2013 Hyundai sonata turbo review

Turbocharged engine brings performance to the Sonata line.

Under the hood of this Hyundai Sonata is a turbocharged engine.

The 2013 Hyundai Sonata continues where the previous model year sedan left off, bringing to customers a roomy five-passenger sedan that is big on value, looks and fuel efficiency. This model also has performance credentials to offer as a 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder engine powers the Sonata 2.0T edition.

Engine and Transmission

Hyundai continues to advance a trend whereby V-6 engines are disappearing from the midsize sedan segment. Those manufacturers still offering the larger engines typically claim a 10 percent sell rate as customers overwhelming choose smaller, lighter and more fuel efficient four cylinder engines.

Recognizing that some buyers still want the power a V-6 engine delivers, Hyundai produces the Sonata 2.0T, a turbocharged edition powered by a 2.0-liter 16-valve in-line four cylinder engine. This model makes 274 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 269 foot-pounds of torque in a 1,750 to 4,500 rpm range. This aluminum engine measures 3.38 inches bore by 3.38 inches stroke and has a 9.5-to-1 compression ratio. Hyundai pairs this engine with a SHIFTRONIC 6-speed automatic transmission with an overdrive lock-up torque converter. Paddle shifters are included with the SE model.

Fuel Efficiency

With its 2013 Sonata 2.0T, Hyundai effectively demonstrates that performance and fuel economy are not mutually exclusive. The EPA rates the turbo Sonata at 22 mpg around the city and 34 mpg on the highway. This vehicle takes regular grade gasoline.

Outfitted with an 18.5-gallon fuel tank, the Sonata 2.0T has a cruising range of 629 miles (34 mpg x 18.5). That’s enough fuel to take you from Detroit to New York City on one tank of fuel. For even better range, consider the Sonata Hybrid.

Sonata 2.0T Dimensions

Built on a 110.0 wheelbase, the 2013 Hyundai Sonata 2.0T is 189.8 inches long, 72.2 inches wide and 57.9 inches tall. This vehicle has a coefficient of drag measuring 0.28.

Total passenger volume measures 103.8 cubic feet. The Sonata offers 16.4 cubic feet of trunk capacity. This vehicle weighs from 3,338 to 3,452 pounds. Towing is not recommended.

Front leg room capacity is 45.5 inches; rear leg room comes in at 34.6 inches. Front shoulder room measures 57.9 inches; rear shoulder room measures 56.7 inches. Front hip room is 55.2 inches; rear hip room is 54.9 inches. Head room measures 40 inches up front and 38.1 inches in the back. Slight variations in head room exists in sedans equipped with a sunroof.

Model Facts

The Sonata 2.0T is offered in SE and Limited editions and is priced from $25,850. Among the many features offered are power-folding heated side mirrors, automatic projector-beam head lamps, front fog lights, 18-inch silver aluminum alloy wheels set within all-season tires and two sunroof options.

Inside, leather trim is standard with leather touches found on the steering wheel, the door inserts and on the shift knob. This model comes with tilt and telescopic steering wheel, cruise control and sunvisors with illuminated vanity mirrors.

Every Sonata 2.0T comes with remote keyless entry, push button start, power windows and door locks, two 12-volt power outlets, eight-way power driver’s seats with lumbar support and heated front seats. Heated rear seats are standard with the Limited edition.

Also standard is a six-speaker audio system with seven- and nine-speaker systems available or optional elsewhere. HD Radio is optional with the SE and standard with the Limited. USB jacks, a shark fin antenna and Blue Link telematics — Hyundai’s proprietary system — are standard.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai North America.

See Also — Premium Small Sedan: Hyundai Elantra Limited

2014 Hyundai Sonata SE Turbo
Entry Price: $21,450
Price as Tested: $29,555

The 2014 Hyundai Sonata SE 2.0 Turbo sedan is the car we’re driving this week, which happens to be the most performance oriented Sonata in Hyundai’s mid-size lineup. Thanks to an exhaust driven turbocharger for added stimulus, Sonata SE 2.0 “T” is one of the better cars we’ve driven in this overly crowded mid-size class, the latter where manufacturers either make or break a brand based on consumer acceptance.

Further, if car designers fail to meet consumer expectations, which continually escalate, the success or lack of mid-size sales will influence a brand’s nameplate from subcompact to SUV.

