The waterfall grille is formal but not pretentious. Therefore the ratings listed here also apply to early 2006 Optimas. The ignition switch is on the dash, more convenient than having it on the steering column. Overall, the Hyundai Sonata offers a strong value among mid-size sedans. The plush fabric on the seats is repeated in the door panels. The Sonata was again redesigned for 2006, but the Kia Optima remained unchanged for the early part of the 2006 model year 2006 cars manufactured before October 2005. Hyundai doesn't have the most powerful V6 among mid-size sedans, so the Sonata would probably lose a drag race to a Toyota Camry V6 or Honda Accord V6.
The Sonata's tires don't feel as connected as we'd like on a wet road. This pillar is required by federal standard to provide some protection for occupants' heads. The current Hyundai Sonata dates from the 1999 model year, and its structure just isn't as stiff as that of some bigger-name sedans that have been re-engineered since then. The Sonata's front seats are broad for maximum comfort, and lightly bolstered, making it easy to slide in and out. Summary The Hyundai Sonata is a handsome family sedan that sells for thousands of dollars less than comparably equipped, name-brand mid-size cars. Bosch antilock brakes and traction control are optional.
Window switches are conveniently mounted on the doors, but, alas, are not illuminated. Sonata cruises comfortably down the highway, even at elevated speeds. The Hyundai Sonata was redesigned for the 1999 model year, and the Kia Optima was introduced in the 2001 model year. Manufacturer Info Sources: 1-800-826-2277 -. Sonata's trunk volume is a decent 14. It lacks the response of the V6, particularly at lower revs.
It's expressive without being oppressive with graceful lines and rich details that one would expect on a more expensive automobile. The gauges are ordinary but easy to read. Restraints and dummy kinematics Dummy movement was well controlled. Headroom and legroom are sufficient for taller occupants. Driving the Sonata is convenient and hassle-free with well-designed controls located exactly where expected. G Important: Frontal crash test ratings should be compared only among vehicles of similar weight. Walkaround The Hyundai Sonata is handsome.
It's quite nice, and conservative in appearance. Side airbags front seat-mounted combination head and torso airbags Wheelbase 106 in. The interior is finished nicely and all controls are easy to operate. The transmission has a manual mode called Shiftronic that can give the driver more precise shifting control. Interior Features Climb into a Hyundai Sonata and you feel like you're sitting in a first-rate car. The bold headlight design is more than stylish. Head acceleration from the B-pillar hit was low.
Though ordinarily quiet, a touch of engine noise is present during acceleration. Slap the Shiftronic lever to the right and, once there, row it fore and aft to shift up and down manually. Even though Kia sells the Sonata-based Optima, it has different front and rear styling. The transmission will hold the selected gear rather than shifting automatically. Head protection Driver — The dummy's head was protected from being hit by any hard structures, including the intruding barrier, by a side airbag that deployed from the seat. Passenger — The dummy's head was hit by the pillar behind the rear passenger door and the window sill of the rear door.
Forces on both tibias indicate that injuries to the lower legs would be possible. The styling is distinctive, sleek and rounded with rich-looking details. The current model is related to the Kia Optima, which reached the U. Tested vehicle specifications Tested vehicle 1999 Hyundai Sonata 4-door Weight 3,131 lbs. Good headlamps are extremely important, especially on dark and stormy nights. It idles quietly, but not silently. Even if the car is pre-owned, Hyundai still backs the Sonata's powertrain for five years or 60,000 miles.
Map pockets on the backs of the front seats add useful storage space. The seats are on the hard side and feature minimal side bolstering and support. Driving Impressions The Hyundai Sonata cruises nicely, with a smooth ride and good stability at high speeds. The Sonata is spacious up front but short on headroom in the rear. The Sonata was last redesigned for the 1999 model year and then reworked for 2002. The upper and lower portions of the instrument panel are dressed in contrasting shades of vinyl. The seat itself is contoured for two passengers, with a folding center armrest between them, but Hyundai has provided three-point seat belts for three people.
Three people can fit in the rear seat, but it will be a tight squeeze. The driver's seat bottom adjusts from cushy to firm via a pair of knobs on the side, so you can select between softness and support for your legs and posterior. Free roadside assistance is provided for the first five years. Unless otherwise indicated, specifications refer to test vehicle. The base Hyundai Sonata is well equipped for its price.
When equipped with the V6, the Sonata accelerates smoothly and without great drama. It's a bit slower than the new Honda Accord's steering, so you have to turn the wheel more. The current model is related to the Kia Optima, which reached the U. The Sonata's overall shape suggests the feline form of a Jaguar; while its sophisticated headlight treatment could have been borrowed from a Mercedes-Benz. It does not, however, offer strong power, especially at higher elevations. It costs less than the name brands, but measures up well against them.