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Hyundai Sonata 6 cylinders or 4?



  • I'm 55 years old and have owned nothing but manual transmissions since I started driving. In all of the cars I've owned I've never had to replace a clutch and some of my cars have had 100,000 miles plus. I never had to replace a clutch until my 2003 Sonata. It first went at 28,000 miles and dealership said "Too bad, not covered" so almost $1800 later new hyundai clutch. That clutch lasted approx 14,000 miles. Dealer said too bad and held hand out for what he thought was going to be another $1800 of my hard earned money. Had my car towed to reputable transmission shop in the area demanded a non-hyundai clutch be installed, cost $750. NEVER EVER buy a manual transmission from hyundai. BTW other than clutch prob the car is fantastic with absolutely no other problems encountered
  • My first Sonata was a '95 with 2.0 litre 4 cyl and 5-speed manual, a similar powertrain to the 01-06 Elantra. I put 130,000 miles on that car, with a new clutch at 97,000. I paid $450 for the clutch, installed in Vermont (the clutch went on a camping trip near Rutland). That car was virtually trouble free, and I awaited the '06 5-speed as I liked the styling on the new car.

    I ended up with the 4-cylinder AT because I felt the clutch on the 06 was too heavy, and didn't like the feel of the manual with the 06 seat (too soft). If you do get the 5-speed, they have a package now with 17" wheels, firmer power seat and moonroof all for an MSRP of $19,600...the same MSRP of my 06 automatic. Just make sure you test drive the car fully. And plan on winter tires if you live in the snow belt, as the 17's are useless in winter. The alternative is the base 5-speed with 16" wheels and all- season tires. The ride is better, and these tires are OK in winter. Again, test drive fully as this seat is not power.
  • flc2006flc2006 Posts: 81
    I prefer the v6 because of the smoothness and quietness than 4 cylinders are kinda buzzy, my car runs as smooth as a car costing twice as much, i had a 4 cylinder which used about the same fuel consumption as my current V6, in real world driving terms you only loose about 2 mpg which is not noticeable.
  • If you are looking for mileage, get a I4. If you want power, get a V6. They are both great engines and I did not find the I4 to be "buzzy" at all...actually very peppy.

    I bought an 07 V6 and it's smooth with a ton of power! Getting combined mileage around 25 :)
  • w9cww9cw Posts: 888
    If you're going to only keep the car a few years - say less than the 10 year powertrain warranty period - I would say go for the Lambda V6. But, if you intend to keep the car longer, I would strongly suggest you consider the Theta Inline 4 cylinder.

    When maintenance is required, it will cost much more on the V6, as any transverse V6 is simply much harder to work on than a transverse Inline 4. I will use a non-Hyundai situation as an example. Our 1994 Dodge Grand Caravan ES 3.3L V6 with 160K miles recently developed a head gasket leak. The quote for repair was $2,500. I personally completed the repair with all OEM parts, and some machine shop work on the heads, for a total cost of less than $250. How many hours did I spending doing this - too many to count - and, not including the scratches and bloody knuckles! Plus, this was on a pushrod V6, one of the easier transverse V6 engine installations to work on. Transverse V6's, especially the DOHC variety on the Sonata, are not known for their labor-friendliness. Try changing the rear plugs on a transverse V6, and you will understand what I mean.

    If you trade cars often, buy the V6. But, if you keep your car a long time, seriously consider the Inline 4. For me personally, I love the Lambda V6's smoothness and power, but I won't buy one. Rather, I will go with the Inline 4. No more transverse V6 engines for me . . .
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    Just bought it and have it at the dealers getting leather.

    I find the four to be better than the Optima six, which is the last gen. Sonata 2.7 engine. Plus you get a five speed rather than four speed transmission.

    If I was going with a V-6 I definitely would have taken the Sonata.

    The Edmunds maintenance page has a 105,000 mile change for the timing belt. I'm a bit confused about the 60K change and the discussion about timing chains on this engine.

