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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 768 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

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

Horrible Car

By on Thursday, July 14, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 81,200

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "Looks Pretty"

Cons: "Multiple Maintenance problems."

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

"Multiple recalls. Lost count after the 10th recall. Stranded three times. Replaced starter twice. 100K mile warranty is worthless. It only covers engine, not the faulty parts on the car. Faulty fuel unit, which is not covered under warranty and will cost $500 to repair. Two days after having fuel unit checked, the car started making a knocking noise when I turn the wheels to the left and right, but it was not making that noise prior to taking it to the dealership. Curious to see what the dealership will say when I take it in tomorrow. Faulty actuator!! Makes a knocking noise inside the car. $650 to fix. I bought this car in April 2011 and I take it to the dealership at least 5 times per year for maintenance problems/recalls. I will NEVER recommend Hyundai to anyone. I should have stayed with Nissan."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

Great value and performance

By on Wednesday, June 15, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 57,000

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
9/10

Pros: "fun to drive"

Cons: "Window height makes it difficult to use at ATM's"

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

"Absolutely love the Hyundai Sonata. Bought it used and still runs wonderfully. Most comfortable car for the price with many features that come standard compared to other cars that you will have to pay extra for. Get gas mileage around 33 highway and 26 city. I love the luxury of the Sonata and the great customer service I have received at multiple different Hyundai dealerships. I never want to own another car other than Hyundai.""

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Great car when it decides to start!

By on Wednesday, June 8, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 38,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
2/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Cons: "It does not start!"

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

"I like the way this car looks and handles but unfortunately, it does not start 1/2 the time and leaves me stranded. The dealer can't find the issue and Hyundai Corporate is a joke, they could care less about the vehicles they manufacture after they are bought."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Best car ever owned

By on Monday, May 16, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,600

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: "Price, reliability, styling, and fun"

Cons: "Electronics sometimes require cycling steps"

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

Cell phone shot of 1st day, driver rear corner view

"Less than a month and I can finally offer a more comprehensive review. When Hyundai came out with their body redesign in 2011, they hit a home run! Look at the other cars on the road, from Chevrolet to Mercedes, and you will see the have all adopted that aggressive slant forward design Hyundai designed. It is the most trend setting design since Oldsmobile came out with the 1995 Aurora. On the city streets and highway, control was very reassuring and yet responsive. Acceleration was a very pleasant surprise. It made highway passing and merging no challenge at all. Seats are large enough for my large body. Back seat leg room is a little tight if the front seats are too far back. Sudden braking was a great surprise. I tried it on the test drive (after warning the salesman) and was very impressed even with the wet braking. I spent 3 weeks, 8-10 hours a day, researching different cars and dealerships. It was actually maddening and very stressful, but for a bipolar perfectionist with high anxiety it ended working out for the best. I went to 11 different dealerships (various makes and models) while narrowing my search. When I decided on my Sonata, I was on my way to a dealership for a 2014 model. When I got to the freeway, I decide to go to another dealership which I hadn't visited. I bought my 2013 there. Karma or luck?"

8 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Cell phone shot of 1st day, driver rear corner view

Disappointed

By on Monday, May 9, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 128,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "good on gas"

Cons: "always something that needs to be fixed"

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

"I am disappointed in this car. As soon as the warranty ran out everything started to go wrong with the car. I bought it because i thought it was reliable and good on gas. It is good on gas, however, it sucks in the reliability department. They've done several recalls on this car and I've had to replace sensors, get the transmission repaired, replace two starters, steering wheel pins and others things too numerous to name. I would never purchase another one again"

9 people out of 9 found this review helpful

A great car!

By on Monday, May 2, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "comfortable to drive, quiet, fuel economy"

Cons: "passanger seat sits low"

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

"This car is comfortable to drive around the city or out on the road for hundreds of miles. Great on gas."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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