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2008 Hyundai Sonata

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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 New for 2008

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
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 771 Ratings for the 2006 - 2010 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.1/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    8.9/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Best Car

By on Friday, April 29, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 122,000

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Value for Money, Long term vehicle."

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

""I own a 4 Cyl 2006 Sonata. I had 90000 miles when I bought the car from a dealer. I was worried to buy a car which had 90000 miles already. But after doing the test drive, I fell for the car. After 3 years of driving this car, it is still like new and I love driving this car. Pros: - Very smooth ride even when I drive it over 100 m/h. - The car is very reliable and quiet; sometimes I forget its running. - The seats are comfortable and the car has a lot of space specially in the backseats and the trunk. - The body style is classic and it will not grow old very quickly. I don’t want to call it Cons I will just call it comments. There are no major maintenance expenses for the car. Just oil change periodically is good enough. With Timing chain major maintenance on timing belt change in other cars doesn ot exist in this model. I really do not have cons only thing is Hyundai can come with All wheel drive on this model."

Bought car new; 140,000 miles; still like new.

By on Monday, April 25, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 140,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Very reliable and comfortable at any speed."

Cons: "Car great; dealer sucked."

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

"Really impressed with this car. The car still runs great after 140,000 miles. Miles are a mix of city and hiway driving. Gets good mileage for a V-6, plus great power when needed. Changed spark plugs at 130,000 miles as per specs; old plugs looked fine. Change oil every 5,000 miles or so. Never in for any problems."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Great car

By on Tuesday, March 29, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 134,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Very reliable"

Cons: "Front end noise"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"It will be 2 years this coming May that I have had this car. I have had no major problems and feel this is a great car. It is comfortable and has been very reliable. The only problem is the front end make a noise that no one can seem to figure out what it is. Very annoying."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

It's a reliable car

By on Tuesday, February 16, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 81,111

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Reliable"

Cons: "The exterior is not very good."

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

"I bought this car last year and have driven it for more than one year. It's very reliable. If I buy the next car, I will also buy Hyundai."

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Best Car Everrrrrr

By on Monday, January 25, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 64,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"Since owning this vehicle I have had no problems. Only con about this car is the leather seats and low gas mileage."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Solid running car

By on Sunday, January 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 142,000

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
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "good gas mileage, handles well"

Cons: "inside door panels need to be better"

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

"I have had a bunch of vehicles over the years, this hyundai is by far the most reliable car I have ever owned. I have kept up the maintence and it is still running strong at 142,000mi . Iwould absolutely buy another Hyundai . Great vehicle."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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