2008 Hyundai Sonata

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2008 Hyundai Sonata Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 Hyundai Sonata was new.

The Sonata delivers class-leading safety features, decent fuel economy, reasonable handling, and an incredibly spacious interior, but it can't match the more sporting performance and bold exterior body-styling of many others in its class.

Pros & Cons

  • Extremely spacious interior for its class
  • Many typically optional comfort and convenience features come standard at an affordable price
  • Class-leading list of standard safety features
  • Top-notch powertrain and new vehicle warranties
  • Four-cylinder is seen as sluggish by some
  • Poor road feel, especially compared with the leading vehicles in its class
  • Bland, uninspired exterior styling
  • Has yet to achieve the "solid" feel of top European and Asian competitors

Research & Ratings

Currently, the Hyundai Sonata has a score of 8.4 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 63 pieces of research and data.




Critics' Rating: 8.8
Performance: 7.5
Interior: 7.8
Safety: 9.7
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2008 Hyundai Sonata Overview

The 2008 Hyundai Sonata offers adequate power and handling, generous cabin space, many standard safety features, and a warranty that is generally seen as leading its class. Nevertheless, its bland look, combined with somewhat poor road-feel and a hesitating transmission prevents auto writers from declaring the sedan ideal. Still, reviewers are, on balance, impressed. When the Sonata was redesigned in 2006, many reviews echoed the Detroit News words, "With the Sonata, the Koreans are no longer just keeping up with the competition and producing 'me, too' kind of cars. They are elbowing their way to the head of the pack."

The Sonata proceeded to 2008 relatively unchanged. The sedan is still available in three trims -- the base GLS, the performance-tuned SE and the Limited. The 2009 Hyundai Sonata is now available with an extensive refresh, including more engine power, better gas mileage and more room in the cabin. If you're in the market for an affordable midsize sedan, also consider the Honda Accord or Toyota Camry.

  • "Sonata comes close to the refinement of competitive models from Toyota, Nissan, and Ford, while offering more room for less money." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "It's no longer embarrassing to own a Hyundai." -- U.S. News
  • "After years of diligence towards improving quality and attempting to produce a good product at an affordable price, Detroit and the Godzillas of the Pacific Rim are now seriously threatened by the Korean invasion. Sonata attacks!" -- BusinessWeek
  • "The Sonata is a great all-around value, full of standard luxury and safety features that only exist as options on other mid-priced sedans." -- Car and Driver
  • "If you want one of the finest mass-market midsize sedans on the market, swallow your foolish pride and consider the Sonata." -- Fort Worth Star-Telegram

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