I am very careful when I buy a car because I tend to keep them for long time. I built a matrix to help me decide what car to buy. The objective parameters (I add one subjective at the end) where: 1.- First class gas mileage . 2.- Excellent Crash Ratings 3.- Better than average warranty 4.- First class in space 5.- Better than average 5 years cost to own ) 6.- Excellent Price. Two cars came on top Hyundai Sonata/Kia optima. Both leaded the pack in gas mileage, tops in crash ratings, but the Sonata was bigger than the rest in almost any measure,great price tons of added standard features (Bluetooth was important because recent laws) around $2000 cheaper than Equivalent Camry/Accord
Small Problems are the most annoying in a new car!
written on 09-28-2011
I am a proud owner of a 2012 Hyundai Sonata, happy with my purchase, just not from where I purchased it. There have been SEVERAL interior problems and the car is less than 3 months old, the car dealer blames me. I take VERY good care of my car, clean it every day, inside and out, make sure it's always full of gas and drive smoothe. BOTH side air bag panels have fallen off, there was a tear in the passenger seat, the cupholder is fading to an off black, and there is white glue on my door air bags. It's just the small things that bug you, and rude salesman playing you to be a fool.
I looked at a number of competitors to the Sonata, including the Accord, Mazda 6, Mazda 3, Chevy Cruze, and even the Elantra. I kept coming back to the Sonata for its value for the money - so many standard features, roomy cabin and great gas mileage. The Bluetooth audio works great. The gas mileage has been outstanding. I got the 6-speed since I love driving stick-shift. I have been underwhelmed with its performance. Unfortunately, the stick is just not smooth, especially going from 2nd to 3rd gear. I've been driving it for several months and it just doesn't feel well-tuned. Having said that, the acceleration is great and the ride is quiet and comfortable.
The Sonata Limited is the nicest looking car on the road in my opinion. My friend called it "sexy"! Looks sporty inside and out. Handles like a dream and is fun to drive. But the best part is all the standard equipment you get for a low base price. I priced other cars and you have to pay extra for what's standard on the Sonata Limited. It is the best car I've ever owned!
Our 2012 Sonata with regular maintenance records experienced a sudden catastrophic engine failure at 74,000 miles. No warning lights have ever come on in the car but it suddenly began to lose power and make a terrible noise. Since it was still under warranty, we had it towed to our dealer who told us that the engine had to be replaced and it was covered and the engine would be replaced within a few days. Subsequently, Hyundai changed their mind and chose not to honor their warranty stating "customer neglect". We provided all our service records showing oil changes basically every 4 months but they still said it was our fault. We have since found out that this is happening all over the country to cars with the 2.4 liter Theta II GDI engine. Edmonds should research this because this is a widespread problem. I would not buy another Hyundai because they do not honor their warranty. Update: After the NTSB got involved, Hyundai recalled all these engines and mine was finally replaced 4 months after it failed. I received some of the money back that this failure cost me but was not reimbursed for the time I couldn't use my car and had to still insure it and drive a car with a lot less fuel mileage.