Some years ago Hyundai was considered just a cheap brand of car, nothing
fancy. Having recently shopped for a new car I've been doing some
comparisons and it is quite amazing what has transformed over the past
dozen or so years.
The Sonata Limited comes equipped better than luxury cars of just a few
years ago and today comes very close in features to cars costing $20,000
more. Sensing cruise control, lane assist parking assist, heated
steering wheel, blind spot detection, and the list goes on.
Compare the Sonata to a Lexus, Lincoln, Genesis, whatever, and it really
holds its own for a lot less money. Sure you don't get the fancy trim
and maybe the leather is not the same, but it is still a great value,
probably one of the best in the marketplace.
Full disclosure - - I did buy a new Hyundai, but not a Sonata.
Rented a Sonata this week in Houston and a Sonata in Pittsburgh in August.
Nice cars, got 31 mpg. Good sound system. Comfortable.
For me, the deal killer is the windshield glare.
The slope of the windshield combined with the shiny black dash top makes
glare and reflections really annoying, so much so that I am going to
try to not rent a Sonata again.
I put 1,800 miles on a Focus in Sept in Texas and there was no glare.
OTH, these are all basic rental cars. Never been in retail versions.
I remember when Hyundai was considered junk, my friend had one of the
original Excels and used to commute about 60 miles each way to work.
That thing lasted forever. May not have been the fastest or most
comfortable....but even back then it was quite reliable. I am on my
5th Hyundai, I have never been stranded by one which is mostly how I
judge a car. Can't say that for any of the American made cars that I
used to insist on buying.
Every GM car I had since my first new one in 1978 had to go back to the
dealer for warranty repairs from day 1. My 91 Regal was back about 5
times. My first three Sonatas have been back for a total of one
warranty adjustment in over 200,000 miles. This time around I got a
Genesis. Only 1500 miles so far, but everything is perfect, unlike my
GM cars in the past.
GM pissed me off with the crappy warranty that ran out since I was over
a couple of thousand miles at less than two years. Their suggestion?
Buy a new car. I did later, a Hyundai.
Funny, my 2006 Sonata has been back at least five times for recalls.
One was for the passenger side air bag sensor, another for warning
labels that came unglued on the sun visor, another for a rust issue on
the front subframe, another for rust on rear suspension, and I think one
for the brake light switch. This is the most recalled car I have ever
owned. What years did you have that missed all of these recalls? Or do
you not count recalls as being issues with a car? I guess they aren't
warranty issues per se as the government requires them to be fixed, but
I count them the same as a warranty visit to the dealer.
And I had it back once for a service bulletin on the door handle trim
pieces that had bad paint that quickly faded. Funny thing was, the door
handles themselves faded also, yet Hyundai refused to replace them.
Mine look like crap. The dealer body man buffed one with polishing
compound and got it to look better and suggested that I do that once a
year. I just let them look like crap and tell everyone how crappy
Hyundai's paint is. I am still amazed that companies that pay millions
for advertising and marketing will let something like that go
unaddressed and let many people see their crappy car parts. Oh well,
I owned a total of one Ford, two Chevy's, and three Chryslers. Every
one of them stranded me at one point or another. I know that cars
today are generally more reliable, but as much as I wanted to buy
American...it just got old. The thing that really got me over to
Hyundai in 03 was the 10 year warranty. I had just come off two Neons
(97 and 98), both had bad head gaskets (it was a known issue) within a
month or two of the cars coming off warranty. Chrysler did do the
repairs for only $100 each because it was a known issue, but you had
to know about and ask them to get the special fix. You shouldn't have
to do homework like that, so it pissed me off. My mechanis, who is a
Ford Mustang guy always tells me about hidden problems even with the
new American cars.
I had a 2007. Your 06 was the first year of that style so maybe most
things were already fixed at the factory by the time mine was built. It
did have one recall for the brake light switch and I got a free oil
change when I took it in. I had one other recall but forget what it was.
