"Overall, I believe this car has been a good vehicle for me. I bought this GLS back in 2003 for $5500. I have had to repair/replace a few items such as a window regulator ($75), a rear wheel bearing/hub ($110), and a transmission input shaft speed sensor ($55), but other than that it has been a pretty reliable vehicle. I took the car to AutoZone when the check engine light came on and got the codes and researched online to decipher the most likely culprit. I bought all the parts online - except the hub- and I did all the repairs myself and I am not a mechanic. A lot of times, just stepping back and assessing the situation will serve you well in the repair process. The car runs smooth and is very quiet at low rpms. It has good power and acceleration for a small six and averages around 24-25 mpg combined. I like the exterior styling of the 2002 GLS. I call it a poor man's Jaguar :) It corners well (although it has a little more body roll than I like) and has a fairly smooth ride because of the independent rear suspension. The plastic used in the car is of decent to good quality. I have the leather option in my car and while the seats have good support the leather is of only fair to decent quality, but hey, considering the price I paid and what I can still get for this car if I sell it, this car has been a good investment. If I were recommending this car to a prospective buyer I would highly recommend spending a little more and getting the GLS model with the V6."
"Wanted a Camry or Accord, but bought this for price in 05. 4 years and 90,000 later only thing I've replaced are wiper blades, front brakes and tires. Don't like no cup holders in back, and one in front is too small, but when you consider excellent price, reliability, appearance, durability, roominess and warranty, it is a really great car. My wife prefers it to our Toyota. Only negative is that it doesn't hold value well, but I hope to keep mine till 200,000 anyway. Would definately consider another Hyundai, easily as good as Fords I've owned, and better than Chrysler and GM. Toyota and Honda are better made, but Hyundai is an overall better value."
Cons: "low resale value (good thing Im keeping it)"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I own a 2003 sonata with the 2.4L 4 cylinder. I purchased it with 20k on it from the original owner and just passed 180k. It has been the most reliable car ever! Never broke down or left me stranded. The only thing I have to do to the car is a new timing belt, water pump, and tensioner every 60k (which is what they recommend) and a transmission service every 30k. If you keep up on the maintenance these cars run forever and wont let you down. Its nice because your getting the reliability of a Honda or Toyota at a fraction of the price!"
"I had owned 2 used Toyota Camrys' prior to purchasing this vehicle brand new. I could not afford a new Camry at the time, and I am so glad I made the decision to go new. In 9 years and 100K miles I have spent only $4.37 on Maintance on this vehicle above suggest maintance costs. This was for a busted hose. In the 60K-100K milage range on the Camrys' I was spending $1500 a year to keep those cars running great. I was going to trade this car in as my son is turning 16 next month, but my son asked for this car and my wife believe it is safer than anything we can for him at this price range."
"I love this car. It has a smooth ride and I have not had one bit of trouble out of it. Even though it's an older car, I am so proud of the design because I think it's the prettiest car on the road. It has every option that was available at that time. It is dependable in every way. The only issue I've had is a flat tire."
"I bought this car new and drive it daily to work (160 mile round trip). Change oil every 6,000 to 7,500 miles. First spark plugs, first timing belt, first serpentine belt, first new hoses, water pump all replaced at 215,000 miles. At 260,00 miles it still drives like the day I bought it. Still on original rotors (turned three times, original shocks, all electronics still perfect, never a drop of fluid on my garage floor. Never been waxed and finish is still excellent. Cloth upholstery is perfect (even the driver's seat which gets 3 1/2 hours of wear every work day). The only single thing I can say I don't like is the static build up on the cloth material...it zaps you everytime you get out of the car.
I have been blessed with this vehicle and I'm going for another 260,000 miles. If this car ever wears out I'm going to find another 2004 to 2005 with low miles to replace it...I'll make sure to get the (non-static) leather interior LX model though."
