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2012 Hyundai Sonata

I'm debating to buy a GLS or SE. Somewhere I read that among the people who bought Sonata, more than 50% bought GLS, more than 30% bought limited, and only about less than 10% bought SE. Why is SE not as popular as GLS or Limited? Any commonds from anyone?


  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,000
    Since this is a pretty general question, and we don't yet have a general discussion for 2012 Sonata questions/answers, I changed the title of this one.


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  • Since we just bought a 2012 SE I guess I will comment on my reasons. I preferred the slight bump in hp (200 verses 198) small and probably unnoticeable, the dual exhausts, the leather trimmed seats, steering wheel, the paddle shifter which I have not yet used and the somewhat sport tuned suspension. In order to get those things one must buy the SE. The Limited had SOME things I liked i.e. heated seats but I did not want others that came with the Limited package plus the higher cost. Overall, now that I think about it the GLS with its prefered equipment package which adds alloy wheels (another thing I wanted) and other items I liked would have been the best bet. One big negative for the SE is, in my opinion, are the low profile (series 45) tires that are not only relatively expensive to replace but have such a low sidewall they can cause allloy wheel damage dropping into a pothole. I guess the bottom line is that there are things that are desireable on each model and things that are not, you must take the "bad" with the good when choosing. I believe that if I had to do it again I would buy a GLS with preferred equipment package. Oh, and another thing comparing the SE/Limited verses the GLS I actually like the body colored grille on the GLS compared to the smoked chrome one on the Limited and SE.
  • rick2456rick2456 Posts: 320
    With the exception of the body colored grill, I concur. If I had to do it all over again, I would have gone with the GLS. Though I do like the seats and the dual exhaust of the SE.
  • nj2pa2ncnj2pa2nc Posts: 813
    since we wanted manual transmission we had had to get the GLS-wish it had more standard equipment such as power seats, sunroof, etc.
  • I bought the SE almost two years ago and it definitely has a stiffer ride due to the sport suspension but I liked the dual exhausts and paddle shifters,etcetc so this was good for me. The GLS is really nice and for those that like leather, this would be a great choice-I think that comes wiht the heated seats also-so its a personal choice of course just like buying any car is. Good luck
  • nelson1nelson1 Posts: 41
    I am late replying, but maybe you will see this. I bought the Ltd., and my brother bought the GLS. My Ltd. is the noiseist car that I have ever owned, due to the low profile tires. My brother's GLS is a much quieter car, due to the higher tires, it has. I am going to get away from Hyundai altogether, because of that.
  • dave868dave868 Posts: 64
    I agree Nelson1. I have a ltd. and the ashtray is almost full. I can't stay with Hyundai because of that. I have no choice but to go back to Nissan.
  • It's too bad the new Sonata's has been plagued with several problems, cause it is a beautiful car. My wife has a 2012 SE and so far no problems. Here is J.D. Power ratings.
  • bluepbluep Posts: 29
    it was my first day out with my car in the snow,it wasbad no tacktion what so ever if i would have know this i would not have gottin this car ,the tires are no good in the snow.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,887
    Why do you say "plagued by problems"? There's only 2 cars on that list that have higher overall scores than the 2011 Sonata, the Accord and Legacy. And the Accord has been out in its present design since fall of 2007, so it's had plenty of time to work the bugs out. Note that cars like the Altima and Fusion and Camry, which have reputations for high quality and reliability and are fairly old designs (based on 2011 models), have the same overall score as the Sonata, which was a new design for 2011 with all-new powertrains.
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 298
    Agree with your comments on overall quality. Accord and Camry are great cars for the money (value) and hard to knock after years off good reviews.
    Sonata is a newer offering from as company working hard to establish a reputation for good quality cars at value prices. We felt comfortable with the resulting equation of good initial quality (per reviews), good looks , and value for the price, that is MPG,warranty, Assurance program, increasing resale values and a company eager to sell cars in the US and making the right moves to make that happen. Lots of good choices right now.
  • When I say "plagued by problems", I'm talking about all the quality issues owners of 2011/2012 Sonata's are experiencing. If you read other Hyundai forums you will read a lot of problems like one of the biggest is the pull issue that Hyundai can't seem to figure out. That's just one example, there are several others. The biggest problem I see is the car is in great demand because of it's styling and they are running the line at maximum speed to get the cars out and the quality is suffering. Hyundai should import some from Korea to help out the Alabama plant. I don't know about you, but I don't want to spend $27K only to be used as a guinea pig until Hyundai gets their bugs worked out.
  • nj2pa2ncnj2pa2nc Posts: 813
    we own a '11 6MT sonata, bought new 7/10. We do not have any problems with it-no pull what-so-ever, etc. It now has almost 26,000 miles. Great car.
  • rysterryster Posts: 564
    I have a 2011 GLS auto, purchased 5/10, now with 23,000 miles. Build quality is less than ideal. Upper dash rattles severely to the point I have foam blocks wedged between the dash and the base of the windshield. Dealer says the entire dash needs to come out to try and solve the problem.

