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2013 Hyundai Sonata

Overview
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2013 Hyundai Sonata Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.7

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. Add to that an industry-leading 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, and it becomes apparent that the Sonata will continue to seize market share from well-established competitors, such as the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Ford Fusion. Both the standard engine and the 274-horsepower turbocharged version employ direct-injection technology to deliver impressive fuel economy figures without sacrificing power, while the 2013 Sonata Hybrid represents the pinnacle of Hyundai fuel efficiency with its 40-mpg highway rating and lifetime-warrantied hybrid battery.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're in the market for a mid-size sedan and the usual suspects fail to arouse your emotions, the 2013 Hyundai Sonata could be the perfect choice. Given its generous level of standard equipment, its lengthy warranty and rising residual values, the Sonata offers perhaps the best value of the group.

You May Not Like This Car If...

While Hyundai's groundbreaking Fluidic Sculpture design language resonates with many new-car buyers, some might prefer the more subtle looks of the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord or Chevrolet Malibu. When stacked up against the second-generation Camry Hybrid, the Sonata Hybrid suffers from deficiencies in driving dynamics, fuel efficiency and overall ride quality.

What's New for 2013

For the 2013 model year, the Hyundai Sonata receives a handful of minor revisions to its feature content. GLS trims equipped with the Popular Equipment Package now include fog lights and heated front seats, while Limited models get a traditional moonroof in place of the previously-standard dual-panel unit. Standard heated front seats for SE trims round out the changes.

Driving the Sonata

Driving Impressions For how quickly and smoothly the 2013 Hyundai Sonata pulls away from a stop, you'd swear there was a V6 engine under its sleek hood. Instead, what resides there...

is a 2.4-liter direct-injection 4-cylinder engine producing 200 horsepower and delivering fuel economy figures of 24 mpg city and 35 mpg highway. If that's not enough power for you, the 2013 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T sedan adds a turbocharger that brings output to a very healthy 274 horsepower. The Sonata excels in virtually every category, with excellent brakes and a suspension that delivers smoothness when the road gets nasty and level cornering when the asphalt starts to curve. Steering feel, however, is somewhat vague, and interior noise levels are a bit higher than those in competitors such as the Chevy Malibu and Honda Accord. From a comfort standpoint, our Limited trim level's seats were very comfortable, the dash and instrumentation were nice to look at and easy to figure out, and all but the tallest test drivers found the rear-seat headroom and legroom to be exceptional.

HEATED REAR SEATS
While some luxury-oriented sedans and SUVs offer heated rear seats, it isn't something you generally see in a mainstream mid-size sedan. And the fact that they're standard on both the SE and Limited trim makes them even more attractive.

HD RADIO
HD Radio doesn't have the commercial-free appeal of satellite radio, but we have no qualms about a subscription-free radio service that broadcasts your favorite radio stations in CD quality. We wish more automakers offered HD Radio, and we're glad the 2013 Hyundai Sonata offers it on all trims.

2013 Hyundai Sonata Details
Interior

Like its dynamic exterior, the 2013 Hyundai Sonata's interior is a work of art. Following the exterior design theme, the Sonata's interior is a mix of bold shapes, smooth finishes and lots of attractive blue backlighting. The available 2-tone interior package looks particularly inviting in black and wine leather, and features such as the Limited trim's heated rear seat are practically unheard of in other competitors. However, while we do like the look of the rakish rear pillars, the design somewhat cuts into rear seat headroom.

Exterior

The 2013 Hyundai Sonata is truly an original that will be hard to top. From its deeply-sculpted hood to the careful use of chrome trim highlighting the beltline, there is something old-Detroit-classic about this car, a throwback to a time when designers took risks and weren't afraid to produce something unique and dramatic. With its beautifully-detailed grille and swept-back headlights, its high belt line and sharply-raked rear window, the 2013 Sonata sedan projects a formidable presence few cars, let alone mid-size family sedans, possess. The Sonata's wheel and tire sizes vary by trim level and range from 16-inch steel wheels with plastic covers to 19-inch split-spoke alloy wheels. One of the Sonata's more appealing exterior features is the Limited trim's available panoramic moonroof.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Hyundai is renowned for outfitting its vehicles with a comprehensive serving of standard features, and the 2013 Sonata is no exception. Topping the list is Hyundai's Blue Link infotainment and concierge service, Bluetooth and a USB port with iPod connectivity. Safety equipment includes six airbags, the usual sprinkling of electronic safety aides and active front headrests to help reduce the severity of whiplash-related injuries. Like many competitors in the category, the Hyundai Sonata in base form includes a 6-speed manual transmission and rides on steel wheels with full-size covers.

