1999 Hyundai Sonata Consumer Review: Good comfort, reliability, eco

1999 Hyundai Sonata - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

41 Total Reviews

Base Sedan (2.4L 4-cyl. 5-speed Manual)

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Build Quality
Reliability Value
Good comfort, reliability, economics, value
By jay_laz on


1999 Hyundai Sonata 4dr Sedan


I purchased this vehicle in 2002 with 15,000 miles from the original owner's estate. It presently has about 50,000 miles, including 4 cross-country trips from SFO to ORD and back. Hyundai reported no warranty claims prior to my ownership, and I've had none. Owner 1 did only basic maintenence, according to Hyundai records, and I've done the same: oil and filter, coolant, trans and filter, battery, tires. It's a solid, comfortable, reliable, economical and completely practical car, and it's served me well for nearly 10 years. It's not as much fun to drive as my Miata, but I can't carry lumber on a roof rack of a Miata. I'll gladly purchase another Sonata, with even better value.

Best Features

There's not any single, specific feature that stands out, either "good" or "bad". Everything is at least "Ok", and sometimes reaches "quite good". Engine is adequate, but hardly "quick" or "fast". When accellerating, turning off A/C (or defroster) noticeably impproves the performance. Power is "adequate", just. Transmission was *much* happier with installation of a $30 "trans oil cooler". 2nd best money I ever spent on trans maintenence. (1st best was oil flush and filtter every 24 months). Front seats are comfortable on long drives, suspension mostly smooths the ride, but seems "floaty", compared to a Miata. (giggle) HVAC mostly works well, but the defroster doesn'tt clear side windows.

Worst Features

Brakes are adequate, but rear drums are obsolete. 15 inch wheels wouldn'tt hurt, either. I'm amused that this Sonata shares wheel size with a Miata half the size and weight. Styling was already greatly improved; it looks like the smooth, swoopy, Taurus-era styling, never my favorite. Lots of refinements, but so far, so good.
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