The 2014 Hyundai Sonata—boasting refinements to more than 50 “major sub-systems”—is on sale now after receiving a minor price bump of $155. Its new starting point: $21,350, which still remains a few hundred dollars below the MSRPs of most of its mid-size rivals. That value play also happens to be combined with the segment’s top score in the J.D. Power and Associates 2013 Vehicle Dependability Study, and the whole package has been upgraded across the lineup.
Now, many of the changes are pretty subtle, like the car’s refreshed front grille and a new insert for the rear fascia, as well as some additional 17- and 18-inch wheel designs, but a lighting upgrade with HID Xenon headlamps and LED taillights is more noticeable, at least in comparison with the 2013 model.
Then, under the skin, the 2014 Hyundai Sonata lineup has been adjusted as follows:
- Hyundai’s Driver Selectable Steering Mode, allowing the driver to set different levels of steering performance, is standard across the roster, as is vehicle stability management and a tire-specific tire-pressure-monitoring system.
- Numerous NVH enhancements have been made, including the addition of more foam in the roof pillars and carpeting that better insulates the cabin from road and engine noise.
- Also newly available are standard and optional tech features such as a Blind-Spot Detection System, Hyundai’s third-gen navigation/multimedia system with eight-inch color display, and the automaker’s Supervision digital instrument cluster.
- Further premium touches extend to a new sport-tuned exhaust for the turbocharged 2014 Hyundai Sonata SE 2.0T, a driver’s-side blind-spot mirror for the GLS, a standard ventilated driver’s seat and fully automated climate controls in the Limited model, and a sharp LED dome light that’s optional on the GLS and standard on the SE/Limited version of the 2014 Hyundai Sonata.
And where does that leave the car as compared to the rest of the segment? Let’s take a little look … on the next page.
2014 Hyundai Sonata Added to Mid-size Pricing Leaderboard
Even with its slight price increase, the 2014 Hyundai Sonata, as mentioned above, is one of the least-expensive mid-size sedans on the market today. That’s important, because it was value—complemented by a striking exterior design—that first brought the Sonata to sales prominence in this country. In fact, the car was selling more than 20,000 units per month as recently as July 2012. But as rivals from Toyota, Honda and Nissan have rebounded from a spate of natural disasters in Japan, and the Ford Fusion has hit its stride, the Hyundai has stumbled to the point where just 13,872 of them were sold last month, a mark that was down by 20 percent as compared to September 2012. Yes, there were two fewer selling days in September of this year, but even on a year-to-date basis, the Sonata has lost more ground in 2012—with sales down 12.9 percent—than any other mainstream mid-sizer except the Chevy Malibu.
And the Malibu seems to have turned things around by scoring a 29.5 percent gain in sales, on about 14,500 deliveries.
To provide some more context for the 2014 Hyundai Sonata, here’s the full pricing leaderboard for the top mid-size sedans in the United States, with YTD sales performance, too:
- Toyota Camry—$22,235; 318,990 sales, up 1.3 percent
- Chevy Malibu—$22,140; 154,950 sales, down 13.7 percent
- Ford Fusion—$21,900; 226,293 sales, up 16.5 percent
- Nissan Altima—$21,860; 249,518 sales, up 6.6 percent
- Honda Accord—$21,680; 282,102 sales, up 13.8 percent
- Kia Optima—$21,500; 124,056 sales, up 8.1 percent
- Hyundai Sonata—$21,350; 152,702 sales, down 12.9 percent
- Chrysler 200—$21,195; 102,859 sales, up 2.6 percent
- Mazda Mazda6—$20,990; 32,532 sales, up 9.7 percent
- Volkswagen Passat—$20,845; 84,264 sales; up .7 percent
- Subaru Legacy—$20,295; 33,351 sales, down 6.3 percent
- Dodge Avenger—$19,795; 78,599 sales, up 5.2 percent