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2004 Hyundai Sonata Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: Very poor investment. Had expected much more for a car that was initially high quality by scblair

A member in Pennsylvania, United States


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When I first bought this car I loved it. Now 3 years later it is dissolving into a rusty, unreliable, noisy mess.

I've had the usual wear-and-tear maintenance done to it, but it also has had more than the usual repairs needed for things like the exhaust breaks, engine gasket leaks and so on.

I want to say a bit about the paint. The paint on the door handles is not primed and flakes right off. I tried putting chrome caps on the handles to cover this up but they wouldn't stay in place. This is rediculous for a modern car. It also has a good deal of rust along the front door sills and behind the rear wheels. Granted, I live in Pittsburgh and these are trouble spots for many older cars around here. But supposedly this car was rustproofed.

Fit and finish are also poor. The gear shift lights don't work, for example, and the glove box door doesn't fit properly when closed.

I tend to try to buy older used cars that are a good value (Honda, Toyota) and I thought Hyundai would fall into this category. These are not long-term vehicles in my book.

Reviewed: 2004 Hyundai Sonata

4dr Sedan 138-horsepower 2.4L I4 4-speed shiftable automatic FWD

Why the 2004 Hyundai Sonata?

Why Not the 2004 Hyundai Sonata?

Materials & workmanship

average to poor throughout. rust, paint flaking, poor trim fit. oh - and the gas cap door now won't open from the driver's seat. I have to open the trunk to pop it. lovely in winter.

Reliability & durability

average at best. i never had as many repairs that were not simple wear-and-tear than on this vehicle.

Powertrain performance

sluggish at times and when you tromp on the gas to merge into traffic or pass something may or may not happen. shifting is laggy.


IF you are considering one, give it a very thorough once over for paint and body problems. not recommended for rust prone parts of the country. good beater for someone learning to drive or a first car.

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