My 2008 Hyundai Sonata is a 4 cyl that copied the Honda Accord (similar VTEC engine, body, transmission to my 1999 and 2005 Accords) but made it better! It has great power on mountain roads, much like a 6 cyl., flat, solid handling, very comfortable ride(a little to soft-sprung when speed bumps are encountered). It is extremely reliable. I have owned it since 2009 and it is trouble-free so far. This would be a terrific buy for a young driver looking for a reliable bargain that has some zip! It has decent power and handles very well.
I bought my 2008 Sonata with 123K already on it. I have put another 10K on it in six months. It's been a pretty good car, especially as far as used cars go. At this age the engine consumes a little oil (about a quart every 5,000 miles), but it doesn't leak anything. I get an average of 27MPG combined driving. I live in a rural area and the quad beam headlamps help a ton in spotting deer. I did have a door handle break off when a coworker was getting in to it. I ordered a new part for $10 (the car is so dark blue it looks black anyway, so I opted not to paint the handle) online and installed it myself in less than 5 minutes. I couldn't ask for a better car. It rides comfortably, and yet still handles predictably. With a 4cyl engine it's by no means a rocket, but it's not painfully slow either. You really can't go wrong if you can find one of these for less than $5,000.
Update: 10 and a half years and now over 206,000 miles and the car is still running great! I just made a 10 hour drive from Dallas to Nashville... love this car on the highway. 32 MPG for the trip here, upper 90's outside and the AC running the entire trip. You know I've been looking at the new 2018 Sonata & Tucson thinking it might be time and then I make a trip like this and say "why?". Maybe I'll get the Tucson and keep the Sonata for my everyday drive. LOVE THIS CAR!!!
My 2008 Sonata hit 200,000 miles yesterday, 10 years and 1 month after purchased it in New Jersey. I have taken good care of this car and it has served me well. I have stayed on top of the maintenance, and yes, I do take it to a certified Hyundai service center for all major work. The car still looks great (red with beige interior) and runs even better. I take a number of long road trips (1,000 miles or more) each year and the car still gets 31-33 MPG on the highway. Hyundai had Michelin tires on the car when I purchased it in 2007. The first time I had to buy new tires I put Goodyears on and the road noise was awful. I have used Michelin's ever since... so much quieter and better performance! After moving to TX in 2013 I got to know the service manager at my local Hyundai dealership. He believes that the 2006-2010 Sonata's are one of the best sedans ever built and I have to agree. I was in for an oil change last week and asked him if the front end suspension needed any work (never had any work done to it). He asked me if it was making any noises or if the handling of the car was off. "No" I said, it's running great. His reply "don't touch it, that's what is great about these cars". I have to agree.
After looking over all the brands I decided on this Sonata as it had the best value. It comes equipped with electronic stability control anti-lock brakes dual airbags I've been averaging about 28 miles per gallon between just driving around town in a little bit of some Turnpike driving. I bought this car with 137000 miles on it, and so far I am very happy that first thousand miles have been very rewarding.
I know ... I know... it's, a Hyundai Sonata which to some is bland, vanilla, and meh. Now, some of that is true but this has been one of the best cars I've owned and with over 112K now, still going strong. Changed the brakes myself about 10K ago, easy as can be. Just recently have an issue with the CPS (camshaft position sensor, part $15 on ebay) and maybe because the oil change is needed or the OCV (oil control valve, $40 on ebay) has gunk in it. Both parts are easy to replace. I guess road noise can be an issue and the driver's seat could go farther back as I've got longer legs but all of my family has driven it and they like the way it handles. Couldn't beat the price either.