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2009 Hyundai Sonata

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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 779 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

Lemon

By on Monday, June 27, 2016

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

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Cheap Price. Good Fuel Economy"

Cons: "Unreliable, No power"

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

"Cracked head at 64,000 miles. Thats what i get for buying foreign. Be very careful with this car. Fuel pump is also making noise probably need to be fixed before winter."

Economical to own and operate but average quality

By on Saturday, June 11, 2016

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

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "Economical to drive and own"

Cons: "Poor sound system & body insulation"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"Purchased w/35k miles, five years ago. Been reliable, good on gas mileage, affordable to own but has some flaws in quality. Cheap sound system due to poor circuitry design and quality. Poor body insulation resulting in excessive road noise. Passenger seat sets very low making for poor vision and comfort but do like the fully adjustable driver's seat. With routine maintenance and upkeep, is affordable and reliable vehicle with nice features (power seat, sunroof, decent sound quality from stereo), solid suspension and handling. Plenty of passing power when needed. Like the shiftronic auto/manual transmission system. Would classify as a good value for those wanting average quality without spending a lot but who exercise good care & maintenance practices."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Very clean, low mileage, no accidents

By on Wednesday, June 8, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,786

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: "Very clean, no damage, low mileage, quiet"

Cons: "none in my mind"

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

"This car is very clean, no one has ever eaten or smoked in it, no kids have been in it, no animals (except my kitty but she is in her carrier every time she has ridden in it). My brother told me the other day it smells like a NEW car still. I change the oil every 6 months, it only has 10,768 miles on it as of today (6/8/16). It has a wonderful sound system that I never use and I don't drive it much except to the store once a month and may to go get a sandwich. It is parked in a secure, gated community, has a GPS tracking system on it, and an alarm system."

1 person out of 4 found this review helpful

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."

4 people out of 7 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

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