Roomy, full-sized sedan at mid-sized prices; plenty of standard safety features; fuel-efficient
The Hyundai Sonata has been around for years, but with the 2009 interior and exterior facelift, it came into its own. The Sonata continues to be a luxury-car value for 2010 while it waits for a possible major upgrade in 2011.
There are still two available engines, the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder that makes 175 hp and 168 lb-ft of torque, and the all-aluminum 3.3-liter 6-cylinder, with an improved 249 hp and 229 lb-ft of torque. Both engines are available on the sporty SE trim and luxury Limited; the base level GLS is only available with the 2.4-liter.
All three trims, regardless of engine choice, come with stability control, ABS with brake assist, electronic brake-force distribution and six airbags. The combination of active and passive safety features has earned the 2010 Sonata 5-star crash ratings for front and side impacts from the NHTSA.
The base model Sonata GLS comes with a 5-speed manual transmission mated to its 4-cylinder engine, but a 5-speed automatic is available. Keyless entry, power everything, air conditioning, cruise control, adjustable steering column, and 60/40 split seats are all standard even at the entry level, as is a 6-speaker sound system with CD, MP3, XM satellite radio, and iPod jacks. The Popular Equipment Package adds automatic headlights, woodgrain interior accents, power driver's seat and steering wheel audio controls to the GLS -- a sunroof is available separately.
The sportier SE model has a 5-speed automatic whether it's fitted with the 2.4-liter or the 3.3-liter engine. It has performance tires mounted on 17-inch wheels, a rear spoiler and fog lights. Inside, there are standard goodies like an 8-way power driver's seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, steering-wheel mounted audio controls and a trip computer. The Premium Package is available for the SE, with navigation system, Homelink and a sunroof.
The top-of-the-line Limited edition gets fancy heated leather seating surfaces, automatic climate control, Homelink, 10-spoke wheels and the sunroof is standard. The Limited comes with so much good stuff standard that the only option, besides engine size, is to add the navigation system. It comes with the 5-speed auto transmission.
The Sonata saw only a few upgrades in the past couple of model years, and 2010 is no different. As a concession to gas prices and demand for more fuel-efficient cars, Hyundai has dropped the V6 engine from the GLS trim level; the SE and Limited are still available with either a 4-cylinder or 6-cylinder engine. The interior received a thorough revamp in 2009, with nicer materials and a "flow-through" center console.
The Sonata is classed as a large car by the EPA, unlike mid-sized competitors Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion and Nissan Altima, yet it starts at well under $20,000 for the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder version. The fuel economy of the smaller engine adds to its value, with a city rating of 22 mpg and 32 mpg on the highway with the 5-speed automatic transmission. Even the V6 tops out at a respectable 29 mpg on the highway. Standard safety equipment and an upscale design bring the Sonata into the big leagues at a small price.
Vehicle Price: 19,420.00
*Estimated payments are for informational purposes only and don't account for acquisition fees, destination charges, tax, title, and other fees and incentives or represent a financing offer or guarantee of credit from the seller.
Equipment that may affect values (standard equipment is pre-selected):
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