Last post on Apr 13, 2007 at 11:55 AM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Hyundai Sonata, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Volkswagen Passat, Mazda MAZDA6, Ford Fusion, Subaru Legacy, Saturn Aura, Sedan
#1733 of 12297 My Hyundai Ownership Experience
Mar 25, 2006 (7:51 am)
Their cars back then was somewhat built by a backyard manufacturer who uses hammer and metal scissor to build body parts. Suspension, exterior body, interior are so horribly done you wouldnt waste you money on, thats Hyundai
I disagree with these comments and have 5 ownership experiences with Hyundai (4 with a Sonata and 1 Elantra wagon) to dispute, no doubt, a non-ownership experience:
1990 Sonata: Drove it 150,000 km. Major Issues: an electrical issue solved and replacement of a catyalitic converter all under warranty. This was the first Sonata built and was far more reliable than many 'critics' reported. I believe MotorTrend had this car on one of their covers in 1989 and were lauding it for its value due to room, build quality and engineering. Hyundai used Mitsu designed engines and trannies then.
1992 Sonata: Drove it 190,000kms Major issues: none.
1995 Sonata: Still on road in Canada with 300,000kms. Major issues: Tranny replaced under warranty at 170,000kms(Hyundai offered a 5 year unlimited mileage warranty in Canada on this car, like Europe) and head gasket issue at 250,000 miles.
I am quite sure, now having owned a Maxima and Pilot that these early Hyundai's had some early issues that young car makers face, largely due to weeding out vendors and eliminating some inferior Mitsu powertrain components. I will dispute the 'hammer and scissor' comments however as purely ignorant of any real experience or knowledge.
My Dad's ownership experience with a 2002 Sonata was nearly perfect. He ONLY replaced rear bushings, under warranty, and drove it 85,000 miles.
My brother, a doctoral student in Lexington, KY, drives a 1998 Elantra Wagon. He has nearly 200,000 miles on it and has replaced a sensor and rear struts on the hatch. He recently told me that this is a better car than his previous Toyota Tercel in durability and reliabilty and far better than his wifes Saturn, with 70,000 miles, that is 'falling apart'.
Reasonable people who understand the automotive market understand Hyundai/Kia couldn't put nearly 800,000 cars on the road with this warranty if they were fixing them regularly. Also, recent reports from Hyundai indicated a huge savings on warranty claims due to lower than anticipated claims.
#1734 of 12297 Re: I can still remember [leadfoot6]
Mar 25, 2006 (7:59 am)
So spending $1 billion on an assembly plant makes them cost efficient? OK but who's paying for the plant? SK gov't? We'll never know. And we'll never know Hyundai's true profit. Same with anything Chinese. Like they'd disclose real financial data. But who cares?
Excuse me, I thought we were comparing cars, not counting beans. I absolutely couldn't care less about who pays for what. What really matters is that my car was a great buy, a great car, and more of my money stayed in the USA than my 2nd choice, the Mazda6 Ford Fusion.
#1735 of 12297 Let Me Tell You About My Honda Pilot
Mar 25, 2006 (8:04 am)
My Honda Pilot is mechanically sound. I have driven it 75,000 miles in less than 20 months and have had no mechanical issues. I expected not to.
What I didn't expect was the poor build quality that is lending to MINOR issues on this $35,000 SUV. They are as follows:
Electrical Gremlins: One Touch drivers window works sometimes
Dash and Center Stack: 'Cheaper than Chrysler' plastic and 'squeaks' in cold weather
Rear Hatch: Does not close flush to body. What, a Honda?
Rear Hatch Handle: requires costant tightening of screws
Rear Hatch: Does not have window entry opening like my sisters Tuscon. Someone at Honda missed this!
Engine: 'Not Quite My Wife's Maxima V6 Smooth' but awful close!
Everything Else: It's a $35k Honda, it'd better be good... and it is
#1736 of 12297 Re: I can still remember [leadfoot6]
Mar 25, 2006 (8:08 am)
No, YOU go drive other cars. You OBVIOUSLY have not driven a Sonata or eyeballed one up close. I am not saying the fit and finish are the absolutely superior. I'm saying the fit and finish are equal to cars costing 10K-20K more.
#1737 of 12297 Re: I can still remember [giantkiller]
Mar 25, 2006 (8:19 am)
giantkiller wrote: "We'll atract customers and hopefully keep them, then later on increase the price."
Isn't that exactly the same strategy that all of the Japanese marques have used? For example, do you remember the Subaru 360, or the later Subaru's prices? Now, check Subaru's prices today.
I believe we are seeing, slowly but surely, a constant move upmarket by the Japanese auto manufacturers. Much like BMW, SAAB, and Volvo a couple of decades before. Remember, those European marques were not originally considered premium brands.
#1738 of 12297 Re: I can still remember [bobad]
Mar 25, 2006 (8:35 am)
I'm saying the fit and finish are equal to cars costing 10K-20K more
Of course this is from your own opinion
You keep stating, "You odviously haven't ---" You have to remember that your opinion is not a fact.
IMO, the Sonata is well built. But I won't go so far to say its Lexus like.
#1739 of 12297 Re: I can still remember [fsowirles]
Mar 25, 2006 (9:15 am)
I was impressed for Hyundai, but it is no BMW or MB. It isn't even VW/AUDI good on fit/finish. They are a top performer in the fit/finish category for their segment, but don't exagerrate as much as you did.
Though BMW and MB are considered more prestigious brands than Audi, it's Audi that's considered tops in the fit and finish department among those in the industry.
As far as Hyundai, they have leaped frog comparable domestic makes but still lag behind Honda and Toyota. I will say the Azera is well done though.
