16th Nov 2017, 14:41
Yet another small update.
I noticed when stepping into the car, the brake pedal is rather hard to depress. Or, it has to be a little depressed or the Start button won't fire up the engine (this is how keyless start up works on this car). I found myself a few times wondering why the engine doesn't fire up.
Another thing, which perhaps is an issue. The car was parked for a few days, it is near freezing temperatures here. Upon firing up, the engine runs at idle with a little bit of 'miss'. Not really a misfire, but like an hesitation for a few seconds. I wonder if this would be related with the missing coolant in the past. Could it be the engine has an assembling problem with a small leak at the head gasket? If it leaks a little into the cylinders when the car is at rest, that would explain the small hesitation at idle.
14th Dec 2017, 02:43
Tested the Sonata in cold weather, around -7C or about 20F. I can certainly tell that cabin heating is weak on this car. Even with the engine fully warmed up (which takes quite a while) with both heat knobs at Hi, the air is far from hot. What's worse, the vents for your legs blow very little airflow. By the way, the temperature knobs are tricky: you have to keep them turning because they can display as much as 31C! So keep them turning to reach the Hi setting.
Speaking of cabin air, I remember on hot summer days, the air conditioning also wasn't really satisfying; not bad, but it certainly wouldn't keep up with a hot Texas day.
By the way, the key fob battery started to display 'low battery' when the car shuts off; just check out on YouTube how to replace the battery, it takes a 2032 button battery. Make sure to buy a good brand; the original battery is a Panasonic. The battery lasts about 2 years (normal in these keyless entry cars) and goes flat even in the spare key fob that is never used. The Hyundai dealer wants $150 to install a fresh battery and "reprogram" the key fob. The key fob actually needs no reprogramming.
11th Jul 2018, 10:55
Yet another update at 25000 km now (about 15000 miles). No problems, just a few more things.
The 'computers' in this car are very well designed. Feels like Hyundai got the touch of engineers from other brands, maybe from Mercedes? (they can very well 'fish' or hire engineers from other car makers, which brings the brand experience and knowledge). An example, upon starting the engine, if the steering wheel is turned, there is a message warning about this, perhaps to prevent a mistake while maneuvering out of a parking space. Interesting detail, but just gives you an idea about how thoroughly some things have been implemented in this car.
One thing that I found annoying is the start up button. While it works nice and fine for firing the engine, I find it annoying when for example I want to have only the electrics on (for example I just shut off the engine and realized I forgot one window opened). It's just annoying to depress the button twice, to wait (there is a slight delay); it's just confusing. One of those moments when I feel the good old key we turn in the ignition is so straight forward and less confusing.
Speaking about the keyless entry, the tiny black buttons on the door handle are ... really tiny; I kind of wish there was a larger area to be touched when unlocking or locking the car.
We have the large panoramic sunroof which extends way to the back seats. A great, great option if you have kids (or carry friends in the back seat) however, I found this pretty useless for the front passengers: the sunroof starts only about above my head, so basically when driving I don't even notice if the sunroof is open or if the sunshade is closed. Speaking of the sunshade, unfortunately it's automatic (not manual) and always opens fully to the back when the glass is opened even just a little. In other words, you can't crack the sunroof a little open while having the rest of it covered with the sunshade: not ideal on really sunny days when you just want to vent a little the cabin heat while still having some shade.
The engine finally started to loosen up a bit. It accelerates better at most speeds (even if it does feel rough and noisy), although it loses all torque in the upper range past 5500 RPM.
Still, the weakest part of the car is the driving feeling: as mentioned in the above comments, the suspension feels like an old Toyota Corolla, and the steering wheel feeling is similar to riding a cheap bicycle. This is even more obvious when driving on the highway for long distances: it makes for an almost unpleasing ride, that's how much the steering wheel feels 'rubbery' and disconnected. The car just doesn't feel relaxing or pleasant to handle on long trips.
On the GPS and maps, the way the system works can get very confusing, because to navigate, sometimes you need to hit the physical button on the row located just under the screen. For example, if you navigate and want to change or correct the destination, the only way to exit the current navigation is to hit the physical button under the screen. Took me a lot of time before I figured this out (yes, you may spend a few hours to read the user manual if you enjoy this). Also, when the GPS is active, one cannot pan or zoom the map to see for a nearby road: the system gets confused and exits the current destination, which I think is a weak point that could be addressed.
I also tried and tested a little bit the automatic cruising function (perhaps an option on this car). The way it works is that you set the cruise at the desired speed (which needs to be higher than 30kmh); then the car will brake by itself if another slower car pulls or drives in front of you. The system really applies the brakes quite hard if needed to slow your car. However this system has its limitations: at one moment it brought the car to almost a full stop (the traffic stopped ahead) but it didn't immobilize the car completely. So it should not be confused with a 'self driving' function; attention needs to be kept at all moments.
21st Jul 2018, 22:54
Got a first problem today with the brakes, have a look at this video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiXR03iKw_0
Also, I noticed the vents for the rear passengers only blow air (hot/cold) when the front vents are set to front dash flow. This doesn't make sense because it means say I'm driving and I only want windscreen and feet airflow, the rear passengers won't get any airflow, be it hot or cold. So something to improve.
On the other side, here's some limitations of the SCC at low speeds. The system doesn't work when taking a turn, when changing lines or when the car in the front is changing line or another car is merging in front of you - again, all of these at low speeds on SCC.
28th Jul 2018, 09:19
Yet another two or three things from the original owner.
I fixed the brakes like in the video linked above, and the car brakes now better, with better bite and a more natural pedal feeling.
Speaking of the Smart cruise control, keep in mind that the system can be overtaken by depressing the gas pedal to accelerate the car more: however if the gas pedal is depressed, the car will no longer brake automatically if there is an obstacle in front.
I also have a complaint to Hyundai about the venting system. The car has only these choices of air venting: windshield+feet, front+feet, front. There is no option for windshield only or windshield+front vents which would have been useful (I have these options on my other car, a Volvo).
Speaking of vents, the A/C in this vehicle is not very strong, so think twice if you live in Texas and want to buy this car. The air is just not chilling cold.
Lastly, I have to say that the GPS system is terrible in this car. The way the addresses are entered, the sequence of buttons that need to be pressed, the way the system is organized is just poor. I'd much rather use the GPS on my phone instead.
29th Jul 2018, 11:19
Thanks for the regular updates. Interesting comments about the vents. I've had this problem on all cars post year 2000.
Climate controls are horrible and unintuitive on most modern cars. In the 80s and 90s they had it right - simple controls and one touch buttons for air con/demisting. But nowadays you have to read every word in the manual for some simple tasks.
It is also dangerous while driving having to stare at 100 buttons trying to find the setting you need.