2008 Hyundai Sonata

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20 CITY / 29 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability


What Changed for 2008:
  • 4-cylinder engine now available on SE and Limited models

  • V-6 engine now available on GLS model

  • XM radio standard on all models

  • New transmission

  • SE model gets standard power driver's seat, performance tires, decklid spoiler

  • Upgraded stereo and aluminum body side molding standard on Limited

  • GLS and SE get improved seat cloth
For the 2006 model year, Hyundai redesigned the Sonata front-wheel-drive midsize sedan, making a full-court-press to take on the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Nissan Altima. Hyundai enhanced the model in 2007 with lower prices and more equipment. But 2008 brings a host of further changes, the most significant of which is the availability of both 4- and 6-cylinder engines in all models, as opposed to the automaker's previous strategy of offering top-of-the-line cars exclusively with a V-6 engine.

Model Lineup
The 2008 Hyundai Sonata is available in GLS, SE and Limited models. The GLS comes standard with power windows, locks and heated mirrors; a stereo with CD/MP3 player and XM satellite radio; leather-wrapped steering wheel; cruise control; and air conditioning with a cabin filtration system. A Popular Equipment package adds automatic headlights, power driver seat, steering wheel audio controls, metal and wood interior accents, and chrome trim. The sport-oriented SE model adds most of the equipment in the GLS Popular Equipment package plus 17-inch alloy wheels with performance tires, fog lights, and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter. The Premium package adds a 6-disc CD changer, sunroof, trip computer, auto-dimming rearview mirror with integrated compass, and HomeLink.

The top-of-the-line Sonata Limited is distinguished by a new aluminum body side molding, chrome door handles, and a chrome center bar on the grille. Additional features include leather seats, automatic climate control, Infiniti stereo, and heated front seats; a power sunroof is optional.

For 2008, all models of the Hyundai Sonata are available with either a 4-cylinder or V-6 engine. The 4-cylinder engine is a 2.4-liter unit that produces 162 hp at 5800 rpm and 164 lb.-ft. of torque at 4250 rpm. EPA fuel economy estimates are 21 mpg city/31 mpg highway with the 5-speed automatic, 21 mpg city/30 mpg highway with the optional 4-speed automatic. The 3.3-liter V-6 engine, which produces 234 hp at 6000 rpm and 226 lb.-ft. of torque at 3500 rpm, is available exclusively with a 5-speed automatic transmission. EPA fuel economy estimates are 19 mpg city/28 mpg highway.

The 2008 Hyundai Sonata comes equipped with a full complement of safety features, including front air bags, front-seat-mounted side air bags, 2-row side curtain air bags, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, and a tire-pressure-monitoring system, all standard. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash tests, the Sonata earned a perfect 5-star rating for both front and side crashes and a 4-star rating for rollover. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash tests, the Sonata scored \"Good\" (the highest mark) for the frontal test but only \"Acceptable\" (second-highest) for the side-impact test.

With buyers ever more mindful of fuel economy, Hyundai has widely broadened the availability of the Sonata's 4-cylinder engine. Once available only in the base model, the 4-cylinder engine is now available in all Sonatas. It features a continuously variable valve timing system to broaden the torque range, as well as hydraulic mounts and twin balance shafts for smooth running, according to the maker. The engine meets Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) standards, and fuel economy with the automatic transmission is identical to the manual in the city and only 1 mpg less on the highway.

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