How much better is the '06 Sonata?

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Not really all that interesting, but it is true. The part your forgetting about is that many vehicles today are heavier than they were just a few years ago too.
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Eric G. wrote:

I don't think the Expedition outweighs a 1970 Fury III. :-) I think the bumpers on that outweighed my Sonata. ;-)
Matt
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See, I knew it was reading comprehension problem!! I wasn't comparing anything to your 1970 Fury, unless you are that much in a fog to think that 1970 was "just a few years ago".
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wrote:

Those parts of the quote in ( ) added by me.
No his 2006 gets better mileage than my 2004 in actual driving. It's not a lot, just a couple of MPG, but in the meantime he has the advantage of the great increase in power all the time.
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Centella Cajon wrote:

Yeah, better gas mileage, more power, more standard equipment, more safety features, etc. for about the same price. (Comparing 'new' prices, that is.) It almost makes you wonder where's the catch?.....
If I buy a car this year it will be a 2006 Sonata with the 4-cylinder. It really looks almost too good to be true. I've never done this before but I might schedule a test drive just to see how it handles on the road, even though it will be at least spring before I could buy one. Is that a sin of some kind?
Regards, Eric M
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Centella Cajon wrote:

Yeah, better gas mileage, more power, more standard equipment, more safety features, etc. for about the same price. (Comparing 'new' prices, that is.) It almost makes you wonder where's the catch?.....
If I buy a car this year it will be a 2006 Sonata with the 4-cylinder. It really looks almost too good to be true. I've never done this before but I might schedule a test drive just to see how it handles on the road, even though it will be at least spring before I could buy one. Is that a sin of some kind?
Regards, Eric M
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I just bought a Sonata GL 4 cyls today. My other car is a V6 Camry. The Sonata feels the same as the more powerful Toyota and I paid about 5000 less for it. I am ecstatic by the new acquisition.
James.
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Speaking of Consumer Reports, and their testing, I would like to wonder what's going on with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)? The 2006 Sonata was available in the Spring of 2005, whereas the new 2006 Honda Civic wasn't available until Fall 2005. IIHS has already tested the new Civic (passed with flying colors) and they've listed it as the Best Buy and Safest Small car. However, nothing as yet on the Sonata. One really wonders if the IIHS is biased a bit as well, especially rushing the new Civic through their testing and publishing reports so quickly.
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I'd say the insurance industry is biased. My insurance went up $200 for the new Sonata from a 2003 Malibu. Why???? They say they don't know. It's not just 'cause it's a new car, either. I swapped a 2000 Caravan for a brand new 2004 T&C at the end of 2003 - same basic vehicle. Insurance changed a few $ for that one.

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I know what you mean on the insurance rates. The insurance cost for our new 2006 Elantra GLS is much higher than expected. But, I think I know why, and I hope I don't offend anyone here!
It appears from speaking to my insurance agent, Hyundai's rates are higher because of its historical insurability record. As you know, rate structures are not based only on "your" driving record, rather the whole "universe" of drivers of that make and model. Similar to one's homeowner's insurance because of hurricane insurance payouts, etc. . . .
Hyundai, for better or worse, historically sold its vehicles to many of those at the lower end of the socio-economic scale, some of whom did not have enviable driving records or accident histories. Again, my intent is not to offend anyone, but just stating what's on the record. Because of this, most of us who are buying Hyundai products today tend to pay higher rates than a Honda or Toyota. Hopefully, as Hyundai continues to improve its products and market penetration, this will change as the brand is perceived differently.
I've never had a chargeable accident, nor a moving violation, and am in the lowest rate category possible, but my rates on the new Elantra are higher than that of a 2006 Accord or Camry. I know, because I checked prior to buying the Elantra. It's certainly very frustrating to be sure.
Regarding the IIHS, I never perceived that organization as biased, but because of the "fast-tracking" of the new Civic testing and results, I truly wonder. Unless the new Sonata failed miserably (which I seriously doubt), and the IIHS is holding the results until a retest, there is no excuse for publishing the crash test results of the new Civic prior to the new Sonata.
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Don wrote:

Does anyone know how IIHS gets their vehicles? Do they buy them off the street or are they provided by the manufacturers?
Matt
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Bob wrote:

