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I agree that one can't blame a dealer trying to make profit. I just can't stand this practise. Taking advantage of someone who doesn't know any better with ridiculous prices for add-ons is just kind slimy IMO. I know it is right there to see and they aren't sneaking it in during the sales process but I just won't buy a car at one of those dealers. Just a matter of principle as far as I'm concerned. Obviously, other dealers that don't follow this practise must maximize profit the old fashioned way---hard negotiating.
First, the new dash is even better up close than in photos. The materials quality is really good. Even the faux aluminum trim didn't look or feel cheap (if not quite convincing as aluminum). IMO the dash (with the faux wood trim) is the nicest of any of the current mid-sized cars, especially the I4 cars. (And I looked at all of them today.) It looks good and everything feels good and works smoothly. Most of the plastic on the dash and doors is padded, an increasing rarity on new cars today.
The driver's seat was power in both cars, and it seemed more comfortable than before (maybe because the cushion is longer, as someone else noted). Also, it seemed like the height adjuster has a greater range of movement than on the 2008 Sonata. Anyway, it was easy to find a comfortable driving position.
The new alloys on the Limited don't look as bad in person as they did in photos--there is some texture to them that isn't evident in the photos. But I still prefer the simpler looks of the GLS. The more-red taillamps didn't bother me, except I don't know why Hyundai changed them. Maybe it was, "Hey, you folks who think these look like an Accord's lamps--take THAT!" The plastic covers on the GLS appear to be carried over from 2008.
Some not so good changes:
* The front center armrest is now plastic-covered, with little padding. I much preferred the armrest on the 2006-8 Sonatas. This new one looks cheap and isn't comfortable. It's the same on the Limited as on the GLS. Hyundai goofed on that change, I think.
* The inside door handles are black plastic. They look and feel cheap. The silver-painted handles on the 2006-8 Sonata weren't the greatest, but they looked a lot better than these. I thought it was a strange move by Hyundai until I noticed that the Veracruz has similar door handles. So maybe they think they're stylish. Note to Hyundai: they're not.
* In an obvious cost-cutting move, the GLS with preferred package lost the fog lamps. Those are unusual on base models in this class, but the car does look better with them and they are pretty useful in many parts of the country.
* One thing that stood out looking at the Limited, which had the light tan leather, is that the seat belts are black. They looked odd against the tan leather. Before, the cars with tan leather had tan belts, a little darker than the leather. The black belts kind of jump out at you ("Keee--yaa!"... ok, maybe not like that).
Other than that, I was pretty impressed by the 2009 Sonata. I'd like to see it with the gray and black interiors. (The tan cloth on the GLS was pretty light--I can see it getting dirty pretty easily.) Judging from the response of the rather large crowd gathered around the new Sonatas (a larger crowd than I've ever seen before at the Hyundai exhibit at this auto show), others find them attractive also.
P.S. They also had a cut-away Sonata Limited showing off its safety features--including (inflated) airbags.
For some reason, there is always some oversight or flaw that could have been easily prevented/fixed in almost every car I see in this price range.
A center armrest is not a deal-breaker, but it's just strange that they took a armrest that was just fine and messed it up, after making so many other improvements to the car. And black belts in an ivory interior? Maybe it's some chic thing that goes over my head.
Maybe the cars at the show are preproduction and they did something better with the armrest in the production cars or will make changes later.
I drove a Corolla LE this week and it had a hard plastic center armrest that was unacceptable, so this is not unique to the Sonata. I think the Corolla XLE has a better armrest though.
Maybe an upholstery shop could add padding to the armrest for not too much money, but, otherwise, that could be too much of an annoyance unless you plan to wear elbow pads on road trips
I know what you mean re the Corolla LE's arm rest--it was in fact hard plastic, not padded plastic as was the Sonata's. Really an elbow-knocker. But the padding on the Sonata's armrest was not very comfy, not like the padded cloth armrests of yore.
And no, I don't plan on wearing elbow pads on trips.
Unfortunately, it felt like only had about 1/8th inch of padding under the cloth with hard plastic underneath.
It felt fine until the end of the day when I noticed my forearm was sore and almost bruised.
A bit more padding would have made it an excellent armrest.
I don't know how things like that get past these companies.
I thought the power train in the 2006 V6 was pretty darn good and refined but the new one is even better. What impressed both of us most, however were the improvements to the suspension. We drove it over every type of pavement available at various speeds and the car took everything in stride - no creaks, groans, clunks, kthumps, or jolts.
What neither of us liked was the sticker price of over $26,000. My friend asked the salesman to give him a call when incentives become available.
