The 2004 Hyundai Sonata is a comfortable midsize sedan that manages to stand out in a competitive market even though Hyundai isn't a particularly well-known marque in the U.S. It enjoys popularity amongst those looking for good value in a family sized car, backed up by an excellent warranty. The Sonata has been produced since 1989 and sells for an aggressive price. Over the years it has improved considerably, as earlier models seem poorly built and underpowered, and unfortunately this opinion of earlier models is justified.
The Sonata has long been known as a competitively priced sedan that offers a fairly comfortable ride despite its bland exterior. It includes a good number of standard features and provides a good choice for budget conscious families. It compares very favorably with competitors such as the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.
Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 2.4-liter four-cylinder, 2.7-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Hyundai Sonata, Hyundai Sonata GLS, Hyundai Sonata LX,
Hyundai Sonata V6
For 2004, no significant improvements or major changes have been made to the Hyundai Sonata.
The Sonata comes in three trim levels for 2004 which include the base, the GLS, and the more luxurious LX. The base and V6 models feature 15-inch steel wheels, and the upper-levels GLS and LX have alloy 16-inch wheels. Choosing the slightly more luxurious GLS model adds alloy wheels to this list and a chrome grille.
The interior has a nice layout and the dashboard incorporates easy-to-use and intuitively located controls. These include climate controls, a pen holder, and a leather shift knob on LX and GLS models. The base model features remote power door locks, power mirrors, cruise control, air-conditioning, a tilt-adjustable steering wheel, a passenger vanity mirror, and one-touch power windows standard.
Additional features on the GLS include a manually adjustable driver's seat with lumbar support, premium cloth seats, and bucket front seats. The top of the range LX model comes with leather seats, heated mirrors, climate control, and a better quality audio system with an in-dash single CD player.
Performance & Handling
Base models contain a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 138 hp and 147 lb-ft of torque. GLS and LX models come equipped with a 2.7-liter V-6 that produces 170 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. Base and GLS models come with a standard five-speed manual transmission, or they can be fitted with an automatic transmission which comes standard on the LX model and includes a Shiftronic auto manual feature. EPA fuel economy rates at 19/27 mpg city/highway or 23 mpg combined for the 2.4-liter model and 17/25 mpg city/highway or 20 mpg combined for the 2.7-liter model.
This car delivers a reasonably pleasant drive and has quite responsive steering, and it keeps body roll to a minimum while going around corners. Its adequate insulation minimizes road and wind noise, and overall it gives a smooth and comfortable ride. Hyundai has significantly improved the Sonata over the past few years, and it now serves as viable competitor against other sedans in this class. It comes well-equipped, has a good safety record, and is dependable and affordable, giving it an edge over the competition.
In short, it makes the perfect family car for urban driving. It has one huge advantage over its competitors: the company's warranty program, which virtually guarantees years of hassle-free driving and peace of mind knowing you won't be hit with any expensive repair bills. Most consumers rate their Hyundai Sonatas very highly, although higher mileage models out of warranty do tend to experience more problems as they age and sometimes prove expensive to fix.
Standard safety features include side airbags, a passenger-present airbag detection system, and seat belt pretensioners. ABS with traction control remains an optional extra. This model does realistically well in government crash tests, achieving four stars out of five stars across the board, apart from rollover tests where it achieves five stars. However, for side-impact testing it gets a ?poor? rating.
EPA Fuel Economy
Hyundai Sonata Base: 19/27 mpg city/highway
Hyundai Sonata GLS: 17/25 mpg city/highway
Hyundai Sonata LX: 17/25 mpg city/highway
Hyundai Sonata V6: 17/25 mpg city/highway
- Good value for family-oriented sedan
- Excellent warranty
- Comfortable highway ride
You Won't Like
- Inexpensive interior
- Noisy engine
Not as prestigious as other midsize sedans, but it offers solid performance, a long warranty, and many standard features.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Toyota Camry
- Honda Accord
- Dodge Charger
- Chevrolet Impala
- Hyundai Accent
- Buick LaCrosse