2009-2010 Hyundai Sonata



  • ponggodponggod Member Posts: 11
    I recently purchased my 2009 Sonata with the only upgrade requirement being that I get leather seats. So the dealership arranged to do this as an aftermarket add-on for about $1000 more. I know this is a common practice as I had also done this with my Chrysler Pacifica purchase a couple years ago.

    After driving it for a month, I noticed that a piece of the material in back of the driver's seat had come unglued and was hanging down on the floor. Upon closer examination I discovered, to my dismay, that this is not REAL leather, but a pseudo-leather or "pleather" type of material.

    It's not that I'm dissatisfied with the look or feel of the material, but rather I don't like feeling like I've been taken advantage of. Had the salesperson explained that REAL leather would cost X dollars, but that I could get a pseudo-leather for less and that most people find it to be of similar quality or whatever, then it's quite likely that I would have accepted the cheaper substitute and been satisfied with it. But, in my opinion, words have meanings and "leather" means "real leather"! Am I the only one who still thinks this way?

    So, before rushing down to the dealership to raise hell about this, I decided to first consult a neighbor of mine who is a car salesman. After explaining the situation to him, he basically told me that ALL the car dealerships do this and even the vast majority of "leather" seating packages coming from the manufacturer are also NOT real leather. (He went on to explain the reason for this change was due to PETA's relentless protesting on the matter, which is interesting trivia, but not helpful in assuaging my concerns.)

    I also checked with a local auto trim dealer to get a sense for the price difference between REAL leather and the pseudo-leather substitutes. He explained to me that he could order REAL leather seat covers pre-fit for Sonata and installed for $1295. He then explained that while the substitute materials are significantly cheaper, the final cost wouldn't be very much less since he would have to do the cutting and fitting manually which would substantially raise the cost of labor. So based on the figures he quoted me, it seems that the price I paid for "leather" was pretty much in the ballpark for what one could expect to get REAL leather seats.

    So, what are the experiences of others on this matter? Is it indeed the norm for people to get fake leather seats when it's being advertised as just "leather"? Was it unreasonable for me to expect I was getting REAL leather even though there was never any mention of pseudo-leather, "pleather", or leather-like material? Please enlighten me!

    - Robert -
  • lmaxicklmaxick Member Posts: 46
    Let me give you a little education, the automobile and the furniture industry has always been when leather is used to used genuine leather only on the surfaces that touch your body, the rest is high grade vinyl. It is the standard of both industries, I know because I spent 45 years in the furniture Mfg business and have always know that this is the wy it's done. Sorry to dissoluion you.
  • aalsherriaalsherri Member Posts: 68
    Leatherette is not real leather and should not be sold under the name of leather. This is really a ripoff. Leathererette does not breath like real leather. It is durable but not as durable as the real quality leather.Please note that most manufacturers use real leather on all seating areas and leatherette or vinyl on the back areas or back seats. This is an acceptable ripoff but tolerated by many buyers. Using all leatherette when you ask for leather is not an acceptable practice. In my opinion paying a $1000 charge for even real but thin cheap leather is too much. Quality fabric is better choice unless you are sure you are getting the real thick but soft leather. Thin cheap leather starts to crack within 3 years.
  • ponggodponggod Member Posts: 11
    OK, so what you're saying is that it is quite possible, even likely, that I am actually sitting on genuine leather even though it looks nothing like leather when you examine it from the backside or the cut edges? If this is so, I will certainly feel much better about it, but how can one really tell?
  • ponggodponggod Member Posts: 11
    If this is the case, where the part I'm sitting on is real leather, but the seat backs are not, I'm perfectly fine with that.

    I guess the lesson learned here is that next time I will just buy the car in the cheapest possible configuration the dealer has to offer and then shop around the auto trim places myself to upgrade the seats afterwards. That way I will have a much better idea of what I'm getting and cut out the middleman in the process.
  • aalsherriaalsherri Member Posts: 68
    Try to check it. Real leather has no fabric liner. Also, real leather has a distinguished smell and texture. If you feel he used a $200 leatherette seat covers and you paid a much higher price for leather seats, take him to small claim court (Justice Court). You will win the case within minutes without a lawer. I saw many cases at the court for claims as small as $200. First try to work it with the dealer by asking for a big discount because the seats are all made of leatherette . If he refused to budge for any reason, take him to court. The case here is black and white. If only the back is made of leatherette, then you may not have a solid case.
    I feel many buyers here are paying too much for unnecessary expensive options. Most will trade in their cars within 3-4 years. I saw many 8 years old cars with near perfect condition cloth seats.
  • loradoraloradora Member Posts: 16
    Even on a cloudy day, roll down the window fully and have them smell it. Mine stunk and it was colder/cloudy...not as bad mind you, but it still stunk.

