2002 Hyundai XG350 L 3.5L V6 from North America
Finicky, but solid semi-luxury sedan
I've owned it for a little over a week, I hope that nothing has failed yet...
However, I am getting the following maintenance done:
- Transmission fluid flush (done, $199).
- Timing belt and main belt (next, estimated $400).
- Fuel filter (done, $55).
- Synthetic oil change (next week, estimated $50).
- Air filter (next week, estimated $10).
- Interior light bulb replacement (within a month, cost unknown).
Things broken when purchased:
- Extremely dark brown transmission fluid, although not black. This concerns me the most (because of this I won't blame the car if I have transmission troubles soon, the previous owner didn't change his fluid).
- Some light bulbs in the trip computer and CD player are out.
- Seats have minor wear. But still in good condition.
- Fuel door and trunk release switches on the driver-side door are finicky and don't always work.
- CD player cuts out when playing FM radio when a CD is not in the drive, but if a CD is in the drive, it works fine.
I bought the car a week ago, and so far I'm pleased. I intend to add updates as I go.
I found my car a week ago from a private owner, 94K miles, I bought it for $3,550, a real bargain in my opinion, however, I have noticed a couple of things so far:
1. Very touchy throttle, especially from a dead stop.
2. Transmission seems smooth 90% of the time, and is getting better since the fluid flush, but it seems to have a mind of its own at other times.
3. Shimmy in the steering wheel at highway speed (the tires are pretty worn though).
4. Sound system is good, but not great. It's better than my Infinity in my Grand Cherokee, which was also a semi-luxury vehicle.
5. Car starts and idles smooth, unbelievably smooth (although I am coming from an SUV whose inline-6 is known to cause a decent amount of vibration).
6. The overall look and feel of the car grows on me by the day.
Some suggestions to other owners:
1. I've found an easy fix for the people with the lurching, although they might not be thrilled to try it. I have found that if the driver launches from a stop using the manually controlled transmission in "second" gear, the car is smooth as butter. The first gear is geared way too low, and thus the car accelerates abruptly, then hesitates as it shifts to a much higher second gear. If one launches from second, the car accelerates gently, and then the driver can engage the transmission into "auto".
2. As for some of the other issues, including the "non-refined" engine as well as other quirks, one thing to keep in mind is that this is not a Lexus. I don't understand why people are so upset that the car does not feel and operate like a BMW or some other luxury car; this car is a Hyundai. If someone expects to buy a car like this and find the refinement and comfort of a higher end sedan, then that person bought the wrong car. This car is refined in some manners, but barbaric in others. Simply put, if you want a Lexus, buy a Lexus. Otherwise, If you want a semi-luxurious vehicle without paying much money, this car is a great pick.
Overall, this car has quirks, but as long as it runs well and is reliable, and provides comfort and some luxury along the way, I will be satisfied.
PS: people who like to do their own maintenance, check out Hyundai's www.hyundaitechinfo.com. This website is provided by Hyundai for free, and allows owners to view all tech service bulletins, maintenance schedules, even take online tech training classes, for FREE. This really gave me a good feeling about how Hyundai stands behind its product.
Oh, and to the person who complained about reliability and now wants to buy a Lincoln (unless it's one of the 2008-ish or later models), good luck with that...
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 21st November, 2009
UPDATE: 100,000 Miles!
Well, the car just hit the 100k mark a few days ago. Still seems to start and run fine. Here's the details of the car so far:
1. After my transmission fluid change (BG Synthetic), the fluid is dark pink at this point. The car shifts OK-ish, although it's not as precise as I would like it to be. It seems to hesitate a hair at first when very cold.
2. I changed my tires. The previous tires were Goodyear Eagle 205/60r16's designed for high miles. I bought a set of Achilles ATR's after some people had recommended them on the forums. I picked up a set of 215/60r16's for $59 a piece online, and had them installed at Wallyworld. The shimmy in the steering wheel stopped, and the car seems aligned. I like the tires (although they are a little big). For so cheap, the have great dry and wet traction, but aren't recommended for snow.
3. Check engine light has come on twice, P0446 evap code: my mechanic reset it the first time. It came back on again after a few weeks, and went off again within a couple days. It's an emission system, so I'm not too concerned.
4. I had to order an air filter from my local parts store, since they didn't carry it in store. They do not at all carry the cabin air filter. The reason why I am saying this is to let readers know that parts can be a little hard to find for this car.
5. MPG is disappointing. I drive 80% highway and I am averaging 20 MPG, even though the car was originally rated for 28 MPG highway and recently lowered to 24 MPG after the fueleconomy.gov updates.
6. The exterior look is still clean, but it seems dated. I hope to one day upgrade the wheels to 18" and upgrade the headlights to the 2004 model. (that's more of a preference of design taste)
7. The car made my recent road trip easily, 1,800 miles round trip to Denver and back. The car loves to cruise the open highway, but just don't get stuck in the back seat, it's a little small and uncomfortable.
Overall, I give the car a 7 out of 10. There are some improvements that could have been made to this car, but for the current resale value of these cars (usually half or even a third of a similar Lexus), these are nothing that cannot be dealt with. The car (as long as it is maintained) shows the reliability characteristics of other 2000+ Hyundai's, it seems like it is well built and should last a long time. Its fairly cheap to own, too. Low insurance costs, 87 octane gas, and minimal maintenance requirements make the XG350 a solid winner for anyone who wants a luxury family sedan but does not want the bills to get out of hand. However, keep in mind the pricey transmission fluid changes and timing belt replacement. The trans fluid is synthetic, and thus it pushes the cost of a fluid flush up to about $200 (every 30,000 miles). Also, I had my timing belt, main belt, and timing belt pulleys changed by an "on-the-side" mechanic to the tune of $450 total. At a dealership or shop, expect $600-$800 for this (every 60,000 miles).
Overall, I like this car and am still satisfied with my purchase. We'll just have to wait and see how long my XG holds up, but I have a feeling she won't be leaving me stranded any time soon.
I have a 2004 XG. Do you still have the car?
I don't understand how you eliminate the lurch by starting out in drive 2, because all the cars I have worked on will start out in lo range, regardless of where the shifter is placed. By placing it in drive 2 (or 2nd gear), all you are doing is allowing the transmission to still start in 1st, but not allowing it to shift any further than 2nd, so you are still going through 1st gear before getting to 2nd. You're not starting in 2nd gear.