2009-2010 Hyundai Sonata



  • gasmizrgasmizr Member Posts: 40
    Thanks, I will now go back to the dealer and try again. I really want a SE with the I4 but with an automatic. The SE is worth the upgrade price from the GLS for the nice extras. I am not in a hurry so a wondering if they may add an auto in the fall to the SE.
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    It appears they will. Motor Trend just published a 10-car comparo including the 2009 Sonata SE I4 with automatic. (And it did very well!) :)
  • ebrent1ebrent1 Member Posts: 2
    I just purchased an 09 sonata GLS 2 weeks ago and I was wondering, where do you mount the front license plate?
  • 2002slt2002slt Member Posts: 228
    I have mine in the trunk. I hate the look with it on.

    If you're worried about being pulled over, it screws in directly to the front bumper.
  • ebrent1ebrent1 Member Posts: 2
    where does it screw on at... I looked at the bumber and couldn't find any screw holes or anything :(
  • 2002slt2002slt Member Posts: 228
    You make your own. Just the top two, though.
  • moocow1moocow1 Member Posts: 230
    Ya I was a little weirded out about that too. Usually the dealer already makes the screwholes, but since they haven't you'll just have to screw them in yourself. I kinda wish there was a front plate holder, but perhaps this is better for those who don't use front plates at all(when it's legal)
  • moocow1moocow1 Member Posts: 230
    Certainly possible in the future. Hyundai has snuck in random things before such as 3.3L Azeras in a model year that officially had none.
    However if you're buying now, I highly recommend the Option 2 package gls. It has most of the important features and just a few SE things missing.
  • tenpin288tenpin288 Member Posts: 804
    If your Sonata is anything like my 05 Tucson and my wife's 04 Sonata, there should be at least 2 "dimples" on the front bumper in the location where you would mount your plate or holder. Use those. I mounted plates on both of ours and it was just a matter of getting the screws started in those dimples and tightening them down. ;)
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    Hmmm... IMO the SE includes quite a few features not available on the Sonata GLS I4, including:

    * 17" five-spoke alloys with performance tires
    * sport-tuned suspension and steering
    * telescopic steering wheel
    * special dash trim
    * fog lamps (those are available on the GLS V6 maybe??)
    * leather seat trim (actually a cloth/leather combo unique to the SE)
    * leather wheel/shifter (those are on the GLS V6 I think)
    * rear spoiler (I suppose it could be added on to the GLS, but it's not in Package 2)

    I am probably forgetting some features, but there's a pretty big difference between the SE and the GLS with Package 2.
  • moocow1moocow1 Member Posts: 230
    I disagree. Half of that is purely looks related things. Nothing that affects the actual car performance or usability. None really affect safety. And the sonata looks great enough without additional silly cheese.
    The only major things you gain are the 17" w/alloys, sport-tuning, and telescopic. Even the fog lamps are more marketing than actually useful. So no, the difference isn't worth the price unless you really want it.

    For me, the only thing I'd want is the telescopic and alloys. That's not worth thousands.
  • m6userm6user Member Posts: 3,181
    For me, the only thing I'd want is the telescopic and alloys. That's not worth thousands.

    moocow1, I appreciate your enthusiastic posts but you tend to exaggerate sometimes. According to Edmunds pricing, the MSRP of the GLS V6 auto w/ option pkg 02 is $22895. The SE V6 auto is $23845. Hardly a difference of thousands and actually only $950. The difference in the invoices is only $688 if you can buy off invoice like from Towne or Fitzmall or similar deal.

    If you purchased the items you consider major items it would no doubt be at least $950/$688. And you still wouldn't be getting the other items. I personally think the other items are nice to have, not neccessary but IMO not silly.
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    If you like the suspension tuning on the GLS, I agree, it's probably not worth the extra money. Although the alloys do a lot for the looks of the car IMO (and help handling), and the telescopic wheel can be very heIpful in finding a good driving position. Fogs aren't a big deal for me, but I understand they could be important for people who live on the coasts.

    I did notice however that the SE I4 (MT) starts at about $21k, which is just a little more than the GLS AT with PEP (power seat etc.). With current discounts/rebates, that would put the SE starting in the mid-$16s. That is a heckofacar for that kind of money I think. It's hard to get a basic Civic or Corolla for those bucks these days.
  • moocow1moocow1 Member Posts: 230
    My bad there, I was just comparing the price of the GLS I4 auto vs SE V6 and seeing a huge gap. Didn't realize the gap was reduced so much when stepping up to V6.

