The Hyundai Sonata just keeps getting better and better, and the 2009 definitely continues the trend. With its spacious and well-made interior, smooth and compliant ride, ample cabin and trunk space, long feature list, and impressive safety ratings, the 2009 Sonata may well deserve a place on your short list.
Even Edmunds.com says, "In fact, not only has the updated Sonata caught up to the mighty Camry, it's driven past it."
In addition to some slight exterior changes, new for the 2009 model year is an all new interior, making it one of the most upscale interiors in the midsize sedan segment. There's also been a boost in the Sonata's power for both four and six-cylinder engines, while improving gas mileage ratings at the same time. Also new is a retuned automatic transmission that has produced an even smoother shift and ride quality.
The already long list of standard features adds an auxilliary audio jack on all models, while the Limited model adds heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control and an optional navigation system.
The 2009 Sonata is available in three trims: GLS, SE and Limited.
Standard Features And Options:
Standard features on GLS models include 16 inch steel wheels, full power accessories, cruise control, keyless entry, air conditioning, heated sideview mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob (on the V6 only), a tilt steering column, and a six-speaker stereo with CD/MP3 player, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack. Available as options are an eight-way power driver seat, a sunroof, a trip computer and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls.
The SE model comes with all of the above except the sunroof, and adds 17 inch alloy wheels, performance tires, a tilt and telescoping steering column and a combination leather/cloth upholstery. Available optional features include the sunroof, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a universal garage door opener and an upgraded stereo with a 6-disc CD changer and subwoofer.
The Sonata Limited model adds to all of the above features with 17 inch alloy wheels with all-season tires, two-level heated front seats, full leather upholstery, chrome exterior trim, wood-grain interior trim, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a premium Infinity sound system. Also available is an optional touchscreen navigation system.
Engines, Powertrain And Gas Mileage:
The standard engine powering all Sonatas is a 2.4 liter four-cylinder engine that produces 175 horsepower and 168 pound-feet of torque. It's mated with a five-speed manual transmission as standard on GLS and SE models with the four-cylinder, while a five-speed automatic transmission is standard on the Limited (optional on the other trims).
Also optional on all models is a 3.3 liter V6 engine that delivers 249 horsepower and 229 lb-ft of torque. This engine comes with the five-speed automatic only.
The EPA estimated gas mileage is quite good for the family sedan segment, coming in at 22 mpg city and 32 mpg highway on the four cylinder, and 19 mpg city and 29 mpg on the highway for the V6.
Safety is a high priority on the Sonata and standard safety features on all models include antilock brakes (ABS), stability control, traction control, front seat side-impact airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints.
In government crash tests, the Sonata earned the highest possible scores in all tests, scoring a perfect five out of five stars in all frontal and side-impact tests for both the driver and passengers.
The cabin of the Sonata is attractive and user-friendly, consisting of both high material and build quality. The Limited's interior is particularly upscale and is likely the most elegant of any vehicle priced at less than $25,000.
While front seat roominess is ample, passengers will appreciate the especially spacious backseat. Trunk space is also best-in-class, coming in at 16.3 cubic feet. When it comes to interior space and feature quality, it's just plain hard to top the Sonata.
The Sonata has been purposefully engineered to prioritize ride comfort over performance handling. It's not going to impress with its corner-carving, but it will with its smooth and comfortable drive. And it's particularly cushy on the highway. Adept at absorbing both road bumps and exterior noise, it provides a comfortable and enjoyable driving experience.