I bought my 2002 Hyundai Sonata new, driving 100 miles from my home to the dealer who had the
color and options I wanted. Overall, this car has been excellent. It now has 190,000 miles on it and I can honestly say the problems that I have had have been minimal. Those issues include a bad oxygen sensor, a power steering leak and the starter replaced, all of these things after 120,000 miles. I will admit that I have not been as maintenance conscious as I should have been, but despite that, she continues to run like a champ.
Very comfortable freeway cruiser, very reliable, if not more so than the Japenese competitors, excellent value.
V6 engine's fuel economy is less than desirable. The trade off would be ok if the engine were more powerful. Some parts are susceptible to early wear (outside door handles, leather seat side bolsters, leather wrapped steering wheel)
We bought this car second hand from an owner who did maintain the car and brought it in for all recalls. We have owned it for 4yrs and have only put on 20,000km's. Within the first year of having it, wheel bearings needed to be changed. Then it started to spudder, shorted out and died in the driveway. Turns out there is a problem with the battery connectors and one had almost completely rotted off. I have heard of this issue with these cars. During this escapade it blew the main fuse of the car which was hard to find. Now the transmission is finished, the catalytic converter(S) need to be changed, yes there are 3 on this car and it will cost you 2000+ to change them, there is electrical
issues and even after spending 1000 changing all the suspension there is new squeeks and pings coming out of everywhere. I mean bad enough for people to turn and look. It also blows fuses and bearings like crazy. Last thing that happened was the break lines all rotted out. There will always be something to work on with
I did like the ride however, when it did run, but have never been able to take it more than an hr away. The seat was comfortable, stereo was good, and no bad blind spots.
It scares me this car is rated so high on this site now that I am looking for another car. I never would of thought a well maintained 2002 GLX Sonata with only 153,000kms would be a driveway ornament!!!
I bought one for $10,000 w/29k miles. I wrecked it at 142k miles. At 40mph, I T-boned an SUV, and it still started, but Esurance totaled it.
The water pump died at around 80k, covered. Between 100k & 142k, I replaced the front wheel bearings in 2011 (I drove offroad a few times), battery, alternator, rear brake calipers. That's it, nothing else major went wrong. Minor things the past year or two, tape deck died, radio display flickers (I have Sirius, so that doesn't matter), antenna only goes half-way up.
Intermittent wipers slow down when car stops. Sunroof automatically closes when car is turned off. Lots of storage compartments, like dual center consoles. Doors won't lock with keys in ignition.
Have you seen the 2011 & 2012? They've made all the improvements I would suggest.
This wasn't my car, it was my mom's and I hated driving it.
Parts would wear out constantly.
At about 80k miles driving to work, the timing belt snapped and destroyed some critical engine parts.
The engine had to be torn apart and rebuilt, along with a new water pump costing almost $1200.
Later on that year, the water pump had to be replaced again, the CV joints had to be replaced, new alternator, and new spark plugs all before 90K miles.
Once it passes 100K miles, we got all sorts of weird noises such as a shrieking engine that is the worst when driving in the rain.
The ride was very uncomfortable with almost no padding in the seats.
I have had a 4 cylinder 2002 Sonata since new in 2002. It is as good looking a car as is any on the road, it has been absolutely reliable. I have had no costs associated with repairs to the car. I am 70 years of age, and hope to drive this car for another ten years. It has just over 60,000k.