    There was a rattle from the rear parcel shelf area somewhere. Wedged more foam between the right rear c-pillar and the rear window. That lessened the rattle significantly.

    The doors don't latch closed in weather below 10 degrees...have to soak the latches in lithium grease when the weather gets cold. Once they have the grease on them they latch a little easier.

    The driver's door now rattles when going over bumps. There is a rattle in one of the passenger doors, but only when going through curves or corners that sweep to the right.

    There is a loud metallic clunk/clang from the underside on cold mornings when going over bumps. Noise goes away after 20 minutes of driving.

    The car takes 30-35 minutes (approx. 15 miles of driving) to indicate normal operating temperature on the temperature gauge when the outside temp is below 30 degrees.

    The center console is poorly assembled and requires liberal applications of silicone spray in all seams a few times a year. Otherwise it creaks constantly, especially when slowing down or accelerating (when there is a shift in momentum.)

    The bolts holding the front seats to the floor have to be tightened at least twice a year as they tend to loosen up. Very odd considering I rarely ever carry passengers.

    The door panels pop in cold weather, and vibrate with low bass notes despite the fact I have the bass set at -2.

    The rheostat that controls the brightness of the dash lights when the headlights are set on auto is poorly designed. The dash lights dim, or get brighter, randomly while driving regardless if set on auto or if I have manually turned the headlights on.

    Sometimes the windshield wipers do not park correctly after using the washer fluid. They will park 2-3 inches above the normal resting position. I have to turn the wipers on again and do a complete sweep, then turn them off and they will rest in the correct position.

    The headlights no longer come on at night when I press the unlock button on the remote. If I want the headlights to come on while approaching the car at night, I now have to unlock all doors by pressing unlock twice, then lock the car right away, then hit unlock again. This wasn't the case when the car was new.

    The car has been mechanically reliable, however the build quality is less than stellar. This is my first Hyundai. I would possibly consider another, but it would have to be a Genesis sedan or possibly the new 2013 Azera...something higher up in the Hyundai product line. If Hyundai released an AWD V6 Genesis sedan tomorrow I would seriously consider purchasing one sooner rather than later.
    If you can wait another year and a half, than ou will be able to get that Genesis AWD. It's coming.
  • ems1ems1 Posts: 48
    I have owned my 2012 Sonata for nearly 5 months and can't wait to get rid of it. It pulls to the right like many other Sonatas and the dealer can't seem to fix it after many attempts.
    The paint quality is poor. It has a few areas where the paint has shading issues from being applied improperly.

    There is way too much road noise. It appears that they skimped on insulation to save money and weight.

    Yes, they are selling well but the quality control has fallen in favor of production.

    Spend a few extra dollars and get something with a proven track record.
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 298
    ems: We have had our 2012 sonata GLS for 1 month and less than 1000 miles. No pulling noticed in town or on highway. I also thought the pulling issue was only on a few early 2011 and they pulled to the left upon hard acceleration. We have a black car and the dark colors are the easiest colors to screw up but ours looks great. Our car is perfect so far, but it is really a collection of expendable parts installed on a platform, so we expect some minor problems with any new car - esp. a new design in the first year.
    The key will be Hyundai's response to any potential problems. Quick, honest recalls and TSB's will fix customer complaints early and avoid the bad press of other brands with bad engines, designs problems, unannounced recalls and cheap TSB fixes to known problems.
    We are willing to give them a chance to back up their great warranty and Hyundai Assurance trade in guarantee progams should their cars experience design or manufacturing clitchs down the road.
  • hjc1hjc1 Posts: 183
    You can't judge the quality of any car by reading blogs or forums. Go check other manufacturers such as Honda etc. and it would be an eye opener.
    If anyone has a problem they complain about it however if you have no problems its unlikely that you would write about it.
    Hyundai has sold over 250,000 of these cars so your going to have some problems and so do other cars such as Honda or Toyota. My Sonata has 21,000 mile and I have had no problems. People having problems are mostly caused by a poor dealer...........
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 298
    Concur with your comments on dealer caused problems. Many peole also chose non-dealer service for various reasons. Newer hi-tech cars demand knowledgeable service IMO. These boards are sometimes valuable resources, however we have noticed professional bashers on some boards. Everything conceivable is wrong with only their car - nothing works - strange.
  • rick2456rick2456 Posts: 320
    One could argue that if Honda, Toyota, and Nissan make such good cars, why is their warranty so lacking? I bought my sonta 2012 se and my Kia Borrego (09) precisely for this reason. In checking other forums, I see just as many, if not more negative posts on the competitors cars.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,887
    I like the long Hyundai warranty also--my 2004 Elantra is eight years old and it still has two years of factory powertrain warranty left. I suppose though that Honda, Toyota, and Nisssan owners (I am leasing a Nissan also) could say something like, "the best warranty is the one you don't have to use". ;)
  • Let me start by saying, other than my one serious unresolved issue, I love my 2012 Sonata 2.0T. Great exceleration and even better gas mileage in a great looking and comfortable car. I have a 1-1/2 hr commute driven at 70-80 mph and I get 32 mph. The low-profile tires and torquey front wheel drive make it lousy for winter driving in Youngstown, Ohio - but that shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. I have had the car 4 months and it has 8,000+ miles.
    My issue for which the dealership has found no solution is the strong odor of gasoline/exhaust in the cockpit and outside the car once parked and prior to restarting. First the dealership replaced the gas cap after testing found a loss of pressure in the fuel tank. After that didn't work, they replaced the high pressure fuel pump after finding it was cracked. (Note: the replacement fuel pump was also found to be cracked in the box, supposedly the result of damage during shipping due to poor packaging.) The air filtration filter was also replaced and it smelled of gas as well. Once, the service manager kept my car for two days and drove it home and claimed he could not duplicate the issue; yet the service writer could smell it inside my car during a recent oil change. The car stinks up my entire garage once parked after driving. I am embarrassed to have a passenger because of the smell and I am concerned for my own health from inhaling the fumes. The service department has thrown up their hands and Hyundai has been no help to them with an answer. I am considering invoking the lemon-law. The crazy thing is I would just want a replacement Sonata. For what it is worth, I have had Blue-Tooth issues as well, but that has been the least of my concerns. If anyone has a possible solution - please write. Thank you. :lemon: :(
  • ems1ems1 Posts: 48
    I don't know anything about the lemon law in your state. I recently went through the lemon law process with my 2012 Sonata in Pennsylvania. I was pretty much forced into it due to an incompetent dealer service department and do-nothing Hyundai Customer Service. I got a cash settlement instead of a buyback or new car. I took the cash and trade in value of the Sonata for a new car from another manufacturer. I'm very happy with the new car and relieved to be rid of the Sonata that was making my life miserable. It cost me a few hundred to get a new car but it was well worth it.

