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2009-2010 Hyundai Sonata

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  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,747
    CR has a review of the 2009 Sonata in its January issue. Once again, it notes that "Suspension noise is pronounced over bumps." CR has made similar comments on reviews of earlier Sonatas. So I am wondering... is the suspension noise some owners are complaining about a "feature" (or more accurately a characteristic) of the car, vs. a defect? There were some noises on earlier Sonatas that were due to faulty suspension parts, and Hyundai replaced those on many cars. But that seemed to be more than the usual noise.

    FWIW, I've driven about 15 different 2006-2009 Sonatas over the years, and I've never heard what I considered to be "pronounced" suspension noise. What I heard was a tire thump over some bumps, with the worst noise over tar strips on the highway. I am wondering if CR and others are characterizing that kind of noise as "suspension" noise vs. tire noise?

    BTW, the Sonata was the top-rated mid-sized car in the test group, which included the 2009 Malibu (with 6-speed automatic on the I4, also the hybrid version), the all-new Mazda6, and the 2009 Aura (I4). CR also tested the Jetta TDI, which was ranked very high, just behind the Altima I4 in the $20-25k class. The Sonata GLS I4 now ranks 7th overall in that class, behind the Altima, Jetta TDI, Prius Touring, Accord LX-P, Optima EX I4 (pre-2009), and tied with the Camry LE. The Sonata Limited V6 ranks 6th in the $25-30k class, behind Altima 3.5 SE, Accord EX-L, Camry XLE, Passat 2.0T, and Camry Hybrid. The Sonata and Malibu (I4) were the only recommended cars in the test group--the others didn't have enough of a reliability history (which is odd since the Aura debuted before the Malibu).
  • gmctruckgmctruck Posts: 186
    I agree that it is just a characteristic of the suspension design. I do not and never did expect the Sonata to ride like a Cadillac for the price, and anyone who does is setting themselves up for disappointment.

    I own GM vehicles that also have a noisy suspension, so it's not a big deal for me and the Sonata is only noisy going over bumpy roads but is smooth as silk otherwise. I think Hyundai would be hard pressed to put a better suspension under the Sonata and still maintain it's current price range.

    I could only get a stripped down Toyota Camry for what I paid for my Sonata Limited, so it's a matter of personal choice and expectation for the price paid.
  • I have not yet taken delivery of my 09 GLS (5MT), but I have been reading the stuff about the suspension thumps. I did pick up on it when I was test driving.

    For me, it's going to be hard to get too worked up about this. My other car is a Mazdaspeed Miata, which has a special suspension setup. If you run over a leaf, you'll feel it and hear it. Riding down a bumpy road is like being in a wooden rollercoaster and just as noisy...to the point where the car causes physical discomfort after an hour or so. But it will out-maneuver just about anything on the road as result, it's the price you pay.

    So the noise from suspension crash is a relative thing. If you want silky smooth and totally quiet on a sedan this size, shell out more than 16K-19K.
  • jlindhjlindh Posts: 282
    My 2008 Sonata has a pronounced "tire slap" over the transverse metal expansion strips on a bridge near my house. I suspect that is the noise being discussed here. It isn't bothersome to me, but out of curiosity, I listened for the same noise in the same spot when driving my Ford Explorer. Sure enough the same noise is there, but somewhat harder to hear. It's just muffled by all the other noises within the Explorer. Do you suppose that this "tire slap" is bothering folks so much because the rest of the car is so quiet?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,747
    That could be it. I've noticed a similar "tire slap" noise in most other cars, except some that are so softly sprung that the tradeoff is a floaty ride. But it does seem some Sonatas have some kind of unusual suspension noise other than a normal "tire slap", since there have been TSBs and warranty-covered repairs reported in the Sonata discussions in Town Hall. Maybe I've been lucky not to get a car with that problem with all the Sonatas I've driven over the past 3-1/2 years. I drove a 2008 GLS with 35k on it a few weeks ago, and I specifically listened for suspension noise, but didn't hear anything. I did hear a little "tire thump" over the bigger bumps, but it was muted.
  • Just test drove SE today and I like it. The only con is SE doesn't have that woodgrain accents, which looks really nice.

