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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 776 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

Most reliable vehicle I've ever owned

By on Wednesday, May 18, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 168,000

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
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "great road trip cruiser"

Cons: "paint is cheap"

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

"Absolutely most reliable vehicle I've ever owned. Uses no oil, has only had minor repairs, has never broken down on road. Has never failed to start, never been towed. Bought it new, would definitely buy another Hyundai product. Had a friend that got over 400K miles out of his with the original spark plugs."

1 person out of 4 found this review helpful

I Have 2009 Sonata Limited V6 - Love this car!

By on Saturday, May 14, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun to drive, great interior & audio system"

Cons: "a bit noisy"

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

"Bought this car with 64k miles on it. No problems found! Well designed. Good overall quality. Almost 250 HP make this car very fast and strong. 24 mpg - is my average which is not bad considering my driving style "be first". Great audio system of course for these money. No lights on the dash such as "Check Engine" etc."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Best car Value on the market today!

By on Friday, May 13, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 126,000

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: "V6 power - fantastic engine - Very reliable!"

Cons: "Some DIY maintenance is challenging, firm ride"

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

"I purchased new in August of 2007 and have enjoyed 126,000 trouble free miles. The V6 under the hood was a big surprise. 234 Horsepower, this car will simply GO! I cruise on the highway at 70 - 80 mph and it is extremely smooth and comfortable. I have been in much more expensive cars that do not have the quality or power. Great value in this vehicle - only thing I've done is front brake pads, oil changes every 5-6k. replaced plugs at 100k. I will say the 2 minor knocks are the ride is pretty firm due to the low profile tires and a more sport oriented suspension and for those that like to do their own maintenance, it is not laid very well, spark plug change is a bear. I think most car makers do this now though to favor their dealerships. Anyone looking for a solid, reliable, safe, and powerful car should seek a used V6 Sonata. You will not be disappointed"

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Best car I have ever owned

By on Wednesday, May 11, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 186,000

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: "best car, especially for price"

Cons: "A little sloppy in high speed tight curves"

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

"I have owned many cars over the years. I usually drive a car three or four years and then move on to a new car. In this case, and can't find a reason to get a new car. My 2010 Sonata just won't quit. It has gone 186,000 miles without any problems, other than replacing the brakes a few thousand miles ago. I drive the car hard, lots of acceleration and braking, long trips on 80 MPH highways, actually going about 90 mph. The car runs smoothly at any speed. Today, a man saw the car as I parked it, and asked if I would Sell him the Sonata, because he had heard so many good things about their reliability. I guess that is why I was curious to see if others had my same experience"

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."

5 people out of 13 found this review helpful

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."

10 people out of 17 found this review helpful

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