    BTW-- The Hyundai/Kia four seems a lot smoother than the Chrysler version of the same (almost) engine. To me it also seems smoother than the 2.7 liter V-6 but not the new, improved Sonata model.
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    )) "...the Optima six, which is the last gen. Sonata 2.7 engine. ... The Edmunds maintenance page has a 105,000 mile change for the timing belt. I'm a bit confused about the 60K change and the discussion about timing chains on this engine." ((

    True of the lower end, only. The heads (where kickapoo joy juice is converted to git-up-'n-go) have been completely revised and now include CVVT technology - good for an additional 15 hp. (185 vs. 170 - that's the motor the previous generation Sonata really needed all along for its V6 option, along with the 5-sp automatic. [sigh]). As to the discussion about "chains on this engine", which engine? If you're referring to the KIA's 2.7L mu V6 with CVVT heads, it still uses a timing belt from the crankshaft up to the heads just as Hyundai's prior generation 2.7L delta V6 did. And, being a belt, it must be replaced periodically since these motors are "interference"* designs. (The latest generation Hyundai 3.3L and 3.8L lambda V6 engines use a roller-link chain from the crankshaft up to the heads.)

    *"interference" designates that the pistons will occupy the same space as open valves - but hopefully not simultaneously. All bets are off, though, if the timing belt breaks. (An engine is a terrible thing to waste...)
  • micro99micro99 Posts: 51
    Just wondering if you have read anything, or heard anything, about the real- world `fuel economy ` difference between the new 2.7 mu v6 and its predecessor, the 2.7 delta v6 ? I find it very difficult to get any real world numbers for the newer mu engine ( except for a very few, statistically insignificant, posters ) who claim this engine really guzzles the fuel, with economy nowwhere near EPA numbers! Can you offer any perspective or insight ? Thanks .
  • It is widely known that epa numbers are at best, quite flawed...hence for 08 model year new formulas will be in place. Depending on car type, engine type etc., the new epa ratings {which will be more "real world"} will be 8 to 30 percent less than the current joke ratings. If people would read the sticker on epa ratings, you will notice that these are just estimates and will not and do not reflect what you will achieve. The real original purpose was to be a crude comparison between cars. :mad:
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    hotrod54's points above are well taken, but I also believe a few people reporting disappointing fuel economy are the victims of Hyundai's tight engines that take a good bit longer to finalize run-in and loosen up than they're used to dealing with. My '03 Sonata's (2.7L delta V6) fuel economy was abysmal - rated 19/27 and the best I could do (grampa driving, no less) was 17/25, initially. By 5,000 miles it had "improved" to 20/26. Now at 24,000 miles, I typically see 23/30+ (the latter at 75-80 mph - now grampa moves his bloody [non-permissible content removed] on the open road!). Unless Hyundai's had a major change in new milled engine part clearances, the company's still recommending a 2K-4K engine operating rpm range and 55 mph top vehicle speed during their suggested 1,200 mile run-in. Another part of the "problem" is that modern motor oils (even conventional mineral oils) are blended with much improved anti-wear additives (often soluble molybdenum compounds and pricey borate esters these days) that prolong initial run-in but compensate with lower wear rates once run-in is completed. Hopefully that translates to increased engine life.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    1. I finally got my car back (had a loaner) and confirmed the lack of a timing belt. I informed Edmunds that their maintenance schedule is flawed-- we'll see if they change.

    2. Some cars match EPA levels better than others. My Malibu Maxx hits about 22-23 around town and a bit over 30 on the highway. As good or better than the EPA estimates. I note that the new 08 'Bu is listed as 26 highway. Whether this is the new improved EPA cycle, or the new improved replacement for the ancient ohv v-6 or a combination or both, I don't know.

