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2013 Hyundai Sonata

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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 736 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

Own a 2011 SE. Superb handling!

By on Thursday, July 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,240

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
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Styling, standard features, responsive suspension"

Cons: "Basis stereo system needs upgrade"

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

"The sport suspension makes the 2011 Sonata SE a very responsive ride; drives and handles great! I do believe different tires might lessen road noise, but even then not intrusive in comparison to any other car I have owned. On long trips, the Sonata is comfortable and affords plenty of room for two; leg room and trunk space. The 2.4 GFI 4 cylinder provided plenty of power in the mountains, and the transmission in sport mode was wonderful going up and down the big slopes."

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Great car...except for one thing

By on Wednesday, July 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Nice colors, finishes, price and warranty"

Cons: "Powerless on the highway."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"Possibly the worst transmission in history. Changes gears in seemingly all the wrong places at the wrong times and at the wrong speeds. When slowing from moderate highway speed of 65 down to say 35 or 40, the car remains in a gear as high as 5 out of 6, which means when you again accelerate to get back up to highway speed the car just dogs as the transmission is still in much too high a gear for any sort of decent acceleration, you find yourself manually downshifting to 4th or even 3rd depending on the situation/speed just to get some power. And I'm no lead-footed speed demon, the car clearly has some transmission design flaws that has me currently pricing the car on KBB for trade in or private party sale after less than one year. Pretty much everything else about the car is very nice otherwise - paint, finishes, convenience, ease of use of controls, body styling - but this transmission and it's poor performance can drive a person mad. There was also a recall issue with this transmission for an unrelated but important safety issue - gear shift indicator may not be showing correct gear status so could say in P but still in N. Someone was short a cup of coffee or two on transmission design and approval day, that's for sure. Shame really, as I really like the look and styling of the car but this is saddening."

5 people out of 12 found this review helpful

2013 Hyundai Sonata Best car I've ever owned

By on Wednesday, July 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Style, Style Style"

Cons: "Needs better suspenion for cornering."

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

"The 2010-2014 Hyundai Sonata is the best car for $23,000. It has all the features of a fully loaded car that cost $10,000 more. This body style Sonata was Hyundai's leap from a cheap low level manufacturer to a reliable manufacturer the likes of Toyota. I found out this cars was designed by a team in the US. Sad to say Hyundai Corporate choose to go back to their old ways in the 2015 Sonata makeover. It is the return of the 2005 Sonata. No style, plain and boring interior. Cheap buttons, knobs and handles. They used the same button for the cruse control as the windows. I won't be trading in my 2013 for a 2015 Sonata. I'm not a grandpa yet and that is exactly what the 2015 Sonata says when you drive it."

7 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Floats down the freeway

By on Friday, June 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good Price, Nice size, Pretty looks, Great gas mi."

Cons: "Slightly nervous about battery life. Could be $$$"

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

"Nice ride - great mileage. Have a 2001 Hyundai Santa Fe which we purchased in 2006. It now has 141,000 miles & runs like new. Hyundai makes a good vehicle & has a good warranty. I purchased an after market warranty to cover my "new" hybrid...just in case. I am thrilled with this peppy little sport hybrid!!!"

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

not what I expected. disappointed and frustrated

By on Saturday, June 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "can get decent gas mpg. looks nice."

Cons: "handling in snow and rain. fails to start and lock"

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

"Thought this car was going to be great. If I had not bought the extended warranty for tires, windshield and stem to stern coverage I would ditched this car already. It has electrical issues stemming from the fact that the push button start is tied to the brake pedal, so many times it will not start until you kick the pedal hard numerous times. When you start the car many times it Unlocks all the doors and you can't lock them until you turn off/on the car. Sometimes they unlock while driving. Not good if you have small children. The bluetooth doesn't always recognize an already paired phone and gets stuck on loading the phonebook. The original tires got 2 holes easily and with them the car handled terribly if the road was even a little wet. It totally failed to go through 1 inch of snow. The windshield is so fragile it got 3 dings in it. Right at 4 yrs the paint started peeling and the paint policy didn't cover it. Also there are blind spots on both sides no matter how you position the mirrors. The mirrors are like fun house ones and none of them show the correct spacing between you and other objects. The car does give you good gas mileage if you don't use heat or air conditioner 34mpg, otherwise its gets around 27mpg"

10 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Very good car

By on Friday, June 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Blu tooth, spacious, odometer is neat"

Cons: "No moon/sunroof, power seat, heated seats, or navi"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"The only issue i have with this model is it's priced high but it doesn't have that much luxery. For the price it should come with at least power seats and a moon or sunroof."

5 people out of 13 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

Buying this car?