2005 Hyundai Sonata NF Elite 3.3L V6 petrol
A great value for money car that does everything required of it
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.
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