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2009 Hyundai SonataI'm in Las Vegas, NV, today, and I just drove by a gas station where regular was $3.31 a gallon. I haven't seen numbers that low in ages! Even back home in LA, regular is under $3.60, and it looks like prices will fall further. Not that any of this matters, because as the economy continues to implode, none of us can afford new cars.

Enter Hyundai and their Sonata, which gets a round of updates for 2009. The Sonata's always offered a lot of car for the money -- but is this a car you'd actually want to live with on a day-to-day basis? Check out my 2009 Hyundai Sonata test drive and review, and decide for yourself. -- Aaron Gold

Photo © Aaron Gold

Comments
October 7, 2008 at 3:13 am
(1) Johnster says:

You’ve compared it to the Camry, Altima, Accord and Mazda 6. How does it compare against the Malibu, Fusion and Sebring?

October 7, 2008 at 10:12 am
(2) George says:

As a 2009 Sonata owner, I think your review is right on – but the rating is a bit low – I would have expected 3 1/2 to 4 stars. Yeah, the car isn’t as exciting to drive as a Mazda6 or an Accord, but it is superior in several ways, including ride, safety features, warranty and (most important) overall value. I definitely liked it much better than the Fusion or Malibu, and the Accord was the only serious contender to it (I had 3 Accords previously). But I couldn’t see paying $4,500 more for a Honda nameplate. It’s not a perfect car, but it’s a darn good one, especially considering the price.

October 7, 2008 at 10:16 am
(3) Aaron Gold - Cars Guide says:

Johnster: Malibu is quieter, Fusion is better to drive, Sebring is worse to drive.

George: Thanks, but remember what the stars mean (click the “What do the…” link at the top of the article). Good as the Sonata is, I can’t say that it stands head and shoulders beyond its competition (hence 3 stars and not four),and as much as I liked the price, I didn’t really fall in love — hence no half-star.

October 7, 2008 at 8:06 pm
(4) sean says:

Hyundai sure has come a long way since the Excel (rebadged Mitsubishi) I drove when I was MUCH younger. Good times (I lived in Jax beach), bad car, but I guess they had to start somewhere.

October 8, 2008 at 12:01 pm
(5) hawaiian don says:

Sean, I feel your pain. Years ago I bought an Hyundai Pony(made the Excel look like brilliant engineering) up in Canada for my cousin. That car singularly showed me why the “road to hell is paved with good intentions”.

October 23, 2008 at 11:18 pm
(6) Taylor says:

I recently bought a 2009 V6 Limited and have been extremely happy with it. I didn’t get it expecting a car with sporty handling, I wanted more of the luxury feel… and haven’t been let down. Though, when I stomp the accelerator and take a turn, the car responds quickly and precisely. I think just a test drive doesn’t allow you adequate freedom to get a true feel of it. (Unless, of course, you rent a car and drive it like your own. ;-) )

Comparing to the Sebring though, my mom’s Sebring is MUCH more sporty (handling, suspension, etc.), and at 50HP less it’s actually a little more responsive than my Sonata. But the Sonata is more gutsy than my Taurus (with the DOHC V6) and much more luxurious than either car.

Oddly, my Sonata is only averaging around 20MPG. I’ve been told though, prior to the first oil change the mileage will be a bit low.

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