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Discussion Starter #1
Likely purchasing a Sonata Monday but can't decide what trim!

I love the looks of the SE and the ride of the GLS. I keep telling myself the SE's ride can't be that bad and that I should just go for it, but then the other part of me is saying I'd be more comfortable in the GLS. I would love to hear from any of you who had debated between models.... are you happy with your choice??

I will either...
get a GLS and maybe add leather heated seats (aftermarket)...
get a GLS and add navigation...
or get a GLS w/navigation and also add leather heated seats

OR

get a base SE

I love the chrome look on the SEs exterior along with the option for a black interior with some colors... but is that reason enough to go with a harsher ride? I realize this comes down to personal opinion, but still I would love to here from others on their experiences...

Thanks so much!
Jena
 

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So in essence you want heated leather seats and navigation. If pricing isn't an option I say make it easier for yourself and just opt for the Limited model. You can get navigation (as part of a option package), and other items like heated seats, dual climate controls and sunroof comes standard.

If a Limited model is out of your range, as a SE owner, I can tell you the SE ride isn't harsh at all...at least for me it isn't. I test drove a GLS model for about 45 minutes on my own and found the ride to be comfortable. I really didn't feel a difference between the ride in the GLS and the ride SE. If anything it's a little "bouncy" (for a lack of a better word) but nowhere near jarring. The only time I ever feel that bounciness is on a strip of interstate road where there are several lines of black tar strips that run for a few hundred feet. The car just bounces over them and really makes the car suspension feel soft. My friend's Jetta which is sport tuned does the same thing and we joke about it.

I ultimately chose the SE because I wanted a daily driver that I can see myself keeping for a long time and that would be fun to drive. Plus I wanted a sunroof again (something I didn't have in a car for a long time) and the only way I could get that was to up level my choice. The GLS is a really nice ride too and I did enjoy my time when I test drove it, but I will give you the same advice I gave myself. Before you pull the trigger on a GLS, be sure you can see yourself being 100% happy with it, because it will lack additional features that the other models have. If you think you will miss those features or may want them sometime in the future do yourself a favor and go for a higher model trim.
 

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Or buy a GLS and make your own SE out of it.
 

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I bought a SE back in april for my wife. We had a 08 Santa fe limited. Since day one she has not liked the ride of the SE, I loved the ride and handling. So just a few days ago we traded the SE for a GLS and she is happy with the ride and the lack of road noise from the 18" wheels. We bought a GLS with the power seat and alloy wheels. Didn't take much of a loss since there was 3 times as many 11 on the lot than in april.
 

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First, it's definitely a personal choice, so you have to pick what you will be happy with. But for me, the SE was the choice -- I love the 18 inch wheels and the dual exhaust look. And the ride and road noise are absolutely no issue for me...I just don't get the "harsh" ride that people talk about...of course, I got rid of a Honda Element so any of the Sonatas are going to be a lot better ride and way less road noise than I had in that. :)
 

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QUOTE (jena55 @ Oct 30 2010, 12:19 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=367433
Likely purchasing a Sonata Monday but can't decide what trim!
...

I love the chrome look on the SEs exterior along with the option for a black interior with some colors... but is that reason enough to go with a harsher ride? I realize this comes down to personal opinion, but still I would love to here from others on their experiences...

Thanks so much!
Jena
:00000732:
The SE's ride is firmer than both the GLS and Limited.

I believe both tire/wheel configuration and suspension components figure into the ride quality. The SE comes with 18" wheels, low profile tires and more sporty suspension components. The other two models have identical less-sporty suspensions. The Limited has 17" wheels with medium profile tires and the GLS wheels are 16" with regular profile tires. They essentially all have the same rolling diameter/circumference and radius distance from the center of the axle to the ground.

