2008 Sonata GLS VS SE?? - Hyundai Forum - Hyundai Enthusiast Forums

Hyundai Sonata The Sonata has grown to be the premier mid-sized sedan of the Hyundai name with the many interior options and the powerful V6 engine.

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Old 03-04-2009, 10:14 AM
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Default 2008 Sonata GLS VS SE??

What are the differences between a 2008 Sonata GLS and SE? I'm looking to purchase one used however I am not sure which way to go. Thanks for the help!
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Old 03-04-2009, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by archdude View Post
What are the differences between a 2008 Sonata GLS and SE? I'm looking to purchase one used however I am not sure which way to go. Thanks for the help!
The short answer is the GLS is the lower level model and the SE is the sportier, more upscale model with more standard features.

To be more specific:
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

A midsize, front-wheel-drive sedan, the 2008 Hyundai Sonata comes in three trim lines: GLS, SE and Limited. The GLS comes with air-conditioning, full power accessories, a CD/MP3 player, a tilt steering wheel, cruise control and keyless entry. The midrange SE adds 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, automatic headlights, a telescoping function and audio controls for the steering wheel, leather and wood accents, a power driver seat and trip computer. The top-line Limited has those items plus leather seats, front seat heaters, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a premium Infinity stereo with a six-disc CD changer. Much of the SE's content can be added to the GLS, and the Infinity stereo can be ordered on the SE. A sunroof is available on all trim levels, but technology-oriented items like Bluetooth connectivity and a factory-based navigation system aren't available.

Powertrains and Performance

Both of the Sonata's engines are now available on all trim lines. Standard is the 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 162 horsepower and 164 pound-feet of torque. It comes with either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic on the base GLS, but only the manual on the SE and only the automatic on the GLS. The optional engine is a 3.3-liter V6 with 234 hp and 226 lb-ft of torque; it's paired to an exclusive five-speed automatic. Both automatics feature manual shift control.

The four-cylinder engine is competitive with class standards. The V6's output doesn't quite match the ever-rising standards set by the competition, but the engine is quiet enough and powerful enough to suit most buyers. The downside is that it's less frugal with fuel than other six-cylinders in this segment.

Interior Design and Special Features

While not exactly high on style, the Sonata's cabin exudes a fair amount of quality via the precise feel of most controls and an abundance of soft-touch surfaces. Much appreciated are the tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls and trip computer found on the SE and Limited. Many of our editors have taken issue with the odd placement of the audio head unit and air vents on the center stack. They are reversed from the usual positions, with the stereo controls placed too high and the air vents too low.

Although early Sonatas of this generation were criticized for their overly high seating position up front, Hyundai subsequently lowered the seat to provide a more natural driving position. Prospective buyers should also note that we've found the cloth seats in the GLS and SE more comfortable than the leather ones in the Limited. Rear-seat and cargo room are areas in which the Sonata truly shines. Space in back is generous in all measurements, with comfort levels to match, and the 16.3-cubic-foot trunk tops most members of the midsize class.

Driving Impressions

Hyundai aimed for a more balanced effort between ride and handling for this generation. While the suspension is still on the soft side and the steering remains a bit vague, the 2008 Hyundai Sonata smothers bumps well while handling precisely and keeping its composure in turns. Braking performance is also impressive for the class, with stopping distances from 60 mph taking less than 130 feet. Despite some tire noise, the cabin stays fairly quiet at all speeds. We've also been a little let down with the slow reactions of the automatic transmission when in manual mode, but that should be a minor issue for most Sonata drivers.

Last edited by NovaResource; 03-06-2009 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 03-06-2009, 08:24 AM
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The SE has a sportier suspension than the GLS. I wish they had the SE back in 06. I would have went with it. I find the Sonata suspension is too soft. The SE seats are much nicer looking too.
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