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.
Pros: Probably the looks ! It's beautiful, looks like a Mercedes or Jag.
Cons: Very few problems - in 20 degree winters the CD won't change until warmed up
Advice: Drive it only if you're prepared to be impressed and buy it !I looked at the larger XG300 (2001) and was VERY impressed with it. We could have afforded it (add'l $8500) but with a son in college, we decided to look at the less expensive Sonata, base model, with optional V6 and rear disc brakes. Wow ! That's what we bought - our local dealer took off several hundred, and it cost us $16,400. Three years ago we got a new Neon for $14,400 and it is 1/2 the car (not to mention having the head gasket go). Also had head gaskets go on another new Neon, also 1999, a 1992 Dodge Spirit, a Taurus and a Buick - in 8 years. So I was very attracted to the 10 year powertrain warrantee on the Sonata, since US carmakers obviously can't build cars any more.
Pros: ventilated front disc / solid rear disc brakes, ABS, traction control ,fullsize spare tire
Cons: oddly styled front end, Poor clock placement, unlit cruise control switches
Advice: Don't let the name or well meaning friends/family sway your opinion. Test drive it and make an informed decision. You won't be sorryAs an ASE certified Technician I am not easily impressed but, Every day I find another reason to love the Santa Fe. It rides smooth and comfortable with the independent suspension. It is a tad underpowered, but performs very well in city driving.
Pros: LUMBAR SUPPORT
Cons: NON ILLUMINATED CRUISE CONTROL BUTTONS
Advice: MAKE SURE YOU ASK THE STICKER PRICE IF THEY HAVE TO LOCATE YOU A VEHICLEQUIET INTERIOR(SOUND PROOFING FROM EXTERIOR ROAD NOISE)COMFORTABLE SEATS,LOTS OF LEG ROOM,GREAT BRAKING(TRUCK STOPS ON DIME)GOOD WORKMANSHIP AND MATERIALS TOP QUALITY.
Pros: The standard cd player!
Cons: Trying to figure out the windshield wipers.
Advice: Drive other more expensive cars...then try this one. Your pocket book will thank you.After being in an accident with my Nissan Altima, I was sure I'd purchase another. However, after doing some homework and test driving other vehicles, the Sonata was an obvious choice. It's great looking, great handling, and very affordable!
Pros: adjustable drivers seat
Cons: no rims
Advice: go see the competition firstVery good car the money. Test drive it and fall in love. Great for small families. Plus it looks great!
Pros: Variable weather and emergency handling
Cons: Wiper Controls - took awhile to figure out need to be on for mist
Advice: Drive it, you'll buy it, but don't try stealing it.I have not bought one yet but rented one from Avis at La Guardia Airport for Valentine's Weekend drove to Boston and back.I was very impressed with the car. Drove thru snow, rain, road slush, water holes. I-95, I-495 this car was impressive. It had very option was very comfy and roomy, nice riding, fast responding emergency manuvering through some pretty suicidal drivers on I-95 in RI and CT. It was very windy and it had no effect on the car's handling. I was planning on a used late model Cadillac Seville and am now having second thoughts due to its cost and nearly same fuel mileage factors. The only negatives were a dry bearing in the passenger rear wheel and the engine had a drone like vibration under 65 miles an hour.. It wanted to run or fly to quiet down ! I also had the big engine with the Automatic and it was very smooth shifting and was not shifty or laboring on hills like a previous rental (Ford Contour with the twin cam) and got better mileage too ! I am a Cadillac man and this car impressed me ! I going to try out their top of the line to see which is better for me. I just hope the drive trains last longer than their warranty as I drive 25k mi a year. Its stopping ability was very very good and straight in an emergency stop and one hour long 8 mile long bumper to bumper touch and go without fade or pull. Had just a tad amount but went where pointed torque steer on hard accelerations. I really like this car and it's my first choice if I can't afford a used late model Seville. I had no problems with the Cruise Control..can't say that of the wiper controls. Could use back seat reading lamps too. My present vehicles are a 1994 S-10 with 141,000 miles on it and a 1981 Monte Carlo with 167,000 miles on it. Its time for me to get a new car and the website model year entry does not allow you to enter older than a 1996 to send out this evaluation.
Pros: the SMALL details
Cons: Slight hesitation when accelerating on the gas (usually about 1 second) before it takes off.
Advice: RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH! Get pre-approved on a loan and DO NOT DEAL WITH DEALERSHIPS THAT TRY TO HAGGLE WITH YOU. Consumer Reports says $500 above invoiceI researched many different SUV's in the Santa Fe's class (spending several months doing so) and found that the Santa Fe not only offered the best options, looks, and performance, but the best warranty of any other suv in its class (and some above, ie the Durango). The Santa Fe has the looks of a well modeled and planned SUV, but the secret of this puppy is that it performs like a car. As you accelerate down the road you don't feel like you are driving something unwieldy. Backing up, parallel parking, etc are a breeze, with more than enough open space to view where you're going (unlike larger suv's like the Durango and the Suburban)