My GM cars had recalls too and I did not count them. Every one though,
had a defect found the first day I had it home. Wipers that did not
always work, mis-aligned body panels, AC leaks etc.
That was a molding compound problem IIRC, but still a problem. I
thought the body paint was rather good. I did not have the door handle
problem as the Limited has chrome handles.
I guess I have been lucky. My recent Chevy's (made in the last 20
years), have been quite nice cars. I don't recall a single recall for
my 2011 Equinox. There were a couple of service bulletins that Chevy
did, but I don't think either was an actual recall and both were minor.
The only two warranty issues I had were a premature battery failure at 6
months (not a GM problem per se as that is a supplied component) and a
leaky seal on the left front axle that apparently had been slightly
damaged when installed. Both were fixed under warranty with no
questions or hassle. Other than that, I have had 55,000 trouble free miles.
My Sonata has been the most recalled car I have ever owned. The only
car more troublesome overall was a 1984 Honda Accord that had the valve
train fail at 60,000 miles. I guess we all have our individual
experiences and I think much depends on how long you keep your cars. I
have long said that the Asian brands tailor themselves to the Consumer
Reports audience. Their cars are nicer when new, but not nearly as
durable. American cars may not be quite as nice when new (although I
really believe this disparity is largely gone now), but they are made
for the long haul. Consumer Reports used to only survey car owners with
cars up to 5 years old. That is ridiculous for something that is second
in cost only to most people's homes. I quite filling out their annual
surveys long ago as I seldom had a car less than 5 years old.
My Honda and my Sonata both were great cars when new (except for all of
the Sonata recalls - the Honda had only two recalls), but after 5 years
they began to self-destruct. The Honda required new brake rotors,
struts and exhaust system shortly before it had 60,000 miles on it as
all succumbed to rust. Then shortly after that the cam and rocker arms
self-destructed. That is the only car I have owned in the last 30 years
that I traded off before it had 100,000 miles.
The Sonata has been more durable than the Honda as it is approaching 10
years old and has 116,000, but it goes through brake rotors every other
year as they rust and pit severely and then chew up the pads and the
body rust is getting extensive now including the doors, hood and trunk
list as well as rear wheel-well rust that has been repaired once already.
So, if you keep cars less than 5 years, the Asian grands are good
choices. If you drive cars 10+ years as I do, particularly if you live
in the northeast with road salt, then I believe an American brand is a
far better value.
Our experience is opposite. I did keep the Regal after driving it for
five years and then my wife drove it. It had many expensive repairs in
the total of 14 years I owned it.
The 2001 LeSabre lasted a total of seven years. It also had thousands
of dollars in repairs that would have been covered by a Hyundai
warranty. It needed still more repairs when I gave it away. Hyundai
has served me far better than any GM cars I ever owned going back to my
'62 Corvair. That's the one where the engine kept falling out.
In retrospect, I have no idea why I stuck with GM for as long as I did.
They had nice style compared to Ford and Chrysler products but all
cars back then had problems. If I ever bought a GM car it would be with
the intention of dumping it before the short warranty was done..
Almost all my new cars have stayed in the family ten+ years. All my
American cars rotted out by that time, and had muskltiple serious
repairs to get to that point too. So my experience is totally
different than yours. Actually, in fairness....my 07 Elantra SE I only
kept for 7 years BUT after a bad accident, it was never the same after
repairs and developed many electrical gremlins starting right after
the accident. I could have kept it, but it was the main family car and
I couldn't trust it anymore....but it's still on the road locally...my
mechanic bought it for his son.
Yes, the features are impressive, but I am not convinced the durability
is yet there. My 2006 Sonata has had body rust repair once already (two
years ago) and needs it again to pass PA state inspection. I have yet
to have an American brand (I drive Chevy's mainly and Chrysler's until
last year, no Fords of late) that would not make it to 10 years without
rust repair and my Chevy truck made it 15 or 16 years.
Also, the brakes rust something fierce on the Sonata, a problem that has
never plagued my Chevy's to anything close to the same degree. So, you
pay less up front, but with 3-5 years shorter body life, I have
determined that Chevy's are the better long-term value.
