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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 690 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

The best car I have ever had. No major problems.

By on Thursday, July 24, 2014

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

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: "Fun to drive, great for trips. Always reliable."

Cons: "Gas mileage could be better and alignment issues."

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

"I would buy another Sonata if Hyundai had not priced them out of my income level now. I LOVE this car!"

Best car i ever owned out of 32 cars.

By on Thursday, July 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "The car exceeds all claims for it including MPG"

Cons: "One noise that could not be fixed nor found."

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

"Amazing to me that around town this car gives me BETTER mileage than claimed. It handles well enough to provide a good safety margin. Just has been a great car since new. The ONLY down I can give it is since new there is a noise on some bumps that can be heard only from the driver's seat. It has calmed down somewhat but it is why I had to reduce the quality rating."

Outstanding car for the price

By on Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,000

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

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

"This is my second Sonata...I have owned each for 5 years. I have been back to the dealer twice in the 10 years. Once for a defective clock and once for a noisy tail pipe."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Very good car, reliable

By on Monday, July 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 166,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good value and very reliable"

Cons: "None"

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

"I bought this car new in 2009 and my wife and I have driven it 166K miles. I have had no problems with it. I performed normal service and changed engine oil every 3K miles. I will buy another Hyundai Sonata."

This car has performed very well.

By on Thursday, July 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
Not Rated

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

"Very pleased with this car, good gas mileae, engine is quiet, steering is smooth, pleased overall. I will be driving this car for a long time."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

I love this car!

By on Friday, June 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,870

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great warranty and value for the money"

Cons: "Limited interior colors; grey or beige? Really?"

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

"My previous car was a Hyundai Elantra, that I traded in for the 2007 Sonata. I am now closing into retirement mode and will be trading in the 2007 for what may be my last new car. It will be a Hyundai!"

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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