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 (8 total reviews)

Throttle and tranny problems

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

I have 30,000mi. Since about 5,000mi. the transmission sometimes kicks down two gears when lightly applying the brakes. results in a startling heavy thump & deceleration. the throttle has stuck open both on the open highway and in town resulting in scary moments. Had to throw it in neutral and shut the key off then turn the key back on without using the starter, throw it back into drive . engine started back up like nothing ever happened. Doesn't happen often but when it does WOW! dealership has no clue to the cause. said no one else has reported that problem. Wish it had outside temp info. other then this, what a great car ! handles like a sports car, gets 31mpg in cruise from a V6 250 hp

Throttle problems

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

My throttle has stuck on multiple occasions. Dealership has no idea of cause. I have eliminated cruise control and floor mat possibilities. The automatic transmission occasionally drops down two gears at a time causing a sudden deceleration and alarming thump when letting of gas and gently applying brakes. other than this, it is the best car I have ever owned. Incredible gas mileage when using cruise control and gasoline without ethanol. (31 mpg) from a 260 hp v6. Handles like a sports car. rides like a caddy.

Excellent car

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

This is my 3rd Sonata. I had the 2003, 2006 and now have owned the 2009 for 9 months. You can't beat the price for such a quality car. I get 33 mpg on hwy and 29 combined city/hwy. The 2009 is superior to both 2003 and 2006 for that. The ride is quiet and comfortable. The oil filter is placed right on top of the engine, which makes it easy to replace... A brilliant idea!

Love my hyundai

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

I've owned my Sonata for 10k miles...and I still love it. I moved from a 4 door pickup and was very nervous about going to a sedan. No regrets. Also I've looked and looked and can not find anything wrong with this vehicle. This is the only car I've owned that I've not had to take it back for some kind of warranty work.

Hyundai sonata the winner

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

Just purchased after reviewing and test driving the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. My impressions: Solid well built car, great amenities, nice ride. Before buying I read the reviews about the car being a rattle-trap on bumpy roads, well my driveway is about 150 yards of dirt washboard and the car didn't rattle excessively while traversing it. Yes with the very tight suspension you can feel the road irregularities, the car however never feels out of control. And it really feels and sounds solid. My other car is a Merc-Benz S420 and the sounds in the driveway are comparable. I would recommend this car to anyone needing reliable basic transportation at a value price. Paid $200 under invoice.

Great review of a hyundai?!?!

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

Taking a risk and buying a Hyundai after 11 years of ownership of a Nissan Maxima. There have been many doubts but so far this Hyundai keeps dispelling them. Unlike any other car I've owned this one has prompted me to drive out of the way just for the sheer enjoyment of driving and listening to the amazing stock stereo system. For a mid sized car it comes awfully close to Cadillac in ride quality. If you need to save precious $$$ from a new Camry or Accord I suggest you take gander at this car before making a decision. Hyundai has a chip on its shoulder and it shows as their newer products may not be just closing the gap but jumping ahead instead.

Gas Mileage


  • 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.


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.


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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