Yes, that’s how critical the “mid-size” segment is to a car builder’s success. Just ask Mitsubishi—where North American struggles in mid-size Lancer sales have caused a complete model re-shuffling for this respected, quality manufacturer.

Sonata, thus, is Hyundai’s direct competition to Honda Accord, Chevy Impala, Ford Fusion, Toyota Camry, Chrysler 200, Mazda 6 and Nissan Altima. Add the numerous other manufacturers that build mid-size vehicles, and consumers are presented with a bevy of choices all intent on getting your signature on the dotted line.

Our tester, meanwhile, came in sporty SE “T for turbo” trim consisting of a multitude of amenities. Built in Montgomery, Alabama, Sonata is a four-door, five-passenger sedan with room for five. The entry model GLS starts at just $21,450 and comes with a six-speed automatic. Powering this model is a non-turbo fuel injected 2.4-liter inline-4 that develops 192 or 190-horsepower depending on single or dual exhaust and delivers 24-mpg city and 35-mpg highway.

On the flip side, “powerful” best describes our tester’s 274-horse, 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, which got my attention quickly. Sonata turbo will get up and go with the best of them, and accelerate to 60-mph from a standing start in the high five-second to low six second range. SE’s “sport tuned” stiffer independent suspension results in good steering feedback and subsequent spirited handling.

Although the turbo does rob a little fuel economy, the 21-city and 32-highway numbers are still acceptable for a higher horsepower vehicle. Additionally, the six-speed automatic comes standard with steering wheel “Shiftronic” paddle shifters for more RPM control (and fun).

SE Turbo’s standard features are many, with rear view safety camera, dual zone air, USB, input jacks, 4.3-inch touchscreen Sirius/XM satellite, HD/CD/Bluetooth Stereo system with six-speakers, chrome tip dual exhaust, power trunk, keyless push button start, power driver seat, sport grille, tilt/telescoping, steering wheel controls, electronic stability, traction control, electronic brake assist, six-airbags, daytime running lamps, fog lights, Blue Link “Telematics” system, spoiler and lots more. See your Hyundai dealer for full details on this long list of amenities.

Our tester featured a $2,900 Turbo Premium Equipment Package that includes a power sunroof, blind spot detection, Navigation with eight-inch touch screen, and Dimension Premium stereo upgrade with subwoofer and amplifier. Being that the standard stereo system is quite good, the only thing that attracts my attention in this option group is the blind spot detection system. Other than that, you might want to spend $2,900 on something else.

Thanks to traction hungry Hankook Optimo 18-inch V-rated tires on beautiful Hyper Silver Alloy wheels, you’ll find Sonata Turbo ready for some track day time at your local drive facility. Competent four-wheel ABS disc brakes allow emergency stops in a straight line, time and again. As for government safety crash results, all 2014 Sonatas receive a Five Star rating, which is the best possible.

Sonata SE Turbo ($25,750 base) may not be for everyone, and that’s why the 2.4-liter normally aspirated engine models may be the better buy. Notable is Consumer Reports magazine’s recommendation of the 2014 Sonata 2.4-liter non-turbo models, which scored high on recent tests.

In summary and regardless of model choice, the American-built 2014 Hyundai Sonatas offer an attractive entry price, industry leading 10-year/100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty and lots of happy end user comments.

It doesn’t get much better than this when making comparisons.

Likes: Entry price, fuel mileage, looks, interior room, turbo power
Dislikes: Road noise, sport suspension may be too firm for some.

(Greg Zyla is a syndicated auto columnist who writes weekly for BestRide.com, More Content Now and other GateHouse Media publications.)

Pros

  • Simple Bluetooth syncing
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Quiet ride
  • Great warranty

Cons

  • Media display placement may be potentially distracting
  • Stiff steering

Courtesy of 3.5 5

Now in its sixth generation, the Hyundai Sonata has become a staple in the mid-size market. This sedan stood out with above average performance scores in Car and Driver track testing, thanks to its 2.0L turbo engine and 6-speed automatic transmission. We found the interior a little less comfortable due to the vehicle’s stiff seat cushions, but its big plus is its affordability — the Sonata has one of the lowest vehicle prices of all sedans tested. In addition, this car offers a respectable combined fuel economy and a spacious cabin with an easy-to-navigate infotainment system. Its impressive warranty is another big plus.

