Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000
  • 12 Best Family Cars of 2014
  • 10 Most Affordable Cars of 2014
  • 10 Best Luxury Cars Under $40,000
Go

2008 Hyundai Sonata

Overview
Share this page
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2008 Hyundai Sonata Review

By

Quickly becoming a major player in the U.S. market, Hyundai demonstrates an uncanny ability to produce high-quality products at bargain-basement prices. The latest example of the company's accelerated design evolution is the Sonata, a roomy and well-equipped sedan challenging the dominance of the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry (at least on paper) but costing thousands of dollars less. Built at Hyundai's factory in Alabama, the Sonata boasts an impressive list of standard safety equipment, helping it earn a five-star crash-test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're attracted to the idea of a feature-filled mid-size sedan that won't bust your budget, the Hyundai Sonata should be one of the cars on your list. Also worth noting is Hyundai's very real commitment to including a high level of standard safety equipment on every vehicle.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The Sonata carries the unenviable burden of competing in the same category as the Accord and Camry, perennial industry benchmarks not only in popularity but also in quality. For anyone accustomed to that top-level refinement, the Sonata's higher level of equipment for the money might not be enough to tip the scales in its favor.

What's Significant About This Car?

The 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is now available on all trims, while the GLS trim can now be had with a V6 engine. XM Satellite Radio is standard across the line and the SE receives a power driver's seat. Limited models now feature a six-speaker Infiniti sound system with separate subwoofer.

Driving the Sonata

Driving Impressions The Hyundai Sonata drives like a small car. On the plus side, that means more nimble and confident handling. On the flip side, that means a ride less insulated from...

rough roads. Over smooth highways, our V6 Sonata GLS was comfortable and quiet, even with its low-profile tires. It also delivered brisk acceleration—both off the line and in short-order passing situations—while the five-speed automatic transmission shifted smoothly and responded quickly to manual commands. Overall, the new Sonata does many things well. But, unlike some of its world-beating competitors, the new Sonata is merely equal to the sum of its parts.

Automatic Air Quality System
When a sensor detects an excess of pollen or diesel fumes, for instance, the ventilation system automatically switches into the recirculation mode.

Aggressive Low-Profile Tires
The same tires you might expect to find on a sporty coupe help to make the V6 Sonata a worthy companion on meandering roads.

2008 Hyundai Sonata Details
2008 Hyundai Sonata photo Interior

Although the Sonata competes in the mid-size sedan category, the EPA actually groups it in the "Large Car" category due to its generous interior space. Even though it barely makes the "Large Car" cutoff, the Sonata treats front and rear passengers to a cabin that is spacious and comfortable, although some might find the front seat cushion lacking in thigh support due to its minimal up-angle adjustment. The attractive environment also features nicer materials and cleaner designs than many might expect, with the possible exception of the center of the instrument panel, and the Sonata's designers have done a fine job in minimizing the effects of inexpensive plastic.

Exterior
2008 Hyundai Sonata photo

The Hyundai Sonata features significantly more contemporary styling than previous generations, though some might argue the design is also somewhat generic. The SE trim's available features, like dual chrome exhaust outlets and 17-inch aluminum wheels equipped with aggressive Michelin Pilot tires, provide a little more character. Overall, we like the Sonata's new styling, even if it's squarely on the conservative side, and don't see any single design feature likely to turn anybody away from the car.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

One of the Sonata's key selling points is its impressive equipment list, including an admirable array of standard safety features. The base Sonata features a sophisticated 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission, air conditioning, AM/FM/CD/MP3 sound system, cruise control, keyless entry, power windows and door locks, heated power side mirrors and leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel (V6 only). The long list of standard safety equipment includes front, front-side and front- and rear-curtain airbags, electronic stability control, traction control, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS) and whiplash-reducing active front head restraints.

Optional Equipment

Available upgrades include a 234-horsepower V6, four-speed and five-speed automatic transmissions with manual gear select, sunroof, Infinity AM/FM/6 CD/MP3 sound system, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, automatic headlights, trip computer, fog lights, heated front seats, eight-way power driver's seat and auto-dimming rearview mirror. Many of these features are standard on the SE and Limited.

Under the Hood

The base powertrain package in the 2008 Hyundai Sonata is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder mated to a five-speed manual transmission, which complements the car's nimble handling better than the same engine in combination with the available four-speed automatic transmission. With dual overhead cams and continuously variable valve timing, this all-aluminum engine is good for 162 horsepower and 164 pound-feet of torque. The best partnership under the hood, however, is the sophisticated new 3.3-liter V6 and the responsive five-speed automatic transmission. With 234 horsepower, 226 pound-feet of torque and manually selectable gears, it isn't hard to coax the V6 Sonata into having a little fun.

2.4-liter in-line 4
162 horsepower @ 5800 rpm
164 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/31 (manual), 21/30 (automatic)

3.3-liter V6
234 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
226 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/28

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2008 Hyundai Sonata Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 706 Ratings for the 2006 - 2010 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.1/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    8.9/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Love my 2007 Sonata

By on Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 150,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car was a real home run , and especially loved how the dealership and company stand behind their product . I would recommend a Hundai vehicle in a heart beat. Have almost 150K miles and wife still drives it almost 100 miles round trip to work every day."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Love this car. Handles beautifully. Comfortable.

By on Saturday, September 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 53,400

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I loved my Sonata so much when it came time for a new car - it was another Hyundai. The Sonata was perfect for me; comfortable, everything in reach and convenient; great handling ability; plenty of pick up & go when you hit the accelerator in our awful Houston traffic, styling classy. Passed it on to one of my kids temporarily and now that I have it back it's time to sell as I enjoy my new Santa Fe Sport so much too"

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

I absolutly love my Hyundai Sonata!

By on Saturday, September 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"We have driven my 07 Sonata across country about 4 times and has been the most comfortable ride ever. The only complaint I would have is the carpet. It is coming up behind the pedals. We are the second owners, so I am not sure how they kept the interior. Other than the carpet, it has been a great car. I will consider an new modal Sonata, when I decide to get rid of this one."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

THIS VEHICLE IS THE BEST EVER MADE IS THE USA

By on Monday, September 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,322

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I LOVE MY CAR THIS CAR DRIVES THE BEST NEVER USE OIL GOOD ON GAS STOP ON A DIME NEVER LETS ME DOWN START RIGHT UP I GIVE THIS CAR 10 OUT 10"

Very reliable, not sporty, not for snow

By on Saturday, August 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 89,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Very reliable"

Cons: "Petty issues with trim, not for snow or ice."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"In all the years we have owned Sonatas, we have never had a whiff of trouble with any major component. It has been the most reliable car we have ever owned. But, little nuisance items break. The cigarette lighter never worked for more than an hour, the sun shade over the driver side flops down when least expected. Like I said, nuisance items. Some of the controls are odd. I never get the a/c adjust right the first time because I misread the temp. control. It does not handle well in ice or snow, but then I am comparing it to a Saab and a Cadillac, which handle extreely well. Bottom line: I would buy this car again in a heartbeat."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

This is a very reliable auto, clean, maint free

By on Friday, August 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "great shape, maint free, reliable, good gas miles"

Cons: "No pwr seats in front"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This auto will be very reliable, trouble free, good acceleration and traction, the auto is clean, fun to drive, I purchased it new and has low mileage, 51000, all systems work, paint is very good inside and outside. The only maintenance that has ben performed is the std oil changes, tires, wipers, filters etc. It does not need high upkeep."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?