Hyundai Sonata

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Chris Shelly, Aug 26, 2003.

  1. Chris Shelly

    Chris Shelly Second Unit

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    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?
     
  2. Dean Cooper

    Dean Cooper Supporting Actor

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    It's a fantastic car, fun to drive and great value for the money. They also have a very good warranty on them. I say go for the GLS 5 speed manual and don't look back.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Chris Shelly

    Chris Shelly Second Unit

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    I am looking at a fully loaded LX with an automatic. I have always owned 5-Speeds but lately I have wanted an automatic more and more. Traffic here can be horrible. When using the shift gate option it was sort of like driving a manual.

    I will also look at the GLS as well. It might be just as loaded minus the leather and few other small details for a lot less.

    I did not mention the warrantee but it is very good as well.
     
  4. Dean Cooper

    Dean Cooper Supporting Actor

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    You really can't go wrong either way, the shift-tronic automatic gives you a lot more control over the shifting but you will pay for it in mileage. Actually the difference is very small
    2.7L 4-spd: 19/27
    2.7L 5-spd: 20/27

    Kicks the snot out of that thirsty mustang eh? [​IMG]

    Kia has a car that is very similar but expect the resell to be even worse.
     
  5. Marc_Sulinski

    Marc_Sulinski Supporting Actor

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    I would definitely go with a Hyundai over a Kia. Recently, on the Clark Howard show, there was a report about the reliability ratings of new cars, and Kia came in dead last. He listed the bottom four. I don't remember what they were, but Hyundai was not one of them.
     
  6. Marc_Sulinski

    Marc_Sulinski Supporting Actor

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  7. Chris Shelly

    Chris Shelly Second Unit

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    thanks for the info....

    I went out and test drove both the Sonata LX auto and the XG350. I must say I was very impressed with both cars. I thought the Sonata handled a little better but the XG350 had a better ride....take your pick.

    Since I am a budget minded person I will opt for the Sonata. The XG350 was a lot more expensive but worth it. Fit and finish was really good for a $26,000 car. The 3.5L engine had a lot of power.

    Only thing I need to work on now is pricing. For a fully loaded LX auto is $21,159 MSRP and $19,122 dealer cost. I figure I would offer them $19,622. Plus I have $1,000 equatity in my Mustang if they give me the full trade in value plus I will put $3,500 down. With the $1,000 rebate I should get a price of $14,122 plus TTL. Amount financed would be $15,564.74.

    Does this sound reasonable for a fully loaded Sonata EX?

    thanks
    Chris
     
  8. Chris Shelly

    Chris Shelly Second Unit

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    me again..

    I went back to the dealer so I can show a friend of mine. He was pleasantly surprised as well.

    I talked with the sales manager and my salesman briefly. I did my homework before and turned in a written offer. They wanted to talk about it but I told them to call me if they can sell me the car at this price. My homework proved worthy because the price I had offered was with in $10.00 of the www.edmunds.com True Market Value price. Unless they are selling lots of these I don't see why they could not do it.

    I think the real hang up is with my trade. It books at $11,800 trade-in value but they seem to be interested in giving me a lot less. My trade is in mint condition with 8,500 miles on it. Sure it is a P.O.S. but they don't know that.

    As a last resort they asked me what my current monthly payment is. They want to know so they can see what I am comfortable with. The pricing mentioned above would give me $35 less per month.

    They have my phone number so lets see if they bite.

    Chris
     
  9. Marc_Sulinski

    Marc_Sulinski Supporting Actor

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    I would advise against negotiating using a monthly payment. This is a way for the dealer to disguise the true cost of the car and interest rate. You should first negotiate the cost of the trade, then the car, and the monthly payment should follow from that.

    If you find that they will not give you what your trade is worth, you could try a place like Car Max. I am not sure if they have those in your area, but they will accept your trade even if you don't buy a car from them. This will give less room for your dealer to try to play with the numbers, as many will often give you more on the trade, but make up for it on the purchase price or the interest rate.

    You could also try a private sale if you want to get the most for your car. Since your car has so few miles, you have the added attraction of the manufacturer's warranty.
     
  10. Chris Shelly

    Chris Shelly Second Unit

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    I agree totally. I have made that mistake in the past. The monthly payment is the least of my concerns. If I get a good deal on trade and a good deal on the new car then I should naturally get a good monthly payment. Dealers like to play with the monthly payment so they can color the deal.

    Its funny....Just before I left they started the popularity game. They informed me that the car I was looking at was the last one in the state. They just sold one yesterday. I know better then that. Its a Hyundai not a Mercedes AMG.

    They have my proposal. If they want to sell me a car they will have to follow it. I am not that desperate.

    I would like to sell my car via private party but last time I did this I got stuck with 2 months worth of monthly payments. I prefer to trade even though I do rip myself doing so. Sadly we don't have any Car Max dealerships.
     
  11. Paul O

    Paul O Stunt Coordinator

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    I havent driven a Sonata but i did have an Elantra as a Rental and I was very impressed. The car was very solid, fit and finish was great, equipment and convenience items were included and the car sells for around 10-11K. Edmunds is also very high on hyundai saying that their quality has improved tremendously. I drive a 2001 Mercedes as an everyday car and i was really impressed with the hyundai.
     
