2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4

Summary:

Great value commuter with mediocre dynamics

Faults:

Nothing. Not even a rattle inside.

General Comments:

This was an unplanned purchase to quickly replace a falling apart euro car. Definitely not a car that I sought out to buy.

Pros

- Ultra reliable, outstanding build quality.

- Economical open road for a large car.

- Great air con.

- Huge boot.

- Very refined and quiet cruiser.

- Great safety features/ratings.

Cons

- Terrible artificial steering feel.

- Stodgy handling, truly dire body control.

- Awful seats. Sit too high, poor lumbar and lateral support.

This is a paradoxical car. Impeccable build quality, great features and ultra low running cost, but uncomfortable seating and woeful handling make it tiring to drive long distance on demanding NZ roads. It was such good condition and such a bargain price I can forgive it for its shortcomings as a daily commuter.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th January, 2018

2005 Hyundai Sonata NF Elite 3.3L V6 petrol

Summary:

A great value for money car that does everything required of it

Faults:

Have had some suspension components need a tighten, and some rattles have developed, but I'm not surprised - my home city Christchurch suffered NZ$40Bn in damage from a series of damaging earthquakes in 2010 and 2011, and the roads in many places are still little better than goat tracks - the rough roads have played havoc with car suspensions, tires etc.

I also had to replace 2 of the 3 catalytic converters when the car was purchased, as the previous owner had neglected to service the vehicle, thrashed it, clogged the converters, and in the end got his mechanic to bash out the membranes on the 2 clogged converters so that the vehicle would perform OK when I came to test it - after I purchased it the computer soon lit up a warning light, and when my mechanic found out what the other guy had done, I threatened to take the previous owner to court over his misleading advert - he agreed to pay most of the repair cost and I replaced them with 3rd party converters, as the Hyundai originals are horribly expensive here.

General Comments:

It's a good car.

It's quiet, although not as quiet as my previous Sonata V6 - the Elite V6 here has the 17" alloys with 225/50/R17 rubber, but the lower spec V6 has the 16" steel rims with 215/60/R16 rubber - the 17s transmit a little more road noise into the cabin, but it is still a relatively quiet place to be.

It performs well - the V6 is a good strong engine, and is also quite thrifty on the fuel on easy highway runs - a little expensive to run in the city, but that is no different to most V6 cars of the vintage.

It's a well appointed car with useful things, a good A/C system, a good audio system, and the upgraded leather interior of the Elite is nice. There was an unmarked "special" edition of the car with darker interior tones, black leather and red stitching, with white dials and red backlighting in the dash - a very nice looking interior - possibly to attract fans of the NZ All Blacks national rugby team - I missed out on one of those sadly, but the lighter tan/cream/carbon fibre trim interior isn't too bad...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd January, 2015

2006 Hyundai Sonata Elite 3.3 Litre V6

Summary:

Awesome value for money

Faults:

2010: Windscreen washer motor burnt out after becoming blocked. Fitted a new genuine part, which wasn't cheap at $88.00. Worked perfectly though, so all good!

2010: L/H rear door central locking failed. Still plays up occasionally, and it looks like a pig of a job to repair, so I'm living with it.

2013: Engine "check light" came on about 4 weeks ago for no discernible reason, then went out 2 days later and hasn't come back on since... go figure?

General Comments:

The Elite model comes with a leather interior and "mag wheels", which look nice. The interior is very spacious, and it has bags of rear passenger leg room.

The engine and trans are extremely quiet and smooth, and it is a delight to drive. The V6 is very powerful, and performance is impressive for a car weighing nearly 2 tonnes! It goes!

My only gripe is the very slight delay between depressing the accelerator and engine response. I believe this is due to the fact that these cars are 'drive-by-wire', and the accelerator is electrical as opposed to mechanical.

Fuel consumption is reasonable for a car this size.

Overall we are really happy with our Hyundai, and it was far cheaper than a comparable Toyota Camry, which would have cost us $7k more!! Brilliant value for money.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th October, 2013