Now in the fourth year of its current generation, the 2014 Hyundai Sonata is no longer an outsider trying to find a sliver of the market share. The Sonata is well established and holds its own in the crowded pack of family sedans like the Ford Fusion, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry and Mazda 6.
While not a newbie in 2014, the Sonata has been tweaked enough to stay fresh. The changes include: driver-selectable steering effort, a sport-tuned exhaust (SE 2.0T only), available xenon headlights and LED taillights (Limited only), a ventilated driver seat (Limited) an optional blind-spot monitoring system, an improved stability control system and two new touchscreens.
The interior styling has also been refreshed, and Hyundai has added sound muting to assist with the previously less than quiet ride, particularly on the freeway.
The Weekly Driver Test Drive
The 2014 Hyundai Sonata is available in GLS, SE and Limited trim levels. There’s also a Sonata Hybrid.
Standard equipment on the GLS includes 16-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, heated mirrors, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, a 60/40-split rear seatback, Hyundai’s BlueLink telematics system, a trip computer, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, an iPod/USB audio interface and an auxiliary audio jack.
The Sonata Limited starts with most of the SE’s standard and optional features, including the Premium package minus navigation.
The Limited also has 17-inch alloy wheels and a softer suspension. It also comes standard with full leather upholstery, a ventilated driver seat, heated rear seats, rear climate vents, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and upgrades accents.
My weekly driver was the Limited 2.0T, the same version I drove two years ago, the last time I test reviewed a Sonata. The turbo-charged edition adds the SE 2.0T’s 18-inch wheels, dual chrome exhaust tips and shift paddles.
The optional Limited Technology package has a panoramic sunroof, xenon headlights, LED taillights, the 8-inch touchscreen display with navigation and a 12-speaker Infinity sound
The 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, with its six-speed automatic, generates 274 horsepower and is Hyundai’s answer those who might opt for a six-cylinder engine. The latter is not available. The turbo-charged offering is plenty sufficient. It’s quick off the line and has considerable pride and power when asked to change lanes or maneuver in demanding situations.
As a family sedan, four adults are comfortable, although the sloping roof does reduce backseat headroom
Overall, it’s hard not to like the Sonata. From its swooping exterior reminiscent of Mercedes-Benz to its spacious and well-designed interior, it’s no wonder Hyundai stock in the increasingly competitive family sedan segment keep performing well.
Lots of trims and engine choices
Strong, balance handling.
Limited headroom due to sloping roofline
Facts & Figures: 2014 Hyundai Sonata
Acceleration: 0-60 mph, 6.7 seconds.
Fuel economy: 21 mpg (city), 32 mpg (highway), 25 mpg (combined) six-speed automatic transmission.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $28,550.00
Manufacturer’s Web site: www.hyundai.com.
Price As Tested: $32,670.00
Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 5 years/60,000 miles; Powertrain, 10 years/100,000 miles; Corrosion, 7 years/unlimited miles; Roadside Assistance, 5 years/unlimited miles.
What Others Say:
“The 2014 Hyundai Sonata may no longer be the next big thing, but it remains a fully competitive family sedan. This year’s model is particularly enticing given a significant round of upgrades.” — Edmunds.
“As more and more family sedans break the mold of ordinary styling, the family sedan that started the styling revolution continues to blaze a trail forward. The 2014 Hyundai Sonata remains one of the most attractive, efficient and affordable 4-door cars in the midsize market, and no one has yet to match its impressive 10-year/100,000-mile warranty, let alone its price-per-feature ratio.” — Kelley Blue Book.
“With standout styling, thrifty yet powerful engines and plenty of features and amenities, the latest Hyundai Sonata is a strong contender in the crowded mid-size sedan segment.” — Left Lane News.
The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:
“Hyundai is now firmly established in the automobile mainstream and the Sonata, while still not the nameplate of the Honda Accord or Toyota Camry, should be.”