Thursday, September 27, 2007

2008 Hyundai Sonata Review

The 2008 Hyundai Sonata comes in three trim levels, the base GLS, the SE, and the stylish, feature-rich Limited, all of which come with a choice of two engines. The standard configuration is a 162 horsepower, 2.4 liter four-cylinder engine while the optional upgrade, available on all three trims, is a 235 horsepower, 3.3 liter V-6. In previous model years, the V-6 was only available on upper-level trims. According to Hyundai, a Sonata with a V-6 engine can go from zero to 62 mph in under eight seconds.

The GLS and SE both come standard with a five-speed manual transmission, or an optional four-speed automatic with "Shiftronic" manual shifting. If a V-6 engine is chosen, the gearbox it's mated to is a five-speed "Shiftronic"-enabled automatic.

The 2008 Hyundai Sonata is both two inches taller, and two inches longer than last year's model, and has a wheelbase that is one inch longer than that of its predecessor. As well, it has jeweled projector-style head lights, and the dual exhausts on V-6 models are tipped with chrome. The standard wheels are 16 inches, but 17-inch wheels are available on SE and Limited models.

Inside the 2008 Sonata, there is seating for five, with a 60/40 split for the back seat, and a total of 16.3 feet of cargo volume. Distinctive features of this car include the side-opening trunk assists which don't take up valuable storage space inside.

Standard features include an XM radio/CD/MP3 player audio system and a tilting steering wheel, with the SE and Limited trims also including a six-disc CD changer, adding both telescoping functionality and audio controls to the steering column. While all trim levels come with an alarm, heated mirrors, cruise control, power windows, air conditioning, and a keyless entry system, leather upholstery and heated seats are options only available on the Limited version of the 2008 Hyundai Sonata, which also has a power drivers seat and a center arm rest that slides open. A moon roof is also available, as an optional feature.

The safety features on this year's Sonata include active head restraints and side-impact airbags for the front seats, and side curtain airbags as well. Four-wheel-disc anti-lock brakes are a standard feature, as are the stability and traction control systems.

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