Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.
2002 Hyundai Santa Fe - LX (A4) FWD
Pros: Beautifully styled unibody construction.
Cons: A number of dashboard controls are confusing and unintuitive.
Advice: This is probably not your SUV if you intend to go bouncing around in swamps and and on pockmarked terrain.My Santa Fe LX has the Black Obsidian exterior, and it is a beauty to behold. For being in the 'sub-compact SUV' class, it projects a surprisingly massive appearance. Sitting in the driver's seat and looking out over the hood, one is struck with the feeling of driving a hybrid of the Batmobile and some vehicle you might expect to see in one of the Alien movies. The interior feels spacious and is very well-appointed with lots of luxurious touches one wouldn't expect in a 'value' brand like Hyundai - heated driver and passenger seats, leather seats all around, heated side mirrors, extra power outlets, power everything (with the exception of seats, which, oddly, are not even available as an option). The car drives very solidly. The 2.7 liter V6 provides good power and decent acceleration, though it does tend to hesitate for half a second and then kick into rocket mode when you accelerate hard. And though the standard automatic transmission (mine is the 2WD model, and not the 4WD) claims to have overdrive, it really doesn't *feel* like overdrive while driving the car; i.e., when you take your foot off the gas pedal at highway speeds, you feel some torqueing down and your speed seems to decrease more rapidly than with 'real' overdrive as I've experienced it in other cars. However, the overall driving experience is very good, even with the minor performance flaws. You feel as if you're driving a big, bad, but very stylish truck, even though the thing actually handles much more like a regular passenger vehicle. And no other direct competitor offers so many standard features for the price.
2002 Hyundai Sonata - LX (M5)
Pros: moonroof,sound system
Cons: cruise control
Advice: the best car you'll get for your moneyI was impressed with how much car you could get for the money. This car comes with gas struts on the hood and trunk, you will not crush things in the trunk when closing, like in other cars. I decided on the LS model since it had all the extras for just $800 more than the GLS, and it was the only way to get the power seat. For that $800 you get power seat,moon roof and the leather seats. It also has the best warranty around, speciallly since I keep my cars for a long time. The only thing I really dislike is the placement of the cruise control 'on' swith, it must have been designed by dumb and dumber. I also drove the 2002 Camry which had the smoother 6 cyl.engine I have ever come across, but by the time you added all the other 'extras' its price was up in the 20s. You could also see that it was a car you could get 'bore' with pretty soon. There was nothing boring about the Sonata LS.
2002 Hyundai Sonata - LX (M5)
Pros: lumbar - climate control - keyless entry -
Cons: cup holders - poorly placed cruise control switch
Advice: compare features & price with other midsizeON THE PLUS SIDE - Excellent adjustments on driver's seat, interior & exterior styling are improved, dealer financing was at an excellent rate, good standard audio system, ergonomics are very good for most items, keyless door & trunk opener are standard, heated power mirrors are standard, 60/40 split fold down back seat is very useful, standard Michelin tires , sport/auto trans works well, most comparable ares $3000 - $6,000 more. ON THE MINUS SIDE - Cruise control switch is inaccessible, front cup holders hard to access, ABS should be standard on top models, vanity mirror lights don't work unless power is on, no dome light for rear seats, more powerful V6 desirable, larger moon roof possible, leather seats are comfortable but leather is not top quality.
2002 Hyundai Sonata - GLS (M5)
Cons: Back windows don't roll down all the way.
Advice: You get alot more than you pay for.Very quiet & smooth, yet powerful. I feel like I'm sitting ln the lap of luxory.
2002 Hyundai Sonata - Base (M5)
Pros: the overall affordability
Cons: ABS not standard
Advice: go to a dealer to see and test drive yourself.Of all the cars we tested, this one really had it all. It looks great - I turn heads everywhere I go. The drive is so smooth and quiet - luxury quality. And with the 5 year/60k warranty, I will actually have it paid off before the warranty expires. This is the happiest I've ever been with a new car purchase. The best part, the closest Hyundai dealership is 60 miles from our town, so the salesman did all of our financing over the phone and then actually drove the car to us the same evening.
2002 Hyundai Elantra - (M5) Sedan
Pros: The motors power output.
Advice: Just buy it.First, just like any other car maker you have to find a dealer that will treat you the way one wants to be treated. The Elantra GLS is everything they say it is. Good looking, plush inside, and all and all a great deal that no other manufacture can beat. The ride and performance of this car is the best of many worlds. The ride is smooth, but nimble. You can go out for ride in comfort but also rip down a back road curve or two. The power output of the motor needs to be felt and seen. Romping down on the pedal brings the car to life and the tack dancing, like that of most sports models. No slug here, the Elantra GLS has power to spare. All in all once you get through the purchase of the car, bad or good, you will be left with a car that will always leave you pleased about your choice.