By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.6
As more and more family sedans break the mold of ordinary styling, the family sedan that started the styling revolution continues to blaze a trail forward. The 2014 Hyundai Sonata remains one of the most attractive, efficient and affordable 4-door cars in the midsize market, and no one has yet to match its impressive 10-year/100,000-mile warranty, let alone its price-per-feature ratio. With a choice of three, fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engines including a hybrid variant, the Sonata can compete as easily with a base Nissan Altima as it can a fully loaded Honda Accord or Ford Fusion. Cutting-edge engine technology, such as direct fuel injection and high-pressure turbocharging, gives the Sonata V6-like power and class-leading fuel economy.
If the current crop of midsize family sedans leaves you wanting, the 2014 Hyundai Sonata's mix of elegant styling, rich creature comforts and impressive fuel economy may reinvigorate your need to write a check. The Sonata's great warranty and resale history are also worth noting.
Although we think the Sonata's fluid lines and sculpted instrument panel are stunning, the design might be too over-the-top for more conservative tastes. In hybrid guise, the Sonata isn't as engaging to drive as the Ford Fusion or Toyota Camry hybrids.
The 2014 Hyundai Sonata has over 50 improvements this year. Some of the more notable include refreshed interior/exterior styling, standard Driver Selectable Steering Mode, available Blind Spot Detection system, available ventilated seats and a new navigation system with an 8-inch color monitor.
Driving Impressions Considering it is being pulled by a 4-cylinder engine, we are amazed at how quickly and smoothly the 2014 Hyundai Sonata can move from dead stop. The 2.4-liter direct-injection engine...is a marvel of modern design, churning out 190 horsepower while returning an impressive 24 mpg city and 35 mpg highway. Of course, those interested in more power can opt for the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine in the 2.0T trims, which bumps output to 274 horsepower while still returning excellent fuel-economy figures. From braking to handling to ride smoothness, the Sonata excels in every category. Last year's vague steering complaints have been addressed with a new Driver Selectable Steering mode that allows for manual adjustment of the steering assist. From a comfort standpoint, our Limited trim level's seats were very comfortable, 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 midsize sedan. And the fact that they're standard on both the SE and Limited trim makes them even more attractive.
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 2014 Hyundai Sonata offers it on all trims.
Like its dynamic exterior, the 2014 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. 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. We also lament the loss of the cool "sitting man" control panel for the ventilation controls when upgrading to the navigation system.Exterior
The 2014 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 different and dramatic. With its beautifully detailed grille and sweptback headlights, its high beltline and sharply raked rear window, the 2014 Sonata sedan projects a formidable presence few cars, let alone midsize family sedans, possess. The Sonata's wheel and tire sizes vary by trim level and range from 16-inch alloys on the GLS to 18-inch split-spoke alloy wheels on the 2.0T. One of the Sonata's more appealing exterior features is the Limited trim's available panoramic moonroof.
Hyundai is renowned for outfitting its vehicles with a comprehensive serving of standard features, and the 2014 Sonata is no exception. Topping the list is Hyundai's Blue Link infotainment and concierge service, Bluetooth and a USB port with iPod connectivity. Also standard are heated side mirrors, tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio controls and 16-inch alloy wheels. 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.
In addition to common equipment upgrades, such as leather seats and a moonroof, the 2014 Hyundai Sonata boasts an alluring list of optional features, which consist of a rearview camera, ventilated front seats, a pair of premium audio systems including a 400-watt Infinity stereo and a navigation system with an 8-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's Technology Package.
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. A 6-speed automatic with manual shift mode is the only available 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 2014 Sonata Hybrid is capable of all-electric speeds up to 74 mph – better than most plug-in hybrids.
190 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
179 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/35 mpg
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
274 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
269 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/32 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 2014 Hyundai Sonata GLS sedan has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting a little over $22,000. Opting for the sportier, paddle-shifter-equipped SE trim will bring the cost to around $25,000, while the range-topping Limited 2.0T starts closer to $29,500. Compared to most of its competitors in the midsize 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 2014 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.