    3. Agree about the tightness of Hyundai engines based on the 2001 Elantra I owned. Continued to improve in gas mileage for about the first five thousand miles.
  • delaluzdelaluz Posts: 48
    Does the 2007 Sonata 4 cyl have the same solid lifters?

    (I hope note)
  • rick2456rick2456 Posts: 320
    A year ago, I would have said without a doubt go with the 6. Now however, with high gas prices and more importantly the fact that the 4 now also has the 5 sp automatic, you might consider the 4. Now if you like to feel the power, stick with the 6.
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,601
    I haven't driven an '09 Sonata. However, my '05 V-6 with 170 HP has enought power for me. I think the '09 4 cyl with 175 HP would be plenty fast enough.

    My brother says his '07 with V-6 is much faster than he needs.
  • dave868dave868 Posts: 64
    I had been planning to buy a 4cyl limited, until the test drive. It couldn't get out of its own way! I floored it and felt nothing. Made a fair bit of noise, but very very weak. I was disappointed as I have been reading others talk of decent power from the 4 and "too much" from the v6.

    In my opinion, the sonata is just too big a car for a 4 cyl. That's why the mpg is not much better on the 4 than the 6. I would go so far as to say that some people might get better mileage with the v6,

    I wound up with the v6, only paid $500 more than the 4. The v6 has adequate power and seems to deliver decent mileage. I have only had it 2 weeks but I am getting about 23 mpg.

    I would have liked to see Hyundai offer a manual transmission with the v6. This is only the second automatic I have ever owned. My old 97 maxima with a manual would get well over 30 mpg on the highway. I dont think i will see that with the sonata.

    In any case I am happy with my purchase... and very glad that I didn't buy the 4 cyl. If you must get a 4, for the the elantra with a 5 speed stick. Its not much smaller, will get much better mileage and costs less.
  • cosmo15cosmo15 Posts: 17
    Well I went to the dealership with all intentions of test driving and buying a 4 cyl limited. I made the mistake of driving a 6cyl limited. The 6cyl was much smoother and more powerful. The 4cyl was was ok but i noticed the engine was louder and seemed to strain a bit on acceleration. So now im very confused on which one to buy. I truly liked the 6cyl better but it gets worse gas mileage 19/29 compared to 22/32. It does not seem like alot but today it is for me. Needless to say the 6 cyl is about two thousand more.... The 6 cyl puts the price and gas mileage in a category that compares to other vehicles l like as well. But again the 6 cyl was very nice. Someone brought up a good point to me, if your foot is constantly to the floor in the 4cyl it will use just as much gas if not more than the 6cyl.
    Any advice would be appreciated.
  • dave868dave868 Posts: 64
    I paid $23k even for a V6 limited with nav. I feel that was a decent price. The 4cyl with nav was $21.7k.

    I would get the V6 without question. The 4cyl is really week and quite noisy. I found that just leaving a stoplight and keeping up with traffic was a strain. And forget about passing power. I thought I should get out and push.

    Unless you drive very leisurely I suspect you would see very little MPG benefit from the 4cyl.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,906
    If you don't need factory nav and can live with the pre-2009 styling, you can get a used 2007-8 V6 for about the same price as an I4... and a lot less than a new V6.
  • bhmr59bhmr59 Posts: 1,601
    I'm surprized to see these reports of teh 4 cyl Sonata being under powered.

    My '05 Sonata GLS SV is a V6, rated at 170 HP. The new 4 cyl is rated 175 HP.

    I've always been light on the gas, more so in the last year. I do practicaly no highway driving, drive under 3 miles to work with hills (we're talking elevation changes of 200 ft), 2 stop signs ( I actually stop) and 4 traffic lights.

    My '05 is rated 19/27. Year round I average about 19 mpg for local driving. Better in the spring & fall when the auto A/C doesn't kick on and a bit worse in summer with the A/C and worse when the temps drop below 50 and even worse when the temps are in the teens. Yet, year round, I average right about 19 mpg. If I drive 60 highway miles during a tank of gas, the mpg improvement is 1 to 2 mpg.

