New For 2014All nonhybrid Sonatas get a new grille. A ventilated driver's seat is now standard on top-of-the-line Limited models, which also get newly optional HID headlights and LED taillights. The navigation screen grows from seven inches to eight inches. SE 2.0T models now have a sportier exhaust note.
Vehicle SummaryHyundai needs the Sonata. It's the automaker's best-selling vehicle by a large margin, which is the case for most manufacturers' mid-size sedans. After Hyundai redesigned the Sonata, we named it an All-Star. We said that the Sonata had gone from an "utterly mediocre car from what had been an utterly mediocre carmaker" to a "game changer." We stand by that statement -- for 2011. Now the field has changed so much -- with all-new sedans from automakers like Ford, Honda, and Nissan -- that the Sonata is playing catch-up to some of the best sedans on sale today, so Hyundai has updated the Sonata for 2014. The pack of mid-size sedans is constantly evolving and becoming more competitive. The Sonata's short-lived stay toward the top of the mid-size pack isn't surprising.
OverviewThe Hyundai Sonata shows off just how good Hyundai can be. We still like a lot of things about the model, as we did when the new Sonata debuted a few years ago. But since mid-size sedans live in dog years, the Sonata is already feeling long in the tooth, and we like aspects of newer competitors more. The Mazda 6 has better bodywork, the Honda Accord has better engines, and the Volkswagen Passat has a cleaner interior. That said, the Sonata is well packaged, affordable, and interesting. Plus, it's a real player in this segment, which you couldn't have said five years ago.
Right off the bat, you'll notice two things: its price and its warranty. The mid-trim Sonata SE starts at just over $24,000, making it one of the most affordable well-equipped mid-size sedans on the market. For that money, you'll get a lot of standard features, such as cruise control, power sideview mirrors, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver's seat, leather-trimmed upholstery, foglights, eighteen-inch aluminum wheels, and Hyundai's Blue Link telematics system. If you're one of those people who holds onto a car forever before trading in for something new, you'll dig the Sonata's warranty. The most important part of the warranty is full powertrain coverage for 10 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. That warranty comes with all three of the Sonata's powertrains: the normally aspirated 2.4-liter in-line four-cylinder, the sporty 2.0-liter turbocharged in-line four, and the hybrid 2.4-liter in-line four, which also has a lifetime hybrid battery warranty.
Competitors have gotten more stylish and more efficient, and Hyundai is trying to stay relevant with the updated 2014 Sonata.
- Superb warranty
- Appealing interior styling
- Lots of front and rear headroom
You won't like:
- Artificial-feeling steering
- Exterior starting to look dated
- Spongy brakes
- Ford Fusion
- Honda Accord
- Nissan Altima
- Toyota Camry