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This version of the Sonata has a comfortable and quiet interior, but it is less agile than its predeccesor. The compact sedan offers up-to-date standard safety gear for the time, which included side curtain airbags and electronic stability control. Bigger, more powerful and more refined than the car it replaced, the V6 is quick while the four-cylinder is economical and refined.
Alerts
There are 5 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph (sec.) 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
NA
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
NA
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS available, standard from 2006. Side air bags standard from 1999. Head protection air bags and ESC standard from 2006.
Road Test

This version of the Sonata has a comfortable and quiet interior, but it is less agile than its predeccesor. The compact sedan offers up-to-date standard safety gear for the time, which included side curtain airbags and electronic stability control. Bigger, more powerful and more refined than the car it replaced, the V6 is quick while the four-cylinder is economical and refined. Handling is predictable, but can't be described as sporty.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 5-speed Automatic
  • 4-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 2.4-liter 4 (162 hp)
  • 3.3-liter V6 (234 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2008 Hyundai Sonata owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

12V power plug

“Constantly blows fuses”

John C., NY (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Headlights

“The left low-beam light failed and thankfully the owners manual explains how to R & R the headlight assembly to replace the bulb, which I did with simple tools”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Hyundai Sonata Limited 3.3-L V6)

“Bulbs are not long lasting. Replacements of headlights at least once per year”

Anonymous, NY (2008 Hyundai Sonata SE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Auto headlight shutoff didnot work several times killing the battery”

Anonymous, ON (2008 Hyundai Sonata Limited 3.3-L V6)

“I've had to replace both headlight bulbs twice. One would burn out so I replaced both”

Michael A., NC (2008 Hyundai Sonata Limited 3.3-L V6)

“Frequent replacement of light bulbs”

Anonymous, FL (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“One headlight stays noticeably dimmer, and has burned out on average every 4-5 months”

Anonymous, FL (2008 Hyundai Sonata Unsure 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“We have replace headlights at least 8 times during the life of the car, Sometime both headlights went bad at the same time”

Anonymous, IA (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“We replace headlights at least once a year, sometimes more often than that. I've never used as many headlights in a vehicle as this car requires”

Danielle K., MN (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“I seem to replace headlight bulbs every 6-7 months”

Anonymous, TN (2008 Hyundai Sonata Limited 3.3-L V6)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

“The center brake light failed and unlike the headlights, there is no remedy in the owners manual to fix this light. It must be taken to a dealer for them to R & R the light at a high cost. My opinion: Big design flaw by Hyundai's engineers”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Hyundai Sonata Limited 3.3-L V6)

“Warranty repair of the electrical harness caused the car parking lights not to turn off when the car was stopped and turned off (ignition key). Replacing the driver headlight unit was tried first but worked for a while then the problem came back and was tried twice. It was finally diagnosed at the Hyundai dealership that the harness was the problem, but at almost the end of the 10 year extended warranty we had purchased. The problem was an issue for more than 3 years”

Anonymous, MA (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“The bulb in the brake light on the rear window has burned out twice. To replace it you have to go through the trunk and rip out lining”

Michael A., NC (2008 Hyundai Sonata Limited 3.3-L V6)

“Tail lights blow out often”

Beverly A., KS (2008 Hyundai Sonata Unsure 3.3-L V6)

“have a short somewhere that blows fuses caused by one of the running lights”

Anonymous, IA (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Third taillight bar required replacing”

Anonymous, FL (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“lock system breaking down slowly, one door at a time. Very expensive to fix $400++ per door”

Anonymous, OR (2008 Hyundai Sonata SE 3.3-L V6)
Warning lights

“Tire pressure warning light is intermittent”

Anonymous, NJ (2008 Hyundai Sonata Unsure Unsure)
Tire pressure monitor

“i had to bring back to dealership due to the tps light came on several times since i owned the car”

Anonymous, MA (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“The dealer reset the sensor in the tire rather than replacing it. Two weeks later, it went out again. This had happened at least once before. We were disappointed in service, so did not go back”

Anonymous, TX (2008 Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

“parking brake lock”

Anonymous, NY (2008 Hyundai Sonata Unsure 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Calipers

“standard wear and tear over the 9 years”

W R., ON (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Rear calipers seize prematuely”