    Hmm, at those prices if a SE I4 did exist...it would be a very interesting option indeed.
  • m6userm6user Member Posts: 3,181
    I'm thinking the same thing. If the SE I4 auto existed in quantity(able to get a good deal) it would make a nice pkg. I know a lot of people love moonroofs but I've had them and ended up never using them. It's either too windy, too hot or birds take aim and they eat up some headroom.

    If I could get a Limited without the moonroof and a nonexistent "sport pkg"(stiffer suspension) it would be perfect for me. I realize it'll never happen but that would be a nice car. Again, for me....not everyone.
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    Wouldn't an SE w/o moonroof and with aftermarket leather interior be real close to a Limited without the moonroof, and a stiffer suspension? You'd have to operate the climate control yourself, of course. ;)
  • m6userm6user Member Posts: 3,181
    You're right it would. I'm not really all that hung up on leather and not having seen the SE leather/fabric treatment, I can't say that the SE standard interior might not just be great in itself. I'd like to hear from someone that owns or has sat in an '09 SE and describe how the leather/fabric is. What part is leather and kind of leather and is it a suede or regular glossy leather? I know I could try to find one(there are none at the dealer closest to me) but it would be great if someone here could elaborate.

    Oh, and on the Limited don't forget the universal transmitter for the garage door! I could get rid of the one hanging from my visor. Joy Joy.
  • i360i360 Member Posts: 74
    While not the best photo, it seems the sides are leather with the center being fabric..

    http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/sedans/112_0806_four_cylinder_midsize_sedan_- comparison/photo_39.html
  • m6userm6user Member Posts: 3,181
    Thanks. It actually looks pretty decent. Little bit of a luxury look with the touch of leather but the fabric holds you in place a little better. Nice touch.
  • dgs4dgs4 Member Posts: 66
    "Even the fog lamps are more marketing than actually useful."

    Sorry man, going to have to disagree with you there. I notice a big difference when I turn on my fogs and how much of the road is lit up. That to me is a safety feature. Additionally there are people who live in legitimately foggy areas of the country and fog lights are a big help in those conditions as well. It's a win win, as fogs are nice from an aesthetic point of view, and they serve a useful function adding more light to the road in front of you.

    I love my limited model. This car is already so inexpensive compared to other cars in the class with the same features, I saw no reason not to splurge on the most loaded model offered. I'm averaging 27 mpg to 29 mpg with a V6 in a mix of city/hwy driving with the A/C on all the time no less. So I don't even feel guilty buying the V6 limited over the I4 limited. The nav system (for me) was also well worth the $1,250 as that undercuts the competition by $550 to as much as $700.

    Lastly I think the suspension on the limited model is perfect. It's a perfect compromise between sport and comfort. I would not want a stiffer suspension. Actually to be honest with you I wouldn't mind if the suspension was even a little less stiff, as hitting bumps in the road can be a little jarring. Certainly no where near as bad as the Honda Accord EX-L I test drove, but you definitely know you just ran over a bump in the road. Cornering is a blast in the car though. But really this is a family sedan, and for the typical family sedan buyer a stiff/sporty suspension is low on the priority list.
  • allthatblueallthatblue Member Posts: 29
    http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/sedans/112_0808_top_five_family_sedan_compar- - - - ison/index.html

    this is Motor Trend's comparison test in mid-size family sedan class.

    i think this review is really silly and doesn't match its title "Familial and Frugal" at all. MT picked VW Passat for the most familial and frugal mid-size sedan despite its higher price tag and less efficient mileage only because it gives them relatively bigger "fun to drive". it's totally foolish. who may call "fun to drive" a kind of "frugal" ?

    anyway, in this test, 2009 Sonata follows Passat(2nd place) and is followed by Camry and Accord.
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    Yeah, it's pretty funny. Their summary on the Sonata was, "Our #1 pick if family comes first." Such as it does in the title of the comparo? :P

    I think the Sonata also had the highest fuel economy in the comparo. Oh well. It's one of the highest finishes ever for a Hyundai in a MT comparo, except the one where the Veracruz beat out the Lexus RX, so that is a victory of sorts for Hyundai.
  • auld_dawgauld_dawg Member Posts: 40
    Lets be honest, by the title of the comparo, the Passat didn't belong there. It was probably thrown in to make the roundup 10 sedans. And it won strictly for the "fun factor".

