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2014 Hyundai Sonata Gets Facelift, Steering Modes, Updated Navigation

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With its more daring design and turbocharged engines, the current generation of the Hyundai Sonata broke through from anonymity the instant it was introduced for the 2010 model year. Not only did it become one of our top picks among mid-size sedans; it also helped give Hyundai a more distinctive, stylish face.

Now that face—along with the Sonata's feature set—is getting a lift for 2014. Hyundai is giving the 2014 Sonata a mid-cycle refresh that should keep it right up in the top tier of the class—despite the introduction of all-new, very well conceived versions of the Honda Accord and Ford Fusion just this past year.

A fresh face, and some meaningful new features inside

The Sonata's face is indeed fresh, and on the outside that light retouch is the biggest news. The grille looks a little softer than before—more flowing, some might say. Down below, Hyundai's made some subtle changes to the lower air intake, allowing it to emphasize width a bit more, we think from pictures, while in back there's a rear fascia insert, and most of the lineup gets new wheels. Optional HID headlamps and LED taillights sharpen the look, too.

2014 Hyundai Sonata

2014 Hyundai Sonata

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It's all minor stuff, really, compared to what the 2014 Sonata gets inside. A Driver Selectable Steering Mode (DSSM) is newly standard across the lineup, and it lets the driver pick the level of steering boost they want. Sonata SE and Limited models get a new full-leather steering wheel, a touch-screen system with rearview camera, HD Radio, an LED dome light, and a Supervision gauge cluster, and top Limited models include standard Blind Spot Detection (optional on the SE), full automatic climate control, and a ventilated driver's seat. Sporty SE models also get a new body-colored spoiler, carbon fiber interior trim and, with the 2.0T engine, a sport-tuned exhaust.

Quieter yet more connected

Upscale versions with the available navigation system now get a big eight-inch touch screen; but the rearview camera system and driver's blind-spot mirror are now both included in the SE and Limited, and as part of the Popular Equipment Package that's available on the Sonata GLS. Additionally, Blind Spot Detection is now part of the Premium Package on the SE.

Expect the 2014 Sonata to be a bit quieter, too. Hyundai has also added more carpet floor insulation, extra foam in the side pillars, and a dynamic damper to help keep road noise out.

Otherwise, the fundamentals haven't changed. Most of the lineup is powered either by a 190-horsepower, 2.4-liter direct-injection four-cylinder engine (returning 24 mpg city, 35 highway with the standard six-speed automatic transmission) or a 274-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four.

Hyundai hasn't yet released pricing or details regarding the 2014 Sonata Hybrid.

No longer a bargain, just a good value

With the base 2014 Hyundai Sonata GLS starting at $22,145 and top Limited 2.0T models running $29,445, the Sonata is no longer the vastly better value for the money that it was a few years ago, but it remains competitively priced with most of those mid-size rivals.

Which would you choose, and do you think the Sonata's design still measures up? Let us know in your comments below.

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