    My dealer's name is Wright Hyundai in Wexford, PA. They ordered all new sil trim for the doors, 3 came in and 1 is on backorder. I'm wondering, have they found out there is a problem? I forgot to ask that. So, I'm in the rental car from the dealership until the last one comes in. They have smelled them and they say they smell just fine. Wow....not sure what's going on with that. But, I will be so glad to get in a car that doesn't stink!!!!!

    There is also a service bulletin out on our year/model for some armrest cover...so, make sure that gets looked at as well. The service department told me that as it came up on their computer.
  • retsabretsab Member Posts: 10
    Through CarTalk.com I found this site http://www.healthycar.org/home.php which gives a great deal of information about cars smells, the levels in various models, and ways to deal with these issues.
  • fushigifushigi Member Posts: 1,459
    I don't have a Sonata so I can't say for sure, but it is possible that the 4.54 quarts is the engine capacity while the extra is residing in the filter assembly.
    2017 Infiniti QX60 (me), 2012 Hyundai Elantra (wife)
  • xxkates1188xxxxkates1188xx Member Posts: 2
    I have an 09 sonata and recently i had an item of mine fall behind the lower console where the two consoles meet...This is only able to happen when the lower console is opened.. I was hoping to find a dash of some kind to figure a way to remove the "door" so to say and get behind to get what i've lost.. there has actually been two occurences now of my losing belongings in that hole due to them falling out of the upper console...which is a huge con for me and the car! So if anyone one has idea idea of what to do in this situation please reply!! Thanks!

  • jm1996jm1996 Member Posts: 10

    What's the word on your car since replacing the odorous window parts? Did it improve?
  • newowner10newowner10 Member Posts: 227
    I have a 2009 Sonata are you referring to the narrow slot below the lower door? If that is where the stuff fell through you must be losing CD/DVD's . You could easily block that with a little black tape. I have not looked into how to get stuff back out yet. Could you reach around the back of the console?
  • loradoraloradora Member Posts: 16
    Yes! That took care of the smell. Now, I am waiting until they get wet just to make sure. (see how often I wash my car?) LOL
    The service manager was totally perplexed as one day he would come in and it would stink really bad (it was lying on the counter) the next day he would come in and it wouldn't. But, they replaced all four and we just got back from a trip to S. Carolina and drove with our windows down and no smell!

    So, replacing them all took care of it it seems.

    Are you going to ask that they replace yours?

    I can't figure out why some stink and some don't. He said I was the only who has complained of this problem so far.

    Now to tackle the noise suspension!
  • xxkates1188xxxxkates1188xx Member Posts: 2
    No its actually above the lower door..it was a pen i had got as a gift that fell from the upper console onto the lower door and rolled into the hole behind the dash which is completely unreachable! I am debating just bringing it to an autobody repair shop but I was hoping to find instructions on how to get behind the consoles myself...
  • joejet1joejet1 Member Posts: 1
    I just bought a 2009 Hyundai Sonata and just wanted to say Me and my Wife LOVE IT !! I've been shopping around for the last several months before making this purchase. I was wondering if other buyers wouldn't mind sharing pricing information, since I have a friend who would also like buy the same model car, I want to know if it's possible to get a better price. We bought a white 09 Sonata Limited with a V-6. The car doesn't have the Navagation. The only two options I purchased were the Xzilon Paint Protection and some beautiful chrome wheels. The cost of the car before tax & license was $23,630.00 This price was after the $2000 factory rebate.

    If anyone is willing to share their pricing information, it would be greatly appreciated.

