I have been passively looking for a new car over the last month. My 2002 Ford Mustang has had a lot of issues and the dealers have not been real good about fixing it. The latest problem is the engine is pinging badly. No matter what octane I use. After visiting several dealers and having the plugs and wiring replaced along with the PCV valve I was finely told it was normal. I don't think so. I figure I might as well get rid of the car while it is still worth something. Also the razzle dazzle has worn off quickly and I now want a more practical car. I like the European makes but I am finding them very expensive. I have tried the VW Passat, Audi A4, Volvo S60, BMW 325 and just yesterday the Mercedes C240. I have also tried the Honda Accord and Nissan Altima and Maxima. I really don't care for the styling on the Japanese cars right now. Plus they seem just as expensive and very popular. When in Florida last week I rented a mid sized car and it was a 2003 Hyundai Sonata. At first I thought I had just rented a Jaguar but I saw the Hyundai logo on the front. I could not help but notice how good the fit and finish was on the car. Every body panel lined up perfectly. On the inside I did not see any cheap looking plastic. I also found the interior to be ergonomicly correct and loaded with features. On the road it was one of the best riding cars I have ever been in. It was smooth and totally quiet. Even at 100 mph. Handling was fairly predictable but not as good as the European labels. It can keep up with the best of them but it was just not as smooth in the turns. It also had one of them sport shifting automatics that I absolutely had a blast with. My next new car will definently have one of these. During my drive I never heard a single rattle in the car and I was not exactly easy on it. The rental had 14,800 miles on it. By far not old but if a car is going to be a rattle bucket they usually start showing up before the 10,000 mile mark...like my Mustang. Overall I thought it was pretty good car. I have heard that Hyundai had improved but I thought that they were no longer as cheap as they used to be. After researching prices this is actually not the case. You can get a Hyundai Sonata fully loaded and I do mean loaded for $15,000 less then the most basic versions of the cars above. The VW Passat being the exception. A nicely loaded Passat with the 1.8T can be found for $27,000. Everything else forget about it. Following the owner forums people seem to really enjoy them. Some people have reported minor problems and a few big ones but it is like that with any car. Resale values on the Hyundai is absolutely horrible and this is a major turn off. However just about every car on the road has a bad resale value now days. In my research the Sonata was only slightly worse then the average and some were even worse...like my Mustang. My Mustang was bought new 18 months ago for $19,300 and 2 weeks ago it was worth $13,000. I checked again last Friday and it dropped to $10,800...horrible. What do others think of the Hyundai Sonata?