    With my type of driving (short haul), I can't complain about about the MPG.
  • cosmo15cosmo15 Posts: 17
    dave im curious how is the gas mileage your getting on the 6 cyl. I have to say again I was very impressed with the 6 cyl very smooth and quite. I agree the 4cyl had loud engine noise and barely any power. After reading several reports how the power in the 4 cyl is sufficient, I totally disagree after the test drive. I now am leaning more towards the 6cyl. I had a dealer at 22,000 for the limited 6 cyl w/o nav. and the 4 cyl at 20,150.
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    Having driven both the V-6 and 4 cylinder versions for semi-extended lengths of time (rented over time frames from 3 day week-ends to week long rentals) and used them on the same drives which involve both (relatively) flat land driving via the Pa turnpike going east to driving to western Pa and the Allegheny mountains plus rural and secondary roads here in S. central Pa and I-81 going both north and south I have to make a few comments. Yes, the V-6 is a rocket on par with both the Accord and Camry V-6's and yes (no suprise) it is quicker than the 4 but I have always found the previous generation 4 w/4 speed automatic to be perfectly adequate no matter the terrain or load. The new generation with 5 speed auto should be marginally better yet. If you crave acceleration on tap and use it frequently (fuel economy be damned) the V-6 is best but I find I can cruise @ 70-80 mph just fine in the 4 and still have reserve to pass. There IS a reason something like 95% of all Camry and Accord are 4cylinders (and probably a like percentage of Sonata's) and that reason is...they are perfectly adequate for 95% of drivers. Obviously you are in the remaining 5%.
  • i360i360 Posts: 74
    I may fall into that other 95% and feel the i4 is adequate for everyday driving. The car has loosened up over time and is somewhat quicker and nimble. Also the engine roar has died down some over time as well. Granted off the line it isn't as quick as a 6, but whats the rush? The i4 once in gear and moving can get up there fairly quickly. I've been on several long drives and you don't notice the engine when your just cruising along. I also agree that is has reserve. I was driving on I4 going to Orlando doing about 75 when I had to get by 2 tractor trailers. I just gave it more gas, went in between them (Dumb at the time) emerged out the other side and gunned it and never felt like I couldn't make it, hit 100 in a few seconds. Most of the world drives underpowered cars with no problem, for us it isn't fast enough... If your doing the limit then there isn't an issue really. Although some on ramps may be a bit hairy, but I have insurance so...... Bring it.
  • dave868dave868 Posts: 64
    I have only put 600 miles on the car, so my mpg sample is small... So far I am getting about 23 mpg. My split is about 70/30 city to hwy.

    I can't stress enough how week the 4 cyl felt. The sonata is a fairly large car. The 4 cyl just has to work too hard to move it. Just to keep up traffic from stop lights i was nearly flooring it.

    I am confident that I would get no better mileage with the 4 cyl than the v6... except for perhaps a steady 60 mph cruise.

    22K is a decenct price for a v6 ltd w/o nav. I paid 23K with nav...which i love!

    In my opinion, unless you do a lot of hwy cruising buy the v6...besides gas prices are dropping quickly!
  • targettuningtargettuning Posts: 1,371
    Again I say....the Accord is a fairly large car, so are the Camry and Altima but all of those are being bought as 4 cylinders by an overwhelming number of people (and historically they always have been). All these size cars have adequate to outright quick performance with 0-60 ranging from the high 7's for the Altima to the middle to lower 8's for the rest and 1/4 mile times in the 16 second and middle to upper 80's mph range. These friend are V-8 times from not too long ago and in the case of the Altima quicker yet. Please do not tell me that every traffic light prompts 0-70 mph "races" and if they do that you have to participate. I maintain that the 4 cyl. versions of all these cars are a perfect balance between performance and economy. The "bigger is better" mentality in all things is one of this country's larger problems especially when applied to choosing our personal vehicles. As for your "besides gas prices are dropping quickly" comment.....yeah, shelve the plans for buying the fuel saving car and check out the Hummer again. When someone farts in the middle east and fuel prices rise faster than they dropped you are once again stuck with a poor choice. Which points out another "problem" with the citizens of this long term commitment. Get used to it, we are at the mercy of those who pull our strings as far as fuel prices. Choose well...!!
  • dave868dave868 Posts: 64
    I can't speak to the drivabilty of the accord, camry or altima. I can say that when I test drove the 4cyl Sonata it was loud and weak.

