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Buying a Used Hyundai Sonata

FardFard Posts: 4
edited August 2014 in Hyundai
Hi guys,

I have two question for you! yesterday a dealer (in the middle country road) tried to sell me a Sonata 2003 with 140K on it ,but with two years warranty. To be honest, I didn't trust him, price was for $3500 including taxes, fees,...everything.

In the other hand an individual offers me a Sonata (1999) with 75 K, for $3000.
So, now my question is which one would you choose as an expert, what shall I do if I buy one of these cars or other one here?
I appreciate your help in advance.


  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,933
    What kind of warranty is it--powertrain only, or bumper-to-bumper? Is there any deductible? Who backs the warranty (I got an extended warranty on a Mazda van and the warranty company went belly-up, so you want the warranty to be backed by a strong, stable company)?

    If the warranty is bumper-to-bumper and backed by a strong company, I would probably go with the 2003 Sonata because it's a nicer car than the 1999 and I would not have to worry about anything other than regular maintenance for two years. At which point I could sell it and the cost of ownership for 2 years would be very low. With the 1999 Sonata, with no warranty, anything could break at any time (e.g. transmission) and then you are stuck with the bill.

    In either case, you should take the car you want to buy to a trusted mechanic for a thorough exam--it will cost a few bucks, but will help ensure you don't buy a ticking time bomb.

    Also try to find out as much history as possible on the cars. Does the 1999 have all of its service records, for example? (Same for the 2003.) Where the miles on the 2003 mostly highway miles (which are easy on the car)? Try to find out if the 60k (or 120k) servicing was done on each car. That is a major, expensive service that includes the timing belt and many other things. If it was not done, you are potentially looking at either an expensive service visit or a chance the timing belt will break, ruining the engine.
  • FardFard Posts: 4
    Hello "Backy"
    thanks for your so quick reply. Actually, he (the dealer) has his own mechanics, and he said his mechanics will fix everything wrong with the car within two years, and any time I can sell the car even for them or for anybody else with the warranty!
    (He knows also I moved to US in October, and do not know how the system works here at all!!! I go to the college in Long Island). Since it is dealer's warranty (and not company), I am a little bit scared of that.

    The second one is from somebody else with exact 62K on it, and I am planning to view the car maybe by tomorrow. As he said on the phone, I can check the history out by the carfax, and take to a mechanic. My understanding from your hints is that a mechanics shall check whole the stuffs which should be changed or..., in 60 K, and also check if everything is currently right with that car .

    Again thank you for your helpful advices.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,933
    So with 62k miles it is important to verify the 60k servicing was done. If not, I'd see that as a warning sign the car was not properly maintained during its life. The Carfax check is a good idea, but won't tell you the mechanical condition of the car, like a good mechanic can. Since the car is in the Northeast, be sure it is checked for rust. Older Sonatas have been known to have a problem with rusting subframes (support the engine).
  • blnewtoblnewto Posts: 146
    Keep in mind the significant improvement Hyundai has made in build-quality the last several years. Even w/ more miles. the 2003 should still be a solid choice over the '99. As long as the vehicle wear is compareable in both vehicles I think you'll be much happier w/ the '03.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,933
    Except the '03 Sonata is the same design as the '99, but the '03 benefits from the mid-gen refresh that came for the '02 MY, e.g. new front end and rear styling. Quality-wise, there may have been running improvements between '99 and '03, but fundamentally the cars are the same.
  • FardFard Posts: 4

    thanks I took your advice and bought 2001 hyundai, Sonata, with 62K! I runs great and I am very happy with that!
  • My lease is about to expire on Hyundai 2007 and I have driven only 19K. I have heard lot of issues after 2 yrs with Hyundai. I am concerned and confused whether to buy this for $10K+ tax or put some more money and buy a Toyota Corolla or Toyoto Camry hybrid neither of the car given big saving in terms of milage but proven quailty products. Any thoughts welcome.
  • newowner10newowner10 Posts: 227
    If you like the car why would you not buy it or buy a new Sonata which people get for $16K. You have low mileage on your car do you think you could get a better car for $10K?. For the 6-10K you will save from not buying the Honda or Sonata you can get a lot of non-warranty service.
  • lhylhy Posts: 48
    I am thinking about buying a used 2004 Sonata GLS with 4-Cyl. 2.4 Liter engine.

    What are people's general opinions about the reliability of car, the especially the transmission and engine?

    Are the general maintenance and repair costs expensive?

    Is there an issue with the timing belt wearing out prematurely?

    What kind of gas mileage do you get?
  • rajnish7rajnish7 Posts: 4
    I would highly consider buying it if i were you. But it entirely depends on how was your experience with this car. I am one satisfied owner of a 2007 limited sonata. I had this car for about 26 months and have driven it 56K miles. Only problem i came across was a defective trunk switch(replaced under warranty) and one blown brake light. I would say that was pretty impressive reliability wise. If you think you can get a better car for $10K then go ahead and buy it ....but i really doubt it.
  • kjarrettkjarrett Posts: 3
    edited May 2010
    Hi everyone, .

    I am in the market for an 06-07 Sonata GLS for my college age daughter. Just went to see one and decided to walk away. Wondering if I made the right call!

