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1999-2005 Hyundai Sonata Pre-Owned

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Justin Pritchard
Hyundai's step-up of reliability is apparent in used last-gen Sonatas
Like many more recent Hyundai models, the Sonata attracts scores of shoppers with its value-based pricing, nice-looking body and promise of lengthy warranty coverage. The fifth-generation of the Korean automaker’s elemental family car is now on sale, doing battle with the likes of the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. In fact, it’s already gone through a mid-cycle facelift.

A well maintained fourth-generation Sonata should make a good, affordable used buy.

The fourth-generation Sonata was on sale from 1999 to 2005 before the current generation kicked in to replace it. The last Sonata was built in an era when Hyundai was starting to get lots of attention for more competitive design and quality. Now well into its life as a used vehicle, this generation Sonata has become a viable and cost-effective alternative to pricier used Japanese models. In fact, at the time of writing, the used fourth-generation Sonata market was showing starting prices of under $2,500.

Used Sonata shoppers in Canada will find both four and six-cylinder engine options with an automatic transmission included on both. Early models in this generation got a 2.4 litre four-cylinder engine with 148 horsepower, or a 2.5 litre V6 with 163. Later in the life cycle came a less-powerful four cylinder engine with 138 horsepower, and a more-powerful V6 with 170.

Look for staple features like air, cruise, power accessories, remote access and an available sunroof-- depending on the model selected. Sonata was available with ABS brakes, side airbags and traction control in this generation, too. Entry-level models are typically given a ‘GL’ designation, while more upscale Sonata’s came with a GLS or GLX badge. Higher-end units got goodies like power heated leather seats, automatic climate control, heated mirrors and fog-lamps.

Owners loved the typical family-sedan goodness offered up by the Sonata. Words like ‘deceivingly roomy’, ‘comfortable’, ‘nice ride’ and ‘spacious’ are the most common descriptors at work when owners take to the net to share their experience. Most say they enjoy decent fuel mileage, peppy acceleration with the V6 engine and a big trunk. Of course, as with most Hyundai’s, owners are mainly satisfied with the equipment levels considering the price paid.

Early models in this generation got a 2.4 litre four-cylinder engine with 148 horsepower, or a 2.5 litre V6 with 163.
Justin Pritchard
Justin Pritchard
Automotive expert