2001 Sonata New Car Test Drive
Can a Hyundai turn heads? Well, the current-generation Sonata certainly turned ours. Neatly handsome, with crisply tailored proportions, Sonata looks solid and expensive. It sounds that way too when you close the doors, or when you fire up the top model's smooth V6 engine.
Sonata offers the safety, comfort, and performance of other mid-size cars costing $5,000 more. That's value that's hard to beat.
And, oh yes, here's one more head-turner. Check out Hyundai's warranty: Called Hyundai Advantage, it extends basic protection to five years or 60,000 miles and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. Sonata's 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty is among the longest available.
Sonata prices start at $14,999 for the base-level version, which is powered by a 2.4-liter inline-4 producing 149 horsepower and 156 pounds-feet of torque. Even at this level Sonata's list of standard equipment is impressively comprehensive, and includes air conditioning, dual front and side-impact air bags, speed-sensitive power steering, cruise control and AM/FM/Cassette stereo.
Next up is the GLS, at $16,999, which is powered by an all-aluminum 2.5-liter V6, with 170 horsepower and 166 pounds-feet of torque. GLS also upgrades the rear drum brakes to disc brakes. Of course, GLS also includes some additional trim and amenities.
New for 2001 is the GLS Leather, which Hyundai bills as a separate model, priced at $18,324. In addition to leather upholstery and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, this model also adds a power driver's seat and an upgraded stereo with both cassette and CD capability.
All three Sonata models offer a choice of standard five-speed manual transmission or electronically controlled four-speed automatic ($500). Add a tilt-and-slide moonroof, traction control, and ABS to the GLS Leather, and your new Sonata barely cracks the $20,000 barrier.