2008 Hyundai Sonata Review
2008 Hyundai Sonata Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Comfortable ride, quality interior materials, roomy backseat and trunk, standard stability control, lengthy warranty, impressive value.
- Subpar fuel economy with the V6, numb-feeling steering, automatic transmission fussy in manual mode.
Hyundai shuffles the Sonata's trim levels for the second year in a row, making the four-cylinder engine standard on all and the V6 optional across the board. The sporty Sonata SE gains performance tires, a rear spoiler and a power driver seat, while the upscale Limited receives an Infinity stereo as standard.
Though lacking refinement in a few areas, the 2008 Hyundai Sonata still ranks highly with us thanks to its fine performance, spacious cabin and value for the dollar.
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2008 Hyundai Sonata SE V6 4dr Sedan (3.3L 6cyl 5A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $4.64 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
Sonata SE V6
Avg. Midsize Car
Once a marginal midsize sedan that scraped by on its low price alone, the Hyundai Sonata is now a worthy player that measures up to the class leaders on nearly all fronts. Upon its debut two years ago, the current-generation Sonata immediately impressed us with its attractive design, fine build quality and spacious interior. In addition, newly competitive four-cylinder and V6 engines and the availability of a five-speed automatic transmission (with the V6) brought its performance up to par in the family sedan segment. To be sure, practical-minded consumers will find plenty to like in the 2008 Hyundai Sonata.
Besides matching the top Japanese-brand sedans in regards to cabin quality and comfort, the Sonata is notable for its packaging efficiency. It boasts enough interior volume for the EPA to brand it a "large" car. In reality, though, its rear-seat accommodations are comparable to what "midsize" competitors like the Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry offer. It's hardly a knock against the Hyundai, given that two adults or three children can easily get comfortable back here.
Additionally, the Sonata benefits from Hyundai's two trademark advantages. First, compared to its key rivals, a comparably equipped 2008 Sonata typically ends up priced a thousand or two lower. Second, Hyundai's warranty coverage extends to five years/60,000 miles basic and 10 years/100,000 miles on the powertrain, both the most generous in the industry.
Compared to the leaders in the family sedan segment, the Sonata could still use a little improvement in select areas. The steering, for instance, is vague in feel and transmits too much harshness to the driver's hands over some surfaces, and there are a few odd design elements in the cabin. Hyundai doesn't offer some of the latest techno gadgets, and the V6 returns lower fuel economy than competitors' six-cylinders. None of these flaws are terribly serious, but on the whole, the 2008 Hyundai Sonata feels a bit less refined than the leaders in this class. Still, that shouldn't stop you from scheduling a test-drive if you're in the market for a competent midsize sedan that's big on value.
Performance & mpg
Both of the Sonata's engines are now available on all trim lines. Standard is the 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 162 horsepower and 164 pound-feet of torque. It comes with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic on the base GLS, but only the manual on the SE and only the automatic on the GLS. The optional engine is a 3.3-liter V6 with 234 hp and 226 lb-ft of torque; it's paired to an exclusive five-speed automatic. Both automatics feature manual shift control.
The four-cylinder engine is competitive with class standards. The V6's output doesn't quite match the ever-rising standards set by the competition, but the engine is quiet enough and powerful enough to suit most buyers. The downside is that it's less frugal with fuel than other six-cylinders in this segment.
All Sonatas come well-stocked with antilock brakes, traction control, stability control, front side-impact airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. The 2008 Hyundai Sonata also 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.
Hyundai aimed for a more balanced effort between ride and handling for this generation. While the suspension is still on the soft side and the steering remains a bit vague, the 2008 Hyundai Sonata smothers bumps well while handling precisely and keeping its composure in turns. Braking performance is also impressive for the class, with stopping distances from 60 mph taking less than 130 feet. Despite some tire noise, the cabin stays fairly quiet at all speeds. We've also been a little let down with the slow reactions of the automatic transmission when in manual mode, but that should be a minor issue for most Sonata drivers.
While not exactly high on style, the Sonata's cabin exudes a fair amount of quality via the precise feel of most controls and an abundance of soft-touch surfaces. Much appreciated are the tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and trip computer found on the SE and Limited. Many of our editors have taken issue with the odd placement of the audio head unit and air vents on the center stack. They are reversed from the usual positions, with the stereo controls placed too high and the air vents too low.
Although early Sonatas of this generation were criticized for their overly high seating position up front, Hyundai subsequently lowered the seat to provide a more natural driving position. Prospective buyers should also note that we've found the cloth seats in the GLS and SE more comfortable than the leather ones in the Limited. Rear-seat and cargo room are areas in which the Sonata truly shines. Space in back is generous in all measurements, with comfort levels to match, and the 16.3-cubic-foot trunk tops most members of the midsize class.