Fuel Economy (city/highway/combined): 22/34/26
Base Price: $21,350

Michael Stillwell
The categories above are just some of the criteria used in car testing performed by the Good Housekeeping Research Institute. For a more detailed review of features examined, be sure to check out how we test cars.

Reviewed: October 2013

Price When Reviewed: $29.00

PATRICK M. HOEY, JAMES LIPMAN, MARC URBANO KERIAN

Hyundai has made new and beguiling shapes out of sheetmetal and plastic that apparently never occurred to Honda or Toyota, and it has everybody’s attention now. But always with this hard-charging brand is the big-Q question: quality. Is it as good as the entrenched competition? We took delivery of a 2011 Sonata, willing to settle for it being as good as our previous long-term Sonata, a 2006 model that finished its 40,000-mile run with zero unscheduled trips to the service department.

Those were sizable shoes to fill, and the far sleeker and shapelier 2011 model, well, didn’t quite fill them. A few persistent problems, especially a bad front-wheel alignment, dogged our $24,865 Venetian Red SE ($27,600 with the optional sunroof and navigation package, floor mats, and iPod cable). Our gripes sent the Sonata scurrying back to the dealership, which never quite cured them.

In the Sonata’s redesign, Hyundai defied industry precedent by spurning a V-6 as the upgrade option, offering only a pair of four-cylinder engines—granted, these include an aluminum-block, 274-hp 2.0-liter direct-injected four-cylinder with a twin-scroll turbo. Of course we had to test that one, with its six-speed automatic and “sport tuned” steering and suspension. The SE, the less expensive of the two turbo trims, includes a power ­driver’s seat with leather/cloth hybrid upholstery, steering-wheel controls, integrated Bluetooth, and so forth.

PATRICK M. HOEY, JAMES LIPMAN, MARC URBANO

But the steering and suspension were already being remarked upon at mile 172, when a driver noted a persistent pulling to the left and a reluctance to self-center. Throughout its 17-month stay with us, the Sonata was said to be pulling to the left, pulling to the right, sometimes hard, sometimes slightly, and then not at all—occasionally all on the same trip. An astounding six alignments couldn’t fix it. The left front strut was replaced twice with reportedly revised parts. Then both struts were replaced. The dealer’s service department said there was no fix for the steering’s self-centering weirdness. Then three months later we were called back in so a factory field engineer could perform an update and “preference change” to the steering feel.

We noticed that the steering effort increased and the wheel was keen to self-center, but it then felt artificially heavy and overly eager to snap back from a turn. Worse, the rigidly damped suspension could be tiresome at city speeds, slapping the pavement a bit too hard and sending reverberations through the structure. “Perhaps the Koreans think this is sporty,” noted one logbook entry.

We never got the Sonata aligned to perfection. Hyundai acknowledged an early manufacturing issue with the struts and eventually recalled 41,000 cars, so apparently it wasn’t only us being fussy.

PATRICK M. HOEY, JAMES LIPMAN, MARC URBANO

Other issues: The cabin reeked of fuel odors until a PCV hose was replaced at about 6600 miles. A faulty front-passenger seatbelt latch was replaced, a door handle with peeling chrome was pulled for a new one, and, for some reason, the shift knob was recalled and replaced. The only other mechanical malady was a leaky oil-pan ­gasket, resealed at 40,000 miles under the 100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

PATRICK M. HOEY, JAMES LIPMAN, MARC URBANO

The Sonata saw a lot of America, crossing it twice for a stay in California and ­proving an avid road-tripper. No doubt as Hyundai intended, the turbo/small-engine combo was praised for both its passing power and its fuel economy. We averaged 25 mpg through the test, but had more than a few fill-ups—done during highway cruises—yield more than 30 mpg. On several occasions, the 18.5-gallon tank stayed wet for more than 500 miles, causing us to nearly leave the seat in a similar condition.

Even so, the Sonata took 6.1 seconds to hit 60 mph, mopping the floor with a 2011 Honda Accord V-6 sedan (6.6 seconds). A 14.5-second quarter-mile at 100 mph is sporty-car territory. The stopping distance of 175 feet and skidpad of 0.82 g put it at the top of its class in the performance pentathlon. After 40,000 miles, there was only a slight loss of acceleration and cornering performance while the 70-to-0-mph stopping ability was better by one foot.

