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FEATURES | 9 out of 10
By the time you mix and match the trim levels, transmission and option packages, there are eight different models altogether. Base price for the standard GLS model starts at just $19,195 (add $720 destination to all pricing), the sporty SE from $22,595, and the top-of-the-line Limited begins at $25,295.
Speaking of navigation systems, Hyundai's is quite slick, with simple controls, an easy-to-reach touch-screen and crisp graphics. The upgraded sound system was also quite good.
Controls are fairly simple. Without the optional navigation system, our car has the easier-to-use radio; the touch-screen navigation system lacks a radio tune knob or preset hard keys.
The Sonata's infotainment controls are a little more complicated than previous Hyundai offerings, but they are still easy to use despite the increase in high-tech features like navigation, iPod control and Bluetooth.
Among mid-size sedan, the 2013 Hyundai Sonata is one of the lower-priced models, at a base price of just $21,670. Yet the feature list is impressive; Bluetooth, a USB port, power accessories, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel, and cruise control are all included.
Paddle shifters, a sport-tuned suspension, and some slight trim differences differentiate the Sonata SE—and for 2013, heated seats have been added as standard on the SE. Both the Sonata SE and Sonata Limited have parking sensors and push-button start. The Limited also gets standard heated front and rear seats; a sunroof; a backup camera; automatic climate control; and an automatic dimming rearview mirror. A standard-sized sunroof is now included in Limited models, too, while a larger panoramic sunroof (moonroof) is offered as an option, part of a Premium Package.
As with most Hyundai vehicles, there are a limited number of ways that you can equip a Sonata, and that helps in a number of ways—making it simpler at the factory, simpler for dealers, and helping to lower costs. So there are only a few package upgrades for each model. The base GLS can be upgraded with a Popular Equipment Package to include a power driver seat and alloy wheels, and for 2013 this package now also includes fog lamps and heated seats. As such, Hyundai points out that the Sonata includes many more features than a comparably priced Toyota Camry LE or Honda Accord LX Premium—at a somewhat lower price.
The SE’s options include a nicely executed navigation system packaged with a sunroof. A “Dimension” speaker package is available as an upgrade. The Sonata Limited adds on a CD changer and HD Radio, and can be equipped with an Infinity 400-watt audio system, bundled with the touchscreen-driven navigation system and the rearview camera.
The Sonata's navigation system is particularly easy to use, with one of the more pleasant displays and interfaces. XM NavTraffic and Bluetooth streaming audio are included, as well as 8GB of flash memory for music storage. In prior model years we've noticed a few glitches with the sound system, dealing mostly with how it plays media from phones or iPods.
Last year marked the debut of Hyundai's Blue Link telematics system in the Sonata. Just as with GM's OnStar setup, Blue Link uses live operators to field information and provide directions and answers, while also connecting the car via streaming data to the Web, which allows it to find destinations newer than the ones provided on its hard-drive-based GPS maps. There are a few different Blue Link packages, with tiered pricing.
Hyundai adds even more standard-feature content to the Sonata for 2013.