2008 Hyundai Sonata models
A midsize, front-wheel-drive sedan, the 2008 Hyundai Sonata comes in three trim lines: GLS, SE and Limited. The GLS comes with air-conditioning, full power accessories, a CD/MP3 player, a tilt steering wheel, cruise control and keyless entry. The midrange SE adds 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, automatic headlights, a telescoping function and audio controls for the steering wheel, leather and wood accents, a power driver seat and trip computer. The top-line Limited has those items plus leather seats, front seat heaters, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a premium Infinity stereo with a six-disc CD changer. Much of the SE's content can be added to the GLS, and the Infinity stereo can be ordered on the SE. A sunroof is available on all trim levels, but technology-oriented items like Bluetooth connectivity and a factory-based navigation system aren't available.
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
2008 Hyundai Sonata SE V6 - 3.3L
SE V6 4dr Sedan (3.3L 6cyl 5A)
I bought this car brand new in 2008 from the dealer. I have a 10 year - 100k Warranty. I see people saying seat belts, door handles etc. are falling off. Have never had any of this happen. I'm 6'2" and have no discomfort. The car is quick as hell, she'll jump up to 100-120 easily. The car is about 8 years old now and I have only done basic maintenance and put tires and new headlights in … due to the wax formation. Everything works. Sound system sounds great, and I love that the unit holds 6 cd's. If I could buy this car again when I need a new car I would. Drove to north Carolina, Flordia (separate trip), tenesee (separate trip) and would NOT be afraid to drive to California from rhode island. The car has 161,000 miles on it so I expect problems soon due to use and age. I do not see poor quality in material. I love the car and think that door handles falling off in one guys review is total B.S.
4.63 out of 5 stars
Limited V6 4dr Sedan (3.3L 6cyl 5A)
To put it simply, this car saved my son and my life. We were hit oncoming on the passenger side. Had this car not have been made with such durable materials and just all around a well crafted car, I don't even want to think about what might had happen. We both came out unscathed. Before this had happened, I loved my car. It was the first one I'd ever bought and I couldn't have been more … happy with my purchase. It was roomy, the sound system was awesome. I bought it with 78,000 miles. Only replaced back brakes. The only thing I didn't like was the gas mileage but that's expected with a V6.
5 out of 5 stars
Good Value for the money.
GLS V6 4dr Sedan (3.3L 6cyl 5A)
Bought my car used in 2009 with 9,000 miles, was a little concerned that it was traded in so quick but with the remainder of warranty left 4+ years and 50K bumper to bumper it was worth the gamble considering some new cars only give you 36K and 3 years. Initially bought car for wife for local driving, during the last 6 years the car has been virtually repair free, only used warranty to … replace driver visor and no other issues. I have the V6 and when getting into the FWY's no issues plenty of zip and easy handling, just made a cross country run of 2,900+ miles and it ran better than expected, really didn't check mileage but it was probably around 30+MPG. I am 6'1" and around 230LBS considering it's size I felt I had adequate room driving 6+ hours a day. Getting ready to sell and it's almost worth half of what I paid and have 89K, overall I'd have to say it's a 4+ and a 5 for value.
4.75 out of 5 stars
Best car I've owned.
Limited V6 4dr Sedan (3.3L 6cyl 5A)
I bought this car used with 34,000 miles back in 2009. It has been nothing but solid for me for over 4 years of driving it. The maintenance I had was minimal. The alternator went out on me last summer which was 500 bucks to fix but I was told by the mechanic that this is a typical problem with newer cars when they get close to 100,000 miles. Other than that I've had no other problems … with it other than typical maintenance. I'm currently at 90,000 miles on it and plan on keeping it for a few more years. The paint quality is not the best on the outside but all in all still rides like a dream on the highway. Fun car to drive too.
Features & Specs
NHTSA Overall Rating
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverallNot RatedDriver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverallNot Rated
- Side Barrier RatingOverallNot RatedDriver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront SeatNot RatedBack SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of RolloverNot Rated
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Side Impact TestAcceptable
- Roof Strength TestNot Tested
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
More about the 2008 Hyundai Sonata
Used 2008 Hyundai Sonata Overview
The Used 2008 Hyundai Sonata is offered in the following submodels: Sonata Sedan. Available styles include SE V6 4dr Sedan (3.3L 6cyl 5A), Limited V6 4dr Sedan (3.3L 6cyl 5A), GLS V6 4dr Sedan (3.3L 6cyl 5A), Limited 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A), GLS 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 4A), SE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5M), and GLS 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 5M). Pre-owned Hyundai Sonata models are available with a 3.3 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 234 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2008 Hyundai Sonata comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2008 Hyundai Sonata comes with a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 10 yr./ 100000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2008 Hyundai Sonata?
Price comparisons for Used 2008 Hyundai Sonata trim styles:
- The Used 2008 Hyundai Sonata SE V6 is priced between $5,990 and$5,990 with odometer readings between 180375 and180375 miles.
Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.
Which used 2008 Hyundai Sonatas are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2008 Hyundai Sonata for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2008 Sonatas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $5,990 and mileage as low as 180375 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2008 Hyundai Sonata.
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Should I lease or buy a 2008 Hyundai Sonata?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.