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2004 Hyundai Sonata Sedan

4dr Sdn I4 Auto

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

2004 Hyundai Sonata for Sale

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  • Average Retail is not available
  • $16,799 original MSRP
Printable Version

2004 Hyundai Sonata Sedan

Printable Version

2004 Hyundai Sonata Sedan


2004 Hyundai Sonata

Source: New Car Test Drive

Base Price (MSRP) - $15,999
As Tested (MSRP) - $22,034


The Hyundai Sonata is a roomy and comfortable midsize sedan with a level of quality and refinement that may surprise you the first time you get in and take a good look. It costs less than the name brands, but measures up well against them.

The Sonata is packed with features, considering it starts below $17,000. Front and rear accommodations are roomy and comfortable for four or five. The interior is nicely finished and has a general feeling of quality. Driving the Sonata is convenient and hassle-free with well-designed controls located exactly where expected. The styling is distinctive, sleek and rounded with rich-looking details.

Sonata cruises comfortably down the highway, even at elevated speeds. Its steering is sharp and responsive. The V6-powered Sonata GLS and LX deliver satisfying performance.


Model Lineup

Three models are available: Sonata ($15,999); Sonata GLS ($18,779); and Sonata LX ($19,799).

The base Hyundai Sonata is well equipped for its price. It comes standard with air conditioning, side-impact airbags, 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, variable intermittent wipers, four-wheel-disc brakes, gas-charged shock absorbers, and 15-inch all-season tires. A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with a five-speed manual transmission is standard. A four-speed automatic transmission ($800) is optional.

Sonata GLS is a V6 model with a higher level of interior trim. The 2.7-liter V6 comes with an automatic transmission, and the car is fitted with high-performance tires on 16-inch alloy wheels for improved handling. The GLS is upgraded with deluxe cloth upholstery, woodgrain accents, better carpet, an upgraded stereo, an improved center console, dual map lights, and rear cup holders. It also comes with heated mirrors and a power antenna.

Sonata LX is the luxury model, and comes with all of the above plus leather seating surfaces, automatic climate control, and an eight-way power driver's seat.

The V6 engine and automatic transmission are available on the base model as an option package ($1650). GLS and LX can be ordered with anti-lock brakes ($550). Base models with automatic transmission can be ordered with a power tilt-and-slide glass sunroof ($700), or with a package ($1250) that includes the sunroof and anti-lock brakes. Traction control is available, but only as a package with the sunroof and anti-lock brakes on the GLS ($1400); or with the sunroof, anti-lock brakes, electrochromic rear-view mirror, and HomeLink transmitter on the LX ($1695).



The Hyundai Sonata is handsome. It's expressive without being oppressive with graceful lines and rich details that one would expect on a more expensive automobile. The Sonata's overall shape suggests the feline form of a Jaguar; while its sophisticated headlight treatment could have been borrowed from a Mercedes-Benz. It's better looking than the Kia Optima, which shares the Hyundai's architecture.

The waterfall grille is formal but not pretentious. Like jewelry tastefully worn, chrome enhances rather than distracts from the Sonata's appearance. Chrome is well placed around the grille, over the doors and on the trunk. The bold headlight design is more than stylish. The small low-beams are halogen projector lamps that produce a uniformly bright pattern, and the complementary high beams are bright. Good headlamps are extremely important, especially on dark and stormy nights. The Sonata's are excellent.

The Sonata's pull-type door handles feel solid. The doors close with a solid thunk. Sonata comes standard with a keyless remote fob.


2004 Hyundai Sonata
2004 Hyundai Sonata

Interior Features

Climb into a Hyundai Sonata and you feel like you're sitting in a first-rate car. It's quite nice, and conservative in appearance. The materials are of good quality, and vastly superior to what's found in the Saturn L-Series. Fit and finish are better than in the Saturn, also.

Hyundai has wrapped the Sonata's steering wheel in a leather-like urethane that's buttery soft and wonderful to the touch. It's characteristic of the attention given to detail throughout the Sonata's interior. The ignition switch is on the dash, more convenient than having it on the steering column.

