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The O.C.

2006 Hyundai Sonata V6

12 posts in this topic

The O.C.    2

I just had a new Hyundai Sonata V6 for a rental car in Atlanta and drove it 450 miles south to Tampa so I thought I'd share some of my comments......

The car had a V6, 5-speed auto, moonroof, and alloys. It was a beautiful deep, deep, midnight blue with a light grey cloth interior. The center stack trim was a "faux, carbon fiber" plastic trim that actually comes off alot better than the woodgrain I've seen in uplevel models.

Trip mileage was 24.1mpg, with about 60% of the trip with the cruise set at 80mph....and the remaining 40% with the cruise set a bit higher at 85mph. Tank range was a comfortable 367 miles to fillup.

The new 3.3L V6 and 5-speed combo is a real gem. It's got lots of power, even right from a stop. If you turn off the TC, you can roast the tires (Michelins...thank goodness...no more crappy Korean tires) across the intersection without even break-torquing it. The engine is whisper quiet on part-throttle and at cruise but growls a bit louder when you are deep in the throttle at high revs (not really unpleasant sounding though....no thrash, just an aggressive growl.)

A side note.....very litte to no torque steer felt.

The suspension was definitely more solid and controlled than the last floaty Sonata. It's not really sporty, but feels like a quality piece over small road imperfections. It's one vice, however, is when hitting much larger bumps and potholes when the suspension voices an audible clunk to the driver which sounds worse than it probably is....and those impacts send a noticeably harsher thud to your backside. I'd rate it's "sportiness" and body-control as between an Accord and Camry.

The only intrusion to NVH was an annoying wind rush around the A-pillars. It might be a deal breaker if you do alot of long-distance driving....however, it could be amplified because other than that, this is an almost-Buick-quiet car on the freeway. No engine noise at cruise and very little road roar at all.

As far as the interior, I HATE that crappy terry-cloth seat trim that Hyundai still puts in the Sonata!!! It's especially worse because of the much nicer overall materials they are using inside the car. I'm sure ordering the optional leather cures this problem but if you are a cloth-lover, you'll hate these chairs.

Regarding materials, the Sonata has a nice combination of soft-touch dash and door panel plastics with hard lower-dash plastics that seem very solidly built (you can't "flex" the center stack plastic away from the dash like you can in many GM vehicles. Everything seems solidly mounted and firmly attached adding to the overall improvement in fit-and-finish in these Korean cars.

However, I'm not a fan of the center stack design that puts the radio way up high, above the air vents. It's actually so high, it's not as convenient to reach (if you tend to sit further back from the wheel like I do.) Plus, I just think it looks ugly. I much prefer the new Optima interior layout (platform mate) that I've seen.

Overall, this was a VERY pleasant surprise. The Sonata isn't perfect, but overall I'd rate it better than the G6 GTP sedan that I had a few weeks ago in Portland. It was smoother, quieter, tighter, just as quick, and had a far more quality feel to its overall steering and ride-and-handling. While I actually like the STYLE of the G6 interior over the Sonata, I actually prefer the EXECUTION of the Hyundai's interior....it's seating (excluding the cloth trim), materials, switchgear, and overall fit-and-finish. It also certainly exudes far more class than the similarly-priced Malibu.

If I'm writing the check? It would most likely be a Mazda6, Fusion/Milan, or Accord before this Hyundai. However, it's definitely in contention now! That's something my previous anti-Korean-biased-ego would never allow me to admit...!

Hopefully AURA, when equipped with a 3.6L HF V6, would get me to prefer a GM midsize product over these others and this Hyundai......!

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pow    106

Its real-world transaction price, however, isn't really cheaper than most midsizers from a tier-one make. The only competitive advantage I see is the standard stability control and warranty.

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regfootball    234

As far as the interior, I HATE that crappy terry-cloth seat trim that Hyundai still puts in the Sonata!!!

Isn't that stuff Hyundai uses NASTY? Its deplorable. It's the worst seat cloth I've ever seen I think. The Azera's cloth is even worse.

However, I'm not a fan of the center stack design that puts the radio way up high, above the air vents. It's actually so high, it's not as convenient to reach (if you tend to sit further back from the wheel like I do.) Plus, I just think it looks ugly. I much prefer the new Optima interior layout (platform mate) that I've seen.

The Sonata i examined at the AS this weekend had lots of interior quality issues, some of the climate controls and other things in the center stack felt quite loose and sloppy. Alignment of many of the pieces in and around the dash and doors was inconsistent. Some items flexed a bit when pushed as if not securely fastened. I thought the plastic of the dash and doors was only average to below average. The Altima has superior plastic, for example. I disliked the center stack design greatly and though it was unattractive, way too far from the user, and not convenient or anything. There's no harmony between the console and dashboard. As a whole, the Sonata interior is quite disappointing. The Optima is similar and is a bit of an improvement, but sit in both of them and they do indeed feel almost the same. Its just that in the Optima the climate stack is slightly angled to the driver. Most of the rest of the dash is the same and the crappy seat cloth is the same bit too.

Like in other threads I've said its great that Hyundai has upgraded their hardware and should be complemented....but to me it's still third world style, inside and out. In the end, unless you are Honda or Toyota, style is what sells. It does end up being a viable choice for more tight wads out there, but in the end, the stalwarts of this segment still make the most sense to buy.

