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2009 Hyundai Sonata

Overview
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2009 Hyundai Sonata Review

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If there's a single vehicle that distinguishes the new Hyundai from the old, it's the current-generation Sonata sedan. The redesigned Sonata debuted for the 2006 model year with relevant styling, class-competitive powertrains and a new feeling of refinement, along with every bit of the price-feature value that once was Hyundai's sole reason for being. Over the next couple years, though, the Sonata would begin losing ground in the segment as many of its best-selling competitors underwent complete redesigns. The sedan's passenger cabin became the greatest area of need, having been left far behind the competition in both styling and features. In updating its top-seller for the 2009 model year, Hyundai has certainly given the Sonata the attention it needed to be a true segment player.

You'll Like This Car If...

We think you'll like the 2009 Hyundai Sonata if you're looking for a comfortable, roomy mid-size sedan that won't break the budget. The Sonata continues to offer almost as much as the competition at a lower price.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you want a family sedan with a sporty flair, you'll be better served by the Nissan Altima, Chevy Malibu or even the larger Honda Accord. The Sonata aims more at luxury than sportiness, though it lacks the chassis sophistication of the car that does this best, the Toyota Camry.

What's New for 2009

The Sonata gets a comprehensive – and much needed – mid-cycle update for 2009. The architecture is the same, but it has a completely reworked interior, upgraded engines, minor exterior revisions, different spring rates and larger front and rear stabilizer bars.

Driving the Sonata

Driving Impressions On the road, the 2009 Hyundai Sonata is smooth and comfortable. Road and engine noise aren't very intrusive, but the Sonata isn't as quiet as the best in the class....

The Sonata's road manners are similar to those of the Toyota Camry, which has the smoothest ride in the segment. It isn't nimble, though, not even the SE model with its stiffer suspension settings. In fact, we found the SE tended to pound over tar strips at low speeds, making it the model we'd least recommend. In all models, the steering is somewhat slow, but braking is predictable and worry-free. Both of the Sonata's engines are competitive. We feel the V6 is the best choice, but it isn't as powerful as the V6s offered by General Motors, Honda, Toyota and Nissan and we found throttle response to be a bit slow.

iPod Interface
One of our favorite features of the Sonata is its standard iPod Interface. A cable is provided to plug in your iPod and charge it, and you can control your iPod through the radio. Also included are a USB port and an auxiliary input jack to plug in other types of MP3 players.

Split-Folding Rear Seat
We also like the Sonata's standard 60/40 split folding rear seat. It expands on the trunk's already generous 16.3 cubic feet of cargo space and makes it possible to haul longer items like skis or snowboards.

2009 Hyundai Sonata Details
2009 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. That means it has plenty of front and rear seat room, enough to carry four or even five adults comfortably. The rear seat is made even more livable by a standard fold-down armrest with two integrated cupholders. Up front, the environment is attractive and the materials are of a higher quality than buyers might expect. All of the controls are within easy reach, and the blue-tinted gauges are easy to read, though they can wash out in bright sunlight. We appreciate the fact that Hyundai has provided plenty of bins and cubbies to hold small items like cell phones and iPods.

Exterior

When it comes to looks, the 2009 Hyundai Sonata is a fairly generic interpretation of the modern sedan. It is sized like most of its competitors, and it has a large greenhouse to accommodate a lot of interior space. Though not unattractive, it doesn't stand out on the road, although this year's design refresh of the grille, front and rear bumpers, headlights, taillights, and fog lights do help to give it a more distinctive look. The SE model features a rear spoiler and 17-inch aluminum wheels with low-profile performance tires. The Limited also has 17s, plus a chrome grille and additional chrome exterior trim.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

One of the Sonata's key selling points is its impressive equipment list. The GLS model comes with air conditioning, cruise control, cloth upholstery, power accessories, CD stereo with six speakers, XM Satellite Radio, and 16-inch steel wheels. The sport-oriented SE adds leather upholstery with cloth inserts, fog lights, a rear spoiler, 17-inch alloy wheels, stiffer shocks and larger stabilizer bars. The top-line Limited is decked out with automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a sunroof, and an Infinity sound system with a 6-disc CD changer. All Sonatas have an admirable array of standard safety features, including dual front airbags, front side airbags, curtain side airbags, antilock brakes with brake assist, traction control, electronic stability control, and active front head restraints.

Optional Equipment

Options are few on the 2009 Hyundai Sonata, although much of the top-of-the-line Limited's equipment can be ordered for the lower line models. The only other notable options are a Bluetooth wireless cell phone link and a navigation system with voice control.

Under the Hood

The 2009 Sonata's base engine is Hyundai's second-generation dual-overhead cam Theta II 2.4-liter four-cylinder. A new intake resonator design and the addition of dual camshaft continuously variable valve timing (CVVT) raise horsepower from 162 to 175 and torque from 164 to 168 lb.-ft. It can be ordered with a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift capability. Also updated for 2009 is Hyundai's Lambda 3.3-liter V6. It also gets a new intake resonator design, which helps up horsepower from 234 to 249 and torque from 226 to 229 lb.-ft. This V6 is only available with the five-speed automatic transmission.

2.4-liter in-line 4
175 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
168 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/32 (manual), 22/32 (automatic)

3.3-liter V6
249 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
229 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/29

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2009 Hyundai Sonata Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 709 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

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."

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."

2 people out of 5 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

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

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