The Sonata's front seats are broad for maximum comfort, and lightly bolstered, making it easy to slide in and out. The driver's seat bottom adjusts from cushy to firm via a pair of knobs on the side, so you can select between softness and support for your legs and posterior. And whether you opt for cloth or leather, the upholstery is comfortable and of decent quality.

The plush fabric on the seats is repeated in the door panels. The GLS and LX also have a two-compartment center armrest. The glovebox opens with a firm feel. Only the ashtray feels flimsy. There's a nice rubber-lined spot ahead of the shifter for your wallet.

The upper and lower portions of the instrument panel are dressed in contrasting shades of vinyl. Gauges are clearly marked. A splash of artificial wood around the center stack of the GLS and LX won't fool anyone, but looks somehow appropriate. A frame of burnished aluminum surrounds the automatic shifter quadrant, with the Shiftronic manual-override slot alongside. Illuminated manual-shift indicators were added for 2003.

It's easy to operate the Sonata's accessories without taking your eyes off the road. Radio controls are big, clearly marked and easy to manipulate. HVAC is straightforward, with two rows of big buttons and knobs that are easy to discern and operate. Window switches are conveniently mounted on the doors, but, alas, are not illuminated. Electric switches for the trunk and fuel door releases are placed on the driver's door, where they are easy to reach and operate. LX models now offer a HomeLink remote system and electrochromic inside rear view mirror as part of an option package.

The back seat area offers good room for two adults, with sufficient legroom and comfort for a long trip. The seat itself is contoured for two passengers, with a folding center armrest between them, but Hyundai has provided three-point seat belts for three people. Map pockets on the backs of the front seats add useful storage space.

Sonata's trunk volume is a decent 14.1 cubic feet. The rear seat splits and folds 60/40, allowing long items to pass through from the trunk. Articulated trunk lid supports stay out of the trunk itself, so you don't have to worry about groceries or luggage being crushed when you close the lid.


2004 Hyundai Sonata

Driving Impressions

The Hyundai Sonata cruises nicely, with a smooth ride and good stability at high speeds. The available 2.7-liter V6 provides quick acceleration from a standstill.

When equipped with the V6, the Sonata accelerates smoothly and without great drama. It idles quietly, but not silently. Hyundai doesn't have the most powerful V6 among mid-size sedans, so the Sonata would probably lose a drag race to a Toyota Camry V6 or Honda Accord V6. But the Sonata costs $4,500-$5,500 less than the Camry or Accord.

The Sonata's automatic transmission is responsive and sophisticated. Shifts are smooth, almost unnoticeable. Stepping on the gas brings a prompt downshift for quick acceleration when passing. Using fuzzy logic, the transmission's electronic controller adapts to the driver's style and minimizes hunting when climbing hills. The transmission has a manual mode called Shiftronic that can give the driver more precise shifting control. Slap the Shiftronic lever to the right and, once there, row it fore and aft to shift up and down manually. The transmission will hold the selected gear rather than shifting automatically. The Shiftronic override is useful for engine braking on long, steep downgrades.

The four-cylinder engine that comes with the base model works well when paired with the five-speed manual gearbox. It does not, however, offer strong power, especially at higher elevations. It lacks the response of the V6, particularly at lower revs. It does deliver 22/30 mpg with the manual or automatic transmission, compared to 19/27 for the V6 automatic.

The Sonata rides smoothly, soaking up tar strips and potholes. Some popping over seams can be heard, and at speed, the Sonata has a tendency to drift within its lane. However, our test car glided effortlessly at 75 mph, with only a ruffle of wind noise and the slightest amount of tire noise interfering with our utter tranquility. We enjoyed even the pianissimo passages of classical music on the Sonata's standard CD player. The nose dives a bit under hard braking and the rear suspension squats under hard acceleration, but otherwise the Sonata's four-wheel independent underpinnings work well in the daily grind.