Everybody liked the fresh air the Sonata’s new design blew into the stodgy mid-size segment and the roominess its slippery shape somehow afforded. Inside, people noted the huge leaps in material quality and tactile feel that Hyundai has made. At 40,000 miles, the design still looked modern and the interior was resale-ready.

When an oil change was simply an oil change, it was relatively cheap at around 30 bucks. But the service departments found ways of ratcheting up the bill, including the one at our Los Angeles dealership that tacked on a detergent fuel additive, an “oil conditioner,” and a “battery kit” at the 15,000-mile service. Total cost: $237. Only the fuel additive is specified in the service schedule, and only if good-detergent gasoline isn’t available. If you live in Waziristan, in other words. The dealer also did a “throttle body service” for $26, which we gather was a squirt of  WD-40 and a new air filter. (Extra service is not included in our operating costs.)

PATRICK M. HOEY, JAMES LIPMAN, MARC URBANO

Five months and 11,542 miles of paved-road driving later, that same dealership (what can we say, it was convenient) deemed necessary a new $33 air-intake filter; the total for this service should have been $70, but the dealer also charged us an additional $73, including labor, for a cabin-air filter.

That was at 26,754 miles. At 34,009 miles, our Michigan dealership replaced both the intake and cabin filters again, for a total ­service charge of $117. With that much re-filtering, you’d expect the cabin to be a class 1000 clean room. And to be sure, nobody on staff died of deadly spores or accidental polonium ingestion.

Aside from some dubious service costs, our inability to get the car to drive straight, and an unnecessarily firm suspension, one of our most pressing questions was answered in the affirmative. That is: Did Hyundai make the right decision by nixing the V-6 in favor of a turbo four-cylinder? Unquestionably the answer is yes, as some of the Sonata’s best attributes are its fuel economy, driving range, and acceleration. Other companies already have followed Hyundai’s lead with their own all-four-cylinder mid-size offerings. In the meantime, the rest of the Sonata experience remains a work in progress.

Specifications

Date: July 2011
Months in Fleet: 6 months
Current Mileage: 10,507 miles
Average Fuel Economy: 24 mpg
Average Range: 444 miles
Service: $29
Normal Wear: $0
Repair: $0
Damage and Destruction: $0

KERIAN

Hyundai is a star on the rise. Merely qualifying as extras in the early years, the brand’s products moved on to supporting roles postmillennium, and the sixth-generation Sonata is the Korean firm’s big breakthrough. The mid-size sedan scored Hyundai its inaugural starring role with a comparison-test victory and subsequent ascension to a spot on our 2011 10Best list. Those accolades made the 2011 Sonata the perfect candidate for a 40,000-mile long-term assessment.

No V-6s—Go Fish

As the Sonata is now an A-lister, Hyundai used it to make a bold statement: The mid-size segment doesn’t need V-6s. We called Hyundai’s bet and ordered our Sonata with its new V-6 replacement, a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. Producing a V-6–esque 274 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque, the boosted four-cylinder is rated at 22 mpg city and 33 mpg highway in the Sonata. Much to our chagrin, the 2.0T is available only with an automatic transmission—although the slushbox does have six ratios.

PATRICK M. HOEY, JAMES LIPMAN, MARC URBANO

Even if our left foot gets a bit bored, the Sonata satisfies in other areas. The SE comes with plenty of standard kit: Bluetooth connectivity, satellite radio, auxiliary and iPod inputs, keyless entry and start, dual-zone automatic climate control, 18-inch wheels, and a sportier suspension, to name just a few features. It runs $25,405 to start, an agreeable number in our book. To that, we added the $2900 Navigation and Sunroof package (it also has XM traffic and weather info, an upgraded stereo with a subwoofer, and rear reading lamps), carpeted floor mats for $100, and a special cable for $35 to make use of the iPod hookup, which brought our bottom line to $28,440.

