Sonata features

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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.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

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.
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On 10/17/2015 11:39 AM, Paul in Houston TX wrote:

I've had three Sonatas and never had glare. Mine were Limited so it may be different materials on the dash.
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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.
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On 10/17/2015 2:38 PM, jtees4 wrote:

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.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

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.
http://www.dealerrater.com/recalls/Hyundai/Sonata/#2006
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, their call...
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wrote:

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.
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On 10/18/2015 3:19 PM, Voyager wrote:

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.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

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.
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On 10/19/2015 9:51 AM, Voyager wrote:

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..
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wrote:

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.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

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.
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On 10/18/2015 3:08 PM, Voyager wrote:

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.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

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.
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On 10/19/2015 9:35 AM, Voyager wrote:

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.
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

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.
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On 10/20/2015 11:04 AM, Voyager wrote:

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 want to.

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.
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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.
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On 10/21/2015 12:28 AM, J. Fred Riley wrote:

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.
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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. Boo hoo!
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