Without a doubt, the 2011 Hyundai Sonata shook up the midsize segment, forcing its competitors to sit up and take notice. That vehicle introduced a new “fluidic sculpture” design language to the Korean make’s line, what has been replicated elsewhere from the tiny Accent to the larger Azera.
Prior to its update, the Hyundai Sonata was a small-time player but it now rivals the Chevrolet Malibu for fifth place among like sedans. For 2014, the Hyundai Sonata receives a mid product cycle refresh with the automaker claiming that it has added 50 new or updated changes to its stylish sedan.
The key changes for the 2014 Hyundai Sonata include an updated grille design, new wheels, HID Xenon headlights, LED tail lamps and a new rear fascia insert. The 17- and 18-inch wheels were designed with cabin noise reduction in mind, further quieted by improved carpeting insulation, additional A and B pillar foam insulation, and an improved dynamic damper.
A body-colored spoiler is now standard with the SE edition.
Most of the changes with the 2014 Sonata can be found in the interior. A full leather steering wheel is now standard on both the SE and Limited edition. A ventilated driver seat is standard with the Limited and an LED dome light is now optional on the GLS and standard with the SE and Limited.
Hyundai also has rolled out the third generation of its infotainment system with navigation and audio improvements accessible via the Sonata’s eight-inch touchscreen display. That system is an option, available only with the SE and Limited editions. Both editions also get a new color LCD screen on the instrument panel.
Fully automated temperature controls are new to the Limited and carbon fiber trim is now standard with the SE. A tire-specific tire pressure monitoring system is standard across the 2014 Hyundai Sonata line.
Hyundai Sonata Performance
As before, the 2014 Hyundai Sonata offers two engine choices. Its standard 2.4-liter four cylinder engine makes 190 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and 179 foot-pounds of torque at 4,250 rpm. This engine is teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shifting capabilities and delivers 24 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.
Also available is a 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder engine, rated at 274 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 269 foot-pounds of torque at 1,650 to 4,500 rpm. This engine is available with the SE and Limited editions and now includes a sport-tuned exhaust with the SE. It is also teamed with a SHIFTRONIC six-speed automatic transmission.
Key Safety Features
Priced from $21,350, every Hyundai Sonata offers a long list of standard safety equipment including an all-new vehicle stability management system, stability control, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake-force distribution, a suite of airbags, active front head rests, and advanced head restraints for rear seating passengers.
Additional safety features include a rear view camera and two all-new features: a blind spot mirror and blind spot detection.
The Hyundai Assurance protection system continues to provide excellent warranties including a 5-year/60,000-mile new vehicle warranty that is also fully transferrable and a 10-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty. As before, every new Sonata comes with five full years of roadside assistance coverage.
The changes for the 2014 Hyundai Sonata will enable this sedan to stay pace with the segment leaders. The Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Ford Fusion have been updated since the 2011 Sonata rolled out and the Malibu has been refreshed for 2014. With a new Camry on the way for 2015 and other models likely to be refreshed soon after, we may see an all-new Sonata within the next two years.