As our long-termer had arrived midwinter, we immediately slapped on a set of 225/45-18 Bridgestone Blizzak WS-70 snow-and-ice tires. After the initial break-in period, we put back the original 225/45-18 Hankook Optimo H431 footwear and took the Sonata to the test track, where it fortified the turbo four’s cred. At 3464 pounds, the Sonata’s avoirdupois puts it in the general range of most mid-size V-6 sedans, and its performance is similar, too. Simply flat-footing the accelerator nets the best launch, and 60 mph is achieved in 6.1 seconds, with the car whipping through the quarter-mile in 14.5 seconds at 100 mph. The Hankooks were sticky enough to land the Sonata near the top of the segment on the skidpad—at 0.82 g—but only netted a mediocre 175-foot stopping distance from 70 to 0 mph.

Opening Night

With our staff as its captive audience, the Sonata stumbled during its opening act. At 10,000 miles on the odo, the Sonata has seen one scheduled service stop—an oil change, inspection, and tire rotation at 7500 miles for just $29—but has visited the dealer five additional times. Some 1500 miles after we took delivery, the Sonata’s front-passenger seatbelt receiver refused to accept the buckle. No amount of finagling or button pushing could fix it, so our dealer replaced the buckle under warranty. Then reports of gasoline odor inside the cabin began filling the logbook. We noticed the fumes immediately after startup, but our dealer was not able to replicate the issue when we dropped off the SE with 5800 miles on the clock. We took it back a second time at 6600 miles, and the dealer replaced a PCV hose under warranty. The problem seems to be solved.

PATRICK M. HOEY, JAMES LIPMAN, MARC URBANO

But the Sonata’s biggest blunder is something we first noticed right after the car arrived. At speeds above 40 mph, the swoopy sedan’s path mimics its styling, eschewing a straight line for one decidedly more curved—specifically, the car pulls hard to the left. In a related issue, we noticed the steering wheel does not self-center. Initially, our dealer replaced the left-front strut and performed an alignment (both under warranty), but that didn’t cure the problem. After nearly 6000 miles, the car went back in and again had the same strut replaced with what we were told was an updated part. The Sonata had another alignment at that service—again, we were not charged—but still our car pulled to the left. Hoping the third time would be the charm, we took it back to the dealership at 8600 miles, where Hyundai engineers were waiting to examine the car. This time, both front struts were replaced, the car was aligned, and a field engineer drove it for 30 miles to verify the repair. Unfortunately, three hasn’t proved to be the magic number, and we’re still experiencing some pulling and self-centering problems. Various websites and owner forums tell us this issue isn’t isolated.

When it hasn’t been sidelined by these concerns—they’ve kept the Hyundai from racking up many miles (and being properly introduced) during its nearly six months here—the Sonata still receives logbook compliments on its exterior styling and quiet, comfortable interior. But with three-quarters of the show remaining, the Sonata had better sharpen up if Hyundai hopes to land another starring role.

Used 2013 Hyundai Sonata

Favorite Features

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.

Used 2013 Hyundai Sonata 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.

Used 2013 Hyundai Sonata 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.

Used 2013 Hyundai Sonata Standard Features

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.

Used 2013 Hyundai Sonata Options

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.

Used 2013 Hyundai Sonata Engine

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 4-cylinder hybrid
206 net horsepower
154 lb-ft of torque @ 4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 35/40 mpg

How Much Does the Used 2013 Hyundai Sonata Cost?

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.

2013 Hyundai Sonata

2013 Hyundai Sonata Overview

Is the 2013 Hyundai Sonata a Good Used Car?

The 2013 Hyundai Sonata is a good used car. It’s among the most fuel-efficient midsize sedans, and its interior is quite comfortable. Above-average reliability, below-average ownership costs, and strong safety scores enhance its desirability. It’s not perfect, however. The standard four-cylinder engine could use more highway passing power, and headroom in the back seat is cramped.

Used 2013 Hyundai Sonata Performance and Interior

The front-wheel-drive 2013 Sonata has a standard 198-horsepower four-cylinder engine and an available 274-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine. A smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission is standard. Some might find the standard engine somewhat anemic for highway passing. In comparison, the turbocharged engine has lots of passing power. The Sonata delivers a comfortable ride that can be adjusted for firmer handling. The base four-cylinder engine has an EPA rating of 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway, while the turbocharged engine has an EPA rating of 22/33 mpg city/highway.

