Last post on Oct 12, 2007 at 4:33 PM
You are in the Hyundai Sonata
What is this discussion about?
Hyundai Sonata, Honda Accord, Car Comparisons, Sedan
#79 of 664 Re: take your pick! [robertsmx]
Sep 18, 2007 (9:56 am)
Honda’s product growth was based on success, with emphasis on quality over quantity. Sales followed. Most small companies tend to offer too many products in too little time, instead of focusing on core products. Honda’s approach was the opposite.
It looks to me like Hyundai is emulating Honda. They started with one model, the Excel. They added their second model, the Sonata, four years later. Then their third, the Elantra, after three more years. Later, the Excel's name was changed to Accent, but that was it for models until the 2001 MY, when the Santa Fe and XG300 were introduced. They didn't add any more until the 2005 MY (Tuscon, based on the Elantra). In 1999, Hyundai refocused on quality and introduced their long-term warranty to back it up. Sales shot up, and product quality has been steadily improving since '99.
You drove the current Sonata and decided you didn't like it. Great. Many people don't even bother to drive the Sonata, based on what they know about Hyundai from the days of the Excel. Would you have gone into a Hyundai dealership to drive a Sonata on your own? Probably not. But you did get to drive a Sonata (several it appears) because it was available as a rental. So from that aspect, Hyundai's "butts in seats" initiative worked. Will everyone who drives a Sonata as a rental buy one? Of course not. But many will, or at least give it serious consideration when they wouldn't have given it a second thought before.
I was all set to buy a 2001 Civic before I drove some Elantras (actually some older 2000 models) as rentals. I was impressed by their quality and solidity, but heard a new design was coming for 2001 so I waited. And it was even better than the 2000 Elantra--better IMO than the 2001 Civic, which was also all-new for 2001. But Hyundai was an unknown quantity to me while Honda was not. That's where the warranty and financial incentives swayed me to take the leap. The 2001 Elantra cost about $6000 less than the Civic I was considering would have, and as I said I actually preferred the Elantra. Now seven years later, that car is still in my family and is running strong and reliably (and looks like new), as is my 2004 Elantra.
So I am one of the people, former owner of multiple Hondas and Toyotas, that Hyundai has "managed to get hold of." Thus I would have no problem at least considering a Sonata vs. an Accord. But I will also consider Hondas and Toyotas. I just won't pay much extra for them.
#80 of 664 Re: GPS as part of the buying decision [joeg1]
Sep 18, 2007 (9:58 am)
Word from insiders is that Hyundai will offer factory nav with the 2009 MY refresh of the Sonata, due next spring. Until then, it's available (in-dash) as a dealer-installed option. Personally if I got a nav system, I'd get one of the nice portable ones for around $300, since I don't use it that much around town and could then use it in any of my vehicles.
#81 of 664 Re: take your pick! [backy]
Sep 18, 2007 (10:22 am)
That’s right. A lot of people prefer not to take a chance, instead go with something that has impressed them over a long term, something that has proven itself. I am guilty of it myself. They tend to fall in repeat customers category. The downside to it is that as time goes by, the average age of buyers goes up. I was 23 when I got my first Honda (Accord), and if I go out to buy next Accord, I will be ten years older. And I don’t see a reason I shouldn’t buy another Accord. I drive a lot of cars, mostly brand new, thru rentals (I travel a lot, mostly for pleasure). These cars don’t need to be test driven either.
So, it may be a combination of both, and perhaps more, that people just visit a Honda dealership and drive home the Accord. A friend of mine did just that. She wanted a Civic, got my help with negotiations, and 20 minutes later she was signing papers. Seven years later, she is planning to get the new Civic. She likes how it drives, and she averages over 30 mpg in city, and the car has been just as good as my Accord, absolutely no need for any kind of repair, and no rattle. It is as perfect a car for her as there can ever be. So, new Civic it is for her. One can’t blame her for not going out to try the new Elantra. She refuses to, after having rented one last year.
There is nothing wrong with people sticking with something they find comfort in. For companies like Hyundai and Kia, they will have to be consistent and persistent and create enough wow factor to sway buyers. They can’t do that by competing solely on value. They need to be more creative, and more advanced (not by listing standard features). How do you think Civic grew from CVCC to the car it is today?