Off topic: I'm no longer the proud owner of a 2006 Sonata. I traded it in last Monday for a 2007 Azera Limited with the Ultimate package. Loved the Sonata but the dealership made me an offer on the Azzy I couldn't refuse. I wished my wife would have taken possession of the Sonata and given me her Kia to trade but she likes driving a small car. BTW my salesman told me yesterday that he sold the Sonata to a young airman from the local air base, two days after I traded it in. The airman definitely got a good car.
Having black belts in a tan interior will bother some people, including me, enough to not consider this car seriously for buying.
I am hoping that this idiosyncrasy was in a preproduction model only. Thus, I have a question for those of you who may have bought or looked at a production version of the 2009 Sonata Limited with tan interior. Do the production models also have black belts in cars with tan interior or are those in tan color matching the interior?
The first thing that I noticed was how the subtle exterior tweaks had given the Sonata an even more elegant, sophisticated look. From the reshaped jeweled headlights, front and rear bumpers and grill to the near flawless fit and finish, including tight gap lines. Everything looked tight.
The interior did not disappoint as the major changes in the re-design of the dash now blends in harmony with the 'enhanced' elegance of the exterior. I was even more impressed with the high quality soft touch dash areas and chrome interior door handles. Very nice. Though, I would have much preferred if Hyundai had chosen to offer perforated leather seating surfaces. I think this would have added even more of an upscale elegance to this car.
I thought the dark carmel colored seat belts blended well with the interior of the vehicle and did not find that it detracted one bit. Perhaps this item is a matter of personal taste. However, it pales as an area of issue compared to the overall aesthetics and visible improvements.
Once I got rolling, it was obvious that Hyundai had tweaked the Sonata's suspension to offer even more suppleness and sophistication. Driving over some coarse asphalt proved that and what was even just as impressive was how quiet the ride was.
I-75 gave me a chance to find out just how much faster the added horses, which increased from 242 to 258, made the Sonata perform. I felt the performance of the V6 to be very responsive indeed. Hammering the accelerator returned an immediate reward of power and I could hear a slight growl from the engine as the speedo ticked up to 80. Honestly, I could see the need for a Beltronic or Valentine One, if nothing more than to protect against heavy left foot syndrome. This V6 power is too tempting.
I don't want to give the impression that this is a sports sedan by any means but given the current improvements in the engine and powertrain, it is only a matter of time before Hyundai offers the Sonata in SE gear. Handling felt very secure and drama free as I exited a circular off-ramp thanks to the standard stability control.
Although I liked the ride and design of the 2006 Sonata, Hyundai has definitely brought their 'A' game with the improvements in the 2009 given all the necessary changes and improvements from the exterior and most importantly, interior, including the suspension and powertrain. This Sonata can sing!
I am actually torn between a 2008 and a 2009. Are the updates worth the extra $$? I am thinking of buying a 2008 limited 4 cyl for 17,948$ before TTL. any thoughts? should I wait for a 2000$ 2009 sonata rebate?
The 2009 will have a little better resale value and it will also just be nicer to drive since it's an improved model.
I'm surprised they didn't wait for the 2008s to go before even adding the $1000 rebate.
The Hyundai dealer I went to had a lot full of 2008s (maybe close to 100) and no 2009s yet. I'm sure they don't even want to deal with seeing 2009s before they clear out the 2008s.
The interior was really nice and the dark seatbelts and dark carpeting with the tan leather did look stylish. The contrast actually looks better than if it was all matching.
Some dealers do have many 2009s in stock, e.g. Fitzmall does. I noticed they are offering about $3000-4000 off on these depending on trim. Also I saw ads from two local (Twin Cities) dealers for the 2009s this past weekend--the first local ads I've seen for 2009s. In one case, they advertised ONLY the 2009 Sonata, not the 2008s--meaning I expect they have few if any 2008s left. In the other case, they advertised both 2008s and 2009s.
I decided to go ahead a drive it and it was very nice. The V6 was silky, but I didn't change my mind about wanting a 4 cylinder.
I then went to a Chevy dealer and test drove a 2008 Malibu and liked it better in most ways except for the amount of passenger space and it only having a 4-speed automatic. The Malibu was barely adequate in interior space and the Sonata had room to spare,
I'm now leaning towards waiting for a 2009 Malibu with the new six-speed, but I will probably test drive a 2009 Sonata 4 cylinder before deciding..
By the time the 6-speed Malibu I4s show up, the Sonata SE I4 might be at dealers. That could make for an interesting test drive... as long as you don't mind a stick.