Read more about Sonata performance “

The Sonata seats five on comfortable seats. Cloth is standard in the first two trims, while leather seats are standard in the Limited trim. Heated front seats are available in the base trim and standard in the SE and Limited trims. Limited models have standard heated rear seats. Rear-seat legroom is spacious, but the Sonata’s sloping roof limits headroom for taller passengers. The Sonata has complete sets of LATCH child-seat connectors in the rear outboard seats, along with a middle-seat tether anchor.

Features are abundant in the Sonata. It includes dual-zone automatic climate control; Bluetooth; a USB port; a steering wheel with audio, phone, and cruise controls; satellite radio; and Hyundai’s Blue Link system, which offers enhanced navigation, emergency services notification after a collision, and real-time traffic updates. An upgraded sound system, HD Radio, and a panoramic moonroof are among the available features. The Sonata’s 16.4-cubic-foot trunk is large for the segment, but its usability is hampered by a small opening.

Read more about Sonata interior “

Used 2013 Hyundai Sonata Prices

The price of a used 2013 Hyundai Sonata ranges from about $9,200 to about $12,200. Prices vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals “
We Did the Research for You: 32 Reviews Analyzed

We do not base our used car rankings and reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we collect information like safety and reliability reports, total cost of ownership estimates, and the views of the automotive press. We analyzed 32 professional evaluations for this 2013 Hyundai Sonata review to help you make an informed buying decision.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking vehicles for a decade, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. To ensure our impartiality, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from carmakers or dealers, and an outside team handles our site’s advertising.

How Reliable Is the 2013 Hyundai Sonata?

The 2013 Hyundai Sonata has an above-average reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

See Sonata reliability scores “

How Safe Is the Sonata?

The 2013 Hyundai Sonata earned five out of five stars overall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It earned five stars in the side and rollover crash tests and four stars in the front crash test. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Sonata its top rating of Good in the moderate overlap front, side, roof, and rear crash tests. The car earned the second-lowest rating of Marginal in the small overlap front crash test.

A rearview camera is available in some Sonatas.

See Sonata safety scores “

Is the 2013 Sonata the Best Model Year to Buy?

The 2013 Hyundai Sonata is part of the model’s second generation, which launched in 2011. The Sonata was completely redesigned for 2015. If you are looking to save money, you might consider the very similar 2012 Sonata. Upper 2012 trims, however, will not have standard heated front seats or fog lamps like the 2013 model.

Compare the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Sonata “

Which Used Hyundai Sonata Is Right for Me?

The Sonata comes in three trims: GLS, SE, and Limited. The Hyundai Sonata GLS includes remote keyless entry, a six-way adjustable driver’s seat, a six-speaker audio system with satellite radio, a USB port, and Bluetooth for hands-free calling. The Hyundai Sonata SE adds heated front seats, a power driver’s seat with lumbar support, push-button start, a sport-tuned suspension, and automatic headlights. The top Hyundai Sonata Limited trim includes heated rear seats, a 360-watt audio system with six speakers, leather seats, and side-mirror-mounted turn-signal indicators. The middle SE trim will get you the best balance of features you need – though the Limited may have extras you want, like the powerful audio system.

You may also want to consider a certified pre-owned Sonata. Certified pre-owned Hyundai vehicles receive the balance of the original new-car 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Hyundai CPO vehicles must pass a 150-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read Hyundai’s warranty page carefully. The model’s original sale date determines whether or not it is eligible for the CPO program.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles “
Read more about the Hyundai certified pre-owned program “

2013 Hyundai Sonata and Other Cars to Consider

In addition to the 2013 Hyundai Sonata, there is also a 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. It is reviewed separately.

Which Is Better: 2013 Hyundai Sonata or 2013 Toyota Camry?

The 2013 Toyota Camry can’t compete with the Sonata when it comes to performance. The Hyundai has more horsepower and better handling. Their fuel economy estimates are similar, as are their reliability ratings. The Sonata, however, has better seating materials and technology. It is the better choice.

Which Is Better: 2013 Hyundai Sonata or 2013 Honda Accord?

The 2013 Honda Accord is a close competitor to the Sonata. The Accord has better safety ratings, but the Sonata has a more powerful base engine and better reliability. The Hyundai is the better choice thanks to its lower ownership costs, but either midsize will serve you well.

Which Is Better: 2013 Hyundai Sonata or 2013 Kia Optima?

