1989 Hyundai Sonata GL 2.4 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


A highly underrated car in my opinion


I have had to replace the complete exhaust system due to rust.

The ball joints have been replaced at 60,000.

Other than the above, only scheduled servicing and maintenance has been required.

General Comments:

Other than the exhaust rusting, this car has been an absolute dream to own. It was as new when purchased, and is still in excellent condition for a 15 year old car.

The interior, although mostly plastic has held up well, with only one minor dash rattle I haven't been able to isolate.

The seats are very firm and offer excellent support. Not all would like this though.

Carpet is of surprisingly good quality for a sub 20K car.

The motor is a cracker. Excellent performance, however can get thirsty when driven hard. I heard a rumor Hyundai sourced their early motors from Mitsubishi, and the 2.4 does look identical to the Mitsubishi 2.6 Not 100% sure on this one however. Gear box is a little notchy, but provides a positive shift.

I have read a number of reviews where owners have complained about the paint quality. Mine is a metallic bronze and is in perfect condition. I guess it all comes down to how you care for it.

Handling is brilliant for a cheap korean car. Suspension is a little firm for everyday driving, but higher speed conering benefits from this.

When pushed the car will under-steer, but it is predictable and easily controlled.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd November, 2003

1989 Hyundai Sonata GL 2.4 Fuel Injected from Australia and New Zealand


OK to drive, maintaining it is extremely expensive and time consuming


Plastic parts degrade quickly in Australia's hot climate.

Keep in mind that this is my youngest son's car and he doesn't notice anything wrong with it unless it won't run.

Clear coat over paintwork degraded due to heat. Painted metal window frame was particularly badly affected. every door had lost it's clear-coat and the underlying colour coat had dissolved away revealing the colour of the undercoat.

Lower Timing belt was broken from soon after the car was purchased. This caused the engine to idle roughly and affected fuel economy. I didn't know this was broken until the following problem.

Upper timing belt Tensioner parted company with it's bearing recently. This was the final straw for this car, It's now up for sale. Replacement of both belts and Tensioners was a major undertaking.

Other components replaced over a 2 year period:

All Drive belts (AirCon, Alternator, Power Steering)

Catalytic Converter.

Fuel Filter.

Front Engine Mount - Top Left mount is still broken.

A/C Accumulator replaced twice. First time with a genuine Hyundai part which only lasted 13 months before developing leaks around the pipe welding.

AirCon Compressor has a noisy bearing and leaks slowly. Could expire at any time.

AirCon Idle solenoid. This has never worked. Requires that the idle be set high so the engine doesn't stall when the AirCon compressor starts.

Radiator Hoses (Both)

Front & rear Shocks/Struts.

New Front & Rear Bumpers. This is something I never expected to have to replace. Again, the Australian climate does in the plastic components used.

Dashboard Clock is not settable from the front panel.

Lamps in the dashboard module are very difficult to replace. They appear to require soldering.

The tacho was not working when the car was purchased. A component in the engine bay (capacitor and 2K Ohm resistor in a sealed module) was broken. Replaced the resistor with a higher wattage component (20 cents) rather than pay Hyundai's usual extortionate part price.

Alternator replaced with reconditioned unit for AU$315 rather than pay Hyundai's quoted price of AU$630.

Headlight reflectors have rusted. Very poor lighting as a result.

General Comments:

This car has been a maintenance nightmare.

In the two years my son has owned it, more has been spent on maintenance than the original purchase price of AU$1800.

On the positive side, for an older 2.4 Litre auto, it's performance is not too bad.

Being a front wheel drive car, handling is quite good.

Driver and Passenger comfort is good, although the driver's seat is far too low. I feel like a midget, when peering over the dashboard even though I am 180cm (6 Feet) tall.

There is absolutely no rust in this car. This is one thing Hyundai got right.

Hyundai parts prices are an absolute rip off. I personally have owned many cars and do much of the maintenance on them. I have never felt so completely ripped off by any other manufacturer.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 9th February, 2003

1989 Hyundai Sonata GL 2.4 from North America


Bad quality, bad product


- Transmission problems from the very start. Started slipping @ 10,000 km, had to rebuilt @ 50,000 km and replaced it with another one @ 120,000 km.

- Lamination coat started to peel slightly and turned into a big problem.

- All 4 doors and windows seized and were broken.

- Engine oil and transmission oil leaks that started @ 150,000 km.

General Comments:

Don't waste your money on this car. The amount of time and money I spent on this car was not worth the trouble. Hyundai has had a bad reputation of "junk quality" cars because they're basically not reliable. Although the ride comfort is far better than any Accord or Camry in its year.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 21st November, 2000

27th Jun 2001, 18:46

1995 Sonata Sedan.

The absolute KING OF THE LEMONS. Have had so many problems that I can't begin to describe them. Major and minor. I would love to unload this piece of junk, but I have too much invested in repairs. If you can think of a problem, any problem, I have had it with this car. Even the dealer that sold it to me advised me to get rid of it ASAP. Can anything be done as my transmission is going out again and I haven't made it to 80K miles yet!! Is there any help out there? Please!!

Terry Black