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2003 Sonata

Overall rating:  Product Rating: 4.0

Reviewed by 22 users

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Reviews written: 1
View all reviews by justjfer




Doesn't hold up cosmetically


by justjfer:      May 26, 2007 - Updated May 30, 2007


Product Rating: 2.0 Recommended: No 

Pros: Cheapest V-6 out there and 5 year bumper to bumper warranty
Cons: They really cut corners on cosmetic parts of the car
The Bottom Line: Cosmetically inferior car that doesnt hold up


I was soooooo pleased when I initially got this car. The 2003 model has similar stylings to the Jaguar and I felt it was such a good deal at the time.
Four and a half years later, I am about to put it up for sale as I don't want to be caught holding this car when the 5 year warranty runs out. I know alot of people are shaking their heads saying at least its not major components, but EVERY 2500 miles, about the time for the next oil change, this car has something else broken on it. The nearest dealerships to my house are 20 miles in opposite directions and it becomes a huge PIA to have to take it in every three months for a half to full day of repairs, cosmetic or otherwise. A list of repairs over the last 4 1/2 years:
All 4 tires had to be replaced at 30,000 miles. They were going flat alot but the tire places were saying no leaks could be found. The tires that came with the car were supposedly $120.00 each but I replaced all four at Wal Mart for $55.00 each and have never had another peep out of them.
The battery was toast at 33,000 miles.
The front passenger headlight goes out EVERY January without fail. Car parts guy says the right side of the car takes more shocks and can make the light go out more frequently. Uh-huh. Had the same car for 9 years, light never went out once. I got fed up the last time and replaced it myself with autoparts store refill. A friend put it in and somehow lost the clip that holds light bulb steady and now Hyundai claims anything else to that part has no warranty because it wasnt done by Hyundai. If I had never mentioned that I replaced it last time, they would have never known but "smarmy guy" Hyundai service manager made it a point to be a complete jerk about this probable 59 cent part. Good call man, cause that 59 cents just lost you a customer for LIFE!
Door handle paint has peeled of on all 4 handles. I am the only one who uses the car consistently, no husband or children, yet all four of them peeled. Not just the handle but the entire chassis that is inserted into the door. Of course I took it in for repair at 3 years, 2 months and was told paint is only covered for three years. Right. $250.00 out of my own pocket to get repaired at Carsmetics paint repair place.
Windshield wiper arms and plastic wheel covers have all peeled and were replaced at about 20,000 miles and now at 42,000 miles are peeling again. Service guy says it's the automatic car washes. Again, I had the same Chevy Lumina for 9 years in the brutal Texas summers, took it to the car wash EVERY week and NOTHING EVER PEELED FROM THAT CAR.
The wheel part underneath the plastic wheel covers are basically plain old iron but is exposed through the decorative holes on the wheel covers. They started to rust at about 20,000 miles. I was told that it was surface rust and was not covered under warranty. No matter how much I scrubbed with a wire brush and rust remover I could not get all the rust off. They wanted $60.00 a wheel to take care it but I refused. I bought "stops rust" spray for iron, black glossy spray paint for over that, then a glossy sealant spray for over that and then put the covers back on and NOW they look sharp. Of course, now that I want to sell it I can see a spot that has come off and started to rust again. Nice.
The lighter got stuck alot and the whole housing would practically come out when you tried to pull on it. They freed it for me once. Picked up the car, hit the lighter button, cruising down the road.....lighter shoots out of housing into back seat like a hot projectile missile. Thank God it didnt land on the seat, somehow landed on the floor. It did this enough that I took it in but they "could not replicate" it, therefore it doesnt exist in the universe, only a parallel one! It did stop doing this, but you can't pull the lighter out without pulling the whole housing out 3/4 of the way, but Hyundai thinks that is completely acceptable and wont replace it.
The gas pedal sticks at take off....they want $55.95 to do something to it yet warranty is still in effect. I spray it myself with WD-40 but it doesnt last.
There is more but i cant remember it all, just blurs together after 4 and a half years.
Currently the front drivers side headlight cover has broken it seal and water and condensation collects underneath. Part is on national back order for 4 to 5 weeks.
And I wait.
Meanwhile, I am looking for the number to place that "for sale" car ad.........

Addendum to above:
I wrote this review about 5-6 days ago but last night outside a restaurant, a woman passing me in the parking lot said, "I have a car just like yours". I looked over and it was an exact replica....2003, silver, base model V-6. We chatted briefly about problems with the car. She had the exact same peeling problem with her door handles and her headlights go out every year...both of them. If I didnt have someone waiting in the car and had ALOT of time, I would have chatted longer about ALL the problems I have had to see if anymore od hers, were just like what I had experienced. It is nice to know that its not just me and the car IS a piece of you know what!



Amount Paid (US$): 16,000.00
Condition: New
Model Year: 2003
Model and Options: base model with V-6
Product Rating: 2.0
Recommended: No 
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