2008 Chicago Auto Show: 2009 Hyundai Sonata
- Competes with: Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, Honda Accord
- Looks like: Last year’s Sonata with a slightly altered exterior, and totally new interior
- Drivetrain: 175 hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder with five-speed manual or automatic transmission, 249 hp 3.3-liter V-6 with five-speed automatic transmission
- Hits dealerships: February 2008
The 2009 Hyundai Sonata may not look much different from the outside, but inside, the cabin gets a radical reworking that classes up a solid underachiever in the competitive midsize sedan segment even though like the new Accord, the Sonata is classified as a large sedan because of interior volume. Both four-cylinder and V-6 models get bumps in power and fuel economy, making the Sonata the most efficient car amongst its chief rivals, even if by a single mpg.
The four- and six-cylinder engines get a boost of 13 and 15 hp, respectively, and are now rated at 21/32 mpg and 19/29 mpg respectively. The V-6 comes with a standard five-speed automatic with a manual mode, unlike the new Accord.
The front end gets a new grille and bumpers to give it a deeper look vertically, but the most welcome change comes inside where the dash, center console and other materials borrow from the more upscale Hyundai Veracruz. It’s a big step up.
There are still three trim levels, GLS, SE and Limited and all three have standard stability control, tire-pressure monitoring system, active front head restraints and six airbags as well as standard cruise control and heated side mirrors. One new standard is a USB/iPod auxiliary input across the line-up. A navigation system will be offered as an option for the first time.
Again, Hyundai aims at value over flash and delivers a lot in the new Sonata. Check out more photos below, including comparisons of the old and new interiors.