Sonata Forums banner

1 - 2 of 2 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
374 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You can tell a lot about how we like a long-term vehicle by the number of miles we pile onto it over the year. Our 2006 Hyundai Sonata LX (“Steady as She Went,” Autoweek, Feb. 26, 2007) left our garage with a mere 13,241 miles on the odo, putting it fourth for the least miles logged on a long-term car in our history. Translation: We weren't thrilled with it.

Now we're bidding adieu to our 2011 Sonata SE 2.0T, which covered 27,227 miles for the year.

What changed? A lot. The swoopy sheetmetal, the stylish and well-built interior, the fresh engine lineup with a turbocharged four-cylinder replacing a V6 at the top of the range and the greatly improved suspension all help the latest-generation Sonata step into the big leagues. That means the Sonata is now com-fortably in the conversation with perennial midsize-sedan best sellers Toyota Camry and Honda Accord. That couldn't be said of the comparatively dull, unrefined predecessor.

Even after a year, we didn't tire of our Hyundai's phantom black metallic looks. “The exterior styling is quite nice. This is a good-looking car that you could recommend on looks alone,” one editor noted. The stand-out styling also was the topic of many parking-lot conversations with everyday folks inquiring about the car. They were almost shocked to learn that it was a Hyundai.

The eager 2.0-liter force-induced four-cylinder engine received endless praise for its refinement, no noticeable turbo lag and punch, with peak torque available between 1,750 rpm and 4,500 rpm. We also averaged 26.8 mpg for the year, to put it above the EPA combined rating of 26.1 mpg, note-worthy for a group of lead-footed automotive writers.

Our year wasn't without problems, though. During the third quarter, a turbo-charger temperature sensor failed, resulting in a three-night stay at the dealership waiting for a replacement to arrive.

The other unscheduled repair trip was to a glass shop after our front passenger window was smashed while parked in downtown Detroit with enticing items left in plain view.

Aside from those two setbacks, the Sonata soldiered on, tackling winter with ease thanks to a set of Michelin Pilot Alpin PA3 winter tires, and it was reliable, with its maintenance records kept up to date.

Speaking of maintenance, we had a difficult time remembering the service intervals for our 2.0T model. Hyundai recommended taking the car for its first maintenance at 3,000 miles, which was easy enough. But the following visits were to happen every 4,800 miles. We wondered in our third-quarter update (“Join the Choir,” Autoweek, Nov. 14, 2011) if a nice, round 5,000-mile break would be so hard to hit, and Hyundai kindly obliged. So to turbo Sonata owners out there, you're welcome for easier-to-remember service intervals.

Other quibbles that remained throughout the Sonata's stay involved the uncomfortable front bucket seats and the heavily weighted steering that we guess is supposed to play to our SE's stiffer, sportier suspension tuning. While we enjoy the improved cornering ability, the steering system seemed too heavy in the wide-reaching midsize sedan.

Those complaints aside, we consider our year with the Sonata SE 2.0T a success. After more than 27,000 miles, the interior held up well and was free of squeaks and rattles. The car still drives as solid and tight as the day it rolled into our fleet, which couldn't be said about our experience with the 2006 version. As we said, the latest Sonata is a legitimate midsize-sedan contender or, as one editor put it, “a winner in this category.”

Read more: Long Term Wrap Up: 2011 Hyundai Sonata SE 2.0T - Autoweek
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
"After more than 27,000 miles, the interior held up well and was free of squeaks and rattles. The car still drives as solid and tight as the day it rolled into our fleet, which couldn't be said about our experience with the 2006 version."

Must be nice. I just turned 28,000 miles on my 2011 Sonata, and it is an absolute rattle trap. The upper dash, door panels, rear parcel shelf, center console. All rattle/creak/squeak/vibrate. I have literally spent 100 hours of my own time trying to chase down all of the rattles in the interior of the car. There are dozens of pieces of foam, foam rubber, and felt discreetly tucked into various gaps throughout the car trying to keep things from squeaking, creaking, and rattling. I have also gone through an entire can of silicone spray in an attempt to quiet the constant creaking from the seams in the dash. Hyundai engineers would be embarrassed if they took my car on a 10 mile test loop and heard the racket.

I have started actively shopping for a replacement vehicle just for my own sanity. Two hours per day commuting in my Sonata has become a large source of frustration.
 
1 - 2 of 2 Posts
Top