The 2009 Hyundai Sonata sells primarily as a low-priced, but high-quality, family sedan. It has easily succeeded in that category and even starts to cross over into other major market groups such as recent college graduates, young adults, and young married couples. The competitors took the Sonata's popularity as a bit of a shock and decided to majorly redesign their midsize sedans in response. This process then led Hyundai to make prominent improvements to the 2009 Sonata. The 2009 Hyundai Sonata includes many key changes that put it back on top. The interior has been almost completely remodeled, and fuel economy stays steady even though the engine receives an increase in power.
Hyundai has worked incredibly hard over the past decade to be considered part of the big league of Asian car manufacturers. Both Honda and Toyota serve as company models for Hyundai, which really wants to succeed at offering an affordable and high-quality option in the United States. However, with the release of the upgraded Sonata in 2006, Hyundai made very clear that it did not need to work at breaking into the realm of the Japanese car giants. The new full-size Hyundai Sonata has truly taken the United States car-buying population by storm by becoming a huge competitor for other spacious, affordable, and easy-to-drive cars in the mid- to full-size categories.
Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 2.4-liter four-cylinder, 3.3-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed manual, five-speed automatic
Models: Hyundai Sonata GLS, Hyundai Sonata SE, Hyundai Sonata Limited
Since so many of the competitors tried to catch up with the newly designed Sonata in 2006, Hyundai had to use the 2009 Sonata model to show it was still in charge. The interior gets a massive makeover to make it better looking and more user-friendly. The materials within the interior cabin have also been improved to provide a more luxurious feel. Under the hood, both the four- and six-cylinder engines receive an influx of extra power while still keeping the fuel economy at the level of its predecessors.
The exterior of the 2009 Hyundai Sonata receives a slight makeover, including a few reshaped features that add to the appeal and overall look. The front fascia and chrome three-bar grille show restyles. Also, exterior lights have changed. The turn signal taillights are now red, and jewel-projector headlights come standard. The 2009 Sonata Limited model in particular receives a new 10-spoke wheel cover design to break away from the five-spoke design now exclusive to the SE model. Basically, increased style and a few new defining characteristics make the 2009 Hyundai Sonata stand out even more than its preceding models.
Since the exterior receives quite a few upgrades in appearance and functionality, it is only reasonable to assume that the interior cabin of the 2009 Hyundai Sonata gets the same treatment. The previous instrument panel and console design faced criticism as the major downfall of the fifth generation Sonata. Hyundai uses the 2009 Sonata to fix these complaints by completely redesigning the instrument panel and getting rid of the lop-sided design of the console.
The GLS base model features a standard package of air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, an adjustable steering column, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob for the V-6 engine option, and a 60/40-split rear seatback. The Sonata SE adds on a tilt/telescoping steering column, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, and a leather/cloth upholstery combination. The Limited model includes full leather upholstery, two-level heated front seats, a premium Infinity sound system, dual-zone automatic climate control, and the option of a touchscreen navigation system.
Performance & Handling
All 2009 Hyundai Sonata trim levels contain a standard 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 175 horsepower and 168 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual transmission pairs with the four-cylinder engine on the GLS and SE models while a five-speed automatic is standard on the Limited. All the 2009 Sonata models offer the option of a 3.3-liter V-6 engine that generates up to 249 horsepower and 229 lb-ft of torque. If choosing the V-6 engine, the five-speed automatic provides the only transmission option.
All 2009 Sonatas show concern for vehicle safety. They feature anti-lock brakes, stability control, traction control, and active front head restraints. Also, all models include front-seat side-impact airbags and full-length side curtain airbags.
EPA Fuel Economy
Hyundai Sonata, four-cylinder: 22/32 mpg city/highway
Hyundai Sonata, V-6: 19/29 mpg city/highway
- Stylish interior
- Spacious cabin and trunk
You Won't Like
- V-6 engine lacks power
- Numb steering
An affordable sedan with luxurious trims and great fuel economy.
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