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2013 Hyundai Sonata Limited

on Tuesday, 05 April 2016. Posted in Reviews

Pros: Impressive fuel economy; strong base engine and optional turbo; daring styling; big trunk (except Hybrid); plenty of features for the price. Cons: Hybrid's not quite ready for prime time; numb steering across the board; limited rear headroom. What's new: Heated seats are more widely available for the 2013 Hyundai Sonata and the panoramic sunroof, previously a Hybrid exclusive, is now offered in the non-hybrid Sonata Limited as well. The Sonata Hybrid's electric motor is also updated for the new year. It now makes more power (35 kW instead of last year's 30 kW) and takes up less space. This allowed Hyundai to expand the Sonata Hybrid's trunk from 10.7 cu ft to 12.1 cu ft. Additionally, Hyundai added an upscale Limited trim level to the 2013 Sonata Hybrid and dropped the base-level Sonata Hybrid's starting price by $200 from last year's. Introduction Has any other automaker gone from imitator to innovator this quickly? That's what the 2013 Hyundai Sonata midsize sedan has us wondering. It was only a few years ago that Hyundais came across as Korean-flavored interpretations of more established cars, but now every new family sedan seems to be taking cues from Korea's finest. Let's start with the Sonata's bold "fluidic sculpture" design language, which truly looks like nothing else on the road. It was revolutionary when the Sonata debuted in 2010, a breath of fresh air in a segment notorious for stale styling. Since then, we've seen the Nissan Altima get all swoopy for its latest redesign, and the new Ford Fusion's physique has likewise been streamlined. Yes, that's right: Hyundai set the trend, and the others followed suit. Even fiercely independent Honda pays homage to Hyundai these days, as the new Accord's taillights look like they were lifted straight off the Hyundai Genesis luxury sedan. The Sonata is also a leader under the hood, where the base 2.4-liter engine offers up to 200 horsepower, and the optional 2.0-liter turbocharged engine marshals a whopping 274 horses. We can remember when only high-strung performance machines like the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution made that kind of power with a 2.0-liter inline-4. Fuel economy is stellar as well, reaching in the mid-30 mpg range with either engine. Naturally, Hyundai hasn't gotten everything about the Sonata right overnight. But when you take all of the Sonata's strong points and add Hyundai's traditional value advantage to the mix, it's no wonder other automakers are suddenly scrambling to keep up. Comfort & Utility The non-hybrid 2013 Hyundai Sonata models are offered in three trim levels: GLS, SE and Limited. The GLS starts with 16-inch steel wheels with plastic covers (16-in alloys are optional), full power accessories, air conditioning, cruise control, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, a trip computer, cloth upholstery, a height-adjustable driver seat, the Blue Link telematics system and a 6-speaker audio system with satellite radio and iPod/USB and Bluetooth connectivity. The SE adds 18-in alloy wheels; a sport-tuned suspension; dual exhaust pipes; automatic headlamps; fog lights; chrome exterior accents; a leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters; hybrid cloth/leather upholstery; an 8-way power driver's seat with lumbar; and heated front seats. Specifying the turbocharged engine brings standard dual-zone automatic climate control.