Optional Equipment

In addition to common equipment upgrades, such as leather seats and a moonroof, the 2013 Hyundai Sonata boasts an alluring list of optional features, which consist of a rear backup camera, a pair of premium audio systems and a navigation system with a 7-inch touch-screen and real-time traffic, weather, sports and stock updates. The once-standard panoramic moonroof is now available as part of the Limited Premium Package.

Under the Hood

Since both the turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and hybrid powertrain are engineered with a specific purpose in mind, the vast majority of Sonata owners will choose the balanced performance of the standard 2.4-liter direct-injected 4-cylinder. Transmission choices include a 6-speed manual (in GLS trim only) or a 6-speed automatic transmission. Although it is Hyundai's first mass-production hybrid vehicle, the Sonata Hybrid is packed with innovative tech bits. Leading the charge (pun intended) is a lithium polymer battery pack that weighs 25 percent less than a conventional nickel-metal hydride system. Moreover, the 2013 Sonata Hybrid is capable of all-electric speeds up to 74 mph – better than most plug-in hybrids. When Hyundai corrects the sluggish throttle response issues and elevates the fuel efficiency to competitive levels, we might be looking at the next leader in hybrid technology.

2.4-liter inline-4
190-200 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm (varies by trim and state emission regulations)
179-186 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm (varies by trim)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/35 mpg

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
274 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
269 lb-ft of torque between 1,750-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/34 mpg

2.4-liter 4-cylinder hybrid
206 net horsepower
154 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 35/40 mpg

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2013 Hyundai Sonata Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 708 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    9.1/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.8/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Good car, great price!

By on Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Good price, great to drive"

Cons: "No cooling seats or air conditioner vents in back."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Overall the car is fantastic. Only 2 things I would like to see in the Hybrid Limited, 1. add cooling seats and 2. add the air conditioner vents for the back passengers."

A good, solid, reliable car for the money.

By on Friday, April 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Great size for a couple, decent trunk space."

Cons: "Sound system. Disappointing mileage."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"Does not get near the mfg. claimed mileage. Standard radio not that great as far as holding a signal, and the sound system is below average. Seats are a bit hard. Not the most comfortable car for long trips. But, low cost to operate and dependable. Great for around town and trips less than 300 miles. Drives and handles well. I added extended warranties to the purchase price as I expect to keep vehicle for 12-14 years. So far, so good."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Other hybrids are a better vehicle.

By on Thursday, April 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Looks"

Cons: "Mpg, poor hybrid transition."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"The best mileage I can get is 38 mpg on the highway and combined is 36mpg. I am a conservative driver. The mpg I have stated is driving the speed limit which varies from 60 mph to 70 mph. I also used the cruise control which has difficulty holding speed on hilly roads. The switch between engine and electric motor on hills at slower speeds can cause the car to feel like you are in car that is a manual transmition and the driver is learning how to drive it. (Very jerky). The car is jerky first thing in the morning no matter if it is cold or warm outside. At highway speeds the transfer between electric and engine are not noticeable. I have driven several hybrids and would recommend the Honda Accord. They have it down to a science."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Best Car i've ever owned for daily driving

By on Wednesday, April 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Reliability, ease of use, gas saver, daily driver"

Cons: "Seating; Azera seats much better."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Economic and super comfortable to drive. Not overwhelming in the bottons/easy to use for anyone/touch screen and camera ergonomic and efficient. Most important is the warranty and beyond that is the service rendered while servicing. For example, it's had three flats (Corpus Christi streets) and 1 windshield replacement and not once did any service rep. complain or placed me on the back burner. Once completed, I drove away without paying one cent. Can't beat that anywhere. If reliability had a face i would venture to say any Hyundai but can only speak for the Sonata Limited 2.0t. it would be a great first car new or used."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Great car

By on Tuesday, April 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,800

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Great running car -- 2012 4cyl Hyundai Sonata Hybrid (w/leather, navigation, panoramic roof, etc.) There are only 3 negatives in my opinion: The center storage area creaks when resting arm on. I don't really care for the headlights. When driving in dark, I only can view lower objectives. And the seats could be more comfortable. But, I love that it's a hybrid. I have gotten 42-48 mpg in the summer. I love the panoramic roof --- it gives me a feeling of more space in the car. And, I love the navigation - I use it often. Overall, I would give this car a 9.0. I'm currently leasing my car, and am planning to purchase another new sonata hybrid this month.!"

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Very reliable and attractive vehicle for its class

By on Sunday, March 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "very reliable and attractive"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I had a 2010 Toyota Camry which was a disaster. The 2013 Hyundai Sonata SE is infinitely above the Toyota. My first Hyundai and overall quite impressed and pleased with it. The SE rides a bit harder than other Sonata's but this appeared in reviews. Handles very well and leg room is good for tall men."

5 people out of 10 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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