By Jennifer Geiger on October 7, 2013
Most significant changes: A face-lifted exterior joins a new touch-screen audio system and updated navigation system
Price change: Base GLS models start $155 higher than 2013 versions
On sale: Now
Which you should buy, 2013 or 2014? 2014 for shoppers interested in SE or Limited, 2013 for GLS buyers
Hyundai's midsize sedan is already pretty competitive, and an updated for 2014 version should only make the Sonata more appealing. Along with a modest price increase, the 2014 Sonata gets revised exterior styling, more convenience features and a new touch-screen audio display unit; its powertrain carries over.
Outside, the sedan wears a more fluid looking grille, new 17- and 18-inch wheels, and optional high-intensity discharge headlights and LED taillights. Hyundai says the new 17- and 18-inch wheels have also been designed to reduce road noise. The SE version now also gets a standard body-colored spoiler.
The big news inside is an optional 8-inch navigation screen that uses the third-generation of Hyundai's multimedia system. For vehicles without it, a new 4.3-inch color audio touch-screen with rearview camera integration also joins the cabin. The system is optional on base GLS models but standard on SE and Limited trims. Also new this year, carbon fiber trim is now standard on SE versions and a real leather steering wheel is now standard on SEs and Limiteds.
Hyundai says more than 50 of the Sonata's systems are new or redesigned. Other new features include more sound deadening material added to the pillars across the lineup, an optional driver’s blind spot mirror on GLS models, a blind spot detection system optional on SEs and standard on Limiteds, and a ventilated driver's seat standard on Limiteds.
Sonata GLS, SE and Limited versions carry over and use last year's 2.4-liter four-cylinder and six-speed automatic transmission; Turbo and Hybrid models also return with their powertrains. Newly standard on the SE 2.0T is a sport-tuned exhaust system. All trims also get a standard Driver Selectable Steering Mode, similar to the Santa Fe’s system.
The 2014 Hyundai Sonata is on sale now with a base price of $22,145 for GLS models; Limited 2.0T versions top out at $29,445. Model-year 2013 versions started only $155 less at $21,990 (all prices include a $795 destination fee). Model-year 2014 versions of competitor Honda Accord start at $22,745 with a manual transmission. Another midsize contender, the 2014 Toyota Camry starts higher at $23,045 and includes a standard automatic transmission.
Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Geiger is a reviewer, car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats, many of them while driving a minivan. Email Jennifer