Last post on Nov 20, 2007 at 9:59 PM
You are in the Hyundai Sonata
What is this discussion about?
Hyundai Sonata, Chevrolet Malibu, Saturn Aura, Sedan
#12 of 22 Re: 2008 Sonata VS 2008 Chevrolet Malibu and Saturn Aura [joe97]
Oct 17, 2007 (7:59 pm)
I have an 05 Malibu Maxx and my wife drives an 07 Optima. The Optima's platform is closer to the Elantra but it shares a power train with the Sonata.
1. The Optima has a quieter engine than the Maxx, however I like the 3.5 ohv v-6. Compared to Hyunkia, the Maxx has a far less expensive maintenance schedule due to its OLM. With the Optima (or Sonata), I've got to stick to 3000 mile oil changes for the severe cycle in order to keep the 100K warranty in place. Thankfully the new Hyunkia/Chrysler-Mitsu (sort of) engine doesn't have a timing belt. Replacing that on my 01 Elantra was expensive.
2. Because of the electric steering on the 'Bu, the Optima is a better handling car. It has 17 inch Michelins. Better handling means rougher riding and much more expensive tires. Once you get used to the electric steering it's not that bad however (like lots of 04-06 'Bu buyers I've had to replace the steering column-- is the rack next?). The electric steering (na in 2007+) really helps in the mileage department. The Maxx gets slightly better gas mileage than my Optima-- which is still breaking in (Hyunkia engines are notoriously slowly improve mileage).
3. The Optima has a much more attractive electroluminescent instrument panel than the 'Bu, Saturn or Hyundai for that matter. However I prefer the Maxx in the comfort department. I think the Sonata is more comfortable than the Optima, unlike the last generation they're not at all the same car.
4. I recently rented an HHR and liked the four cylinder engine which got better mileage than the V6 Maxx or the Optima. Even though I like the 3.5 six, I've got to say that I think Chevy and Saturn are wise to ramp up four cylinder production in 08.
5. GM cars (I assume Saturn as well as Chevy) have much better thought out drivers information centers. For some inexplicable reason Kia doesn't include a MPG computer. I don't think the Sonata has two trip meters: business trips and MPG computation anyone? I think some of these short comings will be corrected, at least in the Optima, in 08. I was really impressed with the HHR's DIC, including two mpg comps, tire pressure (I assume all GM cars have it in 2007+?).
I'm sorry I didn't drive the Saturn. It seemed pleasant when I sat in it, but I was able to get an Optima with appearance group and leather for sixteen thousand, the same as my Maxx LS. Don't think I could get a Saturn for that money at least when I made the purchase.
My Hyundais and Kias have been slightly more reliable than my recent Chevy's but I'm still happy with the Maxx despite laying out a thousand for the steering column. On the other hand, I had to pay about $800 for a sixty thousand mile check on my Elantra. With no timing belt, I'd expect the Optima to cost less.
Up until my last experience I would have put GM dealers ahead of Hyunkia (I haven't had my Optima back to the dealer and had some real sleaze issues with my Elantra). Since my Chevy dealer has moved into new haunts they seem more agressive in pushing services and I had to fight my way out of there to keep several 100K major items from being performed at 40,000. That plus all of the pushed injection cleanings, etc.
Styling is subjective. I think both the Optima and Sonata are attractive cars but less distinctive than their predecessors. I don't like the Malibu sedan but (apart from the front clip), do kind of like the rear of my Maxx. I think the Saturn is one of the better looking cars out there (especially the exterior). Haven't seen the new 'Bu yet, but am a bit disturbed by the c-pillar and rear clip. Looks a bit mid-nineties Diamante. I'm sure detail is much improved over the present car, however.
If forced to choose one, I'd probably take my Maxx over the Optima because of maintenance, comfort and utility (give me a large hatch, PLEASE!)
On balance, I suspect that both the Sonata and the GM cars are fairly well matched. I think many of the comments on earlier posts are a bit strident. I'm glad that everyone seems to like their cars, however.