These are people that have the money to spend. My friend is a great example. She can easily afford to buy (not lease) a $50K car. She “settles” for a Civic for its virtues, and in fact, hers is a “Civic family”, a 1999 Coupe and a 2000 sedan. $2K-3K less isn’t enough reason for her to get out of qualities she expects.
Believe me, I can get in a car with you and point exactly at things I don’t like about other cars, and give you ample reasons. If you haven't figured it out yet, I’m extremely picky, and understand my wants. That would be a reason I lean towards Honda products.
#82 of 664 Re: I still think the Sonata is a better value. [thegraduate]
Sep 18, 2007 (12:21 pm)
But how much faster/quicker does a family car have to be? If the 0-60 in the mid 6 second range and low 90's in the 1/4 mile in addition to a 140+ mph top speed doesn't do it then you should be shopping for a 2 dr 2 passenger car. I love fast but I recognize a "family" car doesn't need to run with a Corvette. Maybe that's just me.
#83 of 664 Re: I still think the Sonata is a better value. [targettuning]
Sep 18, 2007 (1:06 pm)
Nah, it's not just you. I chose a 4-cyl Honda over a V6 lesser-priced car because of the economy and fact that the 166 horsepower Honda 4 was plenty smooth and powerful for me, smoother than any GM pushrod V6 I've heard or ridden in lately.
I was just thinking when I read that that the 3.3L in the Sonata is among the lower-end of this pack now (Fusion, Sebring, Sonata, 6); not mind-blowing power to me. Average.
Average these days is quick though, that's for sure, but as long as economy can go up too, I'll take more power.
#84 of 664 Re: take your pick! [robertsmx]
Sep 18, 2007 (5:14 pm)
Like you, I am very picky and understand my wants, and needs. Which I why I didn't go for the 2001 Civic a few years ago. And which is why, before I give someone several thousand dollars more of my money than I would give someone else for a similar product, that more expensive product had better be damn good. Not with rattles (as the last Accord I drove had). Not a ride where I could feel every pebble on a smooth suburban street. It needs to be significantly better in several ways, ways that are important to me, before I'll fork over that extra $5 grand or whatever.
As far as Hyundai being creative... you probably noticed Hyundai caught Honda napping on active safety with the Sonata, getting active headrests and ESC across the lineup 2-1/2 years before the Accord. They also trumped the Accord until just now on interior room--another move that I see Honda has copied on the new Accord. Still haven't caught up in the warranty department, which was another very creative move for Hyundai I think when they introduced it for the 1999 MY.
#85 of 664 Re: take your pick! [backy]
Sep 18, 2007 (5:46 pm)
you probably noticed Hyundai caught Honda napping on active safety with the Sonata, getting active headrests and ESC across the lineup 2-1/2 years before the Accord.
Hyundai must have been napping in 03, when I was shopping for a car. I looked at the safety equipment on the 03 Sonata, and it was only 4 star, when the 03 Accord was 5 star. I consider ABS the most important safety feature, because it has saved me from crashes before. The 03 Sonata didn't even have ABS. Heck, my 92 Accord had ABS. Hyundai was asleep for quite a while there (11 years or more). That's more like a coma.
#86 of 664 Re: take your pick! [elroy5]
Sep 18, 2007 (6:45 pm)
The '05 Sonata had ABS available (about $600 msrp) and I think the '03 did also. The jury is still out about the effectiveness of stand alone ABS; ABS with ESC is another matter.
I think the talk of what has happened in the last 2 or 3 years is designed to show just how much Hyundai has improved the Sonata (and other models) in the last few years and is relative to the new cars of today.
Mentioning what a car offered (as an option or only in the top model?) 15 years ago doesn't really tell us anything about that same car today.
#87 of 664 More for Less
Sep 18, 2007 (6:55 pm)
The Sonata is a high quality vehicle, you think just because they write Honda Accord you assume that it is better, my first car was 98 Sonata that is why i believe so much in Korean cars in general. They offer what the Japanese don't higher price less features, the Koreans offer more features for less money, I have a 2006 it has 235 hp not 234. Honda still uses timing belts in their V6 engines, while Hyundai uses timing chains Their V6 engines in opinion The Koreans want my business that is why they improved their quality.
#88 of 664 Re: take your pick! [robertsmx]
Sep 18, 2007 (7:00 pm)
I was trying to explain the same damn thing to you, i love Hyundai's those are the only common cars i would drive, other than a Leased BMW 325i or a Mercedes C300.