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2001 Hyundai Sonata Sedan

4dr Sdn GLS V6 Auto

Starting at | Starting at 20 MPG City - 27 MPG Highway

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  • $17,799 original MSRP
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2001 Hyundai Sonata Sedan

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2001 Hyundai Sonata Sedan

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2001 Hyundai Sonata

Source: New Car Test Drive

Why pay more?

by Ron Moorhead

Base Price (MSRP) $14,999
As Tested (MSRP) $20,519

Can a Hyundai turn heads? Well, the current-generation Sonata certainly turned ours. Neatly handsome, with crisply tailored proportions, Sonata looks solid and expensive. It sounds that way too when you close the doors, or when you fire up the top model's smooth V6 engine.

Sonata offers the safety, comfort, and performance of other mid-size cars costing $5,000 more. That's value that's hard to beat.

And, oh yes, here's one more head-turner. Check out Hyundai's warranty: Called Hyundai Advantage, it extends basic protection to five years or 60,000 miles and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. Sonata's 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty is among the longest available.

Model Lineup

Sonata prices start at $14,999 for the base-level version, which is powered by a 2.4-liter inline-4 producing 149 horsepower and 156 pounds-feet of torque. Even at this level Sonata's list of standard equipment is impressively comprehensive, and includes air conditioning, dual front and side-impact air bags, speed-sensitive power steering, cruise control and AM/FM/Cassette stereo.

Next up is the GLS, at $16,999, which is powered by an all-aluminum 2.5-liter V6, with 170 horsepower and 166 pounds-feet of torque. GLS also upgrades the rear drum brakes to disc brakes. Of course, GLS also includes some additional trim and amenities.

New for 2001 is the GLS Leather, which Hyundai bills as a separate model, priced at $18,324. In addition to leather upholstery and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, this model also adds a power driver's seat and an upgraded stereo with both cassette and CD capability.

All three Sonata models offer a choice of standard five-speed manual transmission or electronically controlled four-speed automatic ($500). Add a tilt-and-slide moonroof, traction control, and ABS to the GLS Leather, and your new Sonata barely cracks the $20,000 barrier.

Walkaround

With its sloping hood, pronounced grille and large greenhouse, the Sonata doesn't fit the typical mid-size sedan mold, and in our view that's a bonus. The Sonata's styling may not make you weak in the knees, but it certainly sets the car apart from the crowd.

Interior Features

Given its attractive price, the Sonata's cabin is surprisingly well finished. The leather upholstery gets high marks, and the dash, instrument panel and door panels are nicely trimmed and precisely fit. Each interior scheme has a different simulated wood trim. Our GLS had a gray wood tone that grew on us with time.

It's easy to get comfortable behind the Sonata's wheel. The front bucket seats are supportive but not overly constrictive, making them quite comfortable even during long trips. There is plenty of legroom in the rear seat. The tallest of our testers had no problem sitting behind the driver's seat.

Safety equipment includes side-impact airbags for the front passengers, and Hyundai's Passenger Presence Detection system, which automatically disables the front passenger airbags if a child is poorly positioned or too small in stature (under 66 pounds) for safe deployment. That's a feature usually reserved for expensive luxury sedans. Seatbelt pretensioners are also standard.

We have only a few things to gripe about inside. The instruments and control labels are easy to read during daylight, but as the sun fades away and the lights come on, they get more difficult to see. And the cupholders in the center console are too shallow to hold anything larger then a small cup of coffee.

Driving Impressions

Seat time in the Sonata proves what the walkaround suggests: This Hyundai is far better equipped than its predecessors to compete with more established brands from Japan, the United States and Europe.

Increased structural rigidity has given Hyundai engineers a solid platform for developing the suspension. The suspension itself is reasonably sophisticated, with double wishbones in front and a multilink arrangement in the rear; shock absorbers are gas-filled all around and there are stabilizer bars at both ends. The result is a chassis that is both compliant and responsive.

Our test ranged from wet conditions to dry, from 70-plus-mph Interstates to two-lane country roads. The Sonata soaked up the expansion joints and undulations as well as some larger, more expensive luxury sedans. Its ride is supple yet controlled, and it turns into corners well. We wouldn't compare its road-holding capabilities to a sport coupe, but the Sonata is up to whatever a family sedan owner is likely to dish out. And it's never boring to drive.

The drivetrain is as pleasantly surprising as the suspension. Considering the engine's small displacement and the car's price, the 2.5-liter V6 is both smooth and powerful. The manual transmission delivers the best acceleration, but the automatic doesn't give up much. It shifts up smoothly and shifts down reasonably quickly when the driver jabs the gas pedal. Steep grades and passes on two-lane roads are no sweat.

The Sonata's brakes are adequate, not remarkable. We'd prefer to see optional ABS on the standard feature list, but given Sonata's value pricing, it's not too egregious an oversight. Hyundai expects that most of the Sonatas that roll from its dealerships will have most of the options.

Final Word

If a manufacturer is committed to building consumer confidence in its products, its starts by improving quality and backing it up with a good warranty. That's what Hyundai has done with the Sonata.

Yet quality and confidence don't mean much if the product falls short in other respects. The Sonata brings stand-apart styling, a comfortable cabin and decent performance. It's enjoyable to drive and even easier to live with, at a price that sets it apart from other mid-size sedans.

If value is a priority, the Hyundai Sonata is absolutely worth a look.

© New Car Test Drive, Inc.

Printable Version

2001 Hyundai Sonata Sedan

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade n/a
Passenger Crash Grade n/a
Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std
Printable Version

2001 Hyundai Sonata Sedan

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 5 Years/60,000 Miles
Drivetrain 10 Years/100,000 Miles
Corrosion 5 Years/100,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance 5 Years/Unlimited Miles

Hyundai Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

120-months/100,000-mile Powertrain warranty from original in-service date.
Age/Mileage Eligibility up to 5 model years old w/ less than 60,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 150
Download checklist
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance 10-Year/Unlimited Mileage from In-Service Date
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $50

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

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2001 Hyundai Sonata Sedan

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