The 2013 Kia Optima and the Sonata share similar mechanical structures and engines. The difference comes down to handling: the Kia is sportier than the smooth Sonata. The Hyundai has a nicer interior and a higher reliability rating, but the Optima has better safety scores. In the end, both are good cars. Your choice comes down to whether you prioritize performance or comfort.

Compare the Sonata, Camry, and Optima “

2013 Hyundai Sonata SE 2.0T review notes

ASSOCIATE EDITOR GRAHAM KOZAK: It’s nice to test two 2013 Hyundai Sonatas — one Limited and one SE 2.0T — nearly back-to-back. The stickers on both were north of $29k ($29,655 and $29,205, respectively), but their aims are somewhat different; the former went for luxury-value, with heated front and rear leather seats and a panoramic sunroof, while the latter shoots for a sporty feel.

For my money, I’d go with the 2.0T. Sure, it trades heated hides for “leather bolster sport seats with cloth inserts,” but it makes its 274 hp (76 more than the naturally aspirated 2.4-liter four-cylinder) apparent from the very start. It delivers power without much turbo lag, either.

I’m not sure what more needs to be said about the Sonata’s styling; it’s a handsome sedan that makes far better use of bright work than some of Hyundai’s offerings (looking at you, Azera) but could still use a bit of refining. The 18-inch wheels make the car look a bit sportier, I suppose, but no alloys are going to help you wring impressive lap times out of this front-wheel drive family car. Hyundai makes the Genesis coupe for that.

2013 Hyundai Sonata SE 2.0T

Base Price: $25,670

As-Tested Price: $29,205

Drivetrain: 2.0-liter turbocharged I4; FWD, six-speed automatic

Output: 274 hp @ 6,000 rpm, 269 lb-ft @ 1,750-4,500 rpm

Curb Weight: 3,452 lb

Fuel Economy (EPA City/Highway/Combined): 22/34/26 mpg

AW Observed Fuel Economy: 22.7 mpg

The 2013 Hyundai Sonata is Hyundai’s midsize sedan and is considered one of the most stylish offerings in its segment, featuring a dramatic mix of lines, curves, and creases at almost every angle that Hyundai refers to as “fluidic sculpture.” But there has been less praise about the Sonata’s interior. During our late-2012 comparison involving the Sonata GLS, Toyota Camry LE, and Volkswagen Passat, we noted the Hyundai “felt noticeably tighter inside” and “the hardest to get in and out of (watch your head!) and the least coddling on our backsides.”

The base model Sonata GLS is powered by a 198-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic. The SE and Limited models use the same engine, but get a slight power bump to 200 hp. A turbocharged 2.0-liter four cylinder produces 198 hp and is available on the SE 2.0T and Limited 2.0T models, leading to fairly quick 0-60 mph times in the 6-second range during our testing. But the turbocharged powertrain wasn’t enough for the Sonata SE 2.0T to take top honors in a late-2011 three-way comparison with the Camry SE V-6 and Passat VR6 SEL (the Hyundai placed last). “In real-world duties, the 2.0-liter turbo felt plenty powerful and torquey,” we noted. “The ride, while not as compliant as the Passat’s, was quiet and comfortable, if a bit too busy for our tastes.”

The 2013 Sonata is also offered with a hybrid powertrain that combines a 166-hp, 2.4-liter four cylinder gas engine with a 40-hp electric motor that returns an EPA estimated 35/40 mpg city/highway. Regardless of trim, standard features include Bluetooth phone and streaming audio, split fold-down rear seats, and steering wheel-mounted audio control buttons. Higher trim levels include notable features like heated front and rear seats, HD radio, and leather seats.

New for 2013

The 2013 Hyundai Sonata’s panorama sunroof, which was previously standard on Limited models, is now an option to reduce costs. The six-speed manual has been dropped and heated rear seats and navigation are available as options.

You’ll Like

  • Eye-catching sheetmetal
  • Gas-saving hybrid
  • Available heated rear seats

You Won’t Like

  • Vague steering
  • Base engine is a bit slow
  • Cramped rear passenger space

Key Competitors

  • Toyota Camry
  • Honda Accord
  • Ford Fusion
  • Nissan Altima
  • Chevrolet Malibu
  • Kia Optima
  • Volkswagen Passat

Sum Up

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