    With $1k cash back and 0% APR, what OTD price excluding TTL will be a good deal for SE with or without the premium package.

    Thanks a lot! :)
  • cld4cld4 Posts: 2
    I hear the same noise as the others posting here...more pronounced than my Camry.

    Is this something that Hyundai has commented on? Or, the dealers' service department?

    I wonder if it is "suspension" or the tire slap that some have commented on. Maybe the nitrogen-filled (overfilled?) tires contribute it?

    thoughts?
  • I'm 99.9% sure it's the suspension and a function of the way it's designed.

    Whether the tires are filled with air, N2, or helium is irrelevant.
  • yitzyitz Posts: 6
    My 2009 Sonata GLS has a distortion so that the lane lines in the road appear wavy from the drivers seat and passenger seat but more so from the rear seat.Anyone else notice i?
  • cld4cld4 Posts: 2
    Thanks...I wonder if there is any remedy available?
  • reechzreechz Posts: 50
    Hey folks, I am on the fence about getting a GLS tomorrow-
    all this talk of bad suspensions and wacky sounds is scaring me off. I thought I would save $$$$ and get the pop package w/ the gls, for 16.2 , but now i am thinking of spending the extra thousands and getting an Accord :sick: .
    I want to keep this car for along time, can someone talk me back off the ledge and into the Hyundai dealership?

    thanks in advance
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,747
    What you need to do before you buy a Sonata or Accord or ANY car is take it (the exact car you are going to purchase) for a loooong test drive, preferably by yourself or perhaps with other family members, over the kinds of roads you will likely travel on a regular basis. So run it over concrete and asphalt highways, city streets (the more potholed the better), and washboard secondary roads.

    I have driven about 15 2006-9 Sonatas over all kinds of road surfaces. These cars had anywhere from 3 miles to 40,000 miles on the clock. There is a particular road near me that I use as a "test track" because it is badly rutted with an undulating surface, with several curves and no traffic, so I can get the car up to a decent speed. I have driven Sonatas, Accords, you name it on that road and others. I haven't noticed unusual suspension noise on any of those Sonatas. What I did notice was tire slap on some roads, particularly over tar strips/expansion joints, and especially with the 17" wheels. I am not saying others have not experienced other suspension noise; different people are sensitive to noises at different frequencies, and cars can have defects--which it appears is true on the Sonata, as there have been TSBs on the Sonata's suspension since the 2006 redesign.

    But you need to test out the car you want to buy and see how it feels and sounds to you. Ideally, compare the Sonata and Accord back-to-back over the same course, if the dealers are close enough together to allow that. I am lucky in that I live in an area with many car dealers, so I can almost always do the back-to-back comparison on the cars I am considering.

    Good luck, and let us know what you decide.
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,598
    backy's advice about testing the exact car you are interested in is spot on.

    I have had hearing loss at least since 1989 when I was 40 years old. Even with hearing aids now, there are some sound I do not always hear, usually higher pitched sounds. Then, there's times in a crowded situation when I cannot hear the person I am talking with but can hear someone else 15 feet away. Everyone's hearing is different, not just those with a hearing problem.

    Drive the car & see for yourself. My 6 cyl, '05 Sonata (previous generation) is very quiet except on "old" concrete roads where road noise becomes a factor. This is due to tire noise with the Michelin's not wind noise.

    My wife's Honda CR-V, to my hearing, is much noiser on any type of pavement, wind noise and engine noise.

    Another poster stated some time back that he thought the Sonata was so quiet the other noises experienced in other cars may mask a minor suspension noise and make a Sonata suspension noise seem more than it really is. He could be right. Find out for yourself & good luck.
  • To reechz who is on the fence about purchasing the Sonata, bite the bullet! You'll be getting a lot more bang for your buck with the Sonata and the warranty is unbeatable. I too was concerned about quality (I was a former Camry owner with 200k miles) because I drive my cars into the ground, but I rest assured with the excellent warranty. There isn't a day that goes by that I regret my decision to buy the Sonata over a Camry or Accord.

