How much better is the '06 Sonata?

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Hi all.
As noted in a previous post, Hyundai Sonata has captured my interest with the great reviews and impressive equipment list on its re-designed
'06 model. It looks and sounds so good on paper that I am thinking about buying one.
This despite the fact that I have never driven a Hyundai, until recently I never seriously considered one, my current Chevy is fully adequate and it would take some penny-pinching to afford a new Sonata.
All that leads up to the question: Just how big an improvement is the '06 Sonata over previous generations? It's roomier, the standard equipment, especially safety equipment, is clearly better and the mpg has risen, at least per the EPA. With all that the price is still quite reasonable, at least for the base 4-cylinder.
Is the '04 or '05 Sonata worth looking into? I'd like to hear from anyone who has driven both the '06 and also the previous generation Sonata. Are there any trade-offs for all the improvements, i.e. ways in which the earlier Sonata is better than the '06?
Thanks for all advice.
Regards, Eric M
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I drive a 2004 Sonata LX that I bought new and that I love. It has been perfect. No complaints. BUT, I have driven a friend's 2006 Sonata LX, and I consider it a distinct step up in several regards. I especially like the power delivered with the new V6 (a full 65 horsepower increase) and the fact that the new bigger engine actually gets better mileage.
Try one. It just feels like a more substantial car in every respect. In my opinion, of course. I will probably get the new model next year.
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Centella Cajon wrote:

Does it really get better mileage or are you just going on the EPA ratings?
Matt
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Matt,
I saw you posted on the other Sonata string about mileage. My '06 gets 34 on the highway, which is better than the 33 claimed on the sticker. That's with two people in the car. When it was FULLY loaded for our 700 mile Christmas ride to Pa. and 3 adults aboard, it got 31.7. That's at 80 mph up and down the mountains of Va. We live in the country and have to drive at least 13 miles to anything, so I don't have a good city reading, but for everyday travel for us, we get about 27 mpg.
Tom
wrote:

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tjnamtiw . . . do you have the V6 or the Inline-4 in your '06 Sonata? We're considering the purchase of a Sonata GLS later in 2006. Of course, we prefer the smoothness and power of the V6, but are concerned about gas mileage and long-term maintenance cost differentials with the V6. V-style engine designs are always more difficult to service than an Inline-4. We currently own a '06 Elantra GLS, and like it well, and are looking at adding a Sonata later this year.
Don
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Sorry for the delay in answering. Yes, my Sonata is the 4 cyl. I don't see ANY reason for the V6 except boosting one's ego to say the have more power, even though more power is not needed. Hyundai does limit some 'extras' to the V6 model only, but they are non-essentials in my book concidering all the things that come on the 4 cylinder version.

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We have a 6 cyl. on our 06 Sonata and our choice of the 6 has nothing to do with"ego" (independent of the "non-essentials" as you describe, that came with a 6 cylindert). Some driving situations, depending on driver and conditions, may warrant and additional boost of power. We drove the 4cyl. and found it, for our tastes, to noisy and "overlabored" in some instances. We wanted a safe quiet and comfortable car , and we have just that, an '06 6Cyl Sonata and we love it........Doc
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Ego? I'd say the ego is attached to the one who feels he can determine the motives of others. Sorry - you missed.
The power is not needed? Maybe not for you. I was under-impressed with the performance of the Hyundai 4 cylinder. As I have been with all 4 cylinders. I don't want a car that works as hard as a 4 cylinder does when I step on the pedal. Your driving style may differ greatly from mine, and for your driving style *or*... <get this...> your driving *needs*, the 4 may well be perfectly adequate. It's not up to you to decide what's adequate for others though. Some actually need the increased power of a 6 cylinder. Some carry bigger loads on a regular basis than you and a 6 cylinder makes a big difference in how hard the car works. Some may like to get up to speed faster than you, or pass a car without the inadequacy of a 4 cylinder over-reving in the process. 6 cylinders perform much better in all of these areas.
We aren't talking monster engines here - the 6 cylinder, even with its increased horsepower over the 4 cylinder is far from an ego machine.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
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I echo your sentiments exactly, Mike. I think Tom might have some "issues" himself, but we won't go there.
Where I live, in the traffic congested parts of NJ that I travel, I consider the V6 to be a safety device for pulling out into traffic without getting squashed. It's not about ego, it's about not getting hit or killed.
If Tom came up behind me on the highway, and my "V6" emblem were to scare him, I would gladly pull to the side and let him pass me. In fact, most people pass me on the highway (I feel like a "Grandpa" sometimes doing only 70-75 on the highway). I would even give up my V6 if I drove on the highway more than about 25% of the time. But I absolutley feel safer and more secure (especially carrying my kids) with the V6 for the other 75% of my driving.
Eric
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Eric G. wrote:

Why not get a V-8 then and be even safer?
Matt
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Look, the bottom line is that I would have been happy with the 4, and the gas mileage, if the darn thing could get out of its own way. I drove both the auto and the manual 4, and the 6 before I made my purchase. Just pulling out of the dealer's lot on to busy Rt. 1 made the decision fairly easy.
If you don't need the power then, pardon the pun, more power to you.
Really, you can stop trolling now.
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Eric G. wrote:

But you are so easy to troll. :-)
It's easier to just admit that you wanted the extra power of the V-6. Trying to make claims like safety, just makes you look silly.
Matt
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wrote:

Well aren't we superior and judgmental?
I drive the freeways of Southern California. It would be hard, I think, to live in the U.S. and not be at least somewhat aware of what a driving horror that is. I find the V6 gives me a bit more "escapabilty" than does a four cylinder. And I do know the difference. I drove a four for years, and was scared to death many times trying to get out of situations caused by really bad drivers.
And the argument about going all the way to a V8 is specious and not worthy of discussion, as well know.
Cheers
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Centella Cajon wrote:

No, just talking usenet reality.

No, it is a logical extension of your original argument.
Matt
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I am pretty sure Matt has never had the opportunity to drive in conditions that we call "normal". So please go easy on the troll, for he knows not what we speak of :-)
I Even I can only imagine how much worse it is for you than me.
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Eric G. wrote:

Maybe, maybe not. What are your normal conditions? I've driven in Boston, LA, Atlanta, Paris, most of England and many large cities in the USA. I haven't driven in Italy and I hear that is one of the most challenging places to drive. Are you in Italy? :-)
Matt
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Wowwee, you certianly do get around on this planet...........jeez! You should do a tv travel show. Just one question why would you think he was in italy?....Doc
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I didn't, I was being facetious. He was implying that I'd never driven in hectic urban conditions. I believe I've driven in conditions as bad as anything short of Italy. :-)
I have friends you spent time in Italy on a project while I was working on a similar project in England. We compared notes from time to time and it was clear that driving in Italy was quite an adventure. Routinely passing down the middle of a two-lane (narrow at that) road against opposing traffic was apparently quite routine. And the protocol for going through an intersection marked with a stop sign was to honk your horn a 100 yards away and if you heard no honks in return, you simply drove through the intersection at cruise speed.
Maybe they were pulling my leg, but I've heard similar stories from a number of people who have lived or driven in Italy.
Matt
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Not really so in all parts of Italy, but more and more similar to description going to southern cities.
--
Zotto Sonica V6 MY2002 driver
http://www.g2kweb.it/?85
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I've driven in all of those cities as well as Rome and Venice in Italy. That still doesn't answer the question of what your normal conditions are. Southern California was the worst I've seen by far, but where I live is second on the list without a doubt, although I'd have to say that Atlanta wasn't too far behind.
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