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2008 vs. 2009 Sonata Ltd V6

02-04-2008, 06:49 PM
If you're in the market for a new Sonata, do you think the '09 is worth the extra buck$$$.

I've been close to pulling the trigger on a 2008 Sonata Ltd V6, but have waited to to see what the 2009 Sonata re-do brought. I must say, after reading the official '09 preview on AutoBlog.com, I've decided not to wait. My personal decision is based, in part, because I want leather and no sun roof... a combination that will no longer be available on the new Limited. But there is also a fairly substantial price increase as well.

Now, I realize the '09 price bump is quite a bit more than just making the cost of the sunroof mandatory... there are several niceties that go along with new (subtle) sheet metal changes, ie., 15-hp bump for the V6, USB/iPod auxiliary inputs, available touch screen navi, dual-zone climate control and two-stage front seat warmers. Not to mention what sound like some very desirable suspension improvements for the Ltd. But the bottom line for me was the 'improvements' simply weren't worth the '09 price increase, particularly when the '08s are at invoice or below and include 0% financing for 60 months.

Sadly, I think one almost needs to buy the car on 0% just to break even with the poor value retention, particularly if your holding period is only a few years. Doesn't seem terribly fair, but what is, is. Even though the current generation Sonata is much improved and industry leading vs. it's peers in several measures even, the depreciation remains above average and the residual below average (the IntelliChoice cost of ownership value rating = POOR, as bad as it gets, due to depreciation). Since most cars are a depreciating asset and this one even more so, I'd rather have my $$$ in the stock market than in my driveway for the next 3-5 years.

So, I've called the local dealer to try and locate my color choice. They did locate (4) in a 100mi radius, be interesting now to see how hard they are willing to work / dealer trade on such skinny margins. I believe there must still be some manufacturer to dealer cash in excess of the standard holdback for the dealers to be selling under invoice when the buyer opts for 0%. Regardless, they've been selling 2008 Sonatas like crazy around here for the past several months. Maybe I'm not the only one feeling '08s are a better value?

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