Best Bet
  • (4.5) 49 reviews
  • Available Prices: $2,427–$9,235
  • Body Style: Sedan
  • Combined MPG: 23-26
  • Engine: 162-hp, 2.4-liter I-4 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission: 4-speed automatic w/OD and auto-manual
2008 Hyundai Sonata

Our Take on the Latest Model 2008 Hyundai Sonata

What We Don't Like

  • Steering wheel doesn't telescope in base models
  • Just one setting on seat-heater option
  • High backseat floor hump
  • Top trim level not as luxurious as some competitors
  • So-so side-impact crash test scores

Notable Features

  • Standard stability system
  • Six airbags standard
  • Standard active head restraints
  • Standard antilock disc brakes
  • Optional 3.3-liter V-6

2008 Hyundai Sonata Reviews

Vehicle Overview
The Hyundai Sonata now offers a four-cylinder or V-6 with any trim level; last year the engine choices were restricted by which trim level you chose. At any trim, the Sonata offers a litany of safety and convenience features at an affordable price, something that's made it the value choice against popular midsize sedans like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.

First seen at the 2004 Paris Motor Show, the redesigned Sonata sedan made its U.S. debut several months later at the 2005 Detroit auto show. The fourth-generation Sonata, Hyundai's first American-made product, is manufactured at a plant in Montgomery, Ala.

Trim levels include the GLS, SE and top-of-the-line Limited. All are now available with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder or 3.3-liter V-6; the SE and Limited have a few more bells and whistles that used to be optional.


Exterior
Larger than its predecessor, this redesigned Sonata was 2 inches longer and 2 inches taller. The car's wheelbase is an inch longer than before.

The Sonata's design cues include a concave hood dome and distinctive rear-door cut lines. Jeweled projector headlights sit up front, and chrome-tipped dual exhausts are installed with the V-6 engine. The horizontal taillights look a lot like those on the previous-generation Honda Accord.

Built on a 107.4-inch wheelbase, the redesigned Sonata is 188.9 inches long overall, 72 inches wide and 58 inches tall. All spot-welds are done automatically, and the car is painted with 18 robotic sprayers. Standard wheels measure 16 inches in diameter, but Limited and SE sedans roll on 17-inch tires.


Interior
The Sonata has recessed rear head restraints and can seat up to five occupants. A 60/40-split folding rear seat is installed. Greater distance between the driver and windshield pillar enhances the sensation of roominess, and Hyundai says there's more space between the seat cushion and headliner for easier entry and exit.

Cargo volume totals 16.3 cubic feet. It's maximized thanks to strut assists that open the trunk from the sides, as opposed to the arm-style hinges many competitors use, which encroach on luggage space when shut.

A tilting steering wheel is standard, and the SE and Limited add a telescoping feature. All trims get a CD/MP3 audio system with XM Satellite Radio. The Limited adds a six-CD changer and premium sound. Steering-wheel audio controls are included in SE and Limited models.

Standard equipment includes keyless entry with an alarm, power windows, heated mirrors, air conditioning and cruise control.

Top-end features in the Limited include leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, a power driver's seat, automatic climate control, an electrochromatic auto-dimming mirror and a sliding center armrest. A moonroof is optional. Some luxury features available in competing vehicles, like dual-zone climate control and a power passenger seat, are unavailable on the Sonata.


Under the Hood
The Sonata's 2.4-liter four-cylinder produces 162 horsepower, versus 235 hp for the available 3.3-liter V-6. Both engines get an Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle rating.

A five-speed manual gearbox is standard in GLS and SE models, and a four-speed Shiftronic automatic with a manual-shift provision is optional. A new five-speed Shiftronic automatic couples with V-6 engines. Hyundai says a V-6-equipped Sonata can accelerate from zero to 62 mph in 7.7 seconds.


Safety
Side-impact airbags for the front seats, side curtain airbags, active front head restraints, traction control and an electronic stability system are standard. Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes incorporate electronic brake-force distribution. All seating positions have three-point seat belts.

Driving Impressions
The Sonata has long been a sensible family sedan, and it still is. The redesigned model, however, didn't make a dramatic leap forward.

The stylish Sonata is easy — even enjoyable — to drive. It is light on its feet and fairly maneuverable.

When equipped with the quiet-running V-6, the four-door performs with a fair degree of energy, and it does so in a rather refined way. Though smooth on good roads, the ride gets quite bumpy on rough pavement.

Visibility is great, courtesy of big mirrors and abundant glass. The gauges are ordinary but amply sized for legibility. The controls are logical and within easy reach, and front occupants enjoy good seat support. Cushioning may be a tad short for full comfort, but thigh support is excellent. There's ample headroom, legroom and elbowroom in front.

Entry and exit is especially easy. The center rear seat is passable, and the outer rear spots are quite roomy, but their cushions are slightly hard. The Sonata's trunk has a low liftover height and a large opening.


Consumer Reviews

(4.5)

Average based on 49 reviews

Write a Review

Very comfortable

by Dcollins from Boardman Ohio on November 30, 2017

When I first saw the car i didn’t think it would be that comfortable until I got to sit in it and drive it. It drive good clean car

Read All Consumer Reviews

6 Trims Available

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Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2008 Hyundai Sonata trim comparison will help you decide.
 

Hyundai Sonata Articles

2008 Hyundai Sonata Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

Recalls

There are currently 6 recalls for this car.


Safety defects and recalls are relatively common. Stay informed and know what to do ahead of time.

Safety defects and recalls explained

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $4,100 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

Bumper-to-Bumper

60mo/60,000mi

Powertrain

120mo/100,000mi

Roadside Assistance Coverage

60mo/unlimited

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained

Bumper-to-Bumper

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

Powertrain

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years