Hyundai Sonata Limited almost a steal
THE RIDE: Four-door, five-passenger 2008 Hyundai Sonata Limited midsize sedan. DOWN THE ROAD: OK, so it's not packed with power but this family sedan can safely take passengers to their destination. For a commute to work or just the grocery store down the street, the Sonata is the perfect choice - and at the right price. TECH & PERFORMANCE: Power is derived from a 2.4-liter DOHC inline four-cylinder engine. It develops a satisfactory 162 horsepower at 5800 rpm and 164 pounds-feet of torque at 4250 rpm. It's coupled to a 4-speed automatic transmission that also can shift gears manually. The front is equipped with a double wishbone, coil springs, gas-filled hydraulic shock absorbers and a stabilizer bar. The rear has a multilink system with coil springs, shock absorbers and stabilizer. Guiding the sedan on the road is a solid power-assisted, rack-and-pinion steering system. Fear not slowing down in an emergency situation for the 11-inch front and 11.8-inch rear power-assisted brake discs are up to the job. I averaged about 23 mpg in city/highway driving, which is good since gasoline prices are edging toward $4 a gallon. LOOK & FEEL: Set on a unibody construction, four-barrel jeweled projector headlights sandwich a chrome-slathered center-bar grille with aluminum body-side moldings, chrome door handles and body-colored exterior mirrors. Wood-grain accents on the center console, shifter knob and dashboard are visible as you slip into the plush and heated front leather seats, a standard feature in the Limited version of the Sonata. The doorsill scuff plates, four-spoke leather tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, 6 in-dash Infinity CD changer and power driver's seat are features you would expect to find mostly in a luxury car. To top it all, Hyundai has installed a trip computer in the instrument panel, automatic temperature control and an auto-dim mirror/compass. Trunk area? A respectable 16.3 cubic feet of space.SAFETY FIRST: Standard is the norm as in dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag for both rows, Electronic Stability Control, traction control, four-wheel antilock brakes with Electronic Brake Distribution, front active-head restraints, energy-absorbing steering column, three-point seatbelts for all positions, front and rear crumple zones and tire pressure monitoring system. OUT THE DOOR: $22,345, plus tax, tag, delivery and destination charges. The sun roof is available for $900. BY THE NUMBERS: Tires, P215/55VR17; wheelbase, 107.4 inches; length, 188.9 inches; weight, 3,266 pounds; fuel capacity, 17.7 gallons; highway, 30 mpg; city, 21 mpg. WHY DIG IT: The fuel-efficient Sonata is an outstanding value for the money. The sedan boasts a decent performance coupled with numerous safety features and generous cargo capacity. Making the package tough to beat are the five-year, 60,000-mile new vehicle and 10-year, 100,000-mile power train warranties.
Nitish S. Rele is an advertising staff writer for The Tampa Tribune.
Scientology leader David Miscavige ups offer for aquarium property before Clearwater vote on land deal