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The Sonata lineup kicks off with the GLS for $20,895. It comes with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with direct injection producing 198 horsepower, one of the most powerful standard engines in the class. For 2013, all Sonatas come with a six-speed automatic, and the GLS comes standard with features like iPod/iPhone connectivity, Bluetooth and, new for 2013, Hyundai's BlueLink telematics system. That pairing gives the Sonata up to 35 MPG on the highway.
Moving up to SE or Limited trims opens up the possibility to get the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 274 horsepower, or as much as most competitor's V6 engines. But the 2.0T gets up to 34 MPG highway, besting the six-cylinders. SE and Limited also offer navigation. Extras like a panoramic moonroof and full-leather seats, heated front and rear, are available only on the Limited, while the SE gets a sport suspension and paddle shifters. SE is the best value because of its good level of content and access to popular options unavailable on GLS.
See what other sedans are making waves with our 2013 sedan buying guide
The Toyota Camry is the one to beat in the class because of its best-seller status. It features its hallmark quiet, spacious interior and refined powertrains. The latest model, new for 2012, addressed some of the major criticisms of the old car by adding better interior quality, improved in-car technology with the Toyota Entune system and making it a little sharper to drive. But the Camry is still more conservatively designed than the Sonata, is more expensive and doesn't come with a warranty to rival Hyundai's. The Nissan Altima is new for 2013. Its base 2.5-liter four-cylinder is rated at 38 MPG highway, more than Sonata's. The Nissan is also available with a V6 engine and offers an inexpensive navigation option. But the Altima is styled more conservatively and doesn't offer anything like Hyundai's BlueLink. The Volkswagen Passat trumps Sonata with its class-exclusive TDI Clean Diesel option, which produces up to 42 MPG highway. The Passat also has a larger rear seat and trunk, free scheduled maintenance and standard dual-zone automatic climate control. But the Passat is generally more expensive than the Sonata and the gas engines aren't as efficient. The new Chevrolet Malibu's Eco trim has a 37 MPG highway rating, beating the Passat. It offers Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system and OnStar, rivaling BlueLink. The Sonata's rear seat dimensions are greater, though.
As it rolls into its third model year, this version of the Sonata continues to be a serious candidate for midsize sedan supremacy. It has popular technology features even on the least expensive version, up-to-date powertrain with strong fuel economy figures and styling that looks as if it belongs on a luxury car. The Sonata makes a lot of sense for a lot of shoppers.
The GLS is the most basic Sonata, but it's far from basic. Powered by the 2.4-liter four-cylinder and six-speed automatic, the GLS comes standard with power windows, locks and mirrors, 16-inch wheels, split-folding rear seats, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and trip computer. Bluetooth, iPod/iPhone connectivity and BlueLink are standard on all Sonatas. An $825 Popular Equipment Package adds 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, automatic headlights, power driver's seat, heated front seats and chrome door handle inserts.
The Limited is the way to get a fully decked-out Sonata. Exterior changes over the SE include the addition of exterior mirrors with turn-signal indicators and 17-inch alloy wheels on 2.4 models. Turbo Limiteds get 18-inch Hypersilver alloy wheels, as well as chrome-tipped exhaust pipes and paddle shifters. A power sunroof is standard, as are leather seats that are heated front and rear – a rarity for the family sedan category. Limited gets a standard auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink, dual-zone automatic climate control and a 360-watt HD radio. The $2,900 Premium Package adds a panoramic sliding sunroof, 7-inch touchscreen navigation system, backup camera and 400-watt Infinity audio system with traffic, weather and sports.
The SE is the sport-tuned Sonata, as it gets an exclusive sport-tuned suspension and steering system. Chrome-tipped door handles and exhaust pipes, a chrome grille and 18-inch Hypersilver aluminum wheels elevate the exterior styling over the GLS. Inside, the seats are covered in leather and cloth, and all SEs get keyless start and entry and paddle shifters for the automatic transmission. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is an option on the SE, bringing horsepower up to 274. Turbo cars also add dual-zone automatic climate control. The $2,900 Navigation and Sunroof Package gives SE cars access to a power sunroof, 7-inch touchscreen navigation system, backup camera, 360-watt HD audio system and subscription to satellite traffic, weather and sports.
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|Build & Price|
2014 Hyundai Sonata$19,995 | 2,260 mi
2013 Hyundai Sonata$14,986 | 26,980 mi
2013 Hyundai Sonata$14,986 | 29,509 mi
2013 Hyundai Sonata$15,999 | 33,864 mi
2013 Hyundai Sonata$15,999 | 25,811 mi
2013 Hyundai Sonata$16,499 | 30,667 mi
2013 Hyundai Sonata$18,987 | 35,737 mi
2013 Hyundai Sonata$21,922 | 8,426 mi
2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid$23,988 | 11,362 mi
2012 Hyundai Sonata$15,788 | 29,673 mi
2012 HYUNDAI SONATA$16,990 | 35,354 mi
2012 Hyundai Sonata$16,999 | 41,892 mi
2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid$17,889 | 41,459 mi
2012 Hyundai Sonata$17,995 | 37,032 mi
2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid$18,995 | 31,392 mi
2011 Hyundai Sonata$13,788 | 39,594 mi
2011 Hyundai Sonata$14,988 | 49,066 mi
2011 Hyundai Sonata$16,899 | 47,875 mi
2011 Hyundai Sonata$16,922 | 51,115 mi
2011 Hyundai Sonata$16,990 | 53,769 mi
2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid$17,250 | 32,658 mi
2011 Hyundai Sonata$17,607 | 16,087 mi
2011 Hyundai Sonata$18,995 | 82,133 mi
2011 Hyundai Sonata$19,495 | 16,497 mi
2008 Hyundai Sonata$8,995 | 74,054 mi
2008 Hyundai Sonata$9,985 | 82,958 mi
2008 HYUNDAI SONATA$10,990 | 84,984 mi
2003 Hyundai Sonata$4,000 | 116,568 mi
Quiet, with wide powertrain diversity, but with bland styling.
Spacious interior and available diesel engine, but without Sonata's economy.
Base engine bests Sonata's MPG estimate, but doesn't have Sonata's visual impact.
Eco version has high MPG rating, but is not as spacious as Sonata.