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2013 Hyundai Sonata

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2013 Hyundai Sonata Review

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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 762 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 turbo quit after 5 years

By on Wednesday, April 27, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 116,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Turbo makes it fun to drive"

Cons: "Turbo quit after 5 years had to replace it"

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

"Good car well designed good value for the money but turbo quit after 5 years and we keep it serviced evey 5000 miles"

I love my car.

By on Friday, April 22, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "good price, good gas mileage, air bags throughout"

Cons: "pay extra for some features if not bought new."

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

"The Sonata looks great, feels great, great gas mileage. I travel to Pennsylvania a lot and it takes 1/2 tank to go round trip to the Poconos. It's a steady car and with all the air bags; I feel safe and feel good my children are safe with the air bags in the back."

2014 Hyundai Sonata Limited

By on Thursday, April 14, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,900

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
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "great value for the money"

Cons: "audio speakers, which are fair."

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

"Very nice overall. Great gas mileage (especially highway driving). Comfortable seats, good controls, & good trunk space. The only negative is the quality of the audio speakers....which are fair at best."

My reason for selling

By on Sunday, April 10, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Sturdy, comfortable and econimic - looks great"

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

"My Hyundai Sonata is a wonderful car. Factory tinted windows are perfect for Texas summers. I am interested in selling because I suddenly find myself with three vehicles for just myself. My Sonata is the newest and still financed just makes sense to see if I can get out from under the payment. One of the other cars is a Hyundai also, it is a great brand!"

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

I love this car and would buy it again.

By on Saturday, April 02, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Gorgeous styling, cushy ride."

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

"I purchased the car because I liked the way it looked. It's a delight to drive. Even in Eco mode it moves without hesitation when you need it to move. The ride is plush and the car is exceptionally spacious. The trunk holds a LOT of stuff."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Nice car. Enjoyable commute of 21 miles

By on Thursday, March 31, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,122

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"Car is excellent value overall. Mileage is decent at 30 mpg for commute of mostly highway and some city (15-20%). I was concerned over the recall of the short block but the car has been checked out and no problems. The manufacturer's warranty was increased to 120,000 for the Powertrain so this makes a good value even better!"

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