2009 Hyundai Sonata Sedan Review | Edmunds.com
 

2009 Hyundai Sonata Sedan

 
 

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Hyundai Sonata Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.3 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 249 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/29 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No
 

Review of the 2009 Hyundai Sonata

  • With a brand-new interior and improved engines, the 2009 Hyundai Sonata re-establishes itself as a serious contender in the cutthroat midsize family sedan segment. It should definitely be on your shopping list.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Beautiful interior, velvety ride, spacious cabin and trunk, impressive value with long features list, lengthy warranty.

  • Cons

    Numb feel to the steering, V6 still doesn't quite have the gusto of main competitors.

  • What's New for 2009

    The Hyundai Sonata receives minor exterior styling updates and an all-new interior for 2009, giving it one of the most upscale cabins in…

 
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (21 total reviews)


Great car, great value

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Hyundai Sonata SE V6 4dr Sedan (3.3L 6cyl 5A)

Bought Dealership loaner car with 4.5K miles to be used as Daily Driver. I had my eye on a Sonata since they changed the body style, but never made the jump until the interior upgrade. Hyundai has come a *long* way in 10 years - major kudos! Fit and finish is first class for the price and the warranty is amazing - this is a company that actively sought to make a car to pounce on Toyota and Honda buyers and succeeded. V6 rated at 'only' 249 HP, but if you think you need more in a FWD car...you probably shouldn't be looking for a FWD car! If someone told me in 2000 I would one day choose to buy a Hyundai, I'd have laughed. Now though, I'm glad I did - major props for an *excellent* product!




1+ years later...

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Hyundai Sonata SE V6 4dr Sedan (3.3L 6cyl 5A)

I've now had my SE-V6 for a year and a half and clocked just over 23,000 miles. I'm still happy with it, no problems whatsoever (mechanical, body, or electrical). I read others have had problems. Did I just get lucky? I average 21mpg in the city and 32-33 on the highway (mostly 70-75mph); I really like the fact that I can travel over 500 miles on the freeway on one tank (made it from Las Vegas to Stockton, well over 500 miles).




Great value

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Hyundai Sonata SE V6 4dr Sedan (3.3L 6cyl 5A)

It took about a year to decide to buy the Sonata. After driving 3 Sonata rental cars I was impressed with the performance and tightness of the cars. First impressions with my new Sonata is that it is like driving all over again as far as fun goes. This car is tight, handling is nimble, not like my 2006 Mustang GT but very close to it. The car loves mountain roads, and turnpikes. Gas mileage to the mountains was 29 mpg up and 32 mpg home over 400 miles round trip . Comfort meaning quietness , temperature controls and radio is excellent.The car does have the typical Hyundai road "feel" meaning that you will feel road surface imperfections such as poorly installed blacktop.



 
 
 
Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 19
  • cty
/
  • 29
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Full 2009 Hyundai Sonata Review

What's New for 2009

The Hyundai Sonata receives minor exterior styling updates and an all-new interior for 2009, giving it one of the most upscale cabins in the midsize sedan class. Power and fuel economy have also been increased for both four- and six-cylinder engines, while the automatic transmission has been retuned for smoother shift quality. An auxiliary audio jack has been added to the standard features list, while the Limited trim level adds two-level heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control and an optional navigation system.

Introduction

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. But what happens when the imitator becomes better than the imitated?

For years now, Hyundai has had its sights set on Toyota. The Japanese giant's strategy for its vehicles is to make them reliable, impeccably made, conservative in style and comfortable to ride in. Hyundai has taken that approach to heart, and the 2009 Hyundai Sonata is proof positive that it has gotten it right. In fact, not only has the updated Sonata caught up to the mighty Camry, it's driven past it.

For 2009, Hyundai's midsize family sedan sees several key changes. Both the four- and six-cylinder engines have received an influx of power, while raising fuel economy at the same time. That's worthy of a thumbs-up any day. The biggest news, however, resides inside. While this generation Sonata's original cabin was hardly an environment worth shaking a finger at, Hyundai was never pleased with it from the get-go. This year's complete makeover performed on the center stack, gauges and center console has led to an overall design that is more user-friendly and better looking. Materials have also been improved, while the top-level Limited trim boasts a tasteful blend of color combinations, wood-grain accents and alloy trim. To be frank, this is the Lexus-lite interior we were expecting when Toyota's all-star was last redesigned. Hyundai has delivered it instead.

When the Hyundai Sonata was redesigned three years ago, it gave the top family sedans a run for their money -- in fact, we ranked it over the Accord and Camry in a 2006 comparison test. Since then, both of those rivals have been completely redesigned, as have the impressive new Nissan Altima and Chevrolet Malibu. The changes for 2009 bring the Sonata back closer to par. Although we're not sure it's still the class beater, the case can certainly be made that Hyundai has built a better Camry than Toyota did. Perhaps the imitated should become the imitator.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Hyundai Sonata is a midsize family sedan available in GLS, SE and Limited trim levels. Standard equipment on the GLS includes 16-inch steel wheels, keyless entry, air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, heated sideview mirrors, a tilt steering column, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob (V6 only), a 60/40-split rear seatback and a six-speaker stereo with CD/MP3 player, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack. Optional features include an eight-way power driver seat, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and a trip computer.

The SE adds those items plus 17-inch alloy wheels with performance tires, a tilt-telescoping steering column and leather/cloth upholstery. Optional features include an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a sunroof (also optional on GLS), a universal garage door opener and an upgraded stereo with six-CD changer and subwoofer.

The Sonata Limited has the SE's features plus 17-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires, chrome exterior trim, full leather upholstery, two-level heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, wood-grain trim and a premium Infinity sound system. A touchscreen navigation system is optional on the Limited.

Powertrains and Performance

The standard engine on all Hyundai Sonata trim levels is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine good for 175 horsepower and 168 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard on GLS and SE trim levels with the four-cylinder, while a five-speed automatic is standard on the Limited and optional on the other trims. Optional on all Sonatas is a 3.3-liter V6 producing 249 hp and 229 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic is the only transmission available with this engine.

The Sonata's fuel economy is good for the family sedan segment; the four-cylinder Sonata earns 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway ratings, while the V6 returns 19/29 mpg ratings, respectively.

Safety

All Sonatas come well-stocked with antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, front seat side-impact airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. The 2009 Hyundai Sonata scored five out of five stars in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's front- and side-impact tests. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, the Sonata earned a "Good" rating (the highest) for frontal offset protection and an "Acceptable" rating (second-highest) for side-impact protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

Hyundai interiors just keep getting better and better. Soft, high-quality plastics abound, switchgear is excellent and the overall design is eye-pleasing. The topsy-turvy ergonomics of the outgoing design have been replaced with stereo and climate controls placed high atop the center stack, leaving room for a spacious bin below. The Limited trim level is particularly upscale, and is certainly the most elegant environment one can inhabit for less than $25,000. As before, the 2009 Hyundai Sonata boasts an especially spacious backseat and a trunk that measures a class-best 16.3 cubic feet. If interior space and perceived quality is a top priority, it's hard to beat the Sonata.

Driving Impressions

Like most other Hyundais, the Sonata has been designed to prioritize ride comfort over precise handling. It smothers bumps well and delivers a luscious highway ride, but with significant body roll and vague steering, it won't be challenging sportier competitors like the Honda Accord or Nissan Altima to a corner-carving contest any time soon. With the infusion of additional power for 2009, the Sonata now features more competitive acceleration. This is particularly true with the four-cylinder versions, but in a class where horsepower wars are at full Blitzkrieg, the optional V6's respectable 249-hp output still comes up a few Panzers short.

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