Midsize car; Built in South Korea
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $1,800 – $2,700*

2000 Hyundai Sonata GLS

1999 Hyundai Sonata GLS

2001 Hyundai Sonata interior

2001 Hyundai Sonata

1999 Hyundai Sonata

  • Cargo room
  • Ride
  • Automatic-transmission performance
  • Rear-seat comfort

Though uninspiring, the Sonata is a well-equipped sedan, straddling the line between compact and midsize, which offers fair value. Despite several drawbacks, including tepid acceleration and unsporty handling, it’s worth a try. Mediocre resale value translates into appealing prices on the secondhand market.


Hyundai redesigned its biggest sedan for the third time, for 1999. Dimensions changed little, but the midsize front-drive 4-door displayed new rounded styling and contained standard front side airbags. Most notable of the improvements, though, was the new warranty: 5-year/60,000-mile basic, plus 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage. Base models again used a 4-cylinder engine, but increased from 2.0 to 2.4 liters and added 12 horsepower–originally 149, but later downgraded to 138. GLS sedans abandoned the previous single-cam V6 in favor of a new twincam 2.5-liter with 170 horsepower. Both engines came with either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. All-disc brakes were standard on the GLS, which could be equipped with such options as antilock braking, traction control, leather upholstery, and a power driver’s seat. A power sunroof was optional on both versions. Base sedans stuck with 14-inch tires, with 15-inch for the GLS, but the suspension was revised. At midseason, Hyundai added cruise control and remote entry to the base model.

Yearly Updates

2000 Sonata
For its second season in this form, the base-model Sonata added some standard equipment, including cruise control, a folding rear seatback, and 15-inch wheels.
2001 Sonata
Hyundai launched a new sedan named the XG300 for 2001, so the Sonata was no longer the South Korean company’s top model. A new GLS Leather version joined the lineup–essentially a GLS equipped with a former option package, including leather upholstery, a power driver’s seat, and premium CD/cassette stereo. Antilock all-disc braking, teamed with traction control, was optional only on the GLS Leather sedan. A sensor system deactivated both passenger airbags if a child or an empty seat was detected.


transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Base models got a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that produced 149 horsepower, but the GLS sedan contained a twincam V6 rated at 170 hp. In 2002 Hyundai announced that it overstated the horsepower number on 4-cylinder models and revised that number to 138. Both engines could work with either a 5-speed manual gearbox or 4-speed automatic transmission.

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.4/146
Engine HP 138
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 156
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
dohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.5/152
Engine HP 170
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 166
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic

Road Test

Sonata’s suspension easily irons out most bumps, and the sedan rivals larger, more costly cars for overall comfort. Poor control of body motions is the penalty to be paid, a result of soft damping. Dips and creases can induce moderate bounding, and lane changes at highway speeds are sloppy. Nosedive also is significant, in emergency stops.

Off-the-line punch with the V6 is decent. With automatic, a test V6 Sonata accelerated to 60 mph in 9 seconds, but passing power is modest. In addition, the automatic transmission is reluctant to kick down for passing, and “hunts” too much between gears in hilly terrain. As for economy, a V6 GLS averaged 22.4 mpg. All-disc brakes in a GLS provide stabile, reasonably short stops even without ABS. Tire thrum is noticeable on coarse pavement and some wind noise is evident, but otherwise the Sonata is fairly quiet. Front seats are sufficiently roomy and supportive for this sedan’s class. Rear leg room is good but head room only adequate for 6-footers, who occupy a short, low cushion that compels a knees-up stance. The driving position is comfortably high and sufficiently adaptable, with good visibility except for rear corners. Entry/exit is easy up front but tight in the back. Switches are easy to see and use, but audio controls are on the small side. Interior storage includes front-door map pockets, a decently sized glovebox, and a useful center console. Trunk space is ample, with a low sill. Standard folding rear seatbacks are handy, though the trunk pass-through isn’t very large.


Model Tested: 2000 Hyundai Sonata GLS

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 4
Fuel Economy - 5
Ride Quality - 6
Steering/Handling - 4
Quietness - 5


Controls/Materials - 5
Room/Comfort Front - 5
Room/Comfort Rear - 4
Cargo Room - 4


Value - 6

Total: 48


4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
106.3 185.4 71.6 55.5
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
13.2 17.2 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.3 37.6 43.3 36.2
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2000 Sonata 4-door sedan


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Front Passenger Injury - N/A

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
Rear Passenger Injury - 5


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Automatic transmission
Description: Automatic transmissions may not go into drive or reverse after the car has been parked several hours because the torque converter drains down through the front pump. Hyundai was replacing the transmission under warranty. (1999)
Fuel pump
Description: A restriction in the on-board vapor-recovery line may cause gas-station fuel pumps to click off when refueling. (1999-2000)
Hard starting
Description: Hard starting or rough idle on 2.4-liter engine after a fill-up might be caused by stuck canister purge valve. Replacement required. (1999-00)
Manual transmission
Description: A countermeasure synchronizer, first and second gear and shift-fork kit is required to correct hard-shifting manual transmissions. (1999-2000)
Audio system
Description: If the CD player locks up, it can be reset by removing the “short connector” in the fuse panel for ten seconds or longer. (1999)

Recall History

Description: Certain sedans with 2.5-liter V6 engines may experience intermittent low-speed engine stalling.
Description: Unusual motion of the side-impact airbag wiring harness and side-impact airbag wiring harness connector can cause the airbag warning light to illuminate.
Description: (vehicles originally sold in or currently registered in the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.) Road salt applied during the winter months may result in progressive, internal corrosion of the front sub-frame, and may result in thinning or perforation of the sub-frame steel. The corrosion is frequently visible and often discovered during inspection or routine maintenance, and owners may also hear noises or notice tire misalignment and steering pull. Dealers will measure the thickness of the front sub-frame and inspect the front sub-frame for corrosion damage and, if necessary, the front sub-frame will be replaced with a new sub-frame that incorporates additional holes in the upper and lower panels.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.

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