Used Hyundai Sonata Saloon 2005 - 2009 review

Category: Family car

High spec and a low price, but not a great buy

Hyundai Sonata Saloon (05 - 09)
  • Hyundai Sonata Saloon (05 - 09)
  • Hyundai Sonata Saloon (05 - 09)
Used Hyundai Sonata Saloon 2005 - 2009 review
Star rating

What's the used Hyundai Sonata saloon like?

It looks in a different league from the previous version of the Sonata. You wouldn't call it handsome exactly, but it's certainly strong, clean-lined and tidy.

The interior also has a more classy look than the old car's. Every model comes with leather upholstery, and the soft-touch dash covering and door cappings add to the sense of luxury. There's also just about every gadget you could expect - and a few more besides - to keep you comfortable and safe.


High spec and a low price, but not a great buy

  • The Sonata is comfortable and practical
  • It's cheap to buy and reliable, too
  • It's outclassed on the road by nearly all of its contemporary rivals

It isn't short of space, either, for passengers or their luggage. The boot is huge and, should you need it, the rear seat splits and folds for even more carrying space.

For all that, though, the Sonata just doesn't cut it on the road. The engines are mediocre and the dynamics are worse. Most family cars - never mind executive contenders - do it all so much better.

Ownership cost

What used Hyundai Sonata saloon will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Hyundai Sonata saloon?

For the age of car you're getting and the amount of kit, the Sonata looks cheap. However, take care not to stump up too much for a nearly new car because the Sonata depreciates rapidly in its early life.

Servicing bills are steep - you're looking at the kind of money it takes to maintain a BMW 5 Series and a big chunk more than for a Ford Mondeo. Still, the remainder of the original five-year warranty should cover any reliability issues. If not, Hyundais tend to be cheap to fix, according to Warranty Direct.

Economy's fine, too. The 2.0 turbodiesel stretches to a wallet-friendly 46mpg. Even the 2.0 petrol is gentle on the juice at 35mpg. Both qualify for group 10 insurance, again easy enough to stomach.

The 2.4 petrol will net you group 12 insurance and an average of 33mpg, but you'll feel the pinch with the V6 model (group 15 and 28mpg).

Our recommendations

Which used Hyundai Sonata saloon should I buy?

This Audi-meets-Honda-shaped Sonata was launched in 2005 with a 158bhp 2.4 petrol engine, and this is the pick of the bunch for its all-round balance of price, performance and economy.

In 2006, however, it was ditched and three new engines appeared. The cheapest of those on the used market is the 143bhp 2.0 petrol, while a 138bhp 2.0 CRTD turbodiesel gives more muscular real-world pull and good economy. The 232bhp 3.3 V6 petrol version is hot-hatch swift (0-60mph in 7.8 seconds, and a 143mph top speed) but it's far too much power for this chassis to cope with.

CDX is the only trim level - and you'll want for nothing. All models come with climate control, leather seats, 17-inch alloy wheels, sat-nav, electronic stability, an alarm and six airbags. The V6 version also has an auto gearbox, six-disc CD changer, rear parking sensors and electric sunroof.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Hyundai Sonata saloon?