2006 Hyundai Sonata Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Hyundai Sonata Sedan

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Hyundai Sonata Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 162 hp @ 5800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 21/31 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2006 Hyundai Sonata

  • The 2006 Sonata is the best Hyundai car yet, with plentiful features and an excellent highway ride that make it a serious contender in the midsize sedan segment.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    More upscale-looking than its predecessor, powerful and refined V6, smooth highway ride, roomy interior.

  • Cons

    Still doesn't match the segment leaders when it comes to overall refinement, front seats can be uncomfortable.

  • What's New for 2006

    The Hyundai Sonata is completely redesigned for 2006. It's also the first Hyundai car to be built in the U.S.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Warning: it costs $4,000 for

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Vehicle: 2006 Hyundai Sonata GL 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

My clutch failed at only 85,000 miles (and half of those highway miles), and to my dismay I found that this car has a "dual mass flywheel" that can not be resurfaced and costs $4,000 to repair (even MORE if you have the dealer do it). I've also read online that brakes are REALLY expensive to repair on this model - but I haven't had to do that yet. So, if you buy this car (and probably other Hyundai's) be aware that you will have huge repair bills down the road. I'll sound like a shill for saying it, but my mechanic literally told me that I should have bought a Honda. It's too late for me, but not for you.

The family car you want

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Vehicle: 2006 Hyundai Sonata GL 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

This car has been my commute vehicle for a 72 mile a day commute and it has worked flawlessly for the past 2 years. The dealer treated me well, gave me an embarassingly low price, and taken fine care of me since. The car, unfortunately is not a performance vehicle and handles like a big car. But every time I get in to go, it always takes me. Plenty of room in the interior and the trunk. I'd buy another in a second!

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

Almost perfect, but...

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Vehicle: 2006 Hyundai Sonata GL 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

I really like the car - two beefs: it doesn't get the fuel mileage Hyundai advertises and there's a winter problem with the steel wheels. I get about 28 mpg (Canadian - bigger gallons) and Hyundai says I should get 45. It replaces an 02 Accord (4 cyl. 5 spd.) that got 34 mpg. The steel wheels pack with snow (when the car is sitting and the snow drifts in. The snow can't escape and the wheels get horribly out of balance. I carry a special skinny stick with me to unblock the wheels, but it's a design issue that Hyundai needs to address.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Sonata manual review

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Vehicle: 2006 Hyundai Sonata GL 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

I've had the manual Sonata for six months now and have put 5000 miles on it both city and highway. It is a great deal for what it has to offer, especially in terms of security, warranty and features. Quiet ride on the highway, a lot of space. But! It has no fun factor at all (I guess I was hoping I would find the fun in it, but never did), and the suspension is rather soft. I am not sure about build quality since a number of rattles have been driving me nuts. Stereo system is so-so as well and gas mileage has been disappointing, although I am a very careful driver.

Excellent value

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Vehicle: 2006 Hyundai Sonata GL 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

I have owned 16+ previous cars, and I love this hyundai.It even handels better than a previous sport type car I had.I bought the gl manual because I drive about 100 miles a day and for the warranty price,style,and overall driveability,I didnt find another vehicle even close. It came with v performance rated tires and you can really throw the car into a corner.Dont get me wrong you arent going to be winning any speed contests with it but overall very fun to drive

My first korean car

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Vehicle: 2006 Hyundai Sonata GL 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

I have considered buying a Hyundai for many years. I am sorry that I took so long to do it. I am so impressed with my new Sonata, that I am considering going back and purchasing another new car with them. The Sonata blows the Toyota out of the water as far as standard features and the price difference is enough to make you switch brands. This is a great vehicle and it has enough amenities to make you change to Hyundais for life. The front seats are different to adjust until you get used to it. My sugggestion is to go with the power seat option.

Full 2006 Hyundai Sonata Review

What's New for 2006

The Hyundai Sonata is completely redesigned for 2006. It's also the first Hyundai car to be built in the U.S.