Steering is responsive. It's a bit slower than the new Honda Accord's steering, so you have to turn the wheel more. The Sonata's tires don't feel as connected as we'd like on a wet road. Drive the Sonata very hard on a bumpy, winding road and you can feel some chassis flex. The current Hyundai Sonata dates from the 1999 model year, and its structure just isn't as stiff as that of some bigger-name sedans that have been re-engineered since then. (Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, and Nissan Altima all have been completely re-engineered within the last two years.) For the most part, however, the Sonata is just fine and dandy, a good, competent mid-size sedan.

Braking is solid with the four-wheel-disc brakes that come standard on all models. ABS is optional and we recommend it as it allows the driver to brake and steer at the same time in an emergency stopping situation.


2004 Hyundai Sonata


The Hyundai Sonata is a handsome family sedan that sells for thousands of dollars less than comparably equipped, name-brand mid-size cars. Drivers will immediately feel comfortable and in control. The interior is finished nicely and all controls are easy to operate. The ride is nice and smoth. The four-cylinder is adequate when cruising down the highway, but the V6 models are better for responsive performance.

Overall, the Hyundai Sonata offers a strong value among mid-size sedans. That's particularly true when you factor in Sonata's impressive warranty, with bumper-to-bumper coverage for five years/60,000 miles and 24-hour roadside assistance for a five full years. Hyundai's warranty includes limited powertrain coverage for 10 years/100,000 miles and corrosion coverage for five years/100,000 miles. Even if the car is pre-owned, Hyundai still backs the Sonata's powertrain for five years or 60,000 miles.

Model Line Overview

Base Price (MSRP) $15,999
As Tested (MSRP) $22,034

Model lineup: Hyundai Sonata ($15,999); GLS ($18,779), LX ($19,799)
Engines: 2.7-liter dohc 24-valve V6
Transmissions: 4-speed automatic with Shiftronic
Safety equipment (Standard): dual front and side-impact 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: Asan, South Korea

Specifications As Tested

Model tested (MSRP): Hyundai Sonata LX ($19,799)
Standard equipment: automatic climate control, leather upholstery, woodgrain trim, power door locks w/ remote, power mirrors, power windows, cruise control, tilt wheel, 60/40 split folding rear seat, variable intermittent wipers, rear defroster, power antenna, heated mirrors, AM/FM/CD/cassette audio, dual front map lights, V6 engine, automatic transmission, 16-inch alloy wheels, power driver's seat, deluxe carpeting, carpeted floor mats
Options as tested: Package 7 ($1695) includes anti-lock brakes, traction control, power tilt-and-slide moonroof with sunshade, electrochromic rear-view mirror, HomeLink transmitter
Destination charge: 540
Gas Guzzler Tax: N/A
Layout: front-wheel drive
Engine (Optional): 138-hp 2.4-liter dohc 16-valve inline-4; 170-hp 2.7-liter dohc 24-valve V6
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 170 @ 6000
Torque(lb.-ft. @ rpm): 181 @ 4000
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy: 19/27 mpg
Transmission (Optional): 5-speed manual; 4-speed automatic
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, r: 37.6/54.4/36.2 in.
Cargo volume: 14.1 cu. ft.
Payload N/A
Suspension F: independent, upper and lower wishbones, coil springs, anti-roll bar
Suspension R: independent, multi-link, coil springs, anti-roll bar
Ground Clearance: N/A
Curb weight: 3254 Lbs.
Towing capacity: N/A
Tires: P205/60HR16
Brakes, f/r: disc/disc with ABS
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 15/Aug/2003.
Prices do not include manufacturer's destination and delivery charges. N/A: Information not available or not applicable.
Manufacturer Info Sources: 1-800-826-2277 - www.hyundaiusa.com

Copyright © 1994-2003 New Car Test Drive

Printable Version

2004 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
4-Wheel Disc Brakes Std

Passenger Restraint

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

Road Visibility

Fog Lamps Std
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std


Alarm Std
Printable Version

2004 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 Model Years 2012-2016 with 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

2004 Hyundai Sonata Sedan

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