"I have owned this vehicle since new in 2003. It has been an excellent value. This car now has 182,000 miles and is still going strong. Looks good. Runs good. A very comfortable, quiet ride. I have had only minor issues, which would be expected for the number of miles. I have been so very pleased."
"Only 4 minor cons: a bit noisy on road trips; seats could be a bit more padded for long trips; console between seats too short to rest arm on; radio/stereo unit of poor audio quality.
I would buy this make and model again. Have owned it for 4 years and it is still performing well. Miles from 2x yearly road trips and local city driving . Excellent acceleration from 0-30 for entering freeway and highway traffic. Very maneuverable. Roomy front seats and leg room. Large trunk. Often mistaken for a Black Mercedes."
"just hit 160,000 and overall very happy with this car. other than window regulators, lock actuator and a coil pack on the engine its been very reliable. changed the starter and basic maintenace. still gets 24 mpg and has original timing chain. would buy again and v6 motor has great power."
"I am the fourth owner of a 2002 sonata. It is a wonderful vehicle. I have never found any critical malfunctions. After the purchase, I only repaired a power window regulator of the right front door. No leaks on any valve and pipes! Even though it is aged, driving noise in high speed over 70 mph is calm. Air conditioning is also fantastic! A/C is really important in summer in Texas. The flow of air is strong, making the inside cooled very quickly. Good performance!"
"My mother owned this car brand new for 6 years and myself for 1 we both love this car still to this day.... She said it never compared to any vehicle as has ever owns.... She used to trade in every 2 years but not this one .... And one day she gave it to me as a gift .... I love this car... Yes I've started to have a couple electrical problems recently and the wheel Barron's are needing to be replaced frequently but other than that I could be happier and will hold on to this car for as long as I possibly can!"
Pros: "All around decent car, reliable, somewhat quick"
Cons: "Feels cheap (even for Hyundai)"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My family purchased this car a few years back as a family car, cheaper on gas than our trucks/SUVs. At the time, we did not know, but the car had been given to the dealership from a rental car company. That being said, sitting around 120k miles, this car has not had a single major issue come up. When we took it in to get a full service done at a Hyundai dealership a few months back, the tech looks at us and says, "Wow, this is one of the cleanest, most well kept cars of this model I have ever seen before in my life." So maybe it's because we have taken care of it, and those before us, but this car is, as I see it, entirely as reliable as one could expect a car to be. I push it a little bit with my "aggressive" driving, and even with that, it's not having issues.
The quality of the car, as far as components and whatnot go, is a little disappointing. For a 2.7l V6, you would expect more power from than there is. The steering is great but it definitely floats a bit, which I personally like. The interior, though, looks extremely cheap and just doesn't flow very well. However, it is extremely roomy and the trunk is pretty large for a vehicle that is as lightweight and feels, driving wise, as small as this one is. Inside, it feels bigger than it is.
Driving this car is extremely comfortable for me, being a male standing 5'10 weighing 190. The back headroom is a little cramped but overall, nothing to complain about.
The real downside here is that, compared to competition, sometimes it is hard to justify this car. It stands at a weird niche in the market that just really hurts it. Plus only having a 4 speed auto REALLY isn't helping it any."
Pros: "Fabulous to drive. Quality cannot be beat!"
Cons: "Paint on outside handles came off."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Have owned this car since October, 2002. The car is extremely quiet. Just drove a new 2012 Chevrolet and all I heard was the engine--nothing quiet like my Hyundai Sonata. I bought the V6 new with the works and have enjoyed it tremendously. My gas mileage on a trip was 33 mpg. Cannot beat that! Extremely reliable and a dream to drive. Plan on keeping it for another 100,000 miles. The leather still looks great in the car, the stereo still sounds great, sunroof has given me no problem, and all the extras have given me a lot of pleasure. We were so happy with this car we bought my son a new Sonata in 2010 and now my daughter a Sonata in 2012. The only other car I have owned that I truly loved was my 1961 Corvette which I bought in 1961. The only one thing wrong with this car is that the handles paint came off especially on the passengers side which was rarely used. Cannot justify asking my husband for a new car when it still drives like the day I bought it, almost 10 years ago. I would recommend this car to anyone!"