Hyundai has had a tough road in America. Despite the fact that its more recent cars are competent and competitively priced, many people still remember the Hyundai Excel which earned a reputation for being both underpowered and unreliable. Almost two decades later, J.D. Power gave the 2004 Hyundai Sonata top honors for initial quality, rating it the "Most Appealing Midsize Car" two years in a row.

Hoping to capitalize on the previous-generation car's relative success, Hyundai has completely redesigned the Sonata for 2006. Unlike Sonatas before it, this one is built in America at Hyundai's new factory in Alabama. The new car is bigger than the old one and offers a more spacious interior that's filled with higher-quality materials than we've seen in any previous Hyundai car. The roomy rear seat even has an inch more legroom than the family-friendly Camry. Officially, the Sonata is classified by the government as a "large car" due to overall interior volume. Still, from behind the wheel, the 2006 Hyundai Sonata doesn't feel appreciably larger than other midsize sedans like the Accord or Altima.

The exterior look is a big departure from the old Sonata's conservative sheet metal. We especially like the '06 version's dual exhaust outlets and the 17-inch wheels on the LX model. All in all, though, the Hyundai Sonata looks a lot like the current-generation Accord, especially from the rear. We're not sure this is an altogether bad thing, but Hyundai would probably be better off giving the Sonata a more distinct look. Like previous Sonatas, the '06 model is available with two engines, a four-cylinder and a V6. Both are all-new engines and both will be built at the Alabama factory, though early versions of the smaller engine will be built in Korea. The V6 comes standard with a new five-speed automatic transmission.

With competitive prices, long warranties and stylish new products, Hyundai is looking more and more like a young Toyota than the company that intentionally sold the Excel. The 2006 Hyundai Sonata represents an excellent value for family car shoppers. Even without its price advantage, the car still holds its own by offering an inviting interior, lots of standard features and capable engine choices, all wrapped in an attractive body. With the 2006 Hyundai Sonata's many improvements, midsize sedan shoppers will now have to stop at one more dealership before making their final choice.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The Hyundai Sonata is offered in three trim levels: base GL, midlevel GLS and loaded LX. The GL comes with features like six airbags, cruise, ABS, stability and traction control, remote keyless entry and an MP3/CD player. The GLS has extras like 16-inch alloy wheels, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and automatic headlights. The LX adds features like a V6 engine, leather upholstery, a power driver seat, seat heaters, a sunroof and 17-inch wheels.

Powertrains and Performance

The GL and GLS come standard with a 162-hp, 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine with variable valve timing. A five-speed manual transmission is standard on the GL, while the GLS has a four-speed automatic. A 3.3-liter V6 is optional on the GLS and standard on the LX. The V6 makes 235 hp and 226 lb-ft of torque at 3,500 rpm. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard with the V6. Both automatics offer manual-shift capability.


For 2006 even the base GL comes with a host of safety features. ABS, traction control, electronic stability control, front side-impact airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active head restraints are all standard equipment on every Sonata. In NHTSA crash tests, the Hyundai Sonata was impressive, scoring five stars in both frontal- and side-impact tests. In the IIHS frontal-offset crash test, the Sonata received a score of "Good," the highest possible rating. Side-impact testing resulted in an "Acceptable" rating, the IIHS' second highest.

Interior Design and Special Features

GL and GLS models come with cloth seats, while leather is standard on the LX. The leather looks nice, but in our experience, the cloth seats are more comfortable. The interior of this midsize sedan is filled with lots of soft-touch surfaces and comes off as being much higher in quality than any Hyundai car to date.

Driving Impressions

The power and refinement of both engines is notable, though the V6 is the more fun and responsive of the two. Still, the smaller engine doesn't sound or feel harsh and those who prefer the fuel economy and lower price of a four-cylinder car won't get shortchanged by choosing the GL or GLS. The ride is pleasing and especially refined on the LX. The Hyundai Sonata remains quiet on the highway even at very high speeds.

Read our Hyundai Sonata Long-Term 20,000-Mile Test

Talk About The 2006 Sonata

Gas Mileage


  • 21
  • cty
  • 31
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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