2010 Hyundai Sonata Review – Our Sweet Ride At 100,000 Miles!

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2010 Hyundai Sonata Review - 100,000 Miles

Isaac’s reviewing cars now? Has he lost his mind?

Apparently so – he’s even writing in the third person.

A New Ordinary – Automotive

Everybody reviews cars when a new model comes out, and that’s great, but how do you know if the car will last more than a couple years before everything starts falling apart?  When I was researching cars, I really wished people would review them when they hit the 100,000 mile mark, so you would know if the car we buy at 50,000 miles will have major issues in the coming years.

So, I’m doing you all a favor.  Here is our car, a 2010 Hyundai Sonata review, at 100,000 miles.

You’re welcome internet.

Old and Busted

Toward the end of 2012, our 1995 Toyota Avalon was starting to crap out on us.  As a couple of broke-ass folks, the wife and I did the calculations over and over.

2010 Hyundai Sonata Review - 100,000 miles - Toyota Avalon

How much more money should we keep putting into this car?  Eventually we’ll need a new car, and every dollar we put into this old and busted car is one we could be putting toward the new hotness.  But, if you want to buy a newerish car, that means you either have to have some cash, or be willing to start making payments.

The Toyota was a good car, but things like axels and struts and wheel bearings were wearing and needing to be replaced.  We could keep limping it along a few hundred dollars at a time, or just take the plunge.  That’s a tough decision if you’re strapped, and we finally decided to go for it.

New Hotness

After researching for months, we found a great deal on a 2010 Hyundai Sonata GLS, in early 2013, and bought it for a little under $10K.  It was in pretty great shape, but had 66,000 miles on it, which was a lot for being barely three years old.  But we were probably going to end up buying an older car with the same mileage, on our budget, so we figured we’d at least take the upgrade.

2010 Hyundai Sonata Review - 100,000 miles exterior photo

2010 Hyundai Sonata Review – 100,000 Miles

I’ll spare you the suspense.  This car is great.  Really great.  Maybe even really really great.

The Sonata has been our family’s only car for the last two years, and we’ve driven it 34,000 miles all over the place, mostly in the city around home, and on our epic cross country road trip.  It’s held up remarkably well, with no issues whatsoever.

During the research phase, we were looking at midsize sedans like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.  The Hyundai Sonata had all the options of those two household names, just as good if not better reviews, just as good safety ratings, and $1-3K cheaper for the same year.  The choice to me was pretty clear.

Hyundai – Korea’s Rising Star

As a fan of Korea, and just Koreans in general, it’s pretty cool to see the car company that nobody can pronounce competing with the big boys, making a great car that slobs like us can afford.

In my opinion, as Honda and Toyota have gotten fancier and expensiver over the years, they’ve left a hole in the market for a reliable cheap car, and Hyundai has stepped in and taken over.  And even they’re getting to be pretty fancy, but still cheaper than the big 2.

2010 Hyundai Sonata Review - 100,000 miles exterior photo

She’s a Looker

The Sonata is quite nice looking, not quite the prom queen the 2011 model would be, but still, it beat the poop out of the old Toyota we were driving around.  The inside is really sleek with a super nice center dash where the stereo sits.

When we put our three year old daughter, Lily, in the back for the first time, staring straight at the dash, she said, “Wow!  That’s sooo much better.”  Better than the mid-90s old school flat dash with a replaceable stereo she had been staring at for three years straight.

2010 Hyundai Sonata Review - 100,000 miles interior photo

WOW! It looks soooo much better!

Even at three, she had an eye for design.  It’s gonna be hard work keeping her out of architecture school.

Anyway, you can easily plug in your smartphone to play music, in the center armrest, keeping wires out of the way.  Bluetooth would have been nice, but it was just a couple years too early for that.

The other nice thing is that the car has a lot of interior storage compartments, like just below the stereo to keep your mess out of sight.  We keep this car clean, and it’s much easier to do than in the Toyota with nowhere to put your trash, etc.


After years of driving that Toyota sailboat around, with broken struts that made a terrifying crash every time it went over a pothole, making you think you lost a wheel, the Sonata handled like a dream.

It does drive very nicely.  It has plenty of power and tight handling, though not quite as good as the Accord I test drove.

The gas mileage wasn’t as good as I hoped initially.  Everyone said it would get 21 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway.  In our extremely hilly stop and go city of Takoma Park, Maryland we were averaging 19-20 MPG, about the same as the old Toyota.

When we take it out on the highway we can get up to about 34 MPG, much better than the Toyota.  Now that we’re living in the country, and driving in the suburbs a lot, we’re getting about 27 MPG, so I guess it is pretty good after all.


None.  Seriously, we haven’t had to do a single thing, outside of oil changes.  The 2010 model is actually the first year the Sonata started using a timing chain instead of a timing belt, which if you don’t know, a timing belt basically means you have a super expensive procedure at your 60,000 mile checkup.

It has had some little bit of noise or hesitation in the transmission, and I was worried for a while, but it went away.

2010 Hyundai Sonata Review - 100,000 miles interior photo

This Car Gets Me in the Feels

No joke, to this day, every time I sit in this car I think, man this is nice.  It’s comfortable, handles well, looks good.  It might just be my optimist nature, but I still enjoy it as much as the day we bought it.  Sure, it’s no BMW, but for under $10k I’ll take it.

My Wife Wants Me to Tell You…

This car only has two cupholders – TWO!


This is a great family car and I recommend it to anybody.  It’s done us well.

Score: I give this car 6 Portland Hipster Macchiatos out of 7.

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Some people like to be called mister. I prefer dude.

3 Responses

  1. Lauren says:

    I prefer the term “limited cash liquidity” to broke-ass–take a ride with me if you want to really see the latter. Also, you can call yourself a slob, and perhaps my child, but I am far from a slob.

  2. Greg Fiscel says:

    I have the same , 2010 sonata GLS & love this car. Going to have the 100,000 mile maintenance done. One dealer told me ” you have both a timing chain & belt “. I was 95% sure it did not so I researched & sure enough only the chain. DO NOT take your car to Hyundai of glendora , ca.

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