Last post on Jun 27, 2008 at 3:37 PM
You are in the Hyundai Sonata
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Nissan Altima, Hyundai Sonata, Car Comparisons, Car Buying, Sedan
#1 of 48 07 Altima 4 cyl vs 07/08 Sonata 6 cyl
Jul 15, 2007 (10:13 am)
I've been trying to decide on an 07 I4 Altima or an 07 or 08 Sonata V6 and it's been much harder than I thought. I test drove both vehicles. I didn't want the 4 cyl Sonata because I didn't feel it had quite enough power. The I4 Altima seems to be just enough hp and torque to satisfy my needs. The V6 Sonata definately had enough hp and torque. There are pros and cons to each car. Comparably equipped, I can get them both for about the same price. The Sonata has a longer warranty, more standard safety equipment and a little more power but also has lower mpg and higher depreciation. There are other comparision that I have found that make one better then the other that I won't elaborate on now. I am sort of leaning towards the Altima but I am still not convinced it is actually the better car. If anyone else has had the same problem deciding but did end up buying the Altima or Sonata, please explain what was the deciding factor(s).
#2 of 48 Re: 07 Altima 4 cyl vs 07/08 Sonata 6 cyl [starryknight]
Jul 15, 2007 (2:02 pm)
I looked at the Hyundai before buying my Altima, though I ultimately ended up comparing V6 to V6. Hyundai are to be congratulated for the strides they have made - they really have turned out an excellent product in the Sonata. That said, here are a few reasons why I would probably still grab the Altima, even in 4 cyl. form.
1) Style. Subjective, to be sure, but a clear advantage in my my view to the Altima. The Hyundai is a handsome (if derivative) design, but ultimately very safe and conservative. The Altima's lines are among the most attractive and distinctive in this class.
2) Transmission. The V6 motor struck me as not quite as strong as its numbers suggested, while the Altima's 4 cyl. impressed as having a bit more grunt than in should. I put it down to the Altima's CVT extracting the most out its 4 cyl. mill, while the slushbox in the Hyundai felt very slushy indeed - muting the otherwise strong performance of the motor. Also, (though I strongly favor manual transmissions in any case) I was very impressed by the manual mode offered by the Alti CVT. Responses to tip-tronic "shifts" through the 6 "gears" were quick and decisive.
3) Convenience. Having lived with the smartkey and push button start for several months I simply can't believe the extra degree of convenience over the traditional key-fob / crank starter. You literally never need to touch or handle the key in order to unlock doors / trunk, and a mere touch of a starter button fires the motor and you're on your way. True, the smartkey has been a little bit dumb when it cvomes to getting along with certain cell phones, but the fix is in for that. I'd no more go back to the days of fishing a key fob out of my pocket and pressing it's tiny buttons than I would to winding up manual windows.
4) Resale. The Hyundai makes a more compelling case the longer you keep it, and you ned to keep it a loooooooong time or you will get HAMMERED on resale value.
5) Driving dynamics. I found the Hyundai very soft. Too soft by a good measure for my tastes (yours may differ). It wasn't as bad as an LE Camry but couldn't lay a finger on even a base Altima in the handling department.
Having reflected upon it while writing and remembering how favorably impressed I was with the 4 cyl. Altima, there I'll retract the "prabably" qualifier and say I'd definitely still go Altima.
Hope that helps.
#3 of 48 Re: 07 Altima 4 cyl vs 07/08 Sonata 6 cyl [starryknight]
Jul 23, 2007 (12:59 am)
I prefer Hyundai Sonata. Here's the reason: I have owned 2000 Nissan Altima GXE 2.4 since 2004(I bought used one). Its advantage is on its powerful engine. Great acceleration. Good window angle. Easy drive. I felt Camry is harder to drive.
Huge disadvantage is on its maintenance. Fristly, my Altima had serious rough idle. Most of mechanics couldn't find the reason. I think its computer scan code was P0407 - 4th cylinder misfire. The problem was on intake manifold gasket torn down due to its design issue(it is too close to 4th cylinder). It cost me $650. This is well-known problem. I could find 7 more people who complained on the forum.
Secondly, the air conditioner malfunction. There is no problem with condenser and compressor. Cold air used to come out but suddenly it only worded intermittently. Then, only hot air. It's killing me in Florida. Many other Nissan owners said it was temperature control amplifier. I replaced it but still it did not work. I had been to dealership and they said that ECM computer had to be replaced($1100) but I installed the used one($300) and it does not work. I still could not repair the air though I had been to 4 other service shops. The problem will be likely electrical one. Nissan is famous for its complex electricity system - hard to repair when problem occurs.
There were also several other problems. CV joint was broken. Power steering oil leaked.
There are many others who had bad experience with Nissan cars. One of my friend who bought a Sonata recently said his Nissan SUV(forgot the name) had so many problems and he was tired of repairing it. Electrical problem is famous. Four other people whom I know that owns Nissan cars experienced electrical problems.
Having gone through these problems, I decided to buy a new Hyundai Sonata 2007 GLS 2.4. The price is much cheaper than Altima. Sonata had shown very good review about its safety features and review score is pretty high. Its brand name is going up, so resale value after 5-10 years may be improved. Considering money to the value, Sonata has the best deal among mid-size cars.
Overall, my bad experience with Nissan may not be so relevant to your decision since Nissan has changed Altima quite a lot since 2003. If you like the power engine and acceleration, then go with Altima, every one that I know loved that. But check your friends about repair cost before making a decision.