#1740 of 12297 Hyundai 1998, Hyundai 2006
Mar 25, 2006 (9:36 am)
Taming a predisposition takes time. People see what they wanna see. Most people, when speaking of Hyundai, are speaking from a paradigm that is based on previous information, a bad experience and resulting personal perspective. It is very normal for the reality of a company and their product to be ahead of the market perception of that company and product. That is why Hyundai is spending nearly $700 million on advertisinig this year to change the perception. Hyundai knows its a long road and one has to applaud Hyundai for their peseverence and commitment. Many companies would have given up back in 1998.
Reality is that Hyundai and Kia are changing more rapidly than any carmaker, at any time, in automotive history.
Consider the JDPower Initial Quality Survey Report of 2004 which sent Ford, GM and others back to the drawing boards on initial quality. Hyundai tied Honda, beat the Toyota brand by 3 points and finished second to Lexus/Toyota combined by 1 point! Dramatic improvement and change!!! Consider the Azera model. Altho Hyundai is spending about $691 MILLION this year on advertising the Hyundai brand, the Azera is not just hype. It's a night-to-day improvement over the 'XG' and even the harshest writers are categorizing the Azera with the best from Toyota and GM. If one merely looks at the technology, performance figures and content of the Azera, any reasonable consumer will determine that Hyundai is now a legitimate world-class automaker. The Sonata is also a legitimate player. And this is the marketing brilliance in it all. Hyundai knows that Toyota, Honda, Nissan and others are rated above them. What they have sought to do, in the short-term is to meet their goals to get on people's radar. If you're not on the radar, people don't even show up to the lot. But if they get on the lot and they are categorized with Honda and Toyota, they will sell more cars. When considering the mid-size class in 2004, most would place the Camry, Accord and maybe the Altima, Taurus with them. On the bottom was the Mitsus, Malibus, Sonatas, etc. Now consider today. Only the Accord and Camry are still tops on the radar but enter Sonata. Hyundai has gone from less than 100,000 volume car to nearly 150,000 and near tier 1 in one offering. Brilliant. Many will not buy the Sonata but many now know that the Sonata is a car to consider.
Consider their new plant in Alabama. Already running at over 80% capacity, funtioning efficiently, considered the most advanced, automated autoplant in the world, the Montgomery facility by Hyundai is outshining their nearest counterpart, Nissan, in Mississippi, who is is still struggling nearly 3 years later with their quality and efficiency. To date, Nissan is (still) sending engineers to Mississippi to salvage this operation. Recently, the decision was made to cut production. At last count over 100 engineers have been 'indefinitely stationed' in Miss. Consider the Armada and brother Infiniti QX56 rated as the most unreliable vehicles in 2005. Noone would dispute the legitimacy and world-class demeanor of Nissan, but (and by pointing to these issues) I am displaying the inherent difficulties of getting these mega-operations working efficiently. Hyundai has already done it in less than a year!
To point to anything but the present and the future is underestimating the Koreans and their diligence to compete with the Japanese, not only in sales, but in the more subjective areas of perception and quality.
In 1998, Hyundai sold a measly 98,000 cars sparking debate so heated that Hyundai was pulling out of the N.American market, that Hyundai took out full-page ads in newspapers nationwide declaring their long-term commitment to this market. What followed in the Hyundai leadership was their committment to become one of the top 5 automakears in the world. Soon after, Hyundai Motor split with the conglomerate, bought Kia and hired the leaders son to rebuild. His vision from the beginning was 'better than Lexus'. Critics laughed. They laughed when Hyundai hired Finbarr O'Neill who developed the now historical and then heard of 100,000 mile warranty. Critics again stated this would 'put Hyundai under'. Since that time, Hyundai has moved from ales of 98,000 to over 700,000, quality has improved dramatically, product is now 'big-leagues' and yet there are still many whose perception of Hyundai actually lags the reality of their product offering. Think about it: from 98,000 to nearly 750,000 in 8 years! In that 8 years, Hyundai has shot past Mazda, Suburu, Mitsubishi, Volvo, BMW, Mercedes and is planning on approaching Nissan in a few short years to become the #3 import! Perception lags reality.
I would challenge any doubter of the Koreans, who thrive on 'living under the radar', to read the comments of Hyundai's competitors, and not the subjective advertising-driven publications or the perceptionally challenged critics. Read Lutz's comments('I fear Hyundai more than any other brand) and (the Chair ofL Toyota's comments on this conglomerate. One will detect a sense of respect and concern, not dismissal. Even Toyota's Chair sincerely respects Hyundai to the point or requesting a tour of their Ulsan(Korea) plant soon after Hyundai's quality rankings topped the Toyota brand in 2004. He offered in exchange a tour of the top Japanese Lexus plant to the Hyundai Chair. On this occassion it wasn't Hyundai that was dismissed, but Toyota when the Hyundai Chair politely declined.
#1741 of 12297 Re: I can still remember [ctalk]
Mar 25, 2006 (9:58 am)
IMO, the Sonata is well built. But I won't go so far to say its Lexus like
Nor did I. You're trying to put words in my mouth yet again.
If I were a Toyota bigwig, I would bring in a Sonata and show it to the Camry designers and engineers. I would show them how close the Sonata is for $6K less money. I would tell them they had better do something about it, and quickly.
#1742 of 12297 Re: I can still remember [bobad]
Mar 25, 2006 (10:12 am)
I happen to recall you saying, "I have never seen such body panel fit. Not in Mercedes, not in any other car I have examined."
I only used Lexus because some of its vehicles are about 10k-20k more expensive. I recall you stating, "I'm saying the fit and finish are equal to cars costing 10K-20K more."
Well next time, try to be more specific as to which cars the Sonata's fit and finish are equal to