By MarkSoren (KS) on Monday, December 02, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfortable, easy to drive and affordable"
Cons: "Seats are a bit stiff in the GLS model."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My MPG is around 30 on average and I love the way this car handles. I have no complaints other than the fact that I have the GLS model and the seats are a bit stiff. They aren't terrible, but they are stiff. But that's the only thing I don't love about this car. Every thing else is what I expected or more. The audio is fair, not awesome, but that's not too important to me. The bluetooth works great. The steering and brakes are awesome. The engine has plenty of pep for me. The controls are all easy to use and very easy to find. Plenty of room for a 6'2" guy. The trunk has more than enough room. The backseats have plenty of room for most people that get in it. I have had no trouble with this car and if it performs well down the stretch, I will be getting another Sonata next time."
By GinaJoseph (MA) on Sunday, November 24, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,500overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good looking, comfortable seats"
Cons: "terrible gas milage, transmission, rough cruising"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I paid just over $27,000 and have kept up with the maintenance. Transmission was completely replaced and the gas milage is the same as their 6 cyl gas model. Thought about trading it in but the best I could get was $16,800 on a $46,000 new car. That's some serious depreciation on a reputable vehicle. My first and last foreigh hybrid. Regarding the transmission, the issues that alerted me to a potential problem before the original transmission was replaced are happening again. I took it to a reputable transmission shop and was told the engine and transmission are binding and that the car is junk. Waiting for his written report."
By hsd (MD) on Tuesday, November 05, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great value. Comfortable, stylish, nice drive"
Cons: "Feel the road, Blue Tooth erratic"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I have owned this car for 3.5 years and am very happy. On an average, I drive over 300 miles every week in this car. Other than scheduled maintenance, I never had to take it to the shop. Considering I paid less than $20,000 for the new car (yes, I didn't add some of the bells and whistles), I think it has been great. The car drives very well on all types of roads and driving conditions, if you can get used to feeling the road somewhat. The Blue Tooth has been erratic on occasions, which has been a bit irritating. Its 4-cylinder with fuel injection works superb, though it can be somewhat noisy when you rev it up."
By lou on Sunday, November 03, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000overall rating 2 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"pros:great styling,responsive preformance, decent mpg, big trunk, best warranty available. cons: terrible steering, harsh ride,inaudible turn signals, hard to reach safety belt latch, confusing heater control, noisey valve lifters, growling sound in drive under load."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By Alienimp (FL) on Tuesday, October 29, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,240overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive-Love the Sirius XM and other features"
Cons: "Lower gas mileage than the Elantras"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"My Hyundai Sonata-little road sound experienced in the car and an iPod link for my convenience. I love the Bluelink option with the car. BlueLink helps me with Navigation, as well as remote lock out help. The Lumbar Support and the Blue Tooth option spoiled me, with the link up to my car, keeping me from having to look for the phone to call anyone or looking for my phone when someone called me. I have owned this car for 10 months and it is the best car that I have ever owned in 43 years of driving. I have purchased many cars in the last 43 years, but my family currently owns 3 Elantras and then I had the Sonata. I never had a moment's worry with the car. There were no problems, the car started all of the time and ran smoothly. I ownly had my Sonata for 10 months and had a prior Sonata that I leased for 3 months. My family has purchased 9 Hyundais in the last 18 months. We just love these cars for their mileage and their dependability. All of my comments are in the past tense due to my Sonata being stolen 4 days ago and it is a total loss. Am I going to buy another Hyundai? Definitely! I will be buying another Sonata as soon as the insurance settles on the car."
By Piggy (TX) on Thursday, October 24, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great look good MPG"
Cons: "Rattles & seems a bit cheaply made"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Keyless entry & start, heated seats, sun roof and look are great. Lots of rattles, cruise control intermittent problems. In shop a lot."
6 people out of 8 found this review helpful