2004 Sonata New Car Test Drive
The Hyundai Sonata is a roomy and comfortable midsize sedan with a level of quality and refinement that may surprise you the first time you get in and take a good look. It costs less than the name brands, but measures up well against them.
The Sonata is packed with features, considering it starts below $17,000. Front and rear accommodations are roomy and comfortable for four or five. The interior is nicely finished and has a general feeling of quality. Driving the Sonata is convenient and hassle-free with well-designed controls located exactly where expected. The styling is distinctive, sleek and rounded with rich-looking details.
Sonata cruises comfortably down the highway, even at elevated speeds. Its steering is sharp and responsive. The V6-powered Sonata GLS and LX deliver satisfying performance.
Three models are available: Sonata ($15,999); Sonata GLS ($18,779); and Sonata LX ($19,799).
The base Hyundai Sonata is well equipped for its price. It comes standard with air conditioning, side-impact airbags, AM/FM/CD audio system, rear defroster, power mirrors, power locks with keyless remote, power windows, cruise control, remote fuel door and trunk releases, 60/40 split folding rear seat, variable intermittent wipers, four-wheel-disc brakes, gas-charged shock absorbers, and 15-inch all-season tires. A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with a five-speed manual transmission is standard. A four-speed automatic transmission ($800) is optional.
Sonata GLS is a V6 model with a higher level of interior trim. The 2.7-liter V6 comes with an automatic transmission, and the car is fitted with high-performance tires on 16-inch alloy wheels for improved handling. The GLS is upgraded with deluxe cloth upholstery, woodgrain accents, better carpet, an upgraded stereo, an improved center console, dual map lights, and rear cup holders. It also comes with heated mirrors and a power antenna.
Sonata LX is the luxury model, and comes with all of the above plus leather seating surfaces, automatic climate control, and an eight-way power driver's seat.
The V6 engine and automatic transmission are available on the base model as an option package ($1650). GLS and LX can be ordered with anti-lock brakes ($550). Base models with automatic transmission can be ordered with a power tilt-and-slide glass sunroof ($700), or with a package ($1250) that includes the sunroof and anti-lock brakes. Traction control is available, but only as a package with the sunroof and anti-lock brakes on the GLS ($1400); or with the sunroof, anti-lock brakes, electrochromic rear-view mirror, and HomeLink transmitter on the LX ($1695).