The GLS with 16" wheels has 1" greater sidewall on the tire (height of rubber between the rim and ground) than the SE's 18" wheels, which contributes to the "more comfortable ride" feeling. The regular profile tires found on the GLS 16" wheel also makes it easier to absorb potholes and road imperfections and will provide better traction in inclement weather (see threads about SE owners buying 16" wheels to put snow tires on).

The SE's 18" wheels with lower profile tires will corner better on dry roads due to them having less sidewall height to flex around, and of course, some believe they look cooler :grin:
I test drove both. The GLS corners very well at extra-legal speeds and you have to push pretty hard on dry roads to realize the extra cornering capability of the SE.

I did dislike the 16" black steel wheel/wheel cover combination found on the base GLS and I did prefer the chrome grille found on the upscale models to the body color one on the standard GLS. My solution was to buy a GLS with the "Poplular Options 1" package which added 16" alloy wheels, power driver's seat, chrome handles on interior doors, automatic headlights etc.

To address my desire to have a chrome grille on my Bright Silver GLS, I ordered one from Shark Racing (one of our forum sponsors). They have several different grille options for 2011 Sonatas, including the exact one found on the SE and Limited models for less than $200, shipped. I'm perfectly satisfied with my choice of pricing and looks.
I wish you good luck and happy shopping!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
QUOTE (edski @ Oct 30 2010, 07:47 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=367479
:00000732:
The SE's ride is firmer than both the GLS and Limited.

I believe both tire/wheel configuration and suspension components figure into the ride quality. The SE comes with 18" wheels, low profile tires and more sporty suspension components. The other two models have identical less-sporty suspensions. The Limited has 17" wheels with medium profile tires and the GLS wheels are 16" with regular profile tires. They essentially all have the same rolling diameter/circumference and radius distance from the center of the axle to the ground.

The GLS with 16" wheels has 1" greater sidewall on the tire (height of rubber between the rim and ground) than the SE's 18" wheels, which contributes to the "more comfortable ride" feeling. The regular profile tires found on the GLS 16" wheel also makes it easier to absorb potholes and road imperfections and will provide better traction in inclement weather (see threads about SE owners buying 16" wheels to put snow tires on).

The SE's 18" wheels with lower profile tires will corner better on dry roads due to them having less sidewall height to flex around, and of course, some believe they look cooler :grin:
I test drove both. The GLS corners very well at extra-legal speeds and you have to push pretty hard on dry roads to realize the extra cornering capability of the SE.

I did dislike the 16" black steel wheel/wheel cover combination found on the base GLS and I did prefer the chrome grille found on the upscale models to the body color one on the standard GLS. My solution was to buy a GLS with the "Poplular Options 1" package which added 16" alloy wheels, power driver's seat, chrome handles on interior doors, automatic headlights etc.

To address my desire to have a chrome grille on my Bright Silver GLS, I ordered one from Shark Racing (one of our forum sponsors). They have several different grille options for 2011 Sonatas, including the exact one found on the SE and Limited models for less than $200, shipped. I'm perfectly satisfied with my choice of pricing and looks.
I wish you good luck and happy shopping!

This sounds like an interesting option. In your experience, does it take long for you to get your parts from Shark Racing? Also, I am not very handy and would be nervous to try to do this myself. I wonder if the dealer would change them out for me?? The door handles fit ok, even though the key system is different on the gls?

I hate snow and that is another reason the GLS is still weighing on my mind.

I test drove the Limited and was underimpressed. I didn't love the leather and the controls and difference in radio were more than I need. I also like the dark interior but couldn't help but notice how fingerprints had attracted to the piano black trim.
 

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@Jena55:
Your dealer or one near you may install after-market parts for a labor charge. All you have to do is ask! A co-worker of mine said he had seen one of the dealers in southern NJ actually had GLS's with after-market grilles installed (and the original body-color grille laying in the trunk).

I ordered the grille from Shark Racing on the evening of October 7th, and received it eighteen days later on the 25th. That's because they unexpectedly ran out of stock and had to get more in to fill my order. I'll be putting it on today, as soon as the air warms up a bit...