    Car in question is an '07 GLS with a 4 cyl., pretty much what she's looking for. Guy is asking $9,500. Car has 62k miles and is in decent shape. Edmunds TMV is about $8,000 (private party value, good condition). Has had regular oil changes but only the 52,500 mile service at the dealer, not the 60,000 (or any others). Front end alignment is off, driver's side front tire is noticeably worn more than the passenger side, but the car doesn't pull, even when hard braking. Trunk lid has some light damage but opens and closes fine. Body had a couple of chips where rust was forming underneath but the paint overall was in good condition. Overall it appears to be a solid car. Drives well.

    My concerns are the missing 60k service and the alignment. I know what the 60k service entails and I need to make some calls to find out what it costs to have done (only for the exact items in the owner's manual). I also need a price on an alignment (4-wheel, I presume). Can anyone here give me a ballpark on those? I'm in New Jersey.

    What would you offer this guy for the car knowing the above? We're just starting our search for a Sonata (it's the 2nd one we've looked at) and we've got cash so we're in no rush. Still, it was hard to walk away, my daughter really wanted this car. I just wasn't feeling the love...

    Thanks for any input,

    To bad you don't live here in GA, I would have sold you my 06 LX for $9500.00. It's a V6 with 69k miles, 6-disc mp3 radio/cd player, leather seats, heated front seats, brand new OEM Michelins, 17" alloy wheels, sunroof, rear deck spoiler, and all services done by local Hyundai dealer. But to answer your question, I'd probably only offer $6500-$7500. The 60k service is gonna run you between $300.00 to $500.00 anyway depending on the dealer performing the service.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,933
    I think you did the right thing by walking away. First, the car is way overpriced--it's NOT in "good" condition, and it's $1500 more than Edumunds' price for "good". The lack of servicing throughout its lifetime is a huge red flag, IMO. That tells me that the car might have been abused in other ways, also. The 60k service is one of the biggest, will probably cost a few hundred bucks, but at least a timing belt change is not needed (it has a timing chain). One thing to check is the brakes. Some Sonatas are prone to rear brake problems if they are not serviced regularly, especially in areas where road salt is used. I'll bet these brakes were never touched. If not, it's possible it'll need new pads if not new rotors--that is pretty expensive.

    For not much more, you could get a similar car that truly is in "good" condition, and maybe with some factory warranty left. I recommend you keep looking. There's lots of '06-7 Sonatas out there. I bought a used '07 last November from a dealer with 38k miles, and it was in like-new condition--traded a Rabbit that had a value of about $10k on it. Wife loves it. Good luck.
  • kjarrettkjarrett Posts: 3
  • kjarrettkjarrett Posts: 3
    Outstanding 411 ... thanks. Appreciate the confirmation of our decision and the perspectives on the situation. We're in no rush and we've got cash so we can afford to wait for the right deal. Thanks again! -kj-
  • I have a deposit on a 2004 Sonata, automatic 2.4 engine.

    It's got the updated cloth seats, all standard options... in mint condition. Did a test drive, no pull .. great on highway, good pick up, everything works except one front side speaker, which dealer agreed to fix.

    44,000 miles

    Price dealer wanted: $7,990
    Price I got it for: $7,100

    I need a really dependable car, as I'm a woman on SSI and can't afford too many repairs. '

    Would appreciate any and all opinions. :-)

  • aqua33v6aqua33v6 Posts: 38
    edited June 2010
    The deal you got was about $800 to $1000 below the Kelly Blue Book MSRP for "excellent" condition w/45K miles. Pretty good deal.

    The biggest maintenance items will be fuel filter replacement, spark plug and spark plug wire replacement, engine coolant replacement, and transmission fluid changes (I'd recommend "2 drain and fills" at a time so that most of the old trans fluid gets replaced).

    The above four items should be done about every 50K miles, at a cost of around $500 to $600 depending on where you have it done. Other than that, just change the engine oil and filter every 5,000 miles, and change the engine air filter every 10K to 20K miles (depending on how dusty the air is where you live), and the car should run well for decades.

    Figure about $3,500 to $4,000 in total maintenance costs (incl. tires, brakes, shocks, car washes, etc) for every 100,000 miles you drive, excluding the cost of gasoline and insurance, of course. So about $30 per month in maintenance if you drive 10,000 miles a year, $15/month if you drive 5,000 miles per year, etc....
  • Thanks Aqua: good to know I got a good deal, and sounds like a dependable car. :)

    I drive very little ... probably about 5,000 a year. I appreciate your advice on maintenance, I'll surely keep this little car in good shape. My car now is a Chrysler Concorde, so I'll miss the power of the engine, but the paint is peeling off everywhere, air conditioner went last summer, and other things are failing. It's time for a new ride ... but funny that I'll miss my Concorde.

    Thanks again ....
  • Hi all!

    Figured I'd make a quick post to let you know I bought an '09 GLS V6 in great condition (1 scrape on the mirror that isn't noticeable except when within three feet of it). Cocoa, camel interior. Moonroof and PEP, 48k miles. Certified, which includes the full balance of the 10/100k powertrain and 5/60k b2b warranty. Brand new tires, clean one-owner carfax.

    $13,892 + $508 tax = $14,400 OTD.

    Love it!
This discussion has been closed.