2001 Hyundai Sonata Base 2.0L 4 cylinder from North America
Not worth it
Another brake line.
Entire brake system had to be overhauled.
Trunk and gas door levers rusted out and stopped working (poorly placed right on the floor, moved to the dash on the 2002 models for a reason).
Interior light had to be turned on and off manually or it would stick on.
Rear door handles sometimes work, sometimes don't.
Paint has peeled off the door handles, passenger side mirror and door trim pieces.
The car was built in December 2000. Purchased new by my grandma in 2001. She hardly ever drove it, and then shortly after was no longer able to drive at all, so the car received very little use for most of its life. I occasionally began driving the car in 2008, and officially took it over in 2012.
First of all, the brakes & suspension components on these cars are high maintenance. My sister owned a 2005 Sonata, same thing.
These early Sonatas are known for having TERRIBLE door handles. The rear ones only work when they feel like it, they're flimsy, and the paint has peeled off some of them. They were redesigned for the 2002 models for a reason.
The car is seriously underpowered. I know it's a sedan, not a race car, and no one buys a Hyundai for performance, but still... you literally have to floor the gas pedal to get the thing to move from a stop or when merging onto the highway. It's even worse when the A/C is on. This is probably the most annoying thing about the car.
Handling sucks. Like I previously stated, excessive body roll (the car leans to one side) even on mild turns. Suspension is mushy yet doesn't cushion bumps. The transmission shifts harshly and constantly, feels like the transmission fluid is low, yet all three times I've had it checked I was told it wasn't.
Steering wheel has shook while idling since new, from what I remember.
Now, the positives. I will say that gas mileage is really good, the car gets 30 MPG easily. The seats are pretty plush, interior is roomy with very good headroom, nice styling, nice sounding stereo (the car originally had a cassette player, but even that sounded pretty good) and I've never had any engine problems as of this writing.
In conclusion, very poor performance, good gas mileage, roomy, reliability isn't horrible but not good either... no major problems, but lots and lots of minor problems. I don't think the longevity of these cars is very good... as previously stated, my sister owned a 2005 Sonata, my best friend also drove one, also an '05, both driven regularly, unlike mine, and both were completely used up and clapped out by 100,000 miles, not exaggerating. If you're on a low budget, these cars will do, but keep in mind that Hyundais are inexpensive for a reason. Personally I no longer feel they're worth it, there are better cars for the same money, and this will probably be my last Hyundai.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 4th July, 2015