#13 of 22 Re: 2008 Sonata VS 2008 Chevrolet Malibu and Saturn Aura [robert1955]
Oct 17, 2007 (8:03 pm)
GM should have offered I-4 in the Aura at launch, IMO. Now offered at 2008 model year, better late than never, as they say.
#14 of 22 I own a hyundai product.
Oct 17, 2007 (10:47 pm)
I have a Hyundai to keep my warranty intact i just follow the basic maintenance schedule every 6 months of 7,500 which ever comes first, i told the hyundai rep that i do mixed driving so i qualify for the standard maintenance schedule.
Oct 18, 2007 (8:20 am)
I have not driven either of the other cars yet. The '08 Malibu isn't out yet (the car I was waiting for) and I would not consider buying any non-American cars. My dad worked for GM for 30 years so I get a big discount. So that leaves my decision with the Malibu or the Aura. I drove the Aura a week ago and was very impressed with everything about it. I ended up getting an '07 Aura XR loaded for $22.8K plus ttl. It looks great, drives great, has great performance, and inexpensive. My co-worker bought a Lexus recently and she keeps saying, "My Lexus doesn't have heated seats", My Lexus doesn't have XM Radio or On Star", "My Lexus doesn't have remote start", etc... She also thinks they look a lot a like too - well they are both the same color!
Bottom line: I am glad I didn't wait for the Malibu and I look for excuses to drive my new Aura XR.
#16 of 22 Re: Saturn Aura [steelerman]
Oct 19, 2007 (10:23 am)
As long as your happy I am happy too, you got got a deal considering it was over 26 k MRSP.
#17 of 22 Re: 2008 Sonata VS 2008 Chevrolet Malibu and Saturn Aura [csandste]
Nov 19, 2007 (1:34 pm)
As with any car's warranty, but especially with either Hyundai's or Kia's, perform the 3K oil changes yourself using an OEM filter, keep your receipts, and document your work on their website or in a file folder. If you do this, all is well with their warranty coverage. You do not have to have the work done at the dealer to maintain the warranty. You can save boatloads of money by following their severe service schedule, but by doing most of the work yourself. As to Hyundai specifically, this is exactly why their Owner's Manuals have such a large section devoted to Do-It-Yourself or Self-Performed Maintenance.
#18 of 22 Re: 2008 Sonata VS 2008 Chevrolet Malibu and Saturn Aura [csandste]
Nov 19, 2007 (8:40 pm)
I am a bit ignorant when it comes to certain aspects of these cars. I really don't know where the Hyundai cars are manufactured.
I know my Saturn came from the Fairfax assembly plan in Kansas City Kansas. The chassis comes form Opel in Germany and the engine comes from the Cadillac.
I am really not familiar with the Hyundai cars other than seeing a lot of them and I really like the Azera Limited. Very similar features to my Aura, A little more money and a little less performance and handling, but very nice.
#19 of 22 Re: 2008 Sonata VS 2008 Chevrolet Malibu and Saturn Aura [phaetondriver]
Nov 19, 2007 (10:24 pm)
Alabama (the Sonata, that is). .
#20 of 22 Re: 2008 Sonata VS 2008 Chevrolet Malibu and Saturn Aura [csandste]
Nov 20, 2007 (5:59 pm)
I think the 4-cylinder engine may still come from the ROK though.
#21 of 22 Re: 2008 Sonata VS 2008 Chevrolet Malibu and Saturn Aura [phaetondriver]
Nov 20, 2007 (8:48 pm)
That Azera Limited you mentioned has more features than your Aura (i.e. power rear sunshade, eight airbags, auto-wipers), has more peformance and handles, well, both aren't handling experts but more than adequate on both.
The reason why Azera has a higher price range is because it doesn't compete directly with the Aura, the Sonata does.
By the way, I am really digging the interior on the 09 Sonata facelift. That is one area of flaw from most critics and Hyundai responded very well. The latest pics of the exterior has me convinced this should be a successful facelift. Looking forward to seeing the North American spec (at the Detroit auto show, along with the Geensis/BH RWD luxury sedan), which I have been told should vary somewhat from the S. Korean spec but not by a lot.