The current-generation Hyundai Sonata has been a strong seller for the company ever since its introduction, but with a fresh batch of new midsize sedans on their way from the competition—including next-gen models of the Chevy Malibu, Nissan Altima and Ford Fusion—Hyundai is making some notable changes to the Sonata lineup for the 2013 model year. The goal: Build on the Sonata’s strong reputation for value by rejiggering the roster to make models even more attractive to U.S. buyers.
2013 Hyundai Sonata: Checking Changes
Hyundai is relying on a two-pronged strategy for upgrading the 2013 Sonata by adding a popular comfort feature to most basic models and reducing the price of its up-level entries. Thus, the Sonata SE gains heated front seats and the GLS Popular package actually adds both the heated front seats and standard front fog lamps. (The entry-level Sonata GLS remains unchanged for 2013.) Then, the Sonata in its Limited trims, which already included heated front seats on its list of standard equipment, will enjoy a $600 price reduction—although that comes by trading last year’s standard panoramic sunroof for a traditional-style version; the panoramic sunroof remains part of the Limited Premium package, which also receives a $100 price bump. Minor price increases of $100-$175 are scheduled for the rest of the Sonata lineup as well.
Finally, the Sonata GLS with a manual transmission has been deleted.
2013 Hyundai Sonata: Noting Numbers
The bottom line for the 2013 Hyundai Sonata lineup:
- Sonata GLS—No content changes, add $100
- Sonata GLS Popular—Add heated front seats, fog lamps and $175
- Sonata SE—Add heated front seats and $150
- Sonata Limited—Add traditional sunroof and subtract both $600 and the panoramic sunroof
- Sonata Limited Premium—Add $100
Overall, the new starting point for the 2013 Sonata will be $20,895—still lower than the base prices of cars like the 2012 Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Chevy Malibu.
2013 Hyundai Sonata: Promoting Production
Another important change for the 2013 Hyundai Sonata will happen behind the scenes: A third shift is coming online at Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, the company’s U.S. production facility. The plant already builds the 2012 Sonata (and Hyundai Elantra), but has been running at full capacity to keep up with exceedingly high demand. Consider: The Sonata was the third-best-selling midsize sedan in the country last year on a retail basis, and it continues to grow sales through the first four months of 2012. Even with tight supplies, Sonata deliveries are up nearly 3 percent over its pace from last year—when it set an all-time volume record with 225,961 sales.
2013 Hyundai Sonata: Record-setting Residual Values
Based on these changes, along with the car’s impressive history of high retail sales and low incentive spending, the leasing experts at ALG have set the Sonata’s three-year residual value at its highest level ever for the 2013 model year—60 percent. That’s a jump of 8 percent over the Sonata’s 2012 residual value and compares to marks of 51 percent or below for the 2012 Camry, Accord, Fusion, Malibu and Altima.