2005 Hyundai Sonata NF Elite 3.3L V6 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


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.

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

2005 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.7 from North America


It is a poorly designed, cheaply built crackerbox


A/C quit working years ago and not under warranty.

Window track is making noise.

Antenna is starting to not go all the way down.

Paint is flaking off of any plastic body parts.

General Comments:

Rear view mirror is right in the line of sight, and blocks the entire right side view from the windshield.

The cruise control button is located down on the lower dash in an odd location.

The cup holders are very poorly designed, and don't allow even two medium drinks to sit next to each other.

You could easily scratch right through the paint on this car with your fingernail.

The seats are not very comfortable at all, even being power leather.

I am 5'9 and my head is only about 1 inch from the roof.

The driver's side seat belt does not retract all the way any more.

This is a very cheaply made, poorly designed, and not well thought out car. The dealership will rake you over the coals on the maintenance costs; it was $38 when I got it to change the oil there, and I could do it myself for $16 at the time. They threatened that me taking it elsewhere would void the warranty. They also wanted to charge me over $700 every 15,000 miles to change the timing belt as preventative maintenance. There was a long list of things they wanted to do each time, and you would be forced to wait for several hours in their facility while they worked on your car. I even was berated once for bringing it in there with bird poop on it, saying that it would damage the paint. I wash the car all the time and that would not have been an issue.

I would never support this company again. Only used older cars for me from here on out. Never buy new.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th January, 2014