  • fscotfscot Member Posts: 8
    Take off the panel in the passenger footwell - it just pulls off. Then reach into the space to retrieve your item.
  • jjx456jjx456 Member Posts: 41
    Lots of the info you're seeking in the "Hyundai Sonata Prices Paid and Buying Experience" forum

    Hyundai Sonata Prices Paid and Buying Experience
  • newowner10newowner10 Member Posts: 227
    I see now where the pens falls through. That is a big hole.
  • xmechxmech Member Posts: 90
    I'm considering buying an 09 SEV6 Sonata, and even test drove one a while back. The biggest thing to strike me was no real feedback from the steering wheel while driving. I thought it's just because I'm used to my car, and I would just get used to it if I got one, but I read in several magazine & website reviews abut complaints of a 'numb feel to the steering'.

    How do you current owners of the 09's feel about it? (Pardon the pun...)
  • fscotfscot Member Posts: 8
    Steering is definately numb, lack of any feed back.
  • tenpin288tenpin288 Member Posts: 804
    We have an 09 Sonata Ltd 4cyl and while it definitely does not have a lot of "feedback" in the steering, it still goes where it is steered. It's my wife's car and she has no problems with it. I drive it rarely but when I do, it is fine by me. ;)
  • loradoraloradora Member Posts: 16
    Not sure what yall are meaning by "numb". It's not a real stiff steering response, is that what you mean?

    But, I do have a suggestion if you are looking to buy a '09 Sonata. Test drive the car over an area that is a washboard-type surface before you buy it. I have a GLS and in my eyes the suspension is horrible-----clunking so much it sounds like an old car. And we live in an area where there is A LOT of truck traffic...so, guess who isn't a happy camper!
  • peridocperidoc Member Posts: 18
    I have a Sonata 09 V4 Limited and I have started hearing a noise when going over bigger bumps/holes in the road coming from either behind the dash (on the driver's side) or where the driver's side door meets the dash - I can not pinpoint the exact location. It is not a constant rattle, but rather a plastic crack sound (like plastic on plastic) when going over a bump. Has anyone else heard something like this? Has anyone pinpointed what this might be? I figured I should ask so that I have some ideas when I take the car in to try to get it corrected...although it probably could be a number of things.

    Thanks for any advice!
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    One thing to keep in mind is that the SE has different suspension and steering tuning, and different tires, than the GLS and Limited. So driving impressions of the GLS and Limited will likely be different from those of the other trims. For example, if you check out the dozen or so owner reports on the '09 SE on Edmunds.com (and filter out those that are mislabeled (some are definitely NOT for the SE), there are very few complaints about steering feel. Also, Motor Trend thought enough of the SE I4 to make it their 2nd choice in the mid-sized sedan field, only behind the much more expensive Passat 2.0T. They also said that if money is a consideration, the Sonata is the best choice. I am wondering how often money is NOT a consideration these days for people buying a new family car? :surprise:
  • newowner10newowner10 Member Posts: 227
    I have had my 09 for a couple of months and it does turn very easy. I do not see the disadvantage to it turning easy unless you were in slippery conditions like snow/Ice /hydroplaning where you can normally feel the steering wheel getting "lite" so you may not realize you are losing grip.
  • dave868dave868 Member Posts: 64
    I have had my V6 2009 Sonata limited for about 6 weeks now. And yes it's a little numb. I miss my Infiniti I traded for it... and miss my 3 series even more.... but I have 3 kids now and I need to me more practical.

    Yes the steering is very light, but you can still drive it fairly hard without issue. It goes where you point it unlike a camry.

    With the possible exception of the Altima, you wont do better than a sonata in this price class...
  • geobixgeobix Member Posts: 1
    Bought a 2009 Sonata 4 cylinder Limited in late July. I wanted one without navigation, but dealer couldn't find one in the color combination we wanted. Finally took one from their lot that had the nav system - and I'm glad I did. It works so much better than my portable. The car stickered out at $26,035, and I wound up getting it, after $2,000 rebate and before tax and title, for $21,500. Absolutely delighted with it. Doesn't handle quite as well as my old Accord, but it's superior in every other way - a much better riding car, IMO. Got a silver one with gray leather interior. Already like the color better than my navy blue Accord - it never looks dirty. Love the XM radio, and the stereo system is wonderful! You can spend more or spend less, but you won't get a much better value in my opinion.
  • i360i360 Member Posts: 74
    While the steering is numb, as you don't really feel it, I can say it will go where you want it to. I've done a little high speed stunt driving (I like to test a cars limits at times) and had no problems with control. I've had my 09 i4 Limited for 3 months and enjoy driving it daily. For me it has enough power for everyday use, and it gets excellent mpg on the highway (35-36) on longer trips. If someone is in the market for then they definitely owe it to themselves to at least test drive one.
  • xmechxmech Member Posts: 90
    Thx, all, That eases my mind some about the steering.
  • techmcagtechmcag Member Posts: 1
    I am having the same problem when the weather is cold. The dash pops and cracks like crazy. It is only when going over bumps.

