2002 Sonata New Car Test Drive
The Hyundai Sonata has become a popular family sedan with more than 62,000 sold in the U.S. last year. And Hyundai has become a major player, selling more cars in the U.S. last year than Mitsubishi, Mazda, Mercury, Saturn, BMW, Mercedes, Cadillac, Lincoln, Lexus, Acura, or Volvo, to name a few.
The reason for its popularity is that the Sonata offers a strong value, a concept that includes price but also factors in product quality and features. And Hyundai has come a long way, baby, in terms of the quality and features its vehicles offer.
The Sonata is a midsize four-door sedan that, were it not for its badge, could be mistaken for competitors selling for thousands more, and with features that on many other cars would cost thousands more. Hyundai has greatly improved the quality of its product and backs that up with an industry-leading 100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Three models are available: Sonata ($15,499); GLS ($16,999); and new for 2002, the LX ($18,324).
The base Sonata is surprisingly well equipped for its price, coming standard with air conditioning, 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 and variable intermittent wipers. A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is standard, as is a five-speed manual transmission.
GLS is a V6 model with a higher level of interior trim, including deluxe cloth upholstery and better carpet, leather-wrapped steering wheel, an improved center console, dual map lights, and rear cup holders. It also comes with heated mirrors and a power antenna. GLS is powered by a V6 engine and comes equipped with four-wheel disc brakes.
LX is the luxury model, and comes with leather seating surfaces, automatic temperature control, and an eight-way power driver's seat.
Traction control and anti-lock brakes (ABS) are optional, and come as a part of a package that includes a sunroof ($1,250). The sunroof ($550) is available as a standalone option.