    Regarding the noise issues being reported: I own a 2009 Sonata Limited (V6) and have put over 17,000 miles on it. From time to time I do hear a slight crackling-type sound inside, but I only hear it when I'm pulling out out of this parking garage that has a slight slope up and then goes down right away. I really do not ever notice anything like that while driving and it only seems to happen when I'm pulling out of that garage when it's cold outside. I don't even notice it in warmer weather. My 1995 Camry did the same exact thing in that spot in cold weather. I think the materials inside the car get slightly harder in the cold and make that sound when the car flexes as the road changes. It's definitely not anything I'm concerned about and I haven't noticed it during normal driving.

    Also about the "tire slapping" - an owner of a model with 17" rims will likely hear the bumps/tar strips a lot more than a model with 16" or less rims. To me, the 09 Sonata is very well insulated and quiet so it is not an issue, but I will say that my 1995 Camry (which had 14" rims) and my 1993 Mercury Cougar (which had 15" rims ) were both slightly quieter over bumps. My father has a 2001 Chrysler 300m with 18" rims and his is much louder than the Sonata over bumps, tar strips, etc. As the rims get larger, the noise levels increase. I believe the GLS has 16" steel rims, which will likely be quieter than the 17" rims on the other models. Here is a quote from an Autotrader.com Expert Review: 2009 Hyundai Sonata about the tires:
    "In terms of ride quality, the 17-inch wheel/tire combination makes its presence known on rough pavement, where the shorter sidewalls transmit more of the road's imperfections into the cabin. The GLS four-cylinder, the lightest model and on 16-inch wheels, offers the best ride quality for those who do most driving on marginal roads."
  • ylzylz Posts: 45
    Hello everyone. I have been in the market for a new car for quite some time now and I have narrowed it down to two: the 2009 Hyundai Sonata V6 Limited or the the 2009 Mazda 3 hatchback. Now I realize that these cars are in two totally different classes. But I'm 30, single and don't really "need" all the space in the Sonata but it is nice. Ok so let's get down to it. Love the Sonata's interior although the Mazda 3 interior is functional and looks good as well. I love the Mazda 3 exterior although the Sonata has a nice classy look about it. They both drive nice although different. The Sonata is more smooth and floaty while the Mazda has a much more sporty (but FUN) ride to it. I do spend most of my time on highways so in that way, the Sonata would be better but the Mazda just puts a smile on my face. How is the Sonata on the freeway, powerful? Cause although the Mazda only has 156hp, it really moves on the highway. The real reason why I am actually leaning towards Mazda is because of all the problems I am reading about the Sonata in this forum. From noise issues of the interior, to navagation problems, to suspension problems, etc.... Please someone with a 2009 V6 Limited tell me I'm being crazy and the Sonata is a great car which I will enjoy for years. When I buy a car, I usually have it for at least 7 years so I wanna make sure I'm buying something durable. What do you guys think? Any insight at all would help. Thank You.
  • I have a 2009 V6 Limted w/NAV. It's a great car.... now that I am 40 & have 3 kids.

    You however are 30 and single. The choice is clear:

    Buy a G37

    I promise that you will not be disappointed.
  • First, I don't think the Sonata has any real problems. I have a 5MT GLS and it's very quiet inside. The suspension is not as refined as other sedans in its class but it's not problematic. There are some squeaks from the windshield when it's very cold out as the frame seems to have some minor flex. Ok, that said let's review:

    Price vs. Goodies
    I think the Sonata crushes the 3. I was looking at a 3 myself (plus a Civic) and the Sonata gave a LOT more standard options (they're all pretty much loaded) than did the 3 and it cost less. I would not have been able to get a 3 at any trim level for 15050. You get a lot more car in the Sonata.

    Driving Fun
    I own a 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata (factory turbo, lightly modded, hard suspension) so I have Mazda experience. The Sonata is the antithesis of the MSM. It's large, floaty, comfortable, and relaxing. And quiet. The ESC, ABS, and Traction Control give the Sonata the ability to handle bad situations but there's no feedback and the steering is numb. The Sonata is NOT "fun" to drive. The 4 banger is adequate for a family sedan. The V6 probably has more oomph. But it's heavy and it handles like a heavy car. It's a subdued, mellow ride.

    The 3 will give you a lot more fun behind the wheel. Have you considered the Mazdaspeed 3? It's got a factory turbo and probably a stiffer suspension. For the price of a V6 Sonata, I bet the price delta isn't that large. Though the 3 will cost more.

