My review of the ‘09 Hyundai Sonata.
*None of these pictures are mine, because I never took a picture of it.
Hyundai wanted me to drive their car so bad, they caused Hurrican Harvey to happen so I’d have to drive it to Houston for one of my mom’s acquaintance’s to use, since her car was totaled. And yes, Hyundai is basically the illuminati, or as they’re known in Texas, the “12th man foundation.”
Now with that out of the way. This one was a 4 cylinder with an automatic transmission (to lazy to do any research, but I’ll say it was the only avalible one.) Which makes approximately 147 donkey power and 12 cubit-stones of torque.
Also I’ll be making many comparisons to my mom’s ‘08 Camry, because I can.
Not bad. The seats are acceptable, but no power seats (something the Camry has.) The armrests are padded and acceptable. It has an aux jack and 12V power thing. The steering wheel’s a little to thin for my taste, but it’s a commuter car after all.
You also get the fairly lovely two tone as you see above. Which is nice, compared to the usually monotone colored interiors of most 2000s cars. Most of the lighting is blue, which looks pretty good at night. Also no touchscreens, HVAC controls are your typical 3 knob setup. Nothing crazy overall.
It has cruise control, A/C, the aux jack I mentioned, and..... that’s pretty much it. (that I know of.)
Powertrain- Like many other auto 4 bangers I’ve driven. How close the transmission lets the engine get to redline is directly proportional to how far down you press the gas pedal. Overall it has adequate power. Get into the pedal and the engine will rev out letting you accelerate enough to turn onto a busy road, accelerate on a short highway on ramp, etc. Nothing to write home about positively or negatively.
Brakes- The brakes on this are very progressive. If you want to stop quickly you really have to get into the pedal. The first quarter of brake travel is equivalent in force to downshifting from 4th to 3rd in a manual. Good for when you realized your going 5-10mph over the speed limit, but not much else. How do they hold up to heat/fade? LOL I never drove it that hard for reasons I’ll explain later.
Steering- I was surprised to learn that it is indeed hydraulic powersteering, not electronic.
But first a clarification from Car and Driver.
This is what I’m normally referring to when I say “steering feel.” A lot of time people mistake steering feel for being able to feel the road through the wheel. Although a desirable attribute, to an extent, this isn’t the steering feel that lets you know how close the front wheels are to “the limit” (as you surpass the limit the steering gets lighter.)
Anyhoo. The steering feel in the Hyundai is nearly always constant. Low effort, which isn’t something to complain about in a commuter, but the steering never weights up during cornering. Well it does a little, but by then you’re right at the speeds were you stop trusting a FWD 4 door sedan that was never intended to be driven aggressively.
My biggest gripe with this is that the ‘08 Toyota Camry has MUCH better steering feel. It’s actually not all that bad for what it is. It’s perfectly fine and comfortable for the normal driver, but if your looking for it, you can find it. The Hyundai on the other hand just has the same constant weight until you’re going a relatively outrageous speed. What more do I have to say than a freaking Toyota Camry is sportier!?
After some admittedly not very conclusive googling. It appears to be a multi-link rear and a strut based front suspension.
As far as comfort/ride. It actually seems more upset by larger bumps and dips than my Integra, which I found odd. But handles smaller and gentler imperfections much, much better. As to be expected.
Another peculiar thing about the suspension. Is that there was no were near as much body roll as I expected. It actually held pretty flat even during aggressive cornering, which I wasn’t expecting at all. I’m not sure why the engineers though this was necessary or how they did it. Although it doesn’t really improve any potential sporting (tehe, I like that word. It make me feel like an old school R&T writer.) ability. Since the both the steering and chassis are pretty numb to what’s going on at the wheels.
Final Opinion- It out “Camrys” an actual Camry. If you want a reliable 4 door sedan to get you from point A to B. This’ll do just fine. However, if you want some fun out of it.... get a Camry. It has better suspension, steering feel, and something I didn’t mention earlier. Electronically adjustable seats that let you lower the seat and that actually goes a long way in making the car more fun to drive, compared to the Hyundai’s relatively high seating (compared to the lowest on the Camry.) The powertrains for the two might as well be identical, both let you rev the engine out if you mash your foot down and they get decent economy too.
The only thing I can give the Sonata an edge over the Camry in is interior. It’s nice having multiple colors instead of nothing, but greeeeeeeeeeeey or BLAAAAAAAAACK. But if I had to choose for myself or any Jalop, I’d choose the Camry.
“Toyota Camry, the Jalop’s choice” -DC3 LS