The 2009 Hyundai Sonata is good-looking, outside and in. Its proportions are well balanced, and its detailing is pleasant—and its newly revamped interior is a standout. It comes in three trim levels all with essentially identical styling: GLS, SE and Limited.
A slight update gives the Sonata a new bumper and grille, but LeftLaneNews points out “most casual observers would be hard-pressed to tell the difference unless the 2008 and 2009 models were parked side by side.” Automotive.com thinks "the Sonata remains refreshingly clean and spare, with sharply angled headlight housings and a quiet, clean-cut grille topped with a sliver of chrome," while Cars.com notes that "jeweled projector headlights sit up front," and "chrome-tipped dual exhausts are installed with the V-6 engine," adding that, "the horizontal taillights look a lot like those on the previous-generation Honda Accord." Kelley Blue Book comments "some might argue the Sonata design is also somewhat generic"; however, they praise "the Sonata's new styling, even if it's squarely on the conservative side" and "don't see any single design feature likely to turn anybody away from the car."
The interior of the Sonata’s been renovated this year and reviewers are enthusiastic about the look and feel. LeftLaneNews thinks the “revamped interior moves Hyundai upward into premium territory.” It reminds MyRide of Hyundai’s seven-passenger Veracruz crossover. CNet notes that the cleaner design—with the radio and climate controls moved much higher on the dash—leaves “so much leftover space…that Hyundai places two small storage areas in the center stack, below the navigation unit.” The Limited improves upon base Sonatas, which Edmunds says “is particularly upscale, and is certainly the most elegant environment one can inhabit for less than $25,000.”