2005 Sonata New Car Test Drive
The Hyundai Sonata is a refined midsize family sedan, with a roomy interior that's comfortable for four and can accommodate five. Its classic styling emulates high-end luxury cars, and it offers interior features and details well above its budget price.
Interior accommodations in the Sonata are comfortable, with detailing and workmanship above what's expected in this price range. The Sonata is easy to drive, with well-designed controls that are easy to reach and operate. The styling is distinctive, sleek and rounded with rich-looking details.
The Sonata cruises comfortably, even at highway speeds. Both the four-cylinder and V6 versions are pleasant to drive, with good handling and responsive steering. The V6-powered Sonata GLS and LX are more than competent for city and highway driving.
Overall, the Hyundai Sonata offers a strong value among midsize sedans. That's particularly true when you factor in Sonata's impressive warranty, with bumper-to-bumper coverage for five years/60,000 miles and 24-hour roadside assistance for a five full years. Hyundai's warranty includes limited powertrain coverage for 10 years/100,000 miles and corrosion coverage for five years/100,000 miles. Even if the car is pre-owned, Hyundai still backs the Sonata's powertrain for five years or 60,000 miles.
Three models are available: Sonata GL ($15,999); Sonata GLS ($18,779); and Sonata LX ($19,799).
The base Hyundai Sonata GL 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, and anti-lock brakes are available ($595).
The Sonata GL is also available with Hyundai's 2.7-liter V6 engine and four-speed Shiftronic automatic transmission ($17,649). In addition to the base model's trim features, the V6 GL has a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and carpeted floor mats. This model can be ordered with a power tilt-and-slide glass sunroof ($750), or sunroof and anti-lock brakes as a package ($1,345).
Sonata GLS is a V6 model with a higher level of interior trim. It's 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. Front-seat side air bags are an added safety feature.
Sonata LX is the luxury model, and comes with all of the GLS features plus leather seating surfaces, automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver's seat, plus electrochromic inside rearview mirror with Homelink remote transmitter.
GLS and LX can be ordered with anti-lock brakes ($595). The power tilt-and-slide sunroof is available as a separate option ($750). Traction control is available, but only as a package with the sunroof and anti-lock brakes ($1,445).