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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.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 7.7
  • 7.1
  • 7.3
  • 8.1
  • 8.1
  • 9.9
How It Ranks

#16

out of 26

Fuel Economy

#5

out of 26

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

8.7 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2013 Hyundai Sonata Low/wide front photo 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
2013 Hyundai Sonata Front angle view photo

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
2013 Hyundai Sonata Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo 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
2013 Hyundai Sonata photo

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
2013 Hyundai Sonata Engine photo

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

A base 2013 Hyundai Sonata GLS sedan has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting a little over $21,500. The automatic transmission adds $1,000 to the starting price. Opting for the sportier, paddle shifter-equipped SE trim will bring the cost to just above $24,000, while the range-topping Limited 2.0T starts around $27,000. Compared to most of its competitors in the mid-size sedan segment, the Sonata falls on the lower side of the pricing spectrum, right in line with its "value pricing" philosophy. To get the best deal on your 2013 Sonata, be sure to check kbb.com's Fair Purchase Price, which gives you an idea of what others in your area have paid. In terms of projected resale value, the Sonata has climbed its way into the top half of the class, and only a few percentage points shy of the mighty Honda Accord.

To find out what consumers are really paying for this vehicle, first select a style to see the Fair Purchase Price| Calculate payments for this vehicle

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2013 Hyundai Sonata Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 605 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.8/10
    Styling
    9.1/10

Has all the bells and whistles

By on Wednesday, July 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Has all the extras and nice styling."

Cons: "Gas mileage not as good as other hybrids"

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

"I purchased the 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited for the gas mileage and because it comes with keyless entry, navigation, back-up camera and leather seats. It is also a nice looking sedan compared to the Accord or Camry. It drives pretty good and has some get up and go when you need it. Unfortunately I can attest to the safety. It works exactly as it should after 2 1/2 months and 4000 miles I was hit by a driver in a full-size SUV running a read light. The side curtain airbags went off and the whole front end was mushed in. I am relatively unhurt."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Love it!

By on Monday, July 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,700

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"Been a Honda family for 28 years and was ready to buy another one when I decided to look at the Sonata.Was overwhelmed at the amount of car you get for the money and the warranty is so much better than almost any other car maker. Honda quality is so good that it was a little hard not to get another one.Time will tell once the mileage rolls up, but I said the same thing when I first decided to buy a Honda in 1986."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

My experience with a rented Sonata

By on Friday, July 04, 2014

I don't own this car

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
6/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "Great gas mileage and cool design"

Cons: "Cheap interior, not many standard features"

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

"We drove a 2013 Sonata as a rental car for a week between Myrtle Beach, Charleston, and Greenville, South Carolina. The best thing about the car was the gas mileage. We made a round trip around the state and then some, and only filled up when returning it to the airport, and even then we weren't close to empty. I liked the sporty exterior styling, and the sculpted interior and dashboard that wrapped around you. This in addition to the high window-line gave me a very safe, secure feeling inside the car. I also liked the design of the 3-dimensional gauge cluster. While I liked the shape of the interior, the materials were almost exclusively hard plastic, aside from the top of the dash. I liked the climate control buttons and the standard satellite radio, but the radio cluster was disappointing to look at. The radio screen was small and would freeze, you would have to change stations and change back to see what song was playing. There were other cheap elements of the car, such as the outdated "Hyundai" car key and the wimpy roadrunner horn that would beep when you locked the car. The car had a firm and solid ride, which was good but not necessarily fun or sporty."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Excellent engine, could use a few refinements

By on Wednesday, July 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,700

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Engine, stock features, price, reliability"

Cons: "Handling, service, depreciation"

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

"***Value: I paid $24,880 in 2011 for the current 2011 Sonata SE 2.0T, no upgraded audio, nav, or moonroof. For what it's worth I can't stand car navigation systems and don't miss the moonroof. It's depreciated more than I would have liked, at about 13-15k as of 2014 ***Audio: For me the stock audio, no high powered amp, no sub, etc doesn't mean poor audio at all. The stock audio is fantastic, volume isn't the loudest but it has great dynamics, clarity and connections for an iPhone in particular with a $30+ cable, AUX or USB for Android, or just use a flash drive. ***Performance: If you want awesome acceleration that doesn't break the bank, this is a gold mine. Turn off ECO mode and traction control, slide to manual shifting, hit the accelerator to find the sweet spot. After almost 30k miles it has a 1-1.5 second delay between rolling at 20 to engaging full boost. Cornering is its weak point, not the sharpest or most precise, but 269 ft lb torque means you can slide the tail right out even in a fwd. I get about 30 mpg highway and can't keep lead foot under control enough to get more than 21 mpg in the summer. Previously was getting 24-26 mpg with ECO mode. ***Reliability: Hyundai initially fixed a few problems without charge when randomly in automatic (Drive) it would sometimes shift by itself as if in manual, displaying the gear number instead of D, at 60 mph I would sometimes end up in 2nd gear. They couldn't quite diagnose the problem but reflashed a few parts and the only remaining problem is problems with it automatically upshifting. And the stock tires are honestly terrible... Stock Hankook's were burned down to flat rubber after 20k miles and even prior would slip and completely stutter at the sight of a drop of rain. I used Blizzak WS70's in the winter in New York no problem, now I have Michelin Pilot A/S 3's, it's night and day. Nearing 28k miles Hyundai wanted me to shell out $300 for brake work and transmission fluid for my 30k service... ***Could be better: Cornering for sure, turbo latency (which can be fixed by upgraded parts), initially when I bought the car I had a TON of fog/dew on the inside and outside of my windows and windshield, defogger on full blast didn't fix a thing. Mirrors are harder to view than I would like with their shape and rear windshield slope. ***Overall: Never head a break down or a flat, awesome audio, fantastic performance, a few refinements here and there could be done, but overall great."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Very good car

By on Wednesday, July 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,243

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Blutooth, interior desin very roomy"

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

"I just purchased a Hundi Sonata. I seems roomy. I just love the fact that the care has Blutooth capability. That way I am totally hand free and I can hear the caller very clearly."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

My car has been at dealer multiple times

By on Monday, June 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 88,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "great price, smooth"

Cons: "always problem/issues with car, bad cust. service"

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

"Have had so many issues with my car from recalls to warranty parts breaking. I have not been happy with customer service. Took my car for an oil change a week ago and then again I recently had my car towed Thursday night. Friday no call back from service, so i finally called at noon and still hasn't been looked at might be a broken part in the engine can take 3 weeks. Today is Monday evening and no word from service. I am not happy with the car nor customer service. Thinking on selling car and getting a more reliable and better service ... DO NOT BUY"

7 people out of 13 found this review helpful

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