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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 766 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

Best Car Everrrrrr

By on Monday, January 25, 2016

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
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
7/10

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

"Since owning this vehicle I have had no problems. Only con about this car is the leather seats and low gas mileage."

Solid running car

By on Sunday, January 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 142,000

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
7/10

Pros: "good gas mileage, handles well"

Cons: "inside door panels need to be better"

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

"I have had a bunch of vehicles over the years, this hyundai is by far the most reliable car I have ever owned. I have kept up the maintence and it is still running strong at 142,000mi . Iwould absolutely buy another Hyundai . Great vehicle."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Best I have ever owned

By on Sunday, January 10, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 170,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good value, great reliability, low coast to operat"

Cons: "None"

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

"This car has had regular use, including some long road trips in summer. It is by far the most reliable car I have ever owned, and I have owned some other reliable makes. Comfort is just right for me (I am average height and weight). Instruments very readable, especially at night. Mileage on road continues to be excellent, often exceeding advertised claims. I am tempted to keep it until I or it quits, but after 10 years, I think it is time to trade."

1/4 Million Miles V6 GLS 2006

By on Wednesday, December 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 255,000

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: "Consistent, reliable, comfortable, great v6"

Cons: "suspension noise, eh..."

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

255k miles

"The car is a truly great in proportions / functionality. Wide doors, high roof line, clear visibility, idiot proof controls/buttons, huge trunk, couch sized back seat, and minimal 'cute gee whiz stuff' that dates itself/breaks. The V6 still surprises me, ample power, great driveability at wide speed range / passenger loads. I would re-buy the vehicle again today without question. It gets so many things right. In the vehicles life, I've driven over 5000 miles on gravel roads at 30+ miles an hour and it's held together quite well. 5.5k-6k mile change intervals on the oil. Most annoying thing - changing the 3rd brake light bulb. Pokey items - driver visor tension was floppy [replaced] and the flip down cup holder gripper wasn't sturdy enough [removed it]."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

255k miles

One of my Best Vehicle I have ever Had

By on Monday, December 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 185,588

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: "Low Maintenance,Reliable,High MPG,Perfect driving"

Cons: "Simple insterior Cosmetic Issues"

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

"I am 36 and I had VW Jetta,Toyota Camry, Honda Civic and This one 2006 Hyundai Sonata GL. All of them were great and this one is also way beyond what people thinks. I bought it When it had 85,000 miles on it Sep 2012 from its first owner, I still have it and as a second owner,and planning not to sell it since it is Perfectly reliable. It does not have the timing belt. So you don't have to change anything. Milage/Gallon is pretty good for a car 2.4 engine car. It is giving me always more that 25 miles per gallon. If I have to be precise i can say 28/32 for sure. Low maintenance. There a few cons by the way. Like interior cosmetic issues like windows button. It is floppy but it works. I can definitely keep driving it and I will keep it. There is a check engine light issue you need to know it is coming from emission. I have replace that piece twice like around $200 each time but for a mileage that i have taken so far like 100,000 in 3 years, It is OK. No other expenses. And please consider this car. I can say Instead of paying more to Honda i would get Hyundai since you can get the same type of a car with a better price. Since nobody knows it. It is not popular like the other two brand. But i can definitely say I LOVED IT SO MUCH."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Excellent car..great value

By on Thursday, December 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 122,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"Love this car....6 cylinder... I have a 2011 4 cylinder, and I like this one better. Smooth drive. Just got new tires and complete tuneup. Thinking of selling it to get a new Sonata, but I own it...little reluctant. I know that my 2003 ran until it had 245,000 miles. Very reliable car..I take good care of it with regular maintenance."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

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