The Accord and new Camry have no reason to cry. The current Altima still is the better way, and when the new one comes out, look out.

Edited by regfootball

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With comments made on the sloppy-ness of some of the interior controls, I can get in touch with the supplier of those controls and HMMA themselves and see if there's any fix or any problems with the cars, at least if they were built here in Alabama I might be able to do soemthing about it. Heck, I live about five minutes from the plant, and work about three from it.

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MyerShift    7

Ok, I've seen it pop up several times.

Just what IS third world about Hyundai?

Is it real, or a certain-something that exists in one's mind?

Give me some examples so that I may either clear my head, or have something to comeback with.

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ponchoman49    23

Isn't that stuff Hyundai uses NASTY?  Its deplorable.  It's the worst seat cloth I've ever seen I think.  The Azera's cloth is even worse.

The Sonata i examined at the AS this weekend had lots of interior quality issues, some of the climate controls and other things in the center stack felt quite loose and sloppy.  Alignment of many of the pieces in and around the dash and doors was inconsistent.  Some items flexed a bit when pushed as if not securely fastened.  I thought the plastic of the dash and doors was only average to below average.  The Altima has superior plastic, for example.  I disliked the center stack design greatly and though it was unattractive, way too far from the user, and not convenient or anything.  There's no harmony between the console and dashboard.  As a whole, the Sonata interior is quite disappointing.  The Optima is similar and is a bit of an improvement, but sit in both of them and they do indeed feel almost the same.  Its just that in the Optima the climate stack is slightly angled to the driver.  Most of the rest of the dash is the same and the crappy seat cloth is the same bit too.

Like in other threads I've said its great that Hyundai has upgraded their hardware and should be complemented....but to me it's still third world style, inside and out.  In the end, unless you are Honda or Toyota, style is what sells.  It does end up being a viable choice for more tight wads out there, but in the end, the stalwarts of this segment still make the most sense to buy.

The Accord and new Camry have no reason to cry.  The current Altima still is the better way, and when the new one comes out, look out.

The cloth seat material that GM uses in the Malibu and G6 makes this and the new Optima look pretty good to me. At least it doesn't feel cheap and harsh and collect lint like a piece of cheap velchro. Also GM could learn a thing or 2 by studying the way Hyundai and Kia do there dashboards without resorting to lots of hard plastic, harsh grains and big slaps of plastic with nothing to break it up like in the new Impala and Lucerne on the passenger side. Sorry but the Sonota and new Optima positively kill the Malibu and G6 in interior materials, dashboard style and quality and interior room and comfort. And thats coming from somebody that isn't a fan of foreign makes!

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pow    106

Ok, I've seen it pop up several times.

Just what IS third world about Hyundai?

Is it real, or a certain-something that exists in one's mind?

Give me some examples so that I may either clear my head, or have something to comeback with.

I think "second-tier" is a better word than "third-world". Like many GM cars, Hyundai/Kia products still don't look very professional.

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MyerShift    7

Ah, gotcha.

I asked because at the NAIAS 2006, the Sonata I sat in seemed very nice.

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gbono2    0

I know this is an old thread, but I think I'll post a reply. I am a first time Hyundai Sonata owner having bought it after the 2007 models came out.

I have owned Camry's & Accords in the past. I am quite impressed with the Sonata & feel it compares favorably with the other 2 models. When I began shopping for a new vehicle, I did not consider Ford, GM or Chrysler.

This Sonata is impressive. It's fun to drive. It's economical if you keep your foot out of it & don't drive aggressive. I do wish it got better mileage.

My only concern is will it be as reliable as a Toyota or Honda. If it gives me good, reliable service, I will buy another.

I find the interior fit & trim to be acceptable & comparable to the other 2. This appears to be a well made vehicle. I would say that if Hyundai has solved their previous quality issues, this will be a competitor to Honda, Toyota & Nissan.

I previously have owned 2 Mazdas. They were a continual problem. The issues weren't major, but there was always something not working or broken. Based on this experience, I will NEVER own another Mazda. They are not your typical Japanese automaker, but rather more pseudoAmerican.

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Actually drove a Sonata and was not impressed at all. While I am a big fan of Asian cars I still think Hyundai has a lot of catching up to do to get to even the G6 level.

Chris

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balthazar    1,875

It will take many many years for the vast majority of consumers who had bad experiences with hyundais of the recent past to give hyundai another try. It's a very steep uphill perception battle to turn people's minds around with only an occasional decent product.

Oh, waitaminnit- hyundai is foreign: all those horrific, worst-auto-you-can-buy scenarios are out the window like yesterdays dishwater. It's all great and fine- buy as many as you can afford and talk it up far & wide!!!

If I'm writing the check? It would most likely be a Mazda6...

With the second lowest repeat ownership stat in the industry (26%)- it's overwhelmingly likely you'd quickly regret that check endorsement. Just a friendly PS reminder...

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The O.C.    2

I

With the second lowest repeat ownership stat in the industry (26%)- it's overwhelmingly likely you'd quickly regret that check endorsement. Just a friendly PS reminder...

The effing car only came out in 2003......

Most people haven't disposed of their first Mazda6 yet....

WHAT's YOUR POINT?

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