Hyundai Forums banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wondering if anyone can offer some advice here. I'm looking at purchasing a 2011/2012 Sonata, roughly around $15k.

I'm not settled yet on the GLS, SE, or Limited models. If GLS, then definitely only popular equip packages.

What are your all's experience with the different models? I can test drive them, but you can only experience so much during a 10min drive. And we're talking used cars here, so I'm also looking at private sellers.

Here's what I've gathered:
GLS - smooth ride, but lacking in some features
SE - sportier (read: rough) ride, but 18" wheels look SO much better than 16s
Limited - not sure where this one stands. I dont know if it has the SE's sport tuned suspension, or the GLS' with 18" wheels.

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,471 Posts
Limited does not have SE "tuned" suspension.

I have a stock suspension Limited and its "soggy" in my opinion (and I knew that when I bought it). I didn't find the SE all that much more taught either. I traded my Sonata for a Fusion with 19" and am so much more happier with driving experience. Wife is totally happy with the ride on the Sonata. So its person dependent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
330 Posts
What kind of car are you coming from and what did you like about it?

The Limited has the GLS suspension with a 17" or 18" wheel (2.0T) which slightly stiffens the ride. If you buy from a Hyundai dealer have them change the steering setting to the firm setting when you are test driving, it is a quick computer plug in and this will make a big difference in the steering feel. The electric assisted power steering is just too over boosted and is a common complaint in nearly all car brands with EPS.

For me, I bought the SE because I liked the look and stance of the slightly wider and lower profile tires. I traded in a Camry SE thus I was use to a firmer ride. To me there was little ride difference between the two SE's. To be honest the 2.0T was my wife’s idea because she liked the newer smoked colored wheels which are only available on the 2013 2.0T SE & Limited.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It's been a while since we had a second car. Have an RX now, so the comparison isnt valid. Used to have an A4, but again, not sure we can do a valid comparison.
 

·
Registered
2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
Joined
·
2,291 Posts
tman---best advice is to go for the SE if you can get one. The suspension, while not as firm as your Audi, will still be worlds better than the GLS/Limited suspension. It is stiffer, with different sway bars and the wheels will help (somewhat) with road feel.

Now, if you prefer the softer ride of the RX (yes I know its a CUV) then go for a Limited.

Best move would be to go for a Turbo limited but I know you are looking for pre-owned vehicle and options are limited.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,942 Posts
If you buy a GLS you can always put a set of SE wheels on it (fairly cheap on ebay), and if you buy the chrome grille and door handle overlays it'll look identical to an SE.

Personally I'd avoid the '11 models due to all of the little recalls (brake switch, range switch, fuel line bracket, camber kit, etc), and the 11's also don't have the BlueLink option to my knowledge.
 

·
Registered
2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
Joined
·
2,291 Posts
If you buy a GLS you can always put a set of SE wheels on it (fairly cheap on ebay), and if you buy the chrome grille and door handle overlays it'll look identical to an SE.

Personally I'd avoid the '11 models due to all of the little recalls (brake switch, range switch, fuel line bracket, camber kit, etc), and the 11's also don't have the BlueLink option to my knowledge.
If OP is only going for looks, then I agree with you. However, I think he/she is very concerned on the ride and handling. So the additional parts to bring a GLS/LTD up to the SE suspension is somewhat cost prohibitive.

I do agree on avoiding the '11s if possible (my Red Sled is an '11 so I have experience). While the dealer will perform all of the recalls if they were not done regardless of mileage, there are many little issues that were corrected on later years that make them a better buy (door rattles, radio design, etc)

BlueLink is a tossup since many find it overpriced for what features you get. Remote start is the only one I would personally be interested in but it is glitchy and is only available on the highest priced package.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Going mainly for value here. Wont get a GLS just to put more money into it. At that point, we get close to simply getting an SE.

Agree on bluelink that it's not a game changer. Would take any number of features I would use everyday over it.

The concern is the overall ride to me. Any car I buy will probably have some issue that I'm not going to like within a week - even new cars. The attraction to a used Sonata is the value. I just want to make sure the value matches the end product, and not just the feature set.

Competing car - Altima. Except on that car instead of minor rattles being the issue, the main concern is its CVT.
 

·
Registered
2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
Joined
·
2,291 Posts
I will draw again from the experience bucket to assist a fellow member.

DO NOT BUY AN ALTIMA!!! Especially the last generation ones (07? - 12)

I had the unfortunate experience of renting one whilst in PA at a wedding (Mama's best girl friend, no choice) Originally reserved a Jeep Grand Cherokee but they were out even though car was booked over 3 months in advance. The Altima they gave me only had 40ish thousand miles but felt llike it had 140K on it. Horrible steering, pathetic pickup (it was a 4cyl with the cvt) and had no options at all. Add in the standard rental vehicle abuse, and I found myself wishing I had driven from WI to PA in my own car.

Had to drive about 500 miles round trip from Baltimore to Selinsgrove PA, then back. I missed my Red Sled so much and I had a new appreciation when I got home!

The only plus to that pile was that it got about 34mpg and I was not easy on it. Fun note: the car had NH plates, the same week the finale of Breaking Bad was on!

Plus the price difference will be minimal. Your best choice would be the CPO Sonata, Kia Optima (if you can deal with the interior), or Ford Fusion. VW Jetta if you really want to but I would avoid them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks. I'm leaning away from the Altima mainly due to the CVT issues Nissan seems to be alluding to when they extended the warranty to 120k.

I've just been presented an offer for a CPO 2012 2.0T that seems competitive. With navi, dealer wants 17k + GA "tax". Another question, is the turbo loud on the 2.0T's? I don't mind the minimal loss in mpg. Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
559 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
559 Posts
The turbo is not loud in stock form. You can sometimes hear a rattle from the wastegate, especially if up against a wall. But doesn't bother me anymore.

Drive both and you'll want the 2.0T.

Spend a lot of time driving it. Make sure it doesn't wander to the left or right. Make sure it tracks straight. Check tires for uneven wear. Took a camber bolt kit for mine to get a proper alignment. Others on here have had same results.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,408 Posts
Thanks. I'm leaning away from the Altima mainly due to the CVT issues Nissan seems to be alluding to when they extended the warranty to 120k.

I've just been presented an offer for a CPO 2012 2.0T that seems competitive. With navi, dealer wants 17k + GA "tax". Another question, is the turbo loud on the 2.0T's? I don't mind the minimal loss in mpg. Thanks!
The turbo's exhaust is quiet. I can't even hear the turbo spooling. In the cabin most of the noise comes from the road, especially on rough surfaces.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The turbo's exhaust is quiet. I can't even hear the turbo spooling. In the cabin most of the noise comes from the road, especially on rough surfaces.
Yeah my big concern is the turbo spooling noise. In some cars (like the RDX) is very noticeable and sounds like a toy helicopter in the car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Update: ended up purchasing the used 2011 Sonata SE. The guy I bought it from took care of it really well, and the inspection report reflects that.

So far, love the car. No doubt I made the right choice over a dealer car, where the history is unknown.

I have many questions, but this forum will be my new home
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
330 Posts
Great news, welcome to the team.
 

·
Registered
2013 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
Joined
·
2,291 Posts
OP check your build date (found inside the drivers door at the bottom of the center post).

If you have a car with a build date of Aug 2010 or later, I would say you are in the clear for issues. Thats about when they fixed most of the reported problems with the 2011 cars.

Also, congrats on your purchase! Glad to have another owner and SE driver
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top