The 2013 Hyundai Sonata is a midsize sedan high in safety and average in most other respects. While the design looks above average, it falls short of anything luxurious or groundbreaking. The fuel economy is impressive enough, but generally the Sonata remains an average car in its class.
New For 2013
The two-pane panoramic sunroof now only comes on Limited models, which now get a traditional smaller sunroof as standard equipment. Also, heated seats become standard on all Sonatas except for the base GLS.
The exterior design for the 2013 Hyundai Sonata looks daring and impressive with an extremely fluid design on the exterior. The curvy looks introduced in 2012 set it apart from most midsize sedans. The grille features the wave look of Infiniti models, and the roof and tail are reminiscent of an Audi. While the overall design looks attractive, the strange use of five panels leading into one another near the mirrors is a bit appalling. It includes some chrome trim, but nothing overabundant.
The Hyundai Sonata GLS and GLS PZEV come standard with 16-inch alloy wheels and all-season tires. The SE comes fashioned with larger 18-inch alloy wheels and performance tires. The Limited features 17-inch alloy wheels and all-season tires. All models feature daytime running headlamps and the option of adding a rear spoiler and a bumper applique for additional design elements and style. The SE and Limited also feature fog lights and use dusk-sensing technology to make sure the road is properly illuminated and drivers can see the Hyundai Sonata.
The 2013 Hyundai Sonata comes in eight standard color choices, and the SE and Limited come with the option of a sunroof wind deflector, which is not available for either GLS model. Overall, the exterior design is above average, and only a small amount of the design looks distasteful.
Interior & Cargo
The interior design is high-tech and a bit overdone. Depending on tastes, it might be considered cutting edge. The dash has very distinct sculpting, and a large LCD screen sits on top of the dashboard. The LCD screen is a very functional way to moderate climate controls. The interior either has metal trim or wood grain trim, but the metal trimmings look a lot better given the futuristic look of the interior.
The GLS and GLS PZEV come with cloth upholstery and front bucket seats with a split-folding rear bench. Windows, locks, and mirrors are all powered with simple controls. Typically features include air-conditioning, cruise control, audio controls on the steering wheel, and tilt and telescopic adjustments for the steering wheel. Hands-free calling and turn-by-turn navigation is available with a subscription to SYNC service. The SE adds eight-way power adjustable driver and passenger seats, a leather and cloth mixture of upholstery, and the ability to adjust the transmission settings right from the steering wheel. The Limited adds full leather upholstery, the option of wine-colored interiors, and dual-zone climate controls. Interior air filtration is standard across the board.
The standard entertainment package includes a six-speaker AM/FM/CD radio with MP3 playback capabilities and an auxiliary jack for plugging in media devices. The Sonata also comes with XM satellite radio, but after three months, it requires a subscription. The SE has the same audio system and the Limited features a seventh speaker and the availability of iPod integration. Remote start is also available as an option. Overall, the interior looks attractive and loaded down with the normal amount of goods for this price range.
The 2013 Hyundai Sonata boasts several years of claiming a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), which means that crash testing leads to perfect scores of ""Good"" for frontal collision, side collision, and roof strength tests. As the model remains virtually unchanged from last year's, it's likely that the Sonata will receive the same rating from the IIHS. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) extends its previous year's tests and ratings and gives the Sonata a five-star rating, with the only area of issue being side-impact collisions, which earn four out of five stars for safety.
Standards on the 2013 Hyundai Sonata include dual front and rear airbags, side airbags, and side-curtain airbags. The passenger seat also includes an occupancy detection system that ensures the airbag only deploys if a passenger is actually present. Other standard features include anti-lock brakes, emergency braking assist, and electronic brake force distribution. All models come with an anti-theft alarm system and whiplash protection systems in the headrests. Stability control, traction control, and tire pressure monitoring systems come standard as well. A rearview camera provides an available option. Overall, the Hyundai Sonata is an extremely safe vehicle.
The 2013 Hyundai Sonata comes with one of three engines. The standard fare is a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 190 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque. The other engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 274 horsepower and 269 lb-ft of torque. The third engine works for the hybrid models (PZEV), a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with electric motors. There are no manual transmissions available for 2013.
Fuel economy is average across the board. The 2.4-liter, gasoline engine receives an estimated 24/35 mpg city/highway. The 2.0-liter, turbocharged engine receives 22/33 mpg city/highway, and the hybrid gets 35/40 mpg city/highway and can run on electric at highway speeds, although this doesn’t last very long.
Overall, the ride is nothing special. The harshness of the road increases as the tire sizes increase. Fuel economy is the best quality, and even that is only average.
Key Competitors For The 2013 Hyundai Sonata
- Ford Fusion
- Buick Regal
- Subaru Legacy
- Chevrolet Malibu
- Kia Optima