The 2013 Hyundai Sonata’s description as the sleek sedan with a coupe-like styling could not have been better. It was just the perfect description.
The Hyundai Sonata is the Consumer Reports 2012 pick for the affordable family sedan category, being an attractive four-door, five-passenger car with a reputation of good styling and value for money. It is a very roomy car and a 6-foot man would have no problem with the head-room, plus the front-seat track is unusually long to give the driver and passenger extra space. The rear seats also recline reasonably. The exterior orientation is gorgeous with the steeply ranked front and rear glass giving the Sonata a coupe-like silhouette, much like Mercedes-Benz CLS or the Passat CC.
New for 2013
The 2011/2012 “fluidic design” has been carried forward with minute interior developments. It is however a very good-looking sedan, with an elegantly finished exterior and a handsomely appointed interior all baked into one package. Some of the features include tilt/telescopic steering wheel, cruise control, Bluetooth and an USB port. Heated seats are standard in the sportier SE model, while Limited editions add parking sensors, Push-Start Button, automatic climate control, backup camera and a sunroof. The seating material is also very good, which ranges from cloth to leather depending on trim.
The sonata also has a hybrid version based on the Hyundai BLUE-DRIVE concept whose production began in 2011. “The medium-quality black soft plastic is the predominant theme, with accenting silver trim that gives the interior a modern, tech-oriented feel.” – Motor Trend. With a formula like that it’s hard not to stand at ease.
Hyundai says it has the best power-to-weight ratio in its class, but those figures fall slightly short of the Altima’s in our weekly drive. The engine is an intercooled 2.0 L Theta II Direct Injection, replacing the 3.3 L V6 in the previous model. It delivers 274 horsepower (204kW) and 269 lb.-ft (365 N.m) of torque with a fuel efficiency of 24 mpg city and 35 mpg on the highway. Our drive entailed many twists and turns, and we averaged 34 mpg. The acceleration is not so bad for a family sedan with 6.2 seconds from rest to 60 mph, but competitors like the Camry and Mazda 6 performed slightly better.
The speed was low at first and acceleration inadequate, but the turbo did what it does best and our cruise couldn’t have been better. The only problem was engine noise during highway overtaking and with the gearbox being offered together with the turbo motor our spirits were relegated within no time. The steering response is also wanting, as it tends to wander and need frequent adjusting on some jagged surfaces. Hyundai Sonata’s six-speed automatic includes a manumatic mode and is perfectly appropriate for the class, but some cars with dual-clutch setups are better. What makes it stand out however is the absence of lag, and succeeds as an economical sedan commensurate with upscale V6 models. JBL Audio System is one of the best in the world that you will find stacked in aftermarket cars, but not to worry. This car comes fitted with it.
Awarded a top safety pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), its standard safety features include front-head restraints, stability and traction control, brake assist, occupancy classification sensor and six airbags. These airbags may however inflate for no apparent reason, which saw to more than 22,000 Sonata sedans being recalled by Hyundai and fixed at no charge.