Anonymous, ON (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“The calipers on the rear brakes have frozen multiple times”

Robert D., NY (2008 Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Parking brake fail to release tow to shop”

Anonymous, NY (2008 Hyundai Sonata Unsure 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“I was replacing the breaks every 6 months the dealer did not know why the breaks were so warn given the low number of miles driven”

Anonymous, MD (2008 Hyundai Sonata SE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Replaced rear brakes pads for 2 Nd time. Front only once”

Anonymous, AL (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Rusting of brakes causing premature replacement”

Anonymous, NY (2008 Hyundai Sonata SE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“The Hyundai mechanic showed me the wear, and we replaced (or did we simply even-out the wear? I think we replaced”

Anonymous, NM (2008 Hyundai Sonata Unsure 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Rust on rear rotors and calipers”

Anonymous, ON (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Take the brakes for service; when done, they still squeak. Told that's the way the Sonata's go”

Fred F., MD (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Left front brake system made rubbing noise when braking even after new pads and rotor turned”

Anonymous, LA (2008 Hyundai Sonata SE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Should have gone in for brakes earler”

Anonymous, NJ (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“extremely loud metal on metal at 56000 miles”

Lee A., MI (2008 Hyundai Sonata Unsure 3.3-L V6)

“Brake linings completely worn out”

Anonymous, MT (2008 Hyundai Sonata SE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Brake pads were wearing down. Had to get the brake pads and I believe brakes replaced, not sure”

Anonymous, IL (2008 Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Replaced rear pads and rotors at 65000 miles. Found that Sonata is ,overall,very trouble free and reliable”

Anonymous, TX (2008 Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

“Had to be replaced”

Anonymous, NH (2008 Hyundai Sonata Limited 3.3-L V6)

“Ball joints on upper control arms were worn and noisy. Replaced them myself”

Mark S., NV (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“I had to have them replaced in late 2014”

Anonymous, IL (2008 Hyundai Sonata Unsure 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Power steering return line and rack were leaking. Had to replace gear and linkage assembly, tubes, hoses”

Anonymous, MN (2008 Hyundai Sonata SE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“broken hydrulic line”

Anonymous, FL (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Problem was not noticed by Hyundai service during routine inspection. Repairs were completed under extended warranty and required 5 days due to parts and had a rental car”

Anonymous, MA (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“The power steering was leaking and I was advised by two different mechanics to get it repaired. One replaced the power steering system. Works fine now. There were no driving problems before the replacement”

Anonymous, CO (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS Unsure)
Shocks or struts

“Struts went bad very quickly and suddenly, and even after replaced, ride is still not as smooth or quiet as it was before. Could be other suspension issues”

Anonymous, AZ (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Rack and pinion had a whining sound. Originally while car was under warranty they said it was normal. Just out of warranty (time) they said it needed replacing.It was eventually replaced under warranty”

Robert W., ON (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Covered under previous account”

Anonymous, MA (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

“The gas tank emission deice needed replacing”

Anonymous, LA (2008 Hyundai Sonata SE 3.3-L V6)

“Fuel vapor recovery canister needed to be replaced”

Michael E., NJ (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Fuel pump

“car would not start and had to be towed to dealer”

Anonymous, OH (2008 Hyundai Sonata SE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“The fuel pump had a crack in it and needed to be replaced. Shortly thereafter the fuel gauge in the car started acting erratically and now the fuel level sensor also needs to be replaced both of which will cost about $750 to fix”

Ben V., WI (2008 Hyundai Sonata Limited 3.3-L V6)

“Fuel pump failed. Problem was cost of repair by dealer. Cost was around $600”

John S., FL (2008 Hyundai Sonata Unsure 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Fuel vapors escaping from sending unit in gas tank”

Anonymous, OH (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Engine light came on”

Anonymous, MO (2008 Hyundai Sonata SE 3.3-L V6)

“The Check Engine Light comes ON for no apparent reason. Fails Emissions test. Too costly to fix”

Anonymous, MD (2008 Hyundai Sonata SE 3.3-L V6)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

“The seals around the windows is bad. Also some of the seals around the bumper area are failing as well”

Anonymous, IL (2008 Hyundai Sonata SE 3.3-L V6)
Squeaks or rattles

“Suspension got worse very quickly, and even after replacement, are still loud. Possibly other issues”

