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Many car buyers are out there looking for a midsize sedan. It works on many levels, fitting the needs of a small family, single person who logs plenty of miles, and seniors who can’t commit to anything smaller than a midsize vehicle.

Easing its way into the conversation four or five years ago was the Hyundai Sonata. While it couldn’t hang with the class leaders, it was a smart choice for folks who wanted to save money and loved the Hyundai drivetrain warranty of 10 years or 100,000 miles.


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Following a redesign two years ago, the Sonata was not just in the conversation, literally overnight it became the conversation. It shot to the top in some people’s estimation and the result was its rivals quickly went into redesign mode to make up for lost ground.

2013 Hyundai Sonata

  • Performance: 2.4-liter, four cylinder, 198 horsepower; turbocharged 2.0-liter, four cylinder, 274 horsepower
  • Mileage estimate range: 24-35 mpg
  • Price: $21,195 to $25,845
  • Warranty: 5 years/60,000 miles; drivetrain 10 years/100,000 miles; roadside assistance 5 years/unlimited

If the 2013 Hyundai Sonata isn’t on top, it’s not far from it. And that’s saying a bunch considering its prime rivals are the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima, Chevrolet Malibu and the Kia Optima, a cousin of the Sonata since Hyundai and Kia are so closely related.

The Sonata remains at an affordable price and still can be characterized as delivering a lot of bang for the buck. It’s a sedan that provides strong performance with a choice of two good engines, gets solid gas mileage (24-35 mpg), offers top-notch safety, rides with comfort, and features a sizable list of standard features.

And one more thing about the Sonata – it has sharp stylish lines and looks good.

The standard Sonata is a 2.4-liter, four cylinder that producers 198 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission, it accelerates powerfully for a four cylinder, going 0-60 mph in 7.9 seconds.

The alternative is the high performing turbocharged model, a 2.0-liter, four cylinder with 286 horsepower and 269 pound-feet of torque. The mileage is a little less (22-34 mpg), but this Sonata goes 0-60 mph in 6.7 seconds.

Sonata drivers will feel confident behind the wheel for a number of reasons, including good maneuverability and braking capacity. The transmission gearshift is smooth and hardly noticeable, and the ride is mostly quiet.

There’s also an interior comfort zone with the Sonata. The controls have been designed so they should almost immediately become intuitive and are also easy to reach. The gauges have an appealing design and the optional touchscreen navigation has a strong functionality.

The Sonata delivers comfort for both front and backseat occupants, featuring a roomingness that even taller folks can enjoy. Trunk space is better than average, but note that the opening is on the small side

Perhaps we’ve saved the best news for last: price. The Sonata has three trim models (GLS, SE, Limited) with a starting price of $21,195. The price climbs gradually to a peak of approximately $25,845 for the Limited models. Whatever the choice, Sonata offers lots of value for the price.

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