2011 Hyundai Sonata SE 2.4 from North America


Too many annoyances


Driver's seat cushion fabric wore out; common problem on the SE with cloth seats. Dealer replaced the seat cushion, but Hyundai has no real fix for it.

Car leaks antifreeze, dealers claims they can't find the leak. The problem is worse with temps near or slightly above freezing. It is not a big leak, but I had to add coolant once a month to keep the reservoir full.

Rattle in front end, which dealer claims is bumper/lower front clip rattling, which they conveniently have no fix for.

Several shocks and sway bar links have already failed. Replaced under warranty, but still annoying - making me wonder about the long-term reliability of this car.

Annoying recalls every month it seems.

Strange combination of chattering/squeaking or knocking noises sometimes during a cold start. The problem goes away within seconds of start-up, but it's not something a car with only 25,000 miles should do.

Brakes collect rust very easily.

General Comments:

The good:

Good fuel mileage, I averaged about 34 MPG highway driving somewhat aggressive, and 21 city.

Snappy and quick performance for a 4-cylinder.

Roomy and comfortable.

Instrument panel is attractive and well laid out.

The Bad:

Terribly rough ride on the SE; it does not even feel "sporty", just bone-jarring.

Lots of road noise, and Hyundai must have skimped on insulation. I can hear the radio outside the car plain as day, with the car running. Along with poor AM/FM reception.

Non-LED projector headlights are too dim at night.

Factory iPod cable is junk.

Huge blind spots due to odd shaped mirrors.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 19th March, 2013

9th Mar 2014, 12:21

This confirms about every thought I've had when test driving the Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima. Snappy performance, but expensive looking gimmicky materials are used to mask a modern cheaply built and poorly designed car.

They are both pretty attractive cars till you "scratch the surface" a bit and do some real research. I had a Hyundai car salesman last summer try to keep turning up the stereo and A/C to mask the road noise. And I did smell antifreeze on one car that I test drove; the salesman tried to play it off as nothing. The base models rode fairly smooth and firm, any of them with the sport suspension were like you said, bone-jarring. I have a 2004 Ford Mustang with 140,000 miles that rides smoother than the new Sonata SE that I test-drove.

2011 Hyundai Sonata 4 cylinder from North America


Just fair at best


Windshield is defective.

I hit a bear on the low side of the vehicle. Windshield's fluid tank was damaged.

After a snowstorm, salt accumulated on the windshield. When I washed it with Windex, scratches formed. I feel the window is defective. Never had a problem like this before.

Also, the window on the driver's door shows scratches from up and down movement.

The dealer refused to do anything. He made wild accusations; i.e. I used abrasive on the window. (I used Windex). Also that the bear hit the window. If so, insurance would have covered the damage. I have never had anything even close to this.

General Comments:

In total, car has not performed nearly as well as Altima.

My Nissan Altima drove smoother, and was much more responsive.

There is absolutely no excuse for these windows.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 30th November, 2011

8th Dec 2011, 10:15

Hyundai are not bad cars... but nowadays manufacturers are taking at least one or two years to get the bugs out of their cars/trucks/SUVs... It's rare nowadays that a newly designed car is great right out of the box... My advice is to wait at least two years on any new car, so you can check its track record...

10th Dec 2011, 17:14

Comment 10:15 makes a good point. The first year of any new model is always plagued with various bugs in ANY car (with the notable exception of the 2006 Ford Fusion, which apparently got it right the first time). I waited two years after the new retro-style Mustang was introduced to buy one. It has proven totally flawless.

I have driven the new Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima, and found them to be very well built cars, with a solid, quality feel far better than the Toyota Camry or Honda Accord, both of which have a cheap, tinny feel to them. Hyundai and Kia deserve credit for building great cars at an affordable price, and having the confidence to stand behind them with the industry's longest warranty.

6th Mar 2012, 15:49

First, what do you expect from the $20k range?

Secondly, I have a friend that repairs damaged Nissans, mostly Sentras and Altimas - full of cheap plastic, including radiator supports!! And their expensive, non reliable new CVT trannies.

Realistically, Hyundai and Kia are much better built than the terrible Camry, where the smell of interior could make you sick. You might have gotten a lemon, but scratches from Windex??? Are we getting the full story here?

24th Sep 2012, 20:38

You hit a bear?

13th Dec 2013, 13:02

You hit a bear and your only complaints are scratches on windows. Why is this a negative review, I think that's positive all the way around.