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2008 Hyundai Sonata

Overview
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2008 Hyundai Sonata Review

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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

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2008 Hyundai Sonata Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 711 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

Better than many

By on Tuesday, October 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "mechanically reliable, fast enough, better than ma"

Cons: "Slow poke gas savings, cramped legs after hr drivg"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"This car ran reliably and without mechanical failure. The car mileage was hard to create: to match what the manufacturer promises, the car needed to be driven slow poke slow. It handled mountain driving at reasonable speeds, but with a loss of mileage. My husband liked the interior better than I did. The trunk held lots of stuff: definitely a value for people with lots of stuff or who want lots of stuff."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

best car I ever owned, however can't part with it.

By on Monday, October 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

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
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "gas mileage great"

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

"This car has had all normal maintenance done and up to date. I have not had any mechanical problems at all except for an $8 plastic lever that broke inside the starter(covered on warranty)"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

A great surprise for a short search of cars

By on Thursday, October 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 218,000

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 purchased the car in Mississippi from a dealer with 25k miles (approximately). It was a "quickie" purchase as I was relocating to Northwest Arkansas with a new job where I would no longer be provided with a company car. It was a program car and was very clean. I have owned it now for over 7 years and have put 193k miles of both city and highway miles. I use it every day as I am in sales and travel an average of 200 to 400 miles a week. It has had the oil changed every 5000 miles and I have had it serviced as needed. Until recently, the only expense has been oil, batteries, and tires. I have had to invest a bit more this year for some minor suspension repairs which was very little compared to the miles I have in it. The thing that amazes me the most about this car is how everything still works. Power windows, power driver's seat, sliding sun roof, exterior electric mirrors, A/C. heat, etc. Usually you can expect some of these to fail over the years, but not this car. I plan to drive it for a few more years before I retire and fully expect to hit 300k. What a great surprise for a car purchased over 7 years ago when Hyandai's were less well known and as popular as they are today. I can't rate it any less than a 10."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Best vehicle I ever owned.

By on Thursday, October 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

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

Pros: "A great car at a good price."

Cons: "Valets would probably rather park a Mercedes."

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

"I have owned more expensive cars, But this is the best car I have ever owned. I bought the car in 2009 new. I have had no problems with it at all. I get excellent mileage and it is very easy to drive. It has more than enough power to safely pass other vehicles. It has a small car price, but is intermediate in size."

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Excellent Value and Reliability for the Money

By on Tuesday, October 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 105,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Reliability at a great price, roomy, a large trunk"

Cons: "Trim fades quickly, ultra-cheapo carpeting"

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

"I bought this car used from a private party a couple of years ago, and I'm happy I made the purchase. The car now has 105k miles on it, and it just had it's first repair: a stuck wheel lug nut. So, other than routine maintenance and new tires, this car has not had any unexpected repairs/expenses. Which is why I bought the 2009 Sonata in the first place, it had a track record of reliability. It is a well-built car for the money, and the only real downside (which is minor) is the exterior black trim fades quickly; but there are a number of inexpensive car-care products on the market now that will have that trim looking like new in no time flat. Overall, it's a great car at a terrific price!"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

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."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

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