#4 of 48 Altima
Jul 25, 2007 (7:02 am)
It makes you wonder how negligent the previous owner of the 2000 Altima was. Even finding 7 others in the forum who have had some pelectrical problems is a very small number compared to the 350,000 Altimas that were sold. cv boot & joints are usually due to hard driving as in running into concrete parking barriers etc. But it sounds like you sort of got a lemon. Just as i have heard many Sonata owners with similar complaints.. They're both very good cars and you'll always find some problems with each manufacturer. I'd take the Sonata for size and comfort......but i'd take the Altima for long term reliability, resale, and looks.
#5 of 48 Re: 07 Altima 4 cyl vs 07/08 Sonata 6 cyl [starryknight]
Jul 25, 2007 (11:54 am)
Don't buy an Altima. Look at the numberous posts on Altimas dating back to the 2002 model which I have. These cars have many problems including bad engines causing oil consumption problems.
I live near the Smryna, TN plant where I have relatives and friends that work there. In a company poll of why employees were not driving Nissans, the employees commented on the quality and price.
I am planning to go back to the Camry. Have you check out the new design?
#6 of 48 Re: 07 Altima 4 cyl vs 07/08 Sonata 6 cyl [latasha]
Jul 25, 2007 (12:25 pm)
Nissan's quality and reliability ratings, with the exception on the Infinity line, have deteriorated badly in the past years - just look at CR and JD Power for reference. Titan, Armada, Sentra are among the terrible ones.
Won't be surprised if it is due to their ownership/influence by Renault - which tried to unsuccessfully to sell their cars in USA at least twice before.
Sonata is recommended by CR. And Hyundai was rated 3rd behind Porsche, Lexus, and ahead of Toyota by JD Powers in their IQS. It took Toyota 50+ years and Hyundai 25 yrs to get to their level of similar high quality of today. That's impressive!
#7 of 48 Alt vs, Sonata
Jul 25, 2007 (2:03 pm)
since this is just the Alt vs Sonata forum...i went with the Altima in my previous statement....however...hands down i would take the Camry...but thats not this forum...and id take a hybrid...as far as CR & JD are concerned......I havnt read 1 single forum yet......where anybody who has had issues or problems with thier Hyundais'.....Although impressive with a 100k 10 yr warranty....( every single comment i've read in edmunds)..and i've read alot...Cant get thier Dealer to fix jack.... So whats the great warranty for if EVERYTHING...falls within Hyundais alotted guidelines and accepted standards.???..Hyundai writes a great warranty...and off sets it by never fixing anything beacause its within thier tollerences.......NOT GOOD!....now i know you think im anti Hyundai.....but i'm not...i just havnt heard anything positive about getting anything under warranty handled.....
p.s. on june 30th I purchased a new 2007 Elantra....so NO..im not anti hyundai.... i just hope it never breaks so i dont have to deal with the dealers......and hear its o.k., because it falls within hyundais tollerences....i.e. having a speedometer off by almost 5 MPH at 60....thats not acceptable....but 4.9 is to hyundai?????/
#8 of 48 Re: Alt vs, Sonata [caaz]
Jul 25, 2007 (4:44 pm)
The best warranty is one that you never use!
My wife's 2004 Honda Ody became 3 yrs recently and it never had to go back to the dealer for any repairs of any kind. I have been doing my own PM (engine/tranny oil, brakes, etc) as well as unscheduled repairs on all my cars for the past 35 yrs as a matter of personal interest and aptitude. We have 5 cars in the family today.
With that kind of reliability in the Honda, I would want the same for my replacement cars. So with my 13 yr old Continental due for replacement, I researched many cars including the Sonata in detail. Its good reliability record in the past 5 years plus the approvals/blessings from CR and JDP impressed me. What impressed me most was its price -a fully loaded new 2007 Sonata Limited at under $20K, which is at least $8K cheaper than a comparably equipped Accord, Camry, Maxima, etc. These are reliable cars too, but an extra $8K cannot be justified.
When I took delivery of the 2007 Sonata, I told the dealer GM that its quality benchmark was my Honda Ody with no reliability problems. He was up to the challenge and referenced the same JDP quality ratings (I knew already) of Porsche, Lexus, Hyundai and Toyota, Honda in that order.
#9 of 48 Re: 07 Altima 4 cyl vs 07/08 Sonata 6 cyl [latasha]
Jul 25, 2007 (6:26 pm)
Yes, I considered the Camry, but after reading many complaints in several forums concerning transmission hesitation, I decided not to include the Camry in my choices. One of the things that concerned me about the Altima was the issue with the key fob being deprogrammed by a cell phone. I realize they fixed that issue but my first thought was, what will wipe out the programming next.....maybe your car being near a lightening strike?? Or a static discharge (that happens alot in the winter)?? Kind of makes me nervous but maybe I'm being over cautious.
#10 of 48 Re: 07 Altima 4 cyl vs 07/08 Sonata 6 cyl [starryknight]
Jul 26, 2007 (5:05 am)
Key FOB is just a fad to be like some others.
As many car magazines and other authorities would attest to, the good ole fashioned keys are still the best.
One is much more likely to be stranded by a deprogrammed key fob for many reasons you stated than a malfunctioning ole fashioned steel/aluminum key. And what for? - to be/appear fashionable? Another French (parent Renault)connection? How silly!
Another likely French connection with Nissan was the placement of the instrument guages in the center of the dashboard of the large minivan Quest. It was a distraction and unsafe for driving. Well after 3 yrs, they finally got it and moved it back where it normally should be - directly infront of the driver!! Probably too late now for damage control in turning off earlier potential customers.
The BMW I-drive is another nuisance that some may copy. The I-drive is very complicated and require a PhD to understand it. Whatever happened to the KISS principle?