    What Would I Do?
    I was replacing an 04 Sentra. I have two kids and needed a family sedan that was roomy, comfy, nice ride, stick shift (tough to find a 09 Sonata in a stick but I did), and upscale interior plus economical. Sonata delivers. But I already got the sportscar. So I wasn't looking for "fun" in this car. Spending a few extra grand for a snappier drive didn't make sense. Nothing is going to top the Miata when it comes to handling (unless you shell out at least 30K) so why spend another 3K just for some cripser response?

    If I was only in one car (I've always had two), I'd get the 3. And I'd consider the MS 3 if you can afford to do so.

    Bottom Line
    Sonata does not have problems. But in your case, I'd get a 3 and cosider the MS3. FYI - my wife told me the Sonata is not capable of picking up chicks. ;)
  • ylzylz Posts: 45
    Thanks for your responses guys I appreciate it. You know I have driven the Infiniti G35 (never the G37) and I wasn't crazy about it. First I never have liked Inifiniti interiors although the car was plenty powerful and handled well also. But I'm trying to get something practical as well. As for the Mazda Speed3, I am sad to say I can't drive stick very well at all. I never really learned the proper way (if you could believe that). I WISH they had a Speed3 in automatic, I would buy it in a sec. In fact I have thought about buying a regular 3 and using mods to make it faster but heard these don't really work that great. (example, cold air intake) You know a third car I looked at was the Volkswagen GTI with the DSG. I heard that thing flies and handles well also which seems like fun. But I have heard terrible things about their reliability. So back to these two cars I'm looking at. I guess the 3 would seem more of a car that would fit me because I'm still young. I think I still would be able to pick up chicks though in the Sonata. (haha) I really like how classy the Limited Sonata looks inside with the Navigation. Which one do you think is more reliable espcially after like 5 years? I would say the Mazda is but who knows? I also do a lot of highway driving and hope the Mazda will be able to merge onto oncoming traffic with no problem. It seemed like it would fly when I drove it a couple of times but have never been on the highway with it. By the way, I saw a 2009 V6 Limited Sonata. It was black on black with tinted windows. What a HOT looking car. Stylish but also elegant looking especially with that fin on the top of the car. Ok so thanks, I'm still as confused as when I first started thinking about these two cars. (haha) Take care.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    Look at the Fusion as I've read in these forums how nice it is. Can't beat the price also. Somehow I'd of thought that you would have checked out the Acura TSX...bit smaller of a sedan but looks neat and probably drives nicely. And for someone with no kids, I'd definitely check one out.

    The Sandman :)
  • Mine is black on black and is very sharp. The chrome package makes it sharper.

    I'd suggest learning to drive stick and getting the MS3. It's not hard to learn and well worth the effort.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,747
    Why not the new Mazda6, rather than the 3? The new 6 is a great looking car, more sporty than the Sonata, has better handling than the Sonata, and for what you are looking to pay for a Sonata V6 Limited you could get a nicely equipped Mazda6i; there seem to be some good year-end deals on the 6 right now. The Mazda6 is a much closer comparo to the Sonata.
  • I have a 2009 V6 with Nav and I love the car. Mine is cocoa metallic paint with the cocoa interior (which is the "black" interior). It has plenty of power. On my way to work, I merge onto the highway and I gun it almost every day just to feel the push-back into my seat. It revs up, sounds great, and really picks up quick. I'm 26, have no kids, and do not feel like I'm driving around something my dad would drive. Well maybe we would, but I think he'd get something bigger. It's a classy car - not too flashy - and is loaded with standard features you won't get in a mazda. The Sonata has a nice deep sound when it picks up and has no vibration at high RPMs. Plus I would feel much safer in they Sonata.

