My first Hyundai- 2006 V6 Sonata- my thoughts

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I purchased a brand new 2006 Sonata with the 3.3L V6/ auto trans in May.
I traded my 1997 Honda Accord (I4, 5pd manual) with 167,000 miles.
Just over 3,700 mostly highway (80%+) miles later, I wanted to check in
with my first Hyundai experience.
Overall, I have very satisfied.
Some comments/observations:
1) On the afternoon I took it home from the dealer, I was trying to parallel park. As the steering wheel was turned fully right, I heard a spring popping sound from the steering wheel. The dashboard airbag light came on, and the horn stopped working (???). I took it back to the dealer two days later. They said the clockspring had broken in the steering column. They had to order the part. Three days later, I received a postcard in the mail that the part came in. I called the dealer, and had the part replaced in less than an hour. The first (albeit way too soon) service experience was positive.
2) I think the stereo and the climate control dash regions should have been reversed. Its uncomfortable to change the stereo settings (sits way too high in the dashboard). Now I may be nitpicking, but the stereo "next track"/"previous track" buttons and the "fwd"/"rev" buttons should function horizontally, not vertically. Just not as intuitive to use. Also, not having "change station up/down" button on the steering wheel remote radio control makes the steering wheel mounted control much less useful than it should be. Fader control emphasizes too much power to the front speakers, and not enough to the rear. Native MP3 play capability is nice.
3) I havent noticed the sloshing sound from the gas tank others have reported.
4) 12v accessory power outlet in the trunk? Good idea.
5) Havent had to use the heater yet; overall, the A/C has performed well during 90 deg+ days.
6) Trip computer avg MPG, driving 55-65MPH interstate driving, is around 30-31 MPG. City driving drops to computer-reported 23-24 MPG avg.
7) I thought it was decorative at first- the narrow metal chrome trim piece on the lip of the hood. It should provide extra protection from stone chips on the hood lip and reduce chance of rust there- well thought out.
8) Trunk is huge, and the split fold down rear seats make hauling longer items a breeze.
9) I am concerned with how well the cloth interior will wear...I notice fabric fraying on the edges of the sun visors already. Keeping an eye out for any extraordinary signs of wear from normal use.
10) The rear wide windows roll down completely into the doors! Trivial, but a feature appreciated by rear passengers.
11) The "lag" when the accelerator is pressed -the same thing mentioneed previously here- is definitely present. But it's just something that I've gotten used to- especially since there doesnt seem to be much options here.
12) I havent had any problems with the headlights being aimed too high. In fact, I never gave it a thought until I saw several postings about it here.
13) Plenty of headroom and leg room (I'm 6'2"), although the front seats do feel a little short.
14) I agree that the cubby holes and storage nooks dont seem to be sized well. Yes, the console cup holders should be called the "console cup-tippers". A previous poster was spot-on with the Yahoo drink bottle fit reference...they're right!
15) I do have a question though: how do you clean the dashboard? It has kind of a tacky feel that seems to really attract and hold dust/road grit. It is a matte finish...I certainly wouldn't try Armor All or any cleaner/conditioner like that. What do you clean/protect your dashboard/ interior plastic trim with???
Just wanted to share my experience, since I've learned so much from the posters in this group.
Overall, I'd buy this car again without hesitation. Its good value, and my insurance DROPPED almost $140 annually vs. my 9 year old Honda Accord.
Cheers. Mark Space
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I use a damp cloth like a dish rag or similar. DON'T use a paper towel! In my other vehicles, after I clean the windshield with Windex or similar, I use the paper towel to wipe the over spray from the dash. In the Sonata, the dash will pull paper fibers from the towel making the dash a mess. I've also noticed that the plastic under the chrome trim bar (glovebox door and area around it) are very soft and easily scratched. Mine has several scratches already from watches, rings, pocket book buckles, etc. These materials are very cheap compared to other cars I own and have owned. I hope Hyundai improves them in later models.
Matt
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Thanks Matt. Wiped it down this weekend, and it looks fine. On the cheap to boot :)
Matt Whiting wrote:

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On 26 Aug 2006 20:27:05 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I use Meguiars Quick Detailer detailer on the vinyl only. It maintains the matte OEM look. (afraid to use it on painted or other plastic interior parts) -
Bob
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How come you didn't notice all this shit before you bought the vehicle?
Tom

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twfsa wrote:

What a stupid comment. Much of what he listed can't be noticed without driving for a while. Things such as MPG in varying conditions. Things such as what will or won't fit in the cubby holes. It wasn't until I got my Sonata home and tried to fit standard size things in the cubbies that I found that they were just a little too small for almost all of the standard things I use. The dash compartment isn't deep enough for a CD without leaving the door open. The console compartment isn't big enough for a standard size square box of tissues. The cup holder won't hold most cups. I generally don't take a cup of coffee on a test drive, but probably should in the future. The sloshing gas tank only occurs when the tank is nearly full. All of the Sonatas I test drove (3 different ones) has less than 1/4 tank.
MAtt
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How does that compare with actual measurements?