    I am not racing people at stop lights. I just want to be able to move away from a light without people beeping at me or passing me angryly as I limp away from the light.

    While it's acceleration may be "adequate". To achieve the "adequate" acceleration, the engine had to be flogged. I feel that this results in equal and quite possibly worse MPG than the v6. While producing more pollution due to the higher revs. And causing more stress to the engine.

    In my opinion driving underpowered cars, is false economy. I would really like to see a study of real people driving 4 and 6 cyl versions of a larger car such as the Soanta and compare results. I suspect you would be surprised.

    All I am suggesting is that the engine be appropriate to the vehicle. If you must drive a 4 cyl, how about considering the Elantra, especially with the manual. It's nearly as large as the Soanta in interior room.

    Again all this is, is my opinion. I cant offer hard facts. However based on the impression I get from cosmo, I would bet that if he got the 4cyl, he would drive it harder than intended. And therefore not see any mpg gain and a frustrating driving experience.
  • I own a 2009 Sonata 4 cylinder and I think it has plenty of power. I would say the tachometer stays below 3,500 rpm when I pull away from a stop light. I get 28 MPG around town (Not City) and 38 MPG with 4 adults highway. I noticed when I first got the car and drove it on highways that had hills with the 4 adults aboard it would downshift which I was not use to happening. I think I was originally conditioned that once a car got in high gear it stayed in high gear until you stop. I have no problem keeping up with normal people at stop signs.
  • cosmo15cosmo15 Posts: 17
    Dave thanks for your reply. I feel you and I are on the same page with the 6 cyl over 4cyl. Im surprised your getting 23 mpg with 70/30. I think thats pretty good. What everyone needs to realize the engine debate is about opinion. I had every and I mean every intention of buying a 4cyl limited. As soon as I began my test drive within 200 feet I noticed loud, annoying and wining engine noise. That is something I personally do not like. Second you could notice and feel the car as is shifted due to lack of power under normal acceleration. When I drove the 6cyl none of these things were noticeable. It was smooth and very quite. Thats what I like in a car. Believe me I would love to save the extra money but these things would probably bother me and I would regret the purchase. Again people its all about opinion.
  • i360i360 Posts: 74
    Great post...

    Well whatever, I feel my 2009 i4 is good enough for me to get around. And I dont have to gun it from the light like ol' lead foot seems to have to. I dont get honked at or passed and if I do so what, Americans need to slow down anyways. Thats one of the reasons we consume so much gas in the first place. That and the need to have the biggest fastest cars on the planet.
  • dave868dave868 Posts: 64
    This is primarily a discussion of opinion. And with the MPG numbers posted by newowner, I would have considered a 4 cyl. However I can't imagine them bieing realistic, unless you drive like a hypermiler. With a constant feather foot and shutting the engine off when stopped.

    I don't want to race my fellow drivers. I just want to be able to stay out of their way.

    Quick poll just for curiousity sake:

    Where are we doing our driving?

    I am in New York.
  • rick2456rick2456 Posts: 320
    I have an 07 Sonata SE v6. Recently when having my car serviced, they gave me a loaner car which happened to be a 09 limit 4 cyl. I have to agree, after driving the V6, there is no way in the world that I could ever live with the I4. It is like dragging an anchor, not to mention much more noisy.
This discussion has been closed.