I don't have exterior chrome handles, just the interior chrome door handles that came with the PopOpts package. Makes it easier for passengers to find the door handle when exiting! This is especially true for those with less than optimal eyesight - I had an Olds Alero for eleven years and every time my mother was in it she couldn't find the door handle that matched the color of the rest of the door trim; I had to reach over and open the door for her. First time in the Sonata GLS she was able to spot the chrome interior door handle and let herself out! LOL

I actually like the body color exterior handles on my Bright Silver GLS, but that's just personal preference. If you want to put the exterior chrome handles on a GLS, I understand there are two options: you can get chrome covers to go over the stockers, or entire replacement handles. I would recommend the door handle replacement kit. Shark Racing has the four-handle kit for seventy bucks on the 2011 Sonata page.

I agree with you on your Limited impression, the differences aren't worth 6k more in my estimation. A couple of embellishments on the base model will get you just as many compliments on your car's good looks as buying the Ltd for thousands more. My next Shark purchase will likely be the factory fog light kit. I live within 30 miles of the Atlantic Ocean, and work is right outside Atlantic City, so the fogs should come in handy. Besides, they will continue to "upscale the look" of my GLS.

The piano black trim, just like deep, dark exterior body colors looks awesome when clean, shiny and unhandled. But it's difficult to keep it looking that way...
 

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QUOTE (Ayces @ Oct 30 2010, 03:11 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=367450
Or buy a GLS and make your own SE out of it.
Yes he could do that as well as anyone else with a GLS or any other Sonata trim for that matter, but there are some people like myself who prefer having piece of mind of having factory items integrated directly from the factory rather than adding them later. It's a personal preference really and I think no matter what trim level he gets in the Sonata he will be like the many of us that are completely satisfied with their car buying decision.
 

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I just traded-out from a GLS to an SE.
Yes, the ride is firmer, but here in Florida, the roads are in great shape, so it's not a problem for me.

I could see a problem if I lived where there were potholes and bumps in the road.
 

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wow you guys are trading in a SE for a GLS and a GLS for a SE...just curious, what did they offer u for trade in ? and did u guys pay double in taxes ?

if I could do it all over, I would have got a GLS with navi....add leather aftermarket if u want later. U can add the chrome grille and foglamps for about another 300 bucks.

if u can get gls with navi for around 22k then that would make the car the ultimate deal!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
QUOTE (mayasonata @ Oct 30 2010, 05:11 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=367583
wow you guys are trading in a SE for a GLS and a GLS for a SE...just curious, what did they offer u for trade in ? and did u guys pay double in taxes ?

if I could do it all over, I would have got a GLS with navi....add leather aftermarket if u want later. U can add the chrome grille and foglamps for about another 300 bucks.

if u can get gls with navi for around 22k then that would make the car the ultimate deal!
What model and add ons did you get?
 

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QUOTE (BiGMERF @ Oct 30 2010, 07:36 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=367590
I thought of this option but after you buy rims , springs etc you will end up paying more. i say go with the SE. sounds like you will happier with it
I agree with you BiGMERF.
It would be interesting to see the actually cost to do the changes and still you would have many items that still can't be changed.
When I consider modifications for my car , two RED FLAGS pop up.

1..Warranty
Any modification ,unless done by a Hyundai Dealership, no matter how simple , could have a effect on the warranty.
Example: The poster that changed his interior lights to LED and ended up knocking out some major electrical systems(power windows) and ended up having the dealer fix them.
Now any problems that may arise with any of the systems many not be covered.

2..Insurance
When you supply your insurance co. your cars VIN , they see the base car and any factory installed options.
Example : the poster that put a $2000 leather interior in her GLS.
Total that car out and see if the insurance co will give you $2000 more.
 

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All around heated leather seats, rear climate controls, sunroof, fog lights, chrome exterior details, better sound system, 17" rims, Sonata door sill plates, side mirror turn signals...I'm not sure you can add all that stuff and get it under the price, not to mention the incredible amount of time out of your life taking on each project, ordering, coordinating the intallation, etc.