I'm interested in a 4 cylinder since I live in the city and the 6 gets really bad mileage for my city driving, which is gentle on the accelerator but the drive is filled with lights and stop signs. I only average under 16 mpg in the city. (29 on the highway, but that's only 10% of my driving.)
Do you think it's foolish to trade up to a 2009? Since they are new, I imagine the deals aren't as good as with the outgoing 2008's. And Hyundai is giving $1,500 more for the 2008 rebates so I could be open to a 2008. (I didn't get a good test drive in a 2006 4 cylinder so I don't have a good idea of the power or lack thereof.)
I'm also hoping I might be able to get Hyundai financing at a lower rate than I currently have, making the monthly payment equal or less depending on my trade-in allowance.
Getting down to it, I want better fuel economy while staying with a mid-size car and would like to change from a black exterior to silver. I also wanted leather when I originally bought the 2006 but didn't feel that the quality of the Sonata leather was that good. Perhaps it's better on the 2009.
Thanks for anyone's input.
What's wrong with hanging on to your '06 until you've paid off the loan? Why not go a step further & keep the car for 2 or 3 years after you've paid it off & bank the payments? Then you can make a much bigger down payment on your next car.
If every person were to keep their car 10 - 15 years like I do, the car industry and the economy would be in a far, far worse situation than it is today. The economy is propped up by consumer spending of any type, especially of the discretionary and emotional types, of which 75+% of the population are active contributors. Uncle Sam is hoping that we all spend our coming rebate checks to do that. The smart people(less than 25% population), like the many financial advice that have been given, would invest their rebate in, say their IRA/401K , or pay down their debt.
My 2007 Sonata Limited V6 has had no problems, is a joy to drive and I am planning to keep her over 10 years like my past vehicles. I also do my own PM. That strategy has saved me so much money and with its investment gains, I have been able to buy my new cars in cash.
But then, to each, its own...
During the 1979 gas crunch, one of my coworkers insisted that trading in his 3-year-old car was a smart move because the new car was more fuel efficient. Well, my friend lived all of 3 miles from the office, & his new ride represented a 2 mpg improvement (as I recall) over what he had been driving. But he defended this transaction as a real money-saver.
Right now my wife and I are getting ready to trade a 6(almost 7) year old SUV for a new mid-size sedan. Probably would be a little better financially if we kept for 3 or 4 more years but neither one of us likes to drive it anymore, it uses premium and gets really lousy MPG. So I can understand when somebody just wants something different to a degree. But like you said, I'm not kidding myself that I'm going to save money in the transaction.
Anyway, I'm here because my mother-in-law is thinking about replacing her 2000 Camry. Her experience with the Toyota has been good & if no one speaks up, she'll buy another one, but I suspect that the Sonata might be a better value. For one thing, a valuable safety feature - ESC - is standard on the Sonata & optional on the Camry. Toyota dealers tend to stock cars that are either loaded or stripped, which means that a Camry equipped with ESC (Toyota calls it "VSC") is likely to have stuff - V6 engine, leather, etc. - that my 80-year-old MIL doesn't want. She'll go for the 4-cylinder base car in the back of the lot, which probably won't have ESC. So I'm thinking that she might be better off with a Sonata.
Has anyone cross-shopped Camry vs. Sonata lately? If so, what are your impressions?
So, you save about $3,500 with the Sonata, and you get a better-equipped car.
If she doesn't mind spending more, the 2009 Sonatas are even nicer. The interiors were completely redone and are considered among the best in the class. The suspensions were refined even more for a super-soft ride and better handling, and the engines (both 4cyl and V6) get the best fuel economy in the midsize class. If you go test drive an '09 Sonata GLS and an '09 Camry LE, you'll probably wonder why the Sonata isn't more expensive than the Camry. The Hyundai website doesn't list the '09 Sonata yet because they want dealers to clear-out all the leftover '08's first. If she can wait about 2 to 3 more months, there will probably be at least a $1,000 rebate on the '09's.
As it happens, the women in my wife's family are extraordinarily indecisive. It can take them 2 or 3 months to pick out a pair of shoes, so my MIL will have no trouble waiting until rebates are available on the '09s.
I'm glad Sonata went from 4 speed automatic to 5 speed automatic (talking abour 4 cylinder engines)...makes it quieter and helps fuel economy. It's faster than the previous one, not by much, but most of the population should be perfectly ok with the acceleration. Its handling has been improved, body roll much lower than the previous 4Cyl, and much better feedback on the steering wheel
Few suggestions - fold in mirrors still nonexistent, turn signal is green on a predominantly blue instrument panel (looks out of place), wheel covers look cheap on such a nice car....btw, the rebate here is 2000 (if you're an owner of Hyundai), hope my boss doesn't read this...