    All manufacturers turn out lemons on occasion but when it happens to you it can be an extremely stressful experience. Good luck.
    Due to the fact that they had to remove your back seats to replace the fuel pump, they did tell you that you may still smell fuel inside the vehicle. If it hasn't cleared by now than they need to recheck it to make sure their is not another leak somewhere.
  • hjc1hjc1 Posts: 183
    You have to take these forums with a grain of salt..... These forums are a medium to complain about cars........ Go to any other forum and you would think nobody knows how to build a quality automobile.
    My Sonota is 1 year old and has about 20,000 trouble free miles and get GREAT gas mileage. I don't think you can find a better value with a fantastic warranty.......... Even Consumer Report check rates this car
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,000
    Yes, I wish I had a dollar - heck, I'd even take a nickel - for every time I saw a post from a member vowing that they will NEVER buy X brand again. I bet there's one for every make/model.

    Most of our maintenance & repair discussions have quite a few dissatisfied owners posting in them. The higher the volume of sales, the more active the M&R discussions are, in general (there ARE exceptions, of course). So, if Hyundai complaints have picked up, my first thought is that it's because there are more owners than there were previously.

    Each vehicle seems to have its own issues - for example, you'll see a lot of complaints about the transmission for one of the BMW sedans. There's one that's experiencing "pull to the right" issues too. Accord/Civic owners have complained about premature brake wear. I could go on & on. The smart shopper will just do a LOT of reading using different resources about different makes/models, and decide what seems the best overall risk for themselves.


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  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 298
    edited February 2012
    hic: We have posted on the Buick Lacrosse forum that one of the frequent complainers listed 20 or more "serious" complaints with TWO of his GM brands. Total bashing that had to leave him little time to drive either car.
    The collection of parts on a car are manufactured for minimum cost not maximum life. The parts are then assembled by semi-skilled labor in the US or Mexico or another exchange rate friendly country. It is truly amazing that we receive such high quality dependable vehicles - but we generally do. We bought a 2010 Buick Lacrosse that cost 11% more than our 1998 Pontiac Bonneville. we bought a 2012 Sonata GLS that cost 19% more than our 1990 Honda Accord EX. About 1% per year more for much more in features, safety, fuel economy, driveability, and overall value for each example.
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,348
    I have a friend whose '00 Sentra also had a gas smell in the cabin. I've emailed him to find out what the fix was. If nothing else you can suggest it to the service manager.
  • fushigifushigi Posts: 1,348
    Agreed. I figure it this way: Never say never. If I wind up with a poorly designed/manufactured product (cars, electronics, whatever) I won't ban future purchases from them. But I will put them at the bottom of the list. They'll have to do something extra special to garner my business but I won't rule them out.

    Of course, there are companies I refuse to do business with, but that has to do with the way they treat me and/or their policies more than their products.
  • crankeeecrankeee Posts: 298
    We had two cars that had that smell. Last one was a Nissan(1990 model) that had a flat run from the filler to the tank due to low profile model with a hatchback so no trunk to isolate the smell. Any over filling after the gas pump shut off would result in back flow and smell of gas.
    Another model (GM) had a problem with the return (overflow) line actually deteriorating and allowing the smell of gas to enter the car thru the trunk. the car was older and the failure was attributed to age not design. The connection to the gas cap receiver to the receiver tube tot he tank and the overfill bypass can also contribute. Hard to diagnose and easy to fix.
    good luck. Crankee
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