2000 Sonata New Car Test Drive
Quality is improving at Hyundai. The evidence comes as soon as you slam the door on the Sonata, which was completely redesigned last year. Gone is the tinny echo we'd grown accustomed to with some vehicles built in Korea, replaced by a solid CACHUNK reminiscent of more expensive European sedans. This Hyundai has a more rigid body structure, a more powerful, smoother engine and suspension that deftly combines decent handling with a smooth ride. Well-equipped with a suggested retail price under $18,000, the Sonata GLS makes a good case for itself.
If there remains a question about the reliability and dependability of its vehicles, Hyundai is trying its best to eliminate it. The company has introduced an ownership program called the Hyundai Advantage that extends the basic warranty to five years or 60,000 miles and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. Sonata's 10-year 100,000 powertrain warranty is among the best available.
The Sonata is available in two trim levels: the standard Sonata ($14,999, or $15,499 with an automatic transmission) and the high-trim GLS ($16,999, or $17,499 with the automatic). The two Sonatas are distinguished by some basic mechanical differences, as well as features and equipment.
The standard car is powered by a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine and comes equipped with rear drum brakes. While the 2.4-liter engine makes just 137 horsepower, the GLS comes with a 2.5-liter V6 that produces 170 horsepower without a significant drop in EPA mileage estimates. The GLS also gets four-wheel disc brakes.