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2002 Hyundai Sonata Sedan

4dr Sdn Manual

Starting at | Starting at 22 MPG City - 30 MPG Highway

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  • $15,499 original MSRP
Printable Version

2002 Hyundai Sonata Sedan

Printable Version

2002 Hyundai Sonata Sedan

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2002 Hyundai Sonata

Source: New Car Test Drive

Introduction

The Hyundai Sonata has become a popular family sedan with more than 62,000 sold in the U.S. last year. And Hyundai has become a major player, selling more cars in the U.S. last year than Mitsubishi, Mazda, Mercury, Saturn, BMW, Mercedes, Cadillac, Lincoln, Lexus, Acura, or Volvo, to name a few.

The reason for its popularity is that the Sonata offers a strong value, a concept that includes price but also factors in product quality and features. And Hyundai has come a long way, baby, in terms of the quality and features its vehicles offer.

The Sonata is a midsize four-door sedan that, were it not for its badge, could be mistaken for competitors selling for thousands more, and with features that on many other cars would cost thousands more. Hyundai has greatly improved the quality of its product and backs that up with an industry-leading 100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Model Lineup

Three models are available: Sonata ($15,499); GLS ($16,999); and new for 2002, the LX ($18,324).

The base Sonata is surprisingly well equipped for its price, coming standard with air conditioning, AM/FM/CD audio system, rear defroster, power mirrors, power locks with keyless remote, power windows, cruise control, remote fuel door and trunk releases, 60/40 split folding rear seat and variable intermittent wipers. A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is standard, as is a five-speed manual transmission.

GLS is a V6 model with a higher level of interior trim, including deluxe cloth upholstery and better carpet, leather-wrapped steering wheel, an improved center console, dual map lights, and rear cup holders. It also comes with heated mirrors and a power antenna. GLS is powered by a V6 engine and comes equipped with four-wheel disc brakes.

LX is the luxury model, and comes with leather seating surfaces, automatic temperature control, and an eight-way power driver's seat.

Traction control and anti-lock brakes (ABS) are optional, and come as a part of a package that includes a sunroof ($1,250). The sunroof ($550) is available as a standalone option.

Walkaround

The Hyundai Sonata is strikingly handsome. The design is expressive without being oppressive, with graceful lines and features one would expect on a much, much more expensive automobile. Overall the Sonata has the feline lines of a Jaguar sedan; the headlights could be a Mercedes-Benz element. The waterfall grille is formal without being pretentious. Chrome trim around the grille, over the doors and on the trunk is well placed, and like jewelry tastefully worn, it enhances rather than distracts.

The headlights are more than cosmetic. The small low-beams are not the blue-tinted xenon lamps, but halogen projector lamps that produce a uniformly bright pattern that's complemented by very bright high beams. Good headlamps are extremely important, especially on dark and stormy nights, and the Sonata's are excellent.

The Sonata's pull-type door handles feel solid and don't feel like they'll break when you need to pull open a door frozen shut. It unlocks easily via the keyless remote fob, of course, and the doors close with a solid thunk.

Interior Features

A driver's hands should be on the wheel all the time when driving, and Hyundai has graced the Sonata GLS with a steering wheel with buttery soft leather. It's indicative of the attention given to details of the Sonata's interior. The ignition switch is on the dash, rather than plugged into the steering column. The front seats are broad, for maximum comfort, lightly bolstered but not really enough for sporty driving, appropriate for this sedan. Different colored vinyl is used on upper and lower dash, and the plush fabric used on the seats is repeated in door panels. The GLS also has a two-compartment center armrest.

Around the center stack, the GLS gets a splash of artificial wood that will fool no one but oddly enough is appropriate for this model. A frame of burnished aluminum around the automatic shifter frames a standard PRND quadrant, with a Shiftronic slot alongside. Only the ashtray feels flimsy. The glovebox opens with a firm feel.

The rear seat folds 60/40 allowing long items to pass through from the trunk. With the seatbacks in place, there's a bench contoured for two passengers but with three-point belts for three people. The seatback includes a folding center armrest. Map pockets are provided on the backs of the front seats. The back seat offers good room for two adults, with sufficient legroom and comfort for a long trip.

For 2002, Hyundai has provided electric switches for the trunk and fuel door release. The power releases are easier to reach and operate, and are placed on the driver's door. The trunk itself is large, at 14.1 cubic feet. Articulated trunk lid supports stay out of the trunk: no more crushed groceries from or luggage in the way of traditional trunk lid hinges.

Driving Impressions

The Sonata GLS drives like a midsize family sedan. The V6 idles quietly but with sufficient vibration that one won't be tempted to start an already running engine. There's enough torque from this engine for a quick getaway, and the Sonata accelerates smoothly and without great drama. There are times when you'll want more power than the 2.7-liter V6 can deliver, such as merging into fast-moving traffic from a standstill. With 181 horsepower, however, it's in the same ballpark with the Toyota Camry V6; actually the Hyundai V6 produces more power per liter. The Sonata weighs approximately the same as the Camry. The net result is that a Sonata GLS will lose drag races against a V6-powered Camry, if that matters.