If you are a trade every 2-4 years sort (that is more money than brains!
LOL), then this is not a concern. If you keep cars for 10+ years and at
least 150,000 miles and live in the northeast, then I am not yet
convinced that Hyundai's are a good value. I am unlkely to buy another,
but I never say never. BEfore I bought my 2011 Equinox, I drove both of
the similar sized Hyundai's (Tucson and Santa Fe) and the Equinox was
superior in almost every way ... which I admit was a surprise as I
didn't think Chevy was competing well in the SUV market.
My experience with rust on my Regal and LeSabre has been bad. The Regal
had rust through in 7 years on the body, five years on the gas tank.
LeSabre brake lines had to be replaced after only five years.
I've had rust on the rotor surface but one stop and it is gone. Never
had to replace them.
Three years for me. Decent trade in made it a decent buy.
I wish I had your money! But even if I did, I wouldn't waste it on a
new car every three years. It takes at least 10 years to reasonably
amortize the cost of a car. The depreciation paid in the first three
years is painful.
You also have to factor in normal maintenance. I drive about 23,000
miles a year so when the cars were traded, they needed tires, brakes,
serpentine belt, not far from a battery. That $1200 to $1500 went
towards a new car and new warranty.
I semi-retired and will fully retire in about 3 years so the Genesis may
be my last car. I wanted it to be a nice one so I spent a bit more.
I retired this year, but I have always been frugal with cars. You NEVER
save any money buying a new car. You would have to have the lemon or
all lemons to have a chance to justify a new car financially. Believe
me, I am quite analytical and I have run the numbers many times.
Another fallacy is people who buy motorcycles to "save money" on
transportation. Yes, you save on gas and a little on insurance, but the
cost of tires, helmets, clothing, maintenance, etc., almost always
offset the gas savings and then some. I have ridden motorcycles since I
was 10, but I do so for the fun factor and don't try to delude myself
that I am saving money.
I think I found a case where buying a cheap scooter might save money,
particularly in a city where car parking is obscenely expensive, but in
most cases a cheap car is less costly transportation than a motorcycle,
believe it or not.
I'm not looking to "save money" with a new car purchase, just keep it
reasonable and affordable. My justification is that I spend a fair
amount of time in my car and I want a nice one with lots of goodies.
Fact is, I can get back and forth to work in a '76 Pinto. I just don't
I've heard that excuse many times. Quite funny when you see someone do
the numbers and then you see the bike sitting after a few months. There
is one in the garage at work that has been sitting still with an oil
leak for over two years now. Yeah, he was going to save a bundle.
I got a coupla complaints about mine:
a. No fog lights
b. No forward proximity sensors
c. Not quite enough umph; shoulda got the bigger engine
d. Bluetooth not compatible with old-man phones liike mine.
I got mine for 27,600 w/all options and 0% for 60 months in April
Now THAT is a great car for a great price even with my gripes.
I had fog lights but never used them where I live.
The turbo was a dream to drive and has the power of muscle cars of the
past. I got a really strange look from the driver of a Camaro when I
passed him getting on the highway.
On Tuesday, October 20, 2015 at 6:28:42 PM UTC-10, J. Fred Riley wrote:
a) My 04 Sonata had fog lights which was completely bitchin'! Unfortunately
, we don't have any fog on this tiny island.
b) What the heck is a proximity sensor? :)
c) That sucker had 240 HP. Yeehaa!
d) Bluetooth? We don't need no stinkin' bluetooth!
My car had the most wonderful high powered sound system ever. I heard thing
s I've never heard before on old recordings. I could hear Jimi's fingers on
the guitar strings. Listening to music in the cars I have now makes me wan
t to kill myself. I'll never hear surf music again...
The car had heated seats. I would always turn on the passenger's side heate
r and wait for the fun to begin. I even did that to my dad. I'll probably r
egret that one day. Hee hee.
Unfortunately, my daughter killed my car so now I gotta drive a stopid VW.
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