Yes, the Sonata cost me a lot more for insurance than I expected. $1100 just for comprehensive coverage alone! Are Hyundai parts unusually expensive?
Minivans are relatively cheap to insure compared to other vehicles in my experience. Only my Chevy pickup was less expensive than my minivans.
Matt
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I'm a little surprised by you guys and your insurance. I live in NJ, which last I heard was the most expensive state for insurance, and my insurance went DOWN with the Sonata, as compared to my 2002 Elantra (we still have a 2003 Elantra). I believe it went down about $100 (according to the wife, I don't have the dec page in front of me).
In fact, we pay $1250/year for 3 vehicles. The two I mentioned above both have full comp and collision, while my P/U truck has just liability. We live in a city (much higher than the rural area we moved from 6 years ago), but we have no kids on the policy (2 kids age 4 and 1).
On top of that, we've made 4 collision claims in the last 3 years. My wife has the only "at-fault" accident, but I have the other 3 "fender benders".
Maybe NJ rates aren't as bad as they make them out to be? Although I'm fairly sure I would have anyone outside of NYC beat on property taxes (yeah!). $6400 this year for a 1.5 story Cape Cod on 1/4 acre.
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I'm 59 years old, never filed a claim with my insurance company, never had a chargeable accident or a moving violation (as per my earlier post), and am in the lowest-rate preferred group within my insurance company. The rate for full coverage with just my wife and I on the policy with $500 deductible on collision and $100 deductible on comp is $610 per year for the new 2006 Elantra GLS 4-door sedan. I live in Champaign-Urbana, IL - the location of the University of Illinois (pop. around 120K, excluding the 35K students) about 130 miles south of Chicago.
Not high rates certainly (Matt - $1,100 just for comp - wow! - where do you live!!), as compared to many parts of the country, but much higher than what I was paying before on a more expensive vehicle.
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Don wrote:

I live in PA. Part of the problem is having a 16 year-old driver now, however, comp on my other vehicles is much lower than the Sonata. I used to pay $1000/year for three vehicles, now I pay $2600 or something like that with a 16 year-old daughter.
I've only had one accident in the last 30 years and it wasn't my fault. I was hit by a drunk driver this past 12/21. It totaled one of my minvans, but fortunately the other guy's insurance had to pay.
I was talking more about the relative rates on the Hyundai than the absolute amount as my daughter obviously skews that a fair bit. :-) The Hyundai was also more than a Toyota, Honda, Chevy or Dodge would have been by a $100 or so per year.
Matt
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I've been there and done that on the kids. Actually, I'm still doing it to a certain extent. The biggest hit was with our son from age 16. His big insurance break came at 25.
With all of our vehicles, including our daughter who is 21 and a Senior at the University of Illinois, our total insurance bill is just a tad over $2,000 per year. However, she has her own car which we cover with insurance, and she's not a listed driver on the new Hyundai. The cheapest to insure by far is our Dodge Grand Caravan.
I fully agree, the relative rates on the Hyundai are higher than the norm.
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Don wrote:

I have no doubt that the IIHS is biased. EVERY organization and government agency is biased one way or another. The hard part is figuring out their bias so you can account for it.
On the other hand, given that the Civic is a much better seller than the Sonata (at least the last I knew), it makes sense to test the high-volume cars before the low-volume ones. That would be a bias that I could understand at least.
Matt
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Don wrote: "Speaking of Consumer Reports, and their testing, I would like to wonder what's going on with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)? The 2006 Sonata was available in the Spring of 2005, whereas the new 2006 Honda Civic wasn't available until Fall 2005. IIHS has already tested the new Civic (passed with flying colors) and they've listed it as the Best Buy and Safest Small car. However, nothing as yet on the Sonata. One really wonders if the IIHS is biased a bit as well, especially rushing the new Civic through their testing and publishing reports so quickly."......
I don't know if I would call it bias. What I do know is that automobile manufacturers themselves may pay the IIHS to put certain cars on a fast track if they want their safety results out there quickly. This is often done when a manufacturer's car comes up sub-standard on an IIHS test. The manufacturer will re-design it (maybe for the next model year), and as soon as the cars are publicly available they will submit one to the IIHS and pay the costs of the testing.
Without this "fast-track-paying," the IIHS still does a lot of its own testing, but on its own time-line. I am convinced that they do not test a car paid for by a manufacturer any differently than one they test on their own. Nor do they slant results for those that pay.
They probably only have a certain budget and so many vehicles that they can (and feel they need to) test in a certain time period.
The good news is that apparently these results are valued enough by manufacturers (for PR or whatever) that if a vehicle does come back poorly they will go back and make design changes to make it safer and pass these tough tests. That would have been unheard of just a couple of decades ago.
And the true beneficiary is the consumer with safer vehicles.
Don't fret - IIHS will be testing the '06 Sonata soon.
Green Valley Giant
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Eric, I traded in a 2002 Sonata GLS V6 on a 2006 Sonata GLS V6. Naturally I appreciate the increase in power and interior space. Otherwise for me two main improvements stand out. The 2006 Sonata does not handle like a large car and corners extremely well. Pushing the car beyond physical limits triggers the electronic stability programming which is interesting to experience. The best way I can describe it is the feeling of an invisible hand nudging the car around the turn. The 2nd main improvement is safety. Like the 2002 Sonata, braking is excellent and even best in class. Styling preferences are individual, but I do miss the stand-out styling of the 2002. I find fuel economy to be very slightly less than my 2002, but given the increase in power it's hard to complain about that.
I knew the 2006 Sonata was an excellent deal, but watching a recent Lexus ES (starting at $32,000) commercial it really hit home. The commercial shows the ES navigating any icy landscape filled with ice sculptures while the dialog mentions that the importance of safety leads Lexus to make stability control available (as an option) on the ES. Even the base Sonata includes this feature standard.
GeoUSA, moderator www.HyundaiExchange.com
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