    When you toss the Passat out of the test, and actually test per the title of the test, then the Sonata really looks good.........
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    Funny thing is, if you wanted 6.7 secs 0-60 and mpg of around 22, which the Passat T4 delivered, another way to get it but in a much more reliable and comfortable car would be to get a loaded-to-the gills Sonata Limited V6 with navi, which would cost less in real-world dollars than the strippo Passat T4 that was tested. Also the Sonata SE comes with the V6 (MT tested the I4 with AT), but has the crisper handling that MT prefers. And still lots less expensive and with more equipment than the Passat T4. I wonder why the MT folks didn't think of that...
  • moocow1moocow1 Member Posts: 230
    Stop combining logic with most car reviews. It doesn't work and never has! I've noticed most car comparisons are always based on some arbitrary specifications to decide how to compare, but never get things completely right. I do have to say that comparing purely based on price isn't always right either, but this one was particularly terrible with cars priced $7-8k differently, with different classes of trim, different suspension styles. Purely based on price, the Sonata has too big an advantage because you could almost stick the whole kitchen sink in. :P

    I'm certainly happy with my 0-60 in 8.7, getting a V6 to hit sub-7.5 times isn't gonna change my life :)
  • m6userm6user Member Posts: 3,181
    On the Hyundai USA website when you click on "compare equipment" for the Sonata, it shows the standard engine for the 2009 Sonata SE as the I4 and the standard transmission as a 5 speed auto Shiftronic. Is this new? From what I've been reading here, the Sonata SE apparently was unavailable configured like this until seen in the recent MotorTrend comparison test, let alone as being the standard configuration.
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    Yes, it is new. It was not available in that configuration just a couple of days ago. Also, it is still not a configuration that Edmunds.com has pricing for. So it must be pretty new. Maybe Hyundai figured they'd better add the SE I4 5AT to their web site, since maybe folks will want to check it out after reading the MT review.

    If the pricing at hyundaiusa.com is accurate, there's an $800 difference in list price between the SE I4 5AT and the Limited I4 5AT. That must be wrong. First, it's higher (for the SE) than MT reported. Second, I find it hard to believe that the Limited costs only $800 more but you get moonroof, Infinity stereo, auto temp control, full leather interior with heated front seats, auto-dimming mirror with Homelink, and the Limited exterior trim for that.
  • m6userm6user Member Posts: 3,181
    I agree. Something smells there. If that was the case, one would really have to want the firmer handling of the SE to justify not getting the Limited. Hopefully, they're not using the recent commendations from MT to justify raising the price on the SE.
  • forniafornia Member Posts: 1
    i just saw your talk on the se sonata. the thing i have been trying to get across to these dealers is that according to the manufacturer the sonata se comes with the i4 and also the manual shift w/clutch type transmission. i drove the gls liked the quickness. but it was a little loose feeling up front i'm hoping the se with sport tuning would tighten that up. have you seen or heard of this car available anywhere? i did not see the mt article on the i4 at m/5 was there any mention of the differance in the gls and the se handling.
  • m6userm6user Member Posts: 3,181
    They didn't compare the GLS and SE per se. They used the SE in a comparison with 9 other mid-size I4 autos. The discussion about the SE is that, prior to a few days ago, nobody knew you could even get a SE I4 with auto tranny. Now on their website that is the standard configuration. I'm sure that the SE is still offered with the manual though.

    It's well documented by reviewers, owners and test drivers on this forum and from Hyundai marketing that the SE is a tighter sprung, sportier driving car than the GLS or Limited. I personally have not driven the SE but I have no reason to doubt what others have said.
  • rotaryrotary Member Posts: 71
    The problem with a lot of the tests or comparisons in the traditional magazines is that advertising definitely affects the reviews.

    The more money car companies spend in ads, the more favorable coverage they get. I am absolutely convinced of this.

    It's more true today than ever before, because paper media is a dying industry, and it is based on ad revenue more than subscription fees.

    They're not without fault, but Consumer Reports does the best job reviewing cars, IMO, and they don't accept advertisements.
  • m6userm6user Member Posts: 3,181
    Hear and read a lot regarding advertising dollar influence on test/review results but nobody ever presents any kind of evidence. If you subscribe to this theory and take the recent MT comparo test as an example, I guess you would have to say that VW and Hyundai are the biggest advertisers with MT. This may or may not be true and I have no idea. But everytime these articles don't correspond with our idea of common sense we make accusations of slanted and biased reviews/tests.

    I tend to believe it is just poor/incompetent criteria setting, writing, reviewing and testing. In this latest MT test I think it was mainly the criteria setting portion that was poorly constructed that led to some of the results.
  • moocow1moocow1 Member Posts: 230
    That and I honestly usually see a ton of individual bias and completely random ways to score cars. Sometimes a car that would be #1 based on standard measurements is instead #4 because of scores like "gotta have it factor" and "fun to drive". I'm sure subjectiveness is also important, but I see too many completely bs ratings from almost every car pub.
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    I think I see the problem on hyundaiusa.com. What I think happened is that they updated one page to show the I4 with AT as the standard powertrain on the SE, but they still have the SE V6 pricing in place--at least they did as of last night. That is consistent with other pages, e.g. if you look at the different trims, you stilll see the V6 mentioned as the standard engine on the SE (again, as of last night).

