2013 Hyundai Sonata gets more expensive, loses the manual gearbox

Article by Christian A., on May 11, 2012

Since an all-new Hyundai Sonata won’t be available until 2014 and as it will have to compete with an almost-all-new segment in 2013, the brand has decided to add more content for the 2013 model year. Additional standard equipment is now given to those who would buy the higher 2013 Sonata trim levels. Both the SE and Limited trims will get added standard equipment that had not been offered in the past.

For the first time, Sonata SE models get heated seats as standard. The 2013 Hyundai Sonata SE now has a starting price of $24,120, higher by $150. The Sonata Limited gets a traditional sunroof as standard, instead of the previously standard panoramic sunroof. This panoramic sunroof comes as part of the $2900 Premium Package for 2013, which also features a touch-screen navigation system, backup camera, and Infinity sound system.

The upgraded model is priced $600 higher to $26,620 for a Sonata Limited without the Premium Package. The entry-level 2013 Sonata GLS will also be tweaked. The Popular Equipment Package now features fog lamps and heated seats, together with the 16-inch alloy wheels, power driver seat, chrome interior door handles, leatherette door inserts, and automatic headlights available in the past model year. This package is priced $75 higher from $750 to $825. The 2013 Hyundai Sonata GLS is priced from $21,670 and is now standard together with the six-speed automatic transmission -- $100 more expensive than the auto-equipped Sonata GLS from 2012.

The base 2012 Sonata GLS with six-speed manual has been discontinued for the 2013 model year. Powering the 2013 Hyundai Sonata is either a 2.4-liter direct-injected inline four-cylinder engine that has an output of 198 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque in GLS and Limited trims or 200 hp and 186 lb-ft in SE trim.

A 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 that delivers 274 hp and 269 lb-ft is available on the SE and Limited trim levels. All the Sonatas are front-wheel drive and are equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission. Hyundai dealerships across the country now have the 2013 Sonatas available at their showrooms.

Hyundai has been known to be knowledgeable when it comes to interior packaging. Combine this with a smooth design and the result is the new Hyundai Sonata having an interior whose practicality, functionality, and comfort, are all top-of-the-line. While the sleek roofline usually makes up both the interior volume and the headroom, the new Sonata offers interior volume at 120.2 cubic feet, making it the largest among its rivals.

The amount of space on the interior is so huge that the Sonata remains to be classified as a “Large” car by the EPA or the Environmental Protection Agency. This makes it a “class above” indeed when compared to the Altima, Malibu, Fusion, and Camry, as all these are considered “Midsize” cars. It is not just about the interior as the trunk room is just as exceptional.

With trunk space totaling 16.4 cubic feet, this is 9.3% larger when compared to the Camry and 17.1% better over the Accord. Meanwhile on the exterior, the 2013 Sonata reveals a long length and low height combined with a light weight.

With the beltline now higher, it allows for a roofline that is both smooth and long, highlighted by the third window. On the side profile is a monoform which contains flowing lines emphasized by the trademarked chrome accent of the brand which goes through the model’s entire length. On most vehicles, this kind of trim is typically limited to the area around the windows.

However, for the 2013 Sonata, this trim begins from the headlamps and goes to the hood and all the way to the beltline. Meanwhile, its face has a large and strong chrome grille plus the headlamps that clearly show the use of precise details. Rounding off the look are the multi-spoke wheels which can come in either the 16-inch versions, 17-inch ones, or the 18-inch units.

Admittedly this gives the exterior that classy look and this is seen in the interior as well with the brand using the flow-through center console combined with the instrument panel to give a more upscale feel. The flowing surfaces are not only able to complement the design of the exterior but also wrap around both the driver and the passengers.

The new Sonata is a good example of the use of the Fluidic Sculpture, a cohesive and constant design language that Hyundai projects will become more prevalent in the brand’s showroom. It was around three and a half years back, during the development of the 2010 Tucson and the 2011 Sonata that designers at Hyundai started to work on this design language.

While making the initial sketches for the new Sonata in development, the design team took into account how firm structures and surfaces are able to interact with the natural and fluid elements that result in the illusion of being in motion constantly.

With nature serving as its main inspiration, the Fluidic Sculpture makes use of dynamic angles on how the vehicle is shape and puts in the needed complexity. As such, the Fluidic Sculpture is now the essential element of Hyundai’s design identity in the future.

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