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2014 Hyundai Sonata Review

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This 2014 Hyundai Sonata overview explains changes for the model year, provides a summary of the 2014 Sonata, and includes Hyundai Sonata safety, reliability, and fuel economy ratings.

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What is the 2014 Hyundai Sonata?

The Hyundai Sonata is a five-passenger sedan that handily competes on the crowded family four-door playing field. You can choose between a regular four-cylinder engine, a turbocharged four-cylinder or a hybrid powerplant, and the Sonata is offered in a range of well-equipped trim levels. Primary competitors include the Ford Fusion, Toyota Camry and Volkswagen Passat.

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What’s New for 2014?

An all-new Hyundai Sonata debuted last year to ridiculously positive acclaim, so 2014 is a year of small refinements. Topping the charts is standard Blue Link telematics, which includes features like turn-by-turn navigation, Automated Collision Notification (ACN), SOS Emergency Assistance, remote vehicle locking and unlocking, voice text messaging, POI web search and download, vehicle system reporting, and even an Eco-Coach program designed to help you maximize fuel economy. These are just a few of its 30 available features. Other changes include the addition of a new high-resolution navigation system touch screen, equipped with integrated HD radio. Limited models will now come with a standard panoramic sunroof, while a backup camera is now available on certain SE models. Finally, all Sonatas get slightly improved fuel economy.

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Trim Levels and Features

The 2014 Hyundai Sonata can be equipped with one of four trim levels. The entry-level Sonata GLS is a rather plebian sedan and includes basic fare such as 16-inch steel wheels with hubcaps; power windows, locks and heated side mirrors; air conditioning; cruise control; and a tilt-telescopic steering wheel with audio controls. You can crank out the tunes via a six-speaker audio system with an auxiliary audio input jack and satellite radio, and every Sonata comes with standard Bluetooth hands-free technology and, new for 2014, Blue Link telematics. Optional features include an eight-way power driver’s seat, alloy wheels and automatic headlights.

The Sonata SE adds a standard six-speed automatic transmission, keyless entry and ignition, an eight-way power driver’s seat, sporty leather and cloth upholstery, and some exterior enhancements. This is a sport-oriented trim level so the suspension and steering are tightened up, the SE rides on 18-inch wheels, and you can up- or downshift with the paddle shifters. You can opt to upgrade the SE with the Navigation and Sunroof Package that also includes a backup camera and HD Radio. Getting the optional turbocharged engine means that you’ll also enjoy dual-zone climate control.

The Limited trim level does a darn good job of pretending to be an entry-level luxury sedan with its myriad features, such as leather upholstery, wood grain and piano-gloss accents throughout the cabin, heated front and rear seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a standard panoramic sunroof that lets the outdoors in. An optional Navigation Package adds navigation and a backup camera, and enhances your playlist with Infinity speakers and HD Radio.

If you choose the Sonata Hybrid model, you’ll get everything that comes standard on the GLS plus several upgrades. Automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver’s seat, upgraded cloth upholstery, electroluminescent gauges, and a special display screen with hybrid-related information is included in the base price. Exteriors receive distinctive front styling with automatic projector-beam headlights, LED accent lights and fog lights; unique wheels; and LED taillights in back. A Premium Package loads the Hybrid up with leather, navigation, HD Radio, Infinity sound, a panoramic sunroof, 17-inch wheels, and a handful of additional features.

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Under the 2014 Hyundai Sonata’s Hood

The base engine for the 2014 Hyundai Sonata is a zippy 198-horsepower, direct-injected, 2.4-liter four-cylinder. Choose the Sonata SE and get two extra horsepower for a total of 200, thanks to a modified exhaust system. In states where the engine gets a Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle rating, horsepower output is reduced to 190. The GLS trim level gives you a choice between a six-speed manual and an optional six-speed Shiftronic automatic transmission with manual control of gear changes. The SE and Limited come only with the automatic.

For those who desire some extra boost, a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine is available on the SE and Limited trim levels. Output is an impressive 274 horsepower, and Sonatas with this engine wear a “2.0T” badge on the back. A six-speed Shiftronic automatic is the only transmission choice.

Because of slight revisions in engine calibration for 2014, Sonatas with the 2.4-liter engine are now rated 24 mpg (up from 22) in the city and 35 mpg on the highway with either transmission. The turbocharged 2.0-liter engine is expected to return 22 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway.

Equipped with Hyundai’s Direct Hybrid Blue Drive System, what the automaker calls a full parallel hybrid system, the Sonata Hybrid can be driven at speeds up to 62 mph in electric mode. The Sonata Hybrid’s battery pack powers an electric motor that operates independent of or in concert with a 2.4-liter, Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine and, unlike most hybrids, the Sonata gets a traditional six-speed automatic transmission instead of a droning continuously variable transmission (CVT). Combined, Hyundai’s hybrid powertrain makes 206 horsepower and 193 lb-ft of torque, and last year’s EPA ratings were 35 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway.

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 Safety and Reliability

The 2014 Sonata offers a comprehensive package of standard safety features, including antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist, traction and stability control and six airbags. New for the year is the inclusion of Blue Link telematics, which, among other services, will notify authorities should the system detect a collision. You can also speak to a live operator if you need roadside assistance or help during an emergency. Also new for 2014, a backup camera is now standard on the SE model equipped with navigation system.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) seems to think that the Sonata is a good place to be should a collision occur, as it named the Hyundai a Top Safety Pick last year after the car received high marks in all crash-test evaluations. That’s pretty impressive. More impressive is that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which recently made it much harder to get 5-Star crash-test ratings, echoes that sentiment. For 2014, the NHTSA bequeaths the Sonata with an overall 5-Star crash protection rating, with 4 Stars awarded for frontal-impact crash safety and 5 Stars give for side-impact crash and rollover resistance performance.

Consumer Reports gives the Hyundai Sonata favorable odds in terms of reliability over time, giving it a better than average score. J.D. Power and Associates has not rated the 2014 Sonata for predicted reliability, but last year expected the car or perform at better-than-average levels.

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Fun Facts

Even though the Sonata competes in the midsize family sedan class in terms of price, the EPA classifies it as a large vehicle, thanks to its spacious interior. At 16.4 cubic feet, you’ll be hard pressed to find a trunk as large as the Sonata’s too. And it has features that you simply can’t find in this price class, such as rear seat heaters.

For 2014, Hyundai adds standard Blue Link telematics technology to the Sonata. Blue Link offers features and functionality similar to OnStar from General Motors, Sync from Ford, or Lexus Link from Lexus. The difference here is that Hyundai gives buyers a choice between three different packages of service. Assurance is the most basic, and it includes Automated Collision Notification and SOS Emergency Service, each of which could prove lifesaving. The Essentials Package adds features ranging from Voice Text Messaging and Vehicle Diagnostics to Stolen Vehicle Slowdown, Geo-Fencing, and Speed and Curfew Alerts. The Guidance Package adds turn-by-turn navigation, point-of-interest Internet search and download, real-time traffic and weather, and an Eco-Coach feature.

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