Overview

Overview

The Hyundai Motor Company has watched the sales of its midsize sedan, the Sonata, rise every year since 2008. They're hoping the 2013 Hyundai Sonata can continue that streak and, according to several experts and owners, it is well on its way. Its roominess and sleek styling can appeal to sports car enthusiasts and family-sedan shoppers alike.

From front to back, the 2013 Hyundai Sonata impresses. Though many owners suggest changing from the factory tires to another brand if you like a cushier ride, overall the Sonata drives like a dream. Its interior remains ahead of its class and the safety features make it a perfect choice for younger drivers looking for a step up from the economy class.

Expert Reviews

"While its suspension composure lags rivals, it is offset by the entire lineup's unique blend of style, interior comfort, standard and available features, and value pricing. That's what makes Sonata an exceptional midsize sedan." (Consumer Guide)

"In a segment historically defined by everyday practicality and restrained styling, the 2013 Hyundai Sonata breaks the mold with its sculpted exterior design, feature-laden cabin and three efficient yet engaging 4-cylinder engine choices." (Kelley Blue Book)

"To its credit, the 2013 Hyundai Sonata remains an excellent choice. With a long list of standard features -- some of which are options on other sedans -- the Sonata provides a lot of bang for the buck. Despite the newer midsize sedan rivals that have hit the market, the 2013 Hyundai Sonata remains a top pick in a very competitive set." (Edmunds)

"The midsized Sonata is among the best affordable family sedans. It has a firm yet comfortable ride and fairly nimble handling. Road noise is evident in all versions of the Sonata. The interior is nicely finished in all trim levels. Rear-seat room and visibility are decent despite the swoopy styling, but rear-seat access is compromised. Reliability of the regular four-cylinder has been average." (Consumer Reports)

Owner Reviews

One Sonata owner proves that fun knows no age limits. "For some reason I purchased a Turbo Sonota and wondered why since I'm 65. But, since I've been driving it I'm finding it is really fun. Very smooth and powerful. I leave most folks in the dust. The regular Sonota was fast enough so you really don't need all this extra power but it sure is fun and not too hard on your wallet, gas-wise. And. it really is easy on the eyes." (Review on 2013 Sonata GLS PZEV 4-door turbo, Edmunds)

"As soon as I took the test drive, I was hooked. Love the seat comfort, driving it is great, handling is good and mileage is as good as stated, over 30 in town. My only criticism is the passenger seat which is not automatic." (Owner review from Mary in Texas, KBB)

So far, the Sonata has looked like a knight in shining armor. That doesn't mean the armor comes without chinks in it. "Overall the car offers a superb feature set for the price. Seats are very comfortable and controls are well laid out. Everyone loves the styling. However, the car tends to wander on the highway and will not track straight...In addition we are getting very poor gas mileage on the car. Based on the poor highway tracking, low gas mileage and buzzy engine I can't recommend this car." (Owner review from Massachusetts owner, KBB)

Lineup

The 2013 Hyundai Sonata comes in three available trim options: GLS, SE, and Limited. The GLS, although being the lowest trim available, is actually quite well-equipped. Its standard features include air conditioning, keyless entry, cruise control, heated mirrors, full power accessories, trip computer, Bluetooth, and a six-speaker sound system with CD player, satellite radio, and iPod/USB/aux interfaces. An optional Popular Equipment package can add alloy wheels, foglights, automatic headlights, heated front seats, and an eight-way adjustable power driver's seat.

The next level up is the SE. Standard features on it include 18-inch alloy wheels with performance tires, sport-tuned suspension, keyless ignition/entry, and leather/cloth upholstery. Adding the turbo engine will also throw-in dual-zone automatic climate control and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The Navigation package can be added to the SE, which will garner the owner a navigation system with touchscreen display, rearview camera, premium Infinity speakers, and a sunroof.

The final trim level, the Limited, includes everything you'd get on the SE. It also adds full leather upholstery, turn-signal indicators on the outside mirrors, heated rear seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror, unique interior accents, and an upgraded sound system with HD radio. The sunroof and navigation system are both optional on this trim level as well.

Interior

The interior of the 2013 Hyundai Sonata follows in the footsteps of the rest of the Hyundai line - which is to say that it remains comfortable and elegant beyond what one would expect for the price. The cockpit is roomy and features a large two-eye display that houses the speedometer and rpm gauges. Most steering wheel controls have good placement and large enough buttons, but there are a couple that could get bumped on a regular basis by some drivers.

Nighttime in the Sonata is enhanced by a crisp blue backlighting that only enhances the flow of the center stack and dashboard. All controls have a firm feel that makes it seem like they are not made of cheap plastic but rather a material you'd find in a very well-built automobile. The rest of the cabin materials are average but are laid out together in a way that makes it seem much more regal.

