The Hyundai Sonata is a midsize sedan that competes with the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Ford Fusion in the crowded family-car segment. The five-seat Sonata was completely redesigned for the 2011 model year, receiving much more distinctive styling and better gas mileage. A hybrid model is also available. If you're looking for more spirited driving, the Sonata Turbo comes with a 274-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. (Skip to details on the: Sonata Hybrid, Sonata Turbo)
New for 2013
For 2013, the Sonata receives minimal changes with the exception of the discontinued six-speed manual transmission, which leaves the six-speed automatic as the only transmission. Other minor changes include the addition of heated front seats for all Sonatas except the GLS trim and a choice of two sunroofs — regular or panoramic — for the Limited trim.
The Sonata's exterior has several chrome trim pieces, from the wide grille to the elongated window line. A sloping roof shows glimpses of the Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class and the Volkswagen CC, yet it's distinctive enough to stand out among direct competitors like the Camry and Accord. Exterior features include:
- Standard 16-inch steel wheels
- Available 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels
- Available dual exhaust
- Available fog lights
High-tech features such as satellite radio, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, Hyundai's BlueLink emergency communication system, and auxiliary and USB inputs are standard. Other interior features include:
- Tilt/telescoping steering wheel
- CD stereo; choice of two optional premium stereos
- Available heated leather front and rear seats
- Available piano-black or simulated wood trim
- Available touch-screen navigation system
- Available push-button start and proximity key
Under the Hood
Mechanical features include:
- 198-hp (200 hp in SE), 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine
- Four-cylinder features direct injection for better gas mileage, more power and lower emissions
- Six-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters on the SE
Standard safety features include:
- Six airbags
- Active front head restraints
- Electronic stability system with traction control
- Antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist
- Optional backup camera
For 2013, the Sonata Hybrid gets a reengineered hybrid drivetrain that results in slightly better estimated gas mileage of 36/40 mpg city/highway, an improvement of 2 mpg in the city and 1 mpg on the highway. The hybrid system combines a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with a more powerful 35-kilowatt electric motor for a total output of 199 hp.
Changes include a higher-capacity generator, a more powerful hybrid battery pack and a retuned hybrid system. The battery pack is also nearly 5 pounds lighter and it takes up less space, resulting in more trunk room for a total of 12.1 cubic feet.
There's a litany of visual changes versus the regular Sonata that include a large, hexagonal front air dam; unique headlights and taillights; new side sills; and the requisite hybrid badges. Inside, an LCD screen shows energy flow between the drivetrain components as well as indicators for electric mode, battery charge and gas mileage. Back to top
True to its name, the Sonata 2.0T has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes V-6-like 274 hp and 269 pounds-feet of torque. It's rated at 22/34 mpg and doesn't need premium gas. Available in SE or Limited trim levels, the 2.0T uses a six-speed automatic. Both trims get 18-inch alloy wheels and dual tailpipes. Back to top
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