Anonymous, AZ (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Very squeaky chassis. So much so that I can't play CD's in my car without them skipping”

Anonymous, IL (2008 Hyundai Sonata SE 3.3-L V6)

“Rear end makes noise when hitting moderate bumps in the road surface”

Ronald J., NY (2008 Hyundai Sonata Unsure 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“The chassis of this car is extremely noisy. It is like the entire bottom of the car needs lubrication. Also if I hit a bump my CD's skip and get scratched”

Jocelyn D., IL (2008 Hyundai Sonata SE Unsure)
Wind noise

“Weather Stripping has slowly failed requiring replacement. Wind noise was caused by these failures”

Anonymous, IL (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“There is a lot of wind noise when driving on the highway. It seems like a window is slightly open but I can't feel any air coming through”

Jocelyn D., IL (2008 Hyundai Sonata SE Unsure)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Locks and latches

“Interior door handle/opening mechanism broke”

Anonymous, NV (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Key fob won't lock or unlock driver door only”

Anonymous, FL (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Right rear latch failed. Driver's side latch broke off in my daughter's hand”

Anonymous, VA (2008 Hyundai Sonata SE 3.3-L V6)
Seat belts

“Rear seat, seat belts disappear into the seat and are difficult to retrieve”

Anonymous, NJ (2008 Hyundai Sonata Limited 3.3-L V6)
Mirrors

“Stopped functioning”

Michael K., NJ (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose interior trim or moldings

“The visors have both loosened and will not stay up. the driver's side had to be replaced. The passenger side is now sagging”

Dan H., IL (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

“At the edges of the body and door, the clear coat has begun to bubble and peel. It is sad that with normal wear and tear, that the paint doesn't stay decent”

Anonymous, WY (2008 Hyundai Sonata SE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Paint peeling across the top of the windshield”

Anonymous, NJ (2008 Hyundai Sonata Limited 3.3-L V6)

“The clear coat is peeling off the mirrors and the drivers side door”

Anonymous, IL (2008 Hyundai Sonata Unsure 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

“The engine threw a rod. Entire engine needed to be replaced. Cost more than blue book value of car to fix. Only 136500 miles! I had to sell car as junk”

Anonymous, TX (2008 Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Engine seezed. Hyundai had no explanation for the failure. It was out of warranty so they did not seam to care”

Michael K., NJ (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“ENGINE FAILURE”

Larry K., FL (2008 Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“engine had shaving in it”

Anonymous, TX (2008 Hyundai Sonata Limited 3.3-L V6)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

“had to replace a/c compressor $1600”

M S., TX (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
Blower (fan) motor

“we replaced the blower and a/c system a year earlier and then the blower(?) went bad again”

Anonymous, OH (2008 Hyundai Sonata SE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Does not work unless you turn it on high snd then it makes noises”

John C., NY (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Radio

“Volume controls no longer work”

Brian S., KS (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

“Volume button does not respond correctly - randomly goes to extreme loud or quiet with slightest turn of the knob (sometimes opposite of intended direction)”

Brian S., KS (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)
CD player

“Player broke”

Robert C., FL (2008 Hyundai Sonata SE 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

“Leak from oil pan caused leak onto alternator which needed to be replaced. Repair cost -$3000.00”

Richard C., IL (2008 Hyundai Sonata Limited 3.3-L V6)

“leak around timing chain cover”

Anonymous, SK (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 3.3-L V6)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Rough shifting

“had transmission flushed at 60K miles by dealer - thereafter it missed shifts and went into safe mode several times - back to dealer several times - finally seemed to resolve on its own- I found out that it is not a good idea to flush auto transmissi”

Anonymous, CA (2008 Hyundai Sonata SE 3.3-L V6)
Transmission computer

“According to Dealership there are known corrosion problems with electrical connections that will require replacement of sensors”

Bob J., OH (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

“Oil leak shorted out the alternator”

Paul M., CO (2008 Hyundai Sonata Limited 3.3-L V6)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Electrical failure

“The wiring on the Sonata is primitive bet effective, it is problematic when there is a failure because of its lack of sophistication”

Anonymous, IL (2008 Hyundai Sonata GLS 2.4-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

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