    [email protected]
  • gmctruckgmctruck Member Posts: 186
    "The dash pops and cracks like crazy."

    My '08 Sonata also has this problem. I think the noise comes from where the dash touches the windshield. The car body flexes to some degree when going over bumps and uneven pavement causing the popping noise and it's a bit worse in cold weather. I was hoping Hyundai would have fixed that in the '09 model redesign by putting a rubber strip where the dash meets the windshield... but looks like that didn't happen.

    I also had a problem with the clove compartment door making noise and had to put extra stick on rubber pad stops between the top edge of the glove box door and the dash to tighten up the door. The latch design holding the glove compartment door shut is all plastic with no mechanical latch adjustments possible which can cause the door to rattle when driving on bumpy roads.
  • jm1996jm1996 Member Posts: 10
    I also noticed this and was prepared to take it in, but the noise seems to have reduced greatly in the cold weather. Could it be AC related?
  • gmctruckgmctruck Member Posts: 186
    I don't think it is related to the AC. I think it is more related to expansion and contraction of the materials as the temperature changes and driving on rough pavement. I've noticed the noise less now that the car is a year old, but I still hear it when the weather is really cold.
  • peridocperidoc Member Posts: 18
    Have you tried tracking down the noises with any service people, or is it just not worth the effort? I also have a rattle coming from my back deck that is caused by the subwoofer. They have looked into that before but have not completely gotten it out. I think that is much easier to fix and track than the noise coming from the dash. I have not been able to pinpoint where it is, but you are right...it sounds like it is coming from up near where the dash and windshield meet. I really wish there was a fix for it as it has gotten worse for me in the colder weather. It was not there before October or so.
  • ponggodponggod Member Posts: 11
    I've just recently begun noticing this too in the '09 Sonata I just bought less than two months ago. It's only occasional and not really severe, but it's got me wondering if it's something that's likely to get worse over time. It's tolerable right now, but if it gets any worse, it's really going to affect my overall impression of the car.
  • gmctruckgmctruck Member Posts: 186
    I haven't taken it to the dealer because it isn't severe enough to warrant tearing out the dash, which is what I think will be required to fix the problem for good. Hyundai really needs to address this on the newer cars and I'm surprised to hear the '09's have it as well.

    Another thing I discovered is the windshield glass isn't smooth. You can't see it visually, but I can feel a ripple in the glass with my hand and found it while cleaning the windshield. These things do affect my overall impression of the car.
  • NewKah09NewKah09 Member Posts: 1
    My '09 Sonata GLS does something similar, the windshield makes a crackling sound when going over any road irregularity other than the slightest bump. Exactly like the sound the windshield makes when heavy rain hits it.
  • 3rdjersey3rdjersey Member Posts: 1
    My 08 Sonata had the same noise at the base of the windshield. It only did it when the outside temperature was below 48 degrees. I got a can of silicone spray and sprayed it into the opening between the dash and windshield. I noticed a vast improvement almost immediately and now one year later the nosie is completely gone.
  • stephen987stephen987 Member Posts: 1,994
    For what it's worth, my Accord makes a very similar noise under those circumstances. Then again, it's got 78k miles on it. :)
  • ctc1ctc1 Member Posts: 66
    I had 2 Accords that made the same sound. Was so bad in my 86 I had to trade it in because it was driving me nuts. Spent a lot of time and money trying to fix but never found the cause!
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    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 Member 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.
  • investingdadinvestingdad Member Posts: 23
    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 18,949
    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.
  • YitianYitian Member Posts: 9
    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 Member 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?

  • investingdadinvestingdad Member Posts: 23
    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks...I wonder if there is any remedy available?
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