Asan plant Sonata" to learn about the Hyundai plant. You'll get tons of links. here's one.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,624
    It's hard to fathom why anyone would lie about seeing Amantis made in a particular factory.

    There were at least two errors of fact in the Montgomery news article. Were they pulling a shenanigan, or maybe just made some mistakes?
  • kidokido Posts: 3
    I have a KDM version of sonata. it displays only file name
  • Twenty four thousand three hundred dollars is not steep. That's a loaded LX ! The Camry LE is not the top of the line like the LX. Go and try to buy a brand spankin new Camry with everything for twenty four thousand three hundred dollars! ;)
  • toyunkitoyunki Posts: 25
    Hi I disagree with nick0924 .

    I also have 2000 Sonata with 80,000 miles on it I changed my oil every 5000-6000 miles and averaging 30-31 MPG about 70% highway. With one tank of gas before refill I went about 470 miles.... In trips when I drive over 70 MPH than MPG drops to 27-28 MPG. Even with occasional revving to redline I am constantly getting very high MPG. In fact it is better than my friends 97 integra Auto....

    And I am in Atlanta GA. and Jim Ellise Hyundai and Kia service is great.

    $27.95 for oil change + Car wash + Vacuum.

    The brother's car is 2000 tiburon and has 135,000 miles on it and the engine seems pretty good.

    And about gas mileage, Honda and Toyota is known for fooling the EPA.
    For Example.

    Kia Rio's EPA rating is 29/32
    toyota Echo is like 37/42

    According to real testing.
    (both manual)
    Rio gets 34 mpg
    echo gets 35 mpg.

    so EPA and real drive is different. EPA testing does not drive car, it only put the car on stationary wheels and measure and calculate the MPG.

    Motorweek show showed it once.

    And Korean Government's official testing show's
    2.4 Sonata tops comparable Camry and Accord in fuel efficiency.

    2.4 hyundai designed engine will be a single best selling engine in the World according to Global Auto, it will be produced more than 2.5 million units around the world. Produced in DC and MItsu.....

    Experience is all different. I saw Nissan Sentra's engine block has cracked when it had less than 40,000 miles, and Honda Civic's engine failure at around 70,000 miles.

    According ti reliability rating by MSN auto (the rating is done by private mechanics)
    HONDA and TOYOTA does not seems too good.
    Toyota had major engine problems
    Honda has auto tranny and engine problems.


    Sonata's - el


    Opinion or expirience is objective. Back up your opinion's with references.
  • gogophers1gogophers1 Posts: 214
    Well, a Camry LE isn't $24K+ either. I think the problem Hyundai will run into if it tries to price the Sonata at parity with Camry and Accord is the potential loss of loyalty sales. The reality is what's got the butts in the seats of the great bulk of Hyundais on the road today is the value equation. It's the very reason why there's an Elantra in my garage rather than a Civic or Corolla. I couldn't refuse the deal!

    I'm sure the new Sonata will be a good - possibly even great - car, but it's going to need to grab conquest sales from Toyota and Honda to reach its sales goals and I think that's going to be more difficult for Hyundai than they are expecting sans any big rebates.

    Hyundai is making quality cars nowadays, I can attest to that but they've got two big issues to overcome yet: dealer service and stigma. Like someone else has posted here, my experience with the local dealer in Bloomington, MN, Metro Hyundai, has been dreadful at best. The only way I'd buy another car from them is if they gave me a fire sale price and threw in a set of floor mats.

    As far as stigma, that still irritates me at times. Whenever someone asks me what I drive and I say, "a Hyundai," the response is invariably negative. This is reality - fair or not. But I can deal with it on a $13K car. A $24K car on the other hand...
  • jrock65jrock65 Posts: 1,371
    I think a 2006 Sonata will be about $2000 less than similarly equipped Accords, Camrys, and Altimas.
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