The Hyundai BlueLink navigation system is similar to GM's OnStar, giving climate control options, turn-by-turn navigation directions, emergency crash response, remote door unlock, and speed and curfew limits for younger drivers. Seating is comfortable and supportive, especially if you kick up to the leather trim, but rear headroom can be a bit cramped for taller passengers. The 16.4 cubic-foot trunk is cavernous for this class.

Performance

The 2013 Sonata comes with a couple of different engine options. The GLS comes with the standard 2.4L four-cylinder engine that gives 198 horsepower and 184 ft.-lbs. of torque. The SE with a dual exhaust has the same engine but the dual exhaust adds a couple ponies to that horsepower. Both trims are estimated to get 24/35 mpg (city/highway) at the gas pump. A six-speed automatic transmission is the only option, no matter what trim line you choose.

The second engine option comes only on the SE and Limited models. It is a more powerful turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine that's good for 274 horses and 269 ft.-lbs. of torque. The added power can take the Sonata from a dead stop to 60 mph in just 6.7 seconds. Fuel economy is estimated to decrease to 22/34 mpg with the turbo. The additional boost does make passing that annoying semi-truck a lot easier though.

The suspension and steering provide a nice blend of firmness and comfort. The suspension takes in most bumps with ease, leaving only larger holes and ridges to be detected by passengers. Steering is tight but not so hard that it makes the Sonata jerky. The six-speed automatic shifts smoothly and provides good response. The engine, especially the turbo, can be a bit noisy on takeoff, but once settled in she's hardly noticeable.

Safety & Reliability

Standard safety features on the 2013 Hyundai Sonata include antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, side-impact airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, and active front head restraints. The BlueLink system is also considered a safety feature, since it has the automatic emergency signal in the case of an accident, as well as theft recovery and teen-driver geo-fencing.

The Sonata earned Top Safety Pick honors, being garnished with a top score of Good in all IIHS crash tests. The NHTSA agrees with the safety capabilities of the midsize Hyundai, giving it five out of five stars overall in crash testing. J.D. Power and Associates gave the Sonata 3.5 out 5 in its Vehicle Dependability Study, which is just above average.

On the other hand, the warranty for the 2013 Hyundai Sonata is well above average. It comes with Hyundai's standard 5-year/60,000-mile manufacturer's warranty, as well as the 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. MSRP on the Sonata ranges from $20,895 to $27,595 depending on trim levels, options, etc.

Trim Style Engine Drive Train MSRP
Sedan - FWD
GLS 4dr Sedan 2.4L Auto GLS 4 Cylinder FWD 21195
GLS PZEV 4dr Sedan 2.4L Auto GLS PZEV 4 Cylinder FWD 21195
SE 4dr Sedan 2.4L Auto SE 4 Cylinder FWD 23545
Limited 4dr Sedan 2.4L Auto Limited 4 Cylinder FWD 25845
Limited PZEV 4dr Sedan 2.4L Auto Limited PZEV 4 Cylinder FWD 25845
Limited w/Wine Int 4dr Sedan 2.4L Auto Limited w/Wine Int 4 Cylinder FWD 25845
Limited PZEV w/Wine Int 4dr Sedan 2.4L Auto Limited PZEV w/Wine Int 4 Cylinder FWD 25845
SE 4dr Sedan 2.0T Auto SE 4 Cylinder FWD 25095
Limited 4dr Sedan 2.0T Auto Limited 4 Cylinder FWD 27595
Limited w/Wine Int 4dr Sedan 2.0T Auto Limited w/Wine Int 4 Cylinder FWD 27595
GLS 4dr Sedan 2.4L Auto GLS *Ltd Avail* 4 Cylinder FWD 20895
GLS PZEV 4dr Sedan 2.4L Auto GLS PZEV *Ltd Avail* 4 Cylinder FWD 20895

Comparison of 2013 Hyundai Sonata with Similar Cars

2013 Hyundai Sonata MSRP Invoice
2013 Hyundai Sonata $20,895 $20,010
Similar Cars to Consider MSRP Invoice Compare
2013 Nissan Altima $21,760 $20,356 2013 Hyundai Sonata VS 2013 Nissan Altima
2013 Honda Accord $21,680 $19,849 2013 Hyundai Sonata VS 2013 Honda Accord
2013 Ford Fusion $21,900 $20,422 2013 Hyundai Sonata VS 2013 Ford Fusion
2013 Chevrolet Malibu $21,995 $21,225 2013 Hyundai Sonata VS 2013 Chevrolet Malibu
2013 Kia Optima $21,350 $20,400 2013 Hyundai Sonata VS 2013 Kia Optima

Car Rankings

Interested to see how the 2013 Hyundai Sonata ranks against similar cars in terms of key attributes? Here are the 2013 Hyundai Sonata rankings for MPG, horsepower, torque, leg room, head room, shoulder room, hip room and so forth.

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