Pros: "low maintenace and havent had any major repairs!"
Cons: "leg room in the back can get cramped when travelin"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I've had my car since 2000 and I amjust now looking to buy a new car I,ve never had to replace anything major on it bedsides tires and a battery. Since my car just hit 200,000 miles I will be car shopping for a new sonata!"
"Awesome gas mileage, comfortable and sporty, I love my car. I just put brakes in it for the first time, put on new tires this past summer and a new battery, other than oil changes, that is the only "extras" I have spent money on since purchasing my car off of the showroom floor in the fall of 2001. Wish I had the knowledge and the money back then to have bought 2 (or more) to last me for the rest of my life. I think I will cry when it finally dies because I dont like the new style as much."
"This is an excellent car. I've have my Sonota since 2005 and only been to the shop for routine maintenance and oil changes. If you take care of the car and get your regular oil changes and recommended maintenance changes, it will definitely take care of you. I drive a lot and have about 95,000 miles on it right now. It is also good on gas. I fill up my tank on about $24 or less at about $1.48 a gallon.
I highly recommend this car to anyone. It's stylish (the rear of the car resembles a Jaguar and I'm have friends comment on it--others thought I owned a Lexus!) and it is extremely reliable, which is important to anyone regardless of your personal preferences. This is the first car I have owned that is actually built well and reliable--and I've owned just about everything out there (American and Foreign built cars alike!)."
"While this car does the job....it's by no means a sporty car
Bought in 2004 and it has 57,000miles on it. Wipers rusted and paint chipped off door handles, but otherwise reliable. Sometimes does not throttle well after slowing down around turns. Overall, a decent, quiet ride."
"Almost 200,000. and still starts without a problem. Has only cost the usual maintenance; tires, oil changes, headlights, wipers and only had one full maintenance since I got the car. Comfortable and roomy, plenty of room in the trunk and back seat. Drives in the snow well considering not a FWD. I plan to drive her another couple of years before getting a new one. Definately recommend."
"My parents bought this car in or around 2007 (it is an 04). My mother used it extensively for a few years. I bought the car from them at 18 years old in early 2010 when I got my license. I have never been in an accident with it. It gets great mileage (probably 25mpg on average). I've always said it's borderline an 'old person' car (with all due respect!), but I still love it. The exterior style is not to my taste, but hey, it's my first car, beggars can't be choosers. Considering the horror stories I've heard of from other people's first cars, I know I'm lucky with my Sonata. It's certainly no puddle jumper, it's a good quality vehicle. Squeezing 5 full grown adults into it can be tight, but not unbearably. My sister's Jetta, now that's a lot tighter! It is large enough to have friends in, yet not a monstrosity like a Buick sedan. And now, in late 2012, I see no immediate end in sight. I'm certain I'll have this car when I graduate college (2014), and if I get a good job, I'll probably sell it privately and buy another Hyundai (I love the Veloster!). My parents have 2 other Hyundais, both silver 2004 and 2008 Santa Fe's. Can ya tell we're a Hyundai family? We have never had any major problems with any of them and have never been in any accidents. Our 2004 Santa Fe trekked to Montana (and will make the trip back) for my sister. My family always jokes that our Santa Fe's can take anything, because they can! Living in PA, we get a lot of crazy weather, especially snow and ice. I love taking the Santa Fe's out in the snow, because I know I'll be safe, and have fun (yes, fun!). Of course, my 2WD Sonata can't hold a candle in that aspect, but I know that's only because it's not 4WD. I can't say enough how much I love Hyundai, even if I don't absolutely love my own car. The 2012 Sonata is hott, as well as the Elantra, Veloster, and Genesis! I'm really looking forward to buying another within the next 2-5 years."