In order to change the grill and/or fog lights on my 300, the entire front bumper had to come off. And the more you drift away from Factory Stock, the smaller and smaller your resale $$$ and market will be.

For those SE owners that say they don't mind the ride on 45s...wait until you have 20-30,000 miles and half the tread is gone, you'll want new tires much more frequent cause you won't feel the rubber anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
QUOTE (Plasma George @ Oct 31 2010, 08:37 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=367683
For those SE owners that say they don't mind the ride on 45s...wait until you have 20-30,000 miles and half the tread is gone, you'll want new tires much more frequent cause you won't feel the rubber anymore.

This is a good point that worries me some. Basically, the only thing holding my back from the SE is those wheels. I have a small sports car now and the tires are 55's. Part of my decision to get the Sonata is the desire for a bigger, safer but still stylish car. I don't really want to get into an SE and realize those 45's make it worse for me in winter than my sports car. I was hoping for an improvement. The thought of changing out wheels/tires etc does not sound fun to me. I am a single woman with not alot of car know how... i would have to have someone do it for me which is alot of headache and time.

Oh what to do, what to do! I am trying to decide before tomorrow evening as my dealer says tomorrow is the close of their month and I can get the best deal by closing the deal tomorrow rather than later in the week (maybe that is just BS though idk).

Hmmm.....
 

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im a younger guy so i love my SE. i came from a 95 supercharged riv that had about 250hp after some modding. it was a luxury ride. very smooth excellent on the highway with minimal road noise. its handling was a sluggish. compared to the SE i feel its a comprable relation. except with better steering, a sharper updated look, better gas mileage and technologically advanced. i drove 400 miles a week for school and i love every second of it. wether on the highway or backroads. takin bends at a good speed feels fun cuz of the traction and sport tuned handling. my riv new was sticker 34k. the SE stickered at i believe 23,800. the only thing i miss from my riv is the heated leather.
 

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QUOTE (jena55 @ Oct 31 2010, 11:27 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=367691
I am trying to decide before tomorrow evening as my dealer says tomorrow is the close of their month and I can get the best deal by closing the deal tomorrow rather than later in the week (maybe that is just BS though idk). Hmmm.....
Typically, dealers are tying to meet quotas, and if they are falling short on monthly sales, you can get a better deal than other times of the month.
Do your homework on what you should pay.
If you have not yet done so, go to truecar.com. I found it helpful.
Also, edmunds.com.

Good luck. Let us know how it works out.

But be careful..... dealers love to see single women buying a car because they assume they are uninformed.
They try to take advanatage of that.
 

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QUOTE (Plasma George @ Oct 31 2010, 06:37 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=367683
All around heated leather seats, rear climate controls, sunroof, fog lights, chrome exterior details, better sound system, 17" rims, Sonata door sill plates, side mirror turn signals...I'm not sure you can add all that stuff and get it under the price, not to mention the incredible amount of time out of your life taking on each project, ordering, coordinating the intallation, etc.

For those SE owners that say they don't mind the ride on 45s...wait until you have 20-30,000 miles and half the tread is gone, you'll want new tires much more frequent cause you won't feel the rubber anymore.
Nobody mentioned a Limited...

My old car had 19" rims with a 30 sidewall. I turned the car in with the bare minimum tread on the tires and the car had about 42k miles. It also had a sport suspension that dropped the car 45mm. ...I thought the ride was awesome.

Not all SE owners are going to want a floaty ride. They are buying the sport model. If the ride is too harsh, there are two other models for them. Personally, after driving the SE (after already buying my car) I felt that the SE ride wasn't firm enough.
 

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Happy except for the "auto" climate. Its not and I wish I had the manual version of that.

Other than that I like my Limited. Suspension is a little soft but I think my days, for now, of sporty suspension will be gone for a while.
 
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