    I actually saw an SE V6 at a local dealer the other day. The alloys remind me of the 17" ones from the 2006-8 Sonata. The leather/cloth combo (grey) looked OK, but with the GLS-style cloth in the centers of the seats it didn't look particulary sporty--kind of drab actually. And the silvery trim on the dash looked a lot like the trim on the base (no packages) GLS. I think the best application for the SE would be the I4 with a 6-speed stick. Or a stick period. But it appears that choice is no longer available.
  • m6userm6user Member Posts: 3,181
    So you think that you can't get a stick with either the V6 or I4? That seems to be a mistake as the SE stick was one vehicle that could be matched up handling, power and amenities wise with the Accord. They might want to rethink that one. They sell a lot of Accord sticks.

    I'll have to take a look at the SE interior for myself and maybe in a different color. That light gray is not one that Hyundai does well IMO. I agree with you on the dash. I actually think the wood affect, even though it's fake, looks pretty decent on the '09 dash and the silver looks a little cheap to me. I like the alloys from the 2006-8 a little better than the new ones on the Limited.
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    I like the woodgrain trim on the ivory interior (although I think the cloth seats will show dirt pretty quickly), but on the grey interior I think the base GLS dash trim, a faux aluminum look, is just fine. As is the SE dash trim.

    Look here to see the "official" Sonata configs--I don't see a stick as an alternative with the SE:


    I hope that is an error. I can't see why a stick would not be offered with the "sporty" Sonata trim.

    (And note the base price for the SE must be with the V6.)
  • nearphilanearphila Member Posts: 14
    I know this is pretty subjective, but am wondering about two '09 colors and what you think they look like:

    Cocoa Metallic - on the Hyundai website this looks like a dark grey (which I would like) but am wondering, with a name like that, whether it is brownish or cordovan in color?

    Slate Blue - again, on the website it looks like a bright blue, but we saw one at the dealer that looked more like a dark blue gray (very nice, and not nearly as bluish as is shown on the website)

    What do you think these colors look like, and is slate blue different in appearance than on the website?
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    I have not seen cocoa, but slate blue is definitely a dark blue grey, as you said. It is not a bright as it appears on the web site. I saw a slate blue Sonata just this past Sunday. And now I am thinking it might be my favorite color, with willow grey next. I think the darker colors look better on the GLS, since it has no chrome trim to dress it up.
  • m6userm6user Member Posts: 3,181
    Slate blue is my favorite color as well. I test drove a slate blue one with the grey interior and it looked very classy in those colors. I know someone will hit me for saying "a Sonata....classy!" but I thought it looked good. I haven't seen the cocoa metallic either but I can't see how they would call it that and not have more of brown tinge to it. Someone on this forum said they bought a cocoa metallic with the calf colored leather interior and said it looked beautiful. I'd like to see one. I don't think you can really go by any of the colors on the Hyundai site as they are all off compared to seeing them in person.
  • moocow1moocow1 Member Posts: 230
    Slate Blue was my #1 choice actually. I went for Black when it wasn't available with the right package. I saw a base model one and definitely liked it. It's a very pretty color imho and when I took a poll of colors, it was one of the top two picks.
    The bright blue color is the medium silver blue, that's definitely a looker for flashyness, but I don't think it's nearly as pretty.
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    If medium silver blue were just a tad darker, I'd really like it. I think it looks better on the Limited. There was a blueish grey color on the 2006-8(?) Sonatas that I really liked. So they killed it of course. :(
  • rotaryrotary Member Posts: 71
    Dark Blue, or whatever name any particular car maker is calling their's, is the most popular new car color.

    I agree that the slate blue Sonata looks best, also. I think it would look much better with cream leather interior than gray, but that's just my subjective taste.

    I think cream leather looks fantastic with any exterior color, but is especially striking with darker exteriors.
  • backybacky Member Posts: 18,949
    The cream/ivory leather is very tasteful, although I haven't warmed up yet to the black seatbelts laying on the light-colored seats (leather or no leather).