* There's a silver blue color that I like very much. A little more blue than the former steel grey, but still sharp IMO. There's also a slate blue that is darker, but still handsome. Both look good with the grey interior--richer than silver. Also, the grey interior makes the black seat belts stand out less, and the base trim, which is what I'd describe as mottled aluminum or maybe faux carbon fiber, looks ok with grey. There's a grey exterior color that looked like a basic grey, not like the former steel grey. It was ok, but not as sharp IMO as the silver blue or slate blue. The hold-over colors I saw were black, silver, camel, red, and natural khaki.
* Most of the GLSes had the ivory interior, which is quite light and I think would show dirt easily. It looks good with the upgrade wood trim, but I think the base dash trim looks better with grey.
* The black leather interior on the Limited looks nice, although I'm not a big fan of black interiors. I didn't see any Limiteds with the new brown interior--they had ivory, grey, and black.
* I noticed the GLS has been decontented a bit for '09. The preferred package (?), i.e. the one that costs $650, used to include fog lamps and a leather-covered wheel and shifter. Not any more. Also the cover on the center console is now plastic vs. cloth, and the door handles on the GLS are black plastic (chrome plastic on the Limiteds though). But there is that slick new dash.
* There was one base GLS with the Bluetooth option on the factory sticker. This was surprising, since I had heard that Bluetooth was a dealer-added option. Unless the stickers are printed by the dealer??
I am getting a 2009 Hyundai Sonta GLS 4 cylinder Auto for 18645 Out of the Door..
I got a $1000 rebate but i wa stold that $1500 rebate is only part of the Hyundai Loyalty program..
Is this a good deal?
Navigation System • Limited 1,137.00 1,250.00
(N/A GLS or SE) Includes Touch Screen & Voice Activation.
The Intellichoice web site also list it:
Navigation System $1,137 $1,250
Touch Screen Grp
Voice Activation Grp
Does it have voice activation or not? If so, how much voice activation? Can you enter an address with your voice or find points of interest (food, gas stations etc.) while driving?
Also, does it have the ability to speak the street names so it can say "Turn right on Main Street" instead of "Turn right in 600 feet?"
Does the voice recognition control the radio such as tuning to a certain XM radio station?
So this experience changed my mind about the need for the options package with the power seat. The main reason I thought I needed that package was for the power-adjustable seat bottom, which provided a comfortable driving position compared to the manual seat on the 2006-8 Sonatas. But now I don't need it for a comfy fit. The other features--trip computer, audio controls on the wheel, chrome trim strips along the bottom of the side windows, woodgrain trim--I can do without. Two of my favorite features on this package--leather wheel/shifter and fog lamps--have been dropped out for 2009. And I like the faux metal trim on the base GLS' dash just fine, with the grey interior (but the woodgrain trim looks nicer on the tan interior IMO). But I wouldn't get the tan interior anyway. The color is very light, and I think the fabric, especially the velour on the sides, will show dirt easily. And I think the dark carpet, belts, and doorsill trim look better with the grey interior.
So now I have the Medium Silver Blue GLS 5AT with no options except mats and the grey interior locked into my "consider" list for this fall. (Slate blue and grey would be OK too, but I really like that silver blue.) Although there will have to be some big incentives in place then to move it ahead of the top two cars on my list, the 2009 Fit and Elantra Touring.
Hope this helps!
The questions I need answers for are:
First: Is the new engine still noisy like the 2007 engine.
Second: since the introduction of the 2006 model, any news about serious problems with the engine, unibody, rust, transmission, suspension system, etc.
Third: this is the most important question but it is difficult to answer at this time. How about the quality and longevity of the Sonata. I feel using the data of the old models may not be fair at this time because Hyundai made a totally new model and kept improving the quality of its cars.
My friend has a 1995 Toyota Camry and drive it like crazy even on local roads and gots many tickets but the car withstands all such abuse. I drove with him recently and I told him when he changed the freon of the cooling system. He said he never changed it and the car now is about 13 years old and the airconditioner still works fine. This is an example of the longevity and quality of components I am talking about.
I am planning to keep the car for 10-15 years (I have 6 kids waiting). So I really don't care about the price after 10-15 years. Depreciation is not an issue for me. The most important factors are longevity, price, and value. I appreciate any suggestions.