| 2006 Hyundai Sonata
Let’s face it. Hyundais don’t have a very sexy reputation. There
comes a point, though, when sexy is no longer a concern. The
question boils down to are they good cars. In my case, the
answer is yes.
I bought a 2006 Hyundai Sonata a year ago. Gas prices were
pushing $3 a gallon. My 2003 Buick Rendezvous never passed
a gas station it didn’t like. My new job required me to be on the
road several days a week. I needed to make a change.
Actually I probably never would have considered a Hyundai, had
I not rented one for a weekend down in Houston. The car I
rented drove smoothly, had plenty of room, and was easy on the
gas mileage. It got my interest.
I did some comparison shopping when I got back home and
discovered I could buy a Sonata for several thousand dollars
less than the comparable Honda or Toyota models. I put out a
couple of bids on the internet and decided to go for it.
The dealerships apparently had lots of six-cylinder Sonatas,
since those were the ones with the big rebates. I wanted the
four-cylinder for the fuel economy. I wound up picking a
midnight blue, four cylinder Sonata with automatic transmission,
air, and electric locks.
27,000 miles and one year later what can I say about it? The
thing has been absolutely reliable. Other than routine
maintenance, it hasn’t been in the shop. The gas mileage is
excellent, too. On last week’s business trip, I managed 27 mpg
in a combination of city and highway driving.
The sound system is adequate for my needs. The trunk space
is excellent, which makes it ideal for a “road warrior” like me
whose office is wherever his laptop takes him. It has a
comfortable ride and seats four full-grown adults with no
problems. You can squeeze in five, but the one in the middle of
the back will be a bit cramped.
Are there downsides? Well, it doesn’t exactly zip out into traffic,
especially with the air conditioner on. I guess that’s to be
expected for a four cylinder engine. There’s a body vibration
when braking, between fifty and twenty mph. Other than that, it’
s pretty much been a stress-free driving experience.
As the son of devoted Oldsmobile drivers, I find my Sonata more
than adequate. It’s big enough, comfortable enough, and
versatile enough to get the job done. It doesn’t break the bank
on cost, maintenance, or insurance. If you value reliability more
than sex appeal, it might be the car for you.
John Cunyus is a freelance writer working in North Texas
His work is available online at www.johncunyus.com
©2006, John G. Cunyus
All Rights Reserved.