    But since I need to watch the cash on my next car, it will not be a Limited. So I'd go for the grey cloth in the GLS, as I like the dash on the base GLS with the grey interior better than with the ivory cloth, and I have a concern about how hard it will be to keep that ivory cloth clean.
  • moocow1moocow1 Member Posts: 230
    One of my favorite other blues was on my old elantra, it was the sea green-bluish color. It gave it a nice hint between green and blue that tended to look different depending on the sun. Personally I love the darker grey interior, it certainly hides dirt and other things better than a bright beige. That and I'm kinda tired of beige interiors so I'm glad to be in something different. Blue is the most popular actual rainbow color from what I've read. Otherwise people are all over silver, white, black, gray as neutral/metallic tends to win in general.
  • targettuningtargettuning Member Posts: 1,371
    Regarding the Cocoa brown color...I have seen it and it is a very dark metallic browm much as the name "cocoa" implies. I have seen two different cars in this color under different lighting conditions with the first viewed on an overcast gray day and the second on a sunny day. The car looked almost black under cloudy conditions showing little of the metallic and little brown color. The second time in bright sunlight it was a rich but dark chocolate brown with much metallic, This car was a Limited and had the cream leather interior which looked nice new but I can envision it getting grimy easily and quickly unless lots of preventative maintainance is applied.
  • earbuckleearbuckle Member Posts: 16
    On the 2009 Sonata, I am wondering what uses the nice touch screen display. On my Acura TSX, the screen serves the nav, audio, and hvac systems, as well as the hands-free link (Bluetooth).

    Does the Sonata nav display allow control of the air conditioning/heaters modes and fan speed. Does it show station presets for the radio/XM mode? Does it display RDS and XM program/song information?

    Does the car come with a separate manual for the nav?

    Any description of the system operation would be helpful.


  • vicmeldrew1vicmeldrew1 Member Posts: 10
    the display does not control the hvac - i have the limited and the controls are directly below for the auto cooling and heating with dual zones; pretty neat you can set the temps; blue tooth is a separate option; it shows all of the info for xm and rds - there is a separate manual but if your car was a feb build it may not be incuded due to late arrival; when i picked my car up the other day i asked to see it and it was not there - they took one out of another car. it also has voice recognition and you can control all functions by voice including your ipod; much more but i am still learning
  • samnoesamnoe Member Posts: 731
    After reading all the information, I would have a few suggestions for the Sonata.

    1) I would like to see the gated shifter gone. It makes no sense for me. I give credit for Honda and Ford (and some GM models, including Malibu) for leaving the traditional "straight forward" design. I am glad that Consumer Reports started recently to complain about the annoying gated shifter. I can't find a good-enough reason to justify the change from a clean design, easy to use shifter.

    2) The grab handle on the doors gotta be better. Toyota Camry has one of the best, you can easily pull the door to close it, or use it as a comfortable arm-rest during cruising while your fingers hold on tight to the handle. Note to all manufacturers (included Ford, Honda, GM, Hyundai): Start copy these comfortable door handle designs.

    3) In the higher models (Like the Limited), the HVAC controls could be smarter. I don't like push buttons for changing temperatures. If I want to change from hot to cold or vice versa, I have to push the button 30 times, or hold it on for 10 seconds? And if I have "DUAL" control, I have to repeat it twice? That controls should be simple, easy to use, rotary knobs just as in the "manual mode" on the lower models, so you can change everything with one rotation of the knob! (And here again, the new Toyota Camry is a good example).

    4) I would love to see an option for an "integrated" remote engine start, which works together with engine, door locks, and climate system. Most GM vehicles offer it either standard or optional (with some models included a remote monitoring system on the fob).

    5) Add option of a rear backup sensor. On ALL models. Since it's a safety feature, it should be available on all models which have Stability Control.
  • stephen987stephen987 Member Posts: 1,994
    I would like to see the gated shifter gone. It makes no sense for me. I give credit for Honda and Ford (and some GM models, including Malibu) for leaving the traditional "straight forward" design. I am glad that Consumer Reports started recently to complain about the annoying gated shifter. I can't find a good-enough reason to justify the change from a clean design, easy to use shifter.

    Take it from an Accord owner, the "straight forward" shifter is a pain. It's way too easy for the driver or an inattentive passenger to bump the shifter into D3 or N by accident. I'd rather have the Hyundai's layout, even if it's a little inconvenient, than to have the safety hazard of the Accord's shifter.
  • m6userm6user Member Posts: 3,181
    I've had the straight line shifters many times in previous vehicles and never had a problem with it getting bumped or anything. I can remember a couple of times where the shifter may have been bumped into neutral but can't recall that it was a safety issue. I just put it back in gear. Maybe if you were right in the middle of pulling into traffic or something and somehow it got moved to neutral I guess. What other situations are you referring to as safety issues?
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