The automatic transmission really matters more, and it is actually quite sophisticated. Using fuzzy logic, the transmission's electronic controller automatically adapts to the driver's style and minimizes hunting when climbing hills. Shifts are smooth, and the best thing one can say about it is that it isn't noticeable, which is how an automatic should behave. It does such a good job in the automatic mode that it makes using the Shiftronic feature superfluous. With Shiftronic, the driver may move the shiftlever to a second slot, and once there move the lever fore and aft to shift up and down on gear, the transmission then holding the selected gear rather than shifting automatically. Those who live in a hilly area might find it useful for engine braking on long and steep downgrades.

Everyday driving yields a benign demeanor. The ride is freeway smooth, thanks to a fully independent suspension, soaking up everything from tar strips to potholes with equanimity. Some popping over seams can be heard, and at speed there's a tendency for the Sonata to drift within its lane. However, the Sonata glides effortlessly on the Interstate at 75 mph with only a ruffle of wind noise and the slightest amount of tire noise interceding. One can enjoy even the pianissimo sections of classical music coming from the CD player.

On the other hand, as noted, the Sonata is not a sports car, and pressuring it to do something in a corner that one shouldn't ask yields a classical exposition of understeer (the front end pushing or plowing) that one would expect from a family sedan. It's safe and predictable, and even if it won't corner like a Formula 1 racer, at least it won't give its driver any nasty surprises in the twisty bits.

Braking is solid with the four-wheel discs that come with the V6. Our Sonata, however, did not have the optional ABS/sunroof package.

Summary

The Hyundai Sonata warrants consideration from family sedan buyers on a budget, or who appreciate good automotive value.

The Sonata is a distinctively handsome family sedan available for thousands of dollars less than most mid-size cars. Hyundai is making great strides at improving quality, and the Sonata comes with an impressive 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper coverage.

 


Model Line Overview

Model lineup: Sonata ($15,499); GLS ($16,999), LX ($18,324)
Engines: 149-hp 2.4-liter dohc 16-valve inline-4; 181-hp 2.7-liter dohc 24-valve V6
Transmissions: 5-speed manual; 4-speed automatic
Safety equipment (standard): front airbags with passenger presence detection, front seatbelt pretensioners, rear 3-point seatbelts, child seat anchors
Safety equipment (optional): ABS/traction control
Basic warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles
Assembled in: Ulsan, Korea

Specifications As Tested

Model tested (MSRP): GLS ($16,999)
Standard equipment: air conditioning, AM/FM/CD stereo, rear defroster, power door locks w/ remote, power mirrors, power windows, cruise control, tilt wheel, 60/40 split folding rear seat, variable intermittent wipers, 5-speed manual transmission, 15-inch wheels with full covers; GLS adds leather-wrapped steering wheel, power antenna, heated mirrors, AM/FM/CD/cassette audio, dual front map lights, deluxe cloth interior, 4-wheel disc brakes, V6 engine, 16-inch alloy wheels
Options as tested (MSRP): automatic transmission ($500), carpeted floor mats ($86)
Destination charge: ($495)
Gas guzzler tax: N/A
Price as tested (MSRP): $ 18,080
Layout: front-wheel drive
Engine: 2.7-liter dohc 24-valve V6
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 181 @ 6000
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm): 177 @ 4000
Transmission: 4-speed automatic with Shiftronic
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy: 20/27 mpg
Wheelbase: 106.3 in.
Length/width/height: 186.9/71.7/56.0 in.
Track, f/r: 60.6/60.2 in.
Turning circle: 34.4 ft.
Seating capacity: 5
Head/hip/leg room, f: 39.3/55.8/43.3 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m: N/A
Head/hip/leg room, r: 37.6/54.4/36.2 in.
Trunk volume: 14.1 cu. ft.
Payload: N/A
Towing capacity: N/A
Suspension, f: Independent
Suspension, r: Independent
Ground clearance: N/A
Curb weight: 3212 lbs.
Tires: P205/60HR16
Brakes, f/r: disc/disc
Fuel capacity: 17.2 gal.

 

 

Unless otherwise indicated, specifications refer to test vehicle.
All prices are manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP) effective as of August 06, 2001.
Prices do not include manufacturer's destination and delivery charges. N/A: Information not available or not applicable.
Manufacturer Info Sources: 1-800-826-CARS - www.hyundaiusa.com

Copyright © 1994-2003 New Car Test Drive, Inc.


 

Printable Version

2002 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
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Rollover Resistance
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Opt

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

2002 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

Printable Version

2002 Hyundai Sonata Sedan

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