Hyundai Sonata Reviews
Model Overview:The Sonata lineup comes powered by a choice of 2 4-cylinder engines. The 2.4L unit delivers 198 horsepower with a 6-speed automatic transmission. An optional 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder kicks out 274 horsepower in either SE or Limited trims. The 206-hp Sonata Hybrid pairs that 2.4L (rated at 166 hp) with a permanent magnet high-density electric motor that makes 40 hp and an industry-first lithium polymer battery. The car is capable of running in all-electric mode up to 74 mph.
The 2.4L Sonata gets an EPA-rated 24 mpg city, 35 highway. The engine's direct-injection design aids that, along with improved aerodynamics and an overall curb weight that's lighter than most other mid-size sedans. The turbo provides great efficiency as well, rated at 22 mpg city, 34 mpg highway.
The 2013 Hyundai Sonata has a rather conventional suspension layout, with MacPherson struts in front and a multi-link, independent arrangement in back, along with front and rear stabilizer bars to help bring sporty handling along with a good, well damped ride. All Sonatas have front-wheel drive. GLS and Limited models get low-rolling-resistance tires aimed at improving fuel economy, while the SE gets stickier low-profile tires and a firmer suspension tuning.
The Sonata's interior design "wraps around" the front occupants and flows through to the back, bringing climate-control vents, while the instrument panel itself follows a straightforward control layout that puts entertainment and navigation controls up high with large climate controls just below. Front and backseat appointments are plenty spacious for five adults--including enough space for taller adults in back.
In addition to the base GLS, two other Sonata automatic-only models of the Sonata are offered: the sporty SE and the especially luxurious Limited. The three models of the Sonata also get quite different interior appointments; lower-level Sonata models get a textured plastic material for the dash and doors, while SE models get more metallic trim and Limited models get woodgrain or piano-black trims. SE models add steering-wheel paddle-shifters and Limited models get a sport-shift mode for the transmission.
GLS models get a very generous array of standard equipment that includes keyless entry, cruise control, air conditioning, tilt/telescopic steering wheel adjustment, steering-wheel controls, power windows, locks, mirrors and split folding rear seatbacks. SE models add sport seats, leather steering-wheel and shifter trim and push button start, plus fog lamps, "hyper silver alloy" wheels, performance tires and a chrome-tipped exhaust. At the top of the range, the Limited gets a long list of additional features, such as a sunroof, heated leather seats (front and back), heated mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control and rear-seat heat ducts.
All Sonata models get a USB interface as well as an iPod connector, plus XM satellite radio and a Bluetooth hands-free calling interface. A 3-month trial subscription for XM is included. A wide-screen navigation system is optional on the SE and Limited, featuring real-time XM NavTraffic along with weather, stock and sports information. Also included with the system are Bluetooth audio streaming capability and 8 GB of flash memory for storing music files.
Safety features are strong in the 2013 Sonata. All models get active head restraints for front occupants and include front side airbags, full-length side-curtain bags, electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes.
Model Changes:Following a thorough redesign in 2011, the 2013 Hyundai Sonata carries over relatively unchanged. More features are now available on the base model, and all versions come equipped with a 6-speed automatic as the only transmission option. SE models now feature heated front seats. Limited models no longer include a panoramic sunroof--instead, a regular sunroof has been fitted. The panoramic version is now available as part of Limited Premium Package.
Model Value:Hyundai has put longtime mid-size best-sellers, including the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, directly into its sites with the Sonata. Hyundai meets or exceeds those models in most respects. With EPA fuel economy ratings of up to 24 mpg city, 35 highway, thanks to a direct-injection 4-cylinder engine, the Sonata has fuel-efficiency and power performance numbers that are both better than most base-model mid-size sedans.
The Sonata Hybrid promises strong fuel efficiency. The Sonata is classified by the EPA as a "large car," and has more passenger room than most of its competitors, while it has significantly more trunk space than the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion and Chevrolet Malibu. The Sonata is also lighter than many cars in its class and has a short 35.8-foot turning diameter that's also shorter than most other mid-size sedans. The Sonata also has a trump card in safety, as it's a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS.
Warranty continues to be a strong selling point for the Sonata. Like with all Hyundai products; the Sonata includes a 5-year/60,000-mile fully transferable bumper-to-bumper warranty, 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and five years of roadside go cheassistance.