    If you're worried about quality, rest assured with the Hyundai warranty. If anything goes wrong with the Mazda, you won't be covered. One of my buddies had a Mazda RX8 and at 89,000 miles he had to replace the clutch and some of the other parts that hold it on and it was really expensive.
  • ylzylz Posts: 45
    Thanks for responding. I know the Hyundai warranty can't be beat but I'm not concerned about that. What I am concerned with is the general way the Sonata rides. Many people are talking about the loud noises they hear when going over uneasy roads. So that's not really covered in the warranty, as this is just the way it drives. Do you have this problem at all? Do you hear "thumps" or cracking sounds when going over bumps at all? When I test drove the Sonata, it seemed very smooth and powerful to me but I didn't take it over bumps at all.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,747
    FWIW I drove a couple of 2008 Sonatas yesterday, back to back over almost the same course, as I was looking to get one on a year-end closeout deal. While I didn't get a deal that was compelling enough (on a Sonata anyway...), I did notice that the first car I drove, which was not in great shape overall (the plastic rocker panel covers were loose or mis-aligned, and there was some other exterior and interior damage), there was a definite "thump" noise going over sharp bumps like expansion joints. Since it was a very cold day (about 5 F), the joints were higher than usual. This was NOT a tire slap noise but something else that came from the front of the car. Not real loud, but noticeable. I then drove another 2008 Sonata at another dealership. This one was in pristine condition except the rocker panel cover on the right side was broken at the rear end of it (which the sales manager seemed genuinely surprised and embarrassed about). There was no noise over bumps as on the first car, just a normal faint thump as you'd get from tires (cold tires at that). The cars were identical trim-wise and tire/wheel wise. Each car had about 40k miles.

    This was the first time I have heard this kind of noise on a 2006-2009 Sonata. I know there were suspension changes for 2009. However, I think it supports the need to drive the exact car you plan to buy, over a wide variety of road surfaces.
  • palokpalok Posts: 13
    You know all that extra money in my wallet does a more than adequate job of cushioning any bumpiness. It handles well and I don't drive it into any potholes either.
  • If I had spent closer to 20K, perhaps the thumpa-thumpa (as I describe it) would bother me based on my price point. But I spent 15K and it doesn't. I've found that with the stereo on at normal audio levels (6-8), I don't even hear it. I think it's being blown out of proportion, really.

    Here are the new cars I bought and prices paid at the time I bought them (all BEFORE tax):

    93 Hyundai Scoupe - $8500
    95 Honda del Sol - $17500
    99 Honda Civic DX - $13500
    04 Nissan Sentra 1.8S - $11500
    04 Nissan Altima 2.5S (wife) - $17500
    04 Mazdaspeed Miata - $21800
    09 Sonata GLS - $15050

    Looking over my buying history, the Sonata is a screaming deal given the whole package of what you're getting. The suspension isn't perfect and the windshield frame flexing makes some squeaks in the cold if you hit uneven roads (the del Sol did this with the targa top).

    Frankly, I think it needs to be put into perspective based on price and package.
  • I agree, we didn't pay a lot for this car and am trying to ignore the noise. The noise we are hearing in our 2009 Sonata, which has already had the entire right front suspension replaced--under warranty, is it sounds like when you have a blown shock or bad wheel bearing in the front end. We go over washboard surfaces, which with the truck traffic in our area it is hard to not have to drive on it, it sounds like you have a blown shock/strut or bad wheel bearing. Just a little unnerving with a brand new car.

    When we test drove it, there wasn't that sort of surface around. Believe me, many lessons have been learned with this car purchase!

    I keep waiting hoping that they get enough complaints that they look into WHY it is doing this...it's almost like the suspension needs to be "tightened up/stiffened up" some to help take care of the situation. I don't know.

    Other than that, no complaints--just still not thrilled about the car yet--and it's been six months!
  • Well, a bad wheel bearing is a grinding noise that you hear around turns when you load up the wheel with the bad bearing. I've had some in other cars, are you sure that's a good analogy?

    I find the noise to be a sort of deep bass, rumble sound. It's common to all 4 corners and isn't THAT disruptive.
  • mtnman1mtnman1 Westerville, OhioPosts: 383
    That suspension noise is exactly the reason I didn't buy the Sonata as I have mentioned in earlier posts. I bought the Fusion because it was quieter and didn't have what sounded like a clunking noise when going over any bumps. I was disappointed, but it really turned me off to the idea of buying the Sonata.
  • i have a 2009 sonata...beware they have transmission problems and no one can seem to fix it. it shifts hard when its cold no smooth shifting i have taken it in 3 times and still the problem not fixed
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