  12. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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  13. Marc_Sulinski

    Marc_Sulinski Supporting Actor

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    I may be mistaken, but I do not think that Hyundai's super-long warranty is transferable upon resale, except to family members. Does anyone know for certain?

    Also, I wouldn't place so much emphasis on resale value if you plan on keeping the car for a long time (7+ years). If so, then resale meanins very little, since you are going to run the thing into the ground anyway.
     
  14. Steve Zatkoff

    Steve Zatkoff Stunt Coordinator

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    With a low resale value, you might want to think about what your insurance company will give you if that car is totaled sometime over the next couple of years. You may not get enough to cover the amount owed. Stick with a car that has a higher resale value like the Passat you mentioned. You won't go wrong with that car. I have a 2001.5 and it has been great.
     
  15. David Lawson

    David Lawson Screenwriter

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    My sister bought a used 2000 Tiburon, and the warranty was only partially transferrable. The warranty dropped from 10/100,000 new to 5/60,000 used, and she was within 10,000 miles of it expiring at the time of purchase.

    I'm not sure if this holds true across all Hyundai models, however. It definitely wouldn't apply to my '98 Tiburon, which only came with 5/60,000 when I bought it new. I'm almost 70,000 miles past that point now. [​IMG]
     
  16. Chris Shelly

    Chris Shelly Second Unit

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    My first try at a good deal ended in failure. So I will be looking for another dealership tomorrow.

    They were not willing to work the deal under my terms. All they were interested in is how much I was willing to pay per month.

    What I wanted to do is negoatiate my trade and then when that was finalized negoatiate the price of the new car. They wanted to match my current monthly payment and color the deal how they wanted. The kicker is with the $1,000 cash rebate and my $4,000 down payment I would have been taken to the cleaners if I kept my $319 car payment.

    The big hang up was with my trade. They were only interested in paying off my loan and not giving me the full trade-in value. For me this would cost me $2,102.
     
  17. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Why did you want to negotiate your trade-in before determining the purchase price of the new car? I've always heard you should determine the purchase price first, and then work on a possible trade-in.
     
  18. David Susilo

    David Susilo Screenwriter

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    I don't mean to mock, but if anybody thinks that a Sonata is a Jaguar, there must be something wrong with them (or they've never drove a Jaguar before). Don't get me wrong, I like the Sonata and it was one of the car I considered buying several months ago.

    Four things I can't stand from a Sonata:

    1. extremely low low-end torque even on the V6 model
    2. relatively low hp (even at higher rpm) on a V6 model
    3. the chintzy fake-wood paneling
    4. relatively thin body panel

    So for less money, same HP, much better low-end torque and more features (features I need, I might add), I bought a Jetta 1.8T instead.

    The price was Cdn $26,000 (about US$16,250) I purchased a better built car with much better fuel economy (600km on a 55 litre tank).

    Here are some aspects that I get in a Jetta but not in Sonata at an approximately the same price:

    8-speaker system (vs 6-speakers)
    decor-matched sound-system head-unit (vs Clarion add-on)
    5-speed Tiptronic (vs 4-speed)
    heated seats
    much thicker body panel
    much thicker paint coats
    standard 4-channel ABS (vs 2-channel optional ABS, which means more $$)
    traction control

    I don't know about the Sonata, but the Jetta's maintenance only requires oil change at every 8,000 km.
     
  19. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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  20. Chris Shelly

    Chris Shelly Second Unit

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    Well,

    It looks like I am going to wait this one out. I tried another Hyundai dealership. This was much better to work with but they had 2 deal breakers.

    First deal breaker was the fact that they did not have any 2003 LX Sonata's in the state. They have all been sold. They have several 2004 LX Sonata's in stock. The deal breaker is Hyundai is not currently offering any incentives on the 2004's. For me this would be no $1,000 rebate.

    The dealer was aware of this being an issue so they offered me the car at cost. They said because of volume they can sell a car at invoice and still make money from factory incentives. This can be true and they did indeed drop the price of the car to invoice.

    The other major deal breaker was with my trade. I have a 2002 Ford Mustang with low miles. 8,530 to be exact. It is also in mint condition. According to blue book and edmunds.com it has a $12,502 trade in value. All they were offering me was $10,500. They claimed that they are going for $9,500 to $10,000 at auction and everyone wants an automatic. They also claimed that the Ford dealer up the street had 2 Mustangs and they sat for 110 days before being sold. Also with the incentives being offered on the new cars it just destroys the resale value. This could be true because on my way home I heard a Ford commercial advertising up to $4,000 off Fords.

    At this point I don't see why I should jump. I went in thinking I would get $2,000 equity on my trade and a $1,000 cash rebate. I did not get either one. Plus I bet the 2004's will have a rebate very soon. Probably as soon as next month. The dealer claimed that the 2004 would not have as good of a rebate and probably not until January. I don't see this. These cars have had $1,000 rebates for the past 2 years. I am very surprised that the 2004 does not have it right now actually. Afterall the name of the game is to sell cars.

    If anyone has any advice I would gladly take it. I really liked the car but I just don't feel the deal is worth it at this time.
     

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