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Generally falls within 10-15% of actual miles vs. actual gas used. Highway is MUCH more accurate than the mixed city driving (which makes sense).
Partner wrote:

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Mark Space:
I purchased my Sonata LX in February and I agree on all accounts from your first posting. My Sonata does lag slightly in the acceleration, however it is only noticable when the vehicle is cold, and especially noticed from first to second gear; otherwise the response is pretty good.
I chose the beige interior - kind of a mistake, like buying a white car - shows dirt easily and quickly. I notice the sloshing in the gas tank only after filling and after about 25-50 miles, afterwords, it's quite quiet.
Yes the CD player should have been a little further down on the dash, but compare it to other car manufacturers, like the Nissan Altima/Maxima. The higher end models have the NAV system waaaay up on the dash.
Little quirks nonetheless, however, I traded in a Saturn L300 with 50K miles that was starting to have transmission problems, and I don't regret trading either.
-Matt Y
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Update:
I just got a Sirius satellite radio for it last week.
The supplied auto mounting kit, with the suction cup, seemed awkward when mounted on the windshield.
On a whim, I tried mounting it to the small, hinged door below the AC controls, on the right side.(Just using the factory Sirius suction cup mount)
It looks MUCH better (and slightly less attractive to thieves) than the windshield mount. It block the right vent control knob somewhat, but a minor reach around given that I just usually set the control to the panel vent setting.
I thought it may pop off, but it's been secure for 6 days now.
Also, I heard about the Sirius antennae failing when mounted outside. I just mounted it inside, above the third brake light, from the inside, and secured it with a small blob of funtak. Then ran the antenna wire along the seat edges, etc. then up alongside the center console to the unit.
There's no decrease in sensativity mounting the antenna on the inside that I can notice. Under bridges, trees, sure...you cut out. But open road, its great.
misterh78 wrote:

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Mounted my XM antenna much the same way, except next to the light housing rather than on top.
Wasn't expecting much with it mounted inside the glass but performance has been excellent.
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) On the afternoon I took it home from the dealer, I was trying to parallel park. As the steering wheel was turned fully right, I heard a spring popping sound from the steering wheel. The dashboard airbag light came on, and the horn stopped working (???). I took it back to the dealer two days later. They said the clockspring had broken in the steering column. They had to order the part. Three days later, I received a postcard in the mail that the part came in. I called the dealer, and had the part replaced in less than an hour. The first (albeit way too soon) service experience was positive.
Interesting, I had the EXACT same part go bad a month after I owned the car. Wonder if there is a defect?
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Your insurance went down? The Hartford (AARP) raised my insuyrance by $520 a year and I've never had a ticket or a claim????
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What Insurance Co, Pls??
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Liberty Mutual. No tix or accidents in >5 yrs., said my agent.
Deck wrote:

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I'm with Hartford; not AARP plan but another one. My insurance jumped from 46/mo to nearly 200. No claims ever.
Then they hit me with a knock because they showed a huge jump in outstanding credit -yeah, the stupid car I just financed which showed 100% credit line utilization 'cause I hadn't made the first payment. Did they expect the credit union to give me a loan for more than the final price of the car, just to have extra unused credit line???
Policy renewal is in a month. I'm planning on shopping around.
Deck wrote:

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Join the club. The insurance industry does not like Hyundai - this is according to my former Allstate insurance agent. The rate basically doubled when I bought my Sonata. I shopped around, and got quotes from $500 to $1000 for six months. My T&C runs around $315 for six months - $100k/$300, etc. It's not just because it's a new car. A couple years earlier, my rate went down when I replaced my 2001 Caravan with a 2004 T&C. Same vehicle, just new. I wound up switching to Geico, because they don't seem to rate the Hyundai the same as the others I tried.
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My 05 XG350L $332 for six months with AIG 100k/300k, full comprehensive $1000 deductable on collision

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I have a 92 Ford conversion van, a 2003 Elantra, a 1993 24 ft travel trailer and the 06 V-6 Sonata. rates were better than Geico before I bought the Sonata. I replaced a 99 Merc Grand Marquis with the Sonata
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This will be interesting. I called my agent yesterday to ask about the difference in rates between cars. She assured me the difference between Altima, Camry, Sonata is negligible. I'll find out in a week or so when I get an adjusted bill.
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