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2006 Hyundai Sonata Trims

GL

Avg. Price: $7,495

Completely redesigned this year, the mid-sized 2006 Hyundai Sonata GL is the base version of the front-wheel drive sedan that seats four or five. Interior legroom has added about an inch, especially in the back, and the trunk has grown by two cubic feet, to 16 cubic feet. Rear seats split-fold 60/40 and feature a trunk pass-through. Power to the 2006 Sonata GL comes from a new 2.4-liter, 162-hp DOHC I4 and 4-speed shiftable automatic. Now standard are 4-wheel disc and ABS brakes, traction control, stability control, and six airbags -- front, front-side, and side curtain. 16-inch wheels offer better road performance.

There are interior updates as well, and the 2006 Sonata GL comes with full power features, cruise control, remote entry, a new CD/MP3 player, heated mirrors, and speed-sensing intermittent wipers. Leather trim to the shifter and steering wheel is standard, and other features include variable power steering, a security system, dual reading lights, and a front power outlet. Overhead and front consoles offer more storage space. There are no major equipment options for the GL. Improved 27/33 mpg is appreciated by owners, who also like the surprising engine power, smooth ride, and the copious passenger room. A common complaint seems to be the lack of folding side mirrors.

GLS

Avg. Price: $8,062

Longer, wider, and taller than last year's model, the 2006 Hyundai Sonata GLS comes with two powertrain choices. The front-wheel drive mid-to-full-sized sedan comes standard with a 162-hp, 2.4-liter DOHC I4 and 4-speed shiftable automatic, but it can be equipped with a 3.3-liter, 235-hp DOHC V6 and 5-speed shiftable auto tran. All sit on a fully independent suspension, with front and rear stabilizer bars, 16-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires, 4-wheel disc and ABS brakes, new traction and stability control, and six airbags, including full-length side curtain.

The 2006 Sonata GLS adds automatic headlights, a trip computer, wheel-mounted audio controls for the CD/MP3 player, and wood interior accents. This is in addition to full power features, cruise control, leather trim, foglights, speed-sensing intermittent wipers, a front power outlet, dual map lights, front and rear cupholders, and heated mirrors. Split-folding 60/40 rear seats open onto a 16 cubic foot trunk. The 2006 Sonata GLS also offers more options, including a sunroof, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and 8-way power driver's seat. Drivers say the seats are uncomfortable and the interior colors show dirt easily. The suspension can feel a bit rough. But the Sonata GLS shines in fuel economy, quiet ride, smooth handling, and interior space.

LX

Avg. Price: $8,224

A brand new exterior, including dual exhaust pipes, complement a larger interior and more standard features in the 2006 Hyundai Sonata LX, the high-end version of the mid-to-full-sized sedan. The front-wheel drive Sonata LX gets a more powerful 235-hp, 3.3-liter DOHC V6 and 5-speed shiftable automatic with variable valve timing, and rides on larger 17-inch alloy wheels. Newly standard this year are ABS brakes, traction and stability control, and dual front, front-side, and side curtain airbags. Automatic headlights, foglights, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror round out safety features that rate five stars in crash tests.

New standard features for the 2006 Sonata LX this year are heated seats. This adds to the 8-way power driver's seat, leather upholstery, a compass and temperature display, a remote garage opener, and wheel-mounted cruise and audio controls for the MP3/CD player. Combined with a full power setup, a trip computer, leather and wood trim, remote entry, and a security system, there are few options left to fit in the LX, but you can add a sunroof and a CD changer. Good V6 power and acceleration stand out for owners, who also like the interior space, reliability, safety ratings, and the standard features for a low price. Seat comfort remains an issue, and many owners would like folding mirrors and a navigation system.