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2014 Hyundai Sonata Review

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2014 Hyundai Sonata Expert Review

By

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.

You'll Like This Car If...

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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

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.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 7.6
  • 7.0
  • 7.2
  • 8.0
  • 8.0
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#25

out of 36

Fuel Economy

#4

out of 36

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

8.7 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2014 Hyundai Sonata Low/wide front photo What's New for 2014

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 the Sonata
2014 Hyundai Sonata Front angle view photo

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 a 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
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.

2014 Hyundai Sonata Details
2014 Hyundai Sonata Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

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
2014 Hyundai Sonata photo

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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

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.

Optional Equipment

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.

Under the Hood
2014 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. 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.

2.4-liter inline-4
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.

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2014 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."

1 person out of 4 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

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