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2006 Sonata

Overall rating:  Product Rating: 4.5

Reviewed by 41 users

Build Quality
Seat Comfort:

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Reviews written: 14
View all reviews by msiseng

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

by msiseng:      Jul 13, 2006

Product Rating: 2.0 Recommended: No 

Pros: Price, acceleration off the line, nice paint color selection.
Cons: Poorly built, plant shifted to Alabama this year, cheap plastic.
The Bottom Line: I would not buy this new model year ('06) until Hyundai can work-out the build issues in '07.

Preface: I had a brand new loaded V6 Sonata as an Avis rental car for five days. I also have a Honda Accord which competes with the Sonata. My wife has the new 㤏 Camry which also competes with the Sonata. I really wanted to like this car because it is cheap and can make Honda and Toyota better with competition.

The Good:

• Price
• Acceleration off the line is better than the Accord V6.; Far worse than the Camry.
• Roomy trunk space.
• Fits four to five comfortably.
• Seats not as bad as I anticipated, but not as for back support as the Accord.
• Interior controls are easy to reach.
• Styling is better than the Blank Honda or the new Camry.
• The tires are Michelin High Energy and handle very well.
• The suspension when not broken acts a little like a tight sports car.
• Not a lot of road noise as with the Accord

The Bad:

• Acceleration is not great at full throttle – one needs to mash the pedal hard to pass other cars
• The manual shifter is jagged (much like a Jaguar) and it is hard to shift the car from park, reverse or into drive
• The seat adjustments are only 6-way instead of 8-way.
• The interior is made of cheap plastic.
• Not as much interior storage pockets as the Accord or Camry.
• The interior rattles everywhere. Not good for a new car.
• The radio sounds fine, but you must do a lot of things manually.
• The Temperature controls are not dual and you have to turn a dial to change them. You cannot tell the interior temperature like with the Honda or the Toyota.
• Fit and finish needs a lot of work. The interior plastic is mis-aligned. Exterior shows that the hood does not match the body well.

The Ugly:

• The brand new Sonata with 10 miles on the odometer wobbled on the road.
• The axel came loose causing me to stop for an expensive repair that Avis eventually agreed to pay. Avis Roadside Service met me at the shop.
• The muffler was missing some hanging/hinge hooks and was soldered incorrectly. This again was an expensive repair as there was no Hyundai dealer for 75 miles.
• The CD player did not work. It ate my CD.
• The trunk was fully closed and leaked water in a bad rainstorm causing me to lose all my business clothes on the trip. Avis customer service said it is having a lot of issues with this.
• It appears quality became ugly when Hyundai moved to Alabama.

Bottom Line:

This is a new model year '06 and the '05 Sonata models with the old styling were far superior. My friend has one and states it has zero defects; however, upon inspection, fit and finish are also askew. Hyundai needs to work out the kinks in '07. For this reason I would recommend purchasing a Honda which is on the third year of its' 6th iteration. No issues with the Honda, just old styling. I would not purchase a Toyota Camry as this is the first year of the new model and they are riddled with transmission problems. I would wait for '07 so Hyundai has time to fix the issues. Hyundai has a lot of work before they try to compete with the big kids at Honda and Toyota.

Product Rating: 2.0
Recommended: No 

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