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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
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 748 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

never a breakdown-very safe

By on Thursday, June 18, 2015

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
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "v-6 has a lot of power, plus it averages 32.4 mpg."

Cons: "I have to sell...I bought a 2013 Sonata."

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

"I bought this car New. Maintenance was always up to date. New paint is being done next week. Most of the miles are highway miles."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Well worth it - Best car I've own so far

By on Monday, June 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 175,000

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: "Reliable, save on gas, smooth and quiet ride"

Cons: "None"

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

"Bought my 09 Sonata at 147K miles. I've so far put on another 30K miles on it. Most of it highway miles. The car is still looking good and super reliable. Some problem with the ignition switch when at 155K miles. The mechanic unable to diagnose properly and made me change the starter first instead of the ignition switch. Because of this, I've to spend $1K instead of $400. Other that that is just normal wear and tear like brake pad, tire, and etc. Overall, my sonata is very reliable and I'm looking forward to hit 200K miles soon."

Owned 5 great years

By on Saturday, June 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 89,000

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
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "A fantastic value and a fine, dependable ride"

Cons: "interior trim could be better"

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

"Really, this car has been more than I ever thought it could be in every department. Name something that is important to a great car and this one has it. Five years, NO repairs or problems, a great ride compared to any other mid size car, great gas mileage, tires wear evenly(good alignment), all the buttons I need to push, still very shiny even when not clean (a great finish), plenty of get up and go, very comfortable seats, no rust that I can find, etc. Of course, I keep it up fastidiously."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

A great value for me!

By on Saturday, June 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 125,000

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
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"Very comfortable, have not had one major problem yet...still stylish, 135,000 miles, on it's way to 250,000! Change oil regularly, keep it looking good. Best car I have ever owned!"

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

Great Car

By on Monday, May 25, 2015

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
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great handling, responsive v6 , price in 08 good."

Cons: "visability from rear window is very weak"

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

"Great sedan. From the comfortable automated interior to the firm responsive comfortable handling this car is a dream. No mecanical issues ever. For the price its good because it includes the 100k 10year warranty. Withoutthe warranty it would have to adjust the price. As im looking at purchasing a new car it seems they are pushing the price limits based on prior good reviews, i see this as a weakness in corporate management. For example the Sonata hybrid is priced higher then the competition & it gets less mpg, has a much weaker warranty then the competition. There lossing sales to Toyota,Ford and others."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Very Comfortable & Easy to Drive

By on Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 94,000

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
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, Spacious, Comfortable, Safe"

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

"This was the first and only car I test drove on the lot when I bought it about 6 months ago. It is stylish, comfortable, spacious (I was actually surprised at how spacious it was) and easy for anyone, including my tall fiance, his mom, my grandmother, and my two nephews to get in and out of. One of my favorite things about it, other than how easy it is to drive, is that the seats let down and make the trunk almost as long as a small truck bed. This is incredibly useful during the holidays and for those unintended large items that we sometimes buy, like tvs, without thinking about how to get them home. Also, the gas mileage on the interstate is great - I got 300 miles to a little under half a tank and it only costs about $30 to fill up. Also, as an added bonus, it doesn't use much oil and I've hardly ever had to check it. There are a few small things that aren't up to par as far as the interior goes, but none worth mentioning other than the middle console latches that are hard to replace and according to other reviews I've read, get broken easily. All of that aside, everyone who has gotten into my car and especially those who have driven it have all really liked it and some have even considered buying one. Overall, I would recommend it to anyone who wants a dependable, stylish, spacious, car that is great on gas. Hope this was review was helpful and have a blessed day!"

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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