• GLS, the base Sonata, loses its manual transmission for 2013
  • Mid-level Sonata SE models add heated seats
  • A traditional sunroof replaces the panoramic roof in the upscale Sonata Limited

Hyundai is making several changes to its mid-size Sonata sedan for 2013. The automaker recently announced the updates, which include a minor price hike, added features and the discontinuation of the optional manual transmission.

According to Hyundai, the biggest change comes to the base Sonata GLS. While the sedan's new asking price of $21,670 with destination is only $100 more than last year's automatic-equipped model, the Sonata's overall base price shoots up over $1,000 because the previously standard manual transmission is no longer available. Otherwise, the Sonata GLS is mostly unchanged except for an updated Popular Equipment package, which now includes foglamps and heated seats in its $825 price.

The mid-level 2013 Sonata SE received minor revisions compared with the 2012 model, adding only heated seats to its list of standard equipment. The sedan also adds $150 to its base price, with the latest Sonata SE starting at $24,120 including destination.

Hyundai's top-of-the-line Sonata Limited also gets minor changes for the new model year. According to the automaker, the updated sedan now starts at $26,620-an increase of $600 compared with the 2012 model-although a formerly standard panoramic sunroof was replaced by a new, traditional sunroof for 2013. The panoramic roof remains optional as part of the $2,900 premium package, which also includes a touchscreen navigation system, an Infinity sound system and a reversing camera.

In spite of the minor changes, most of the 2012 Sonata's major components are carried over into the 2013 model year. Among them are a standard 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 200 horsepower, an optional 274-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder powerplant for SE and Limited models and a 209-hp 2.4-liter hybrid 4-cylinder that is standard in the unchanged Sonata Hybrid.

Sales of the Sonata have been brisk since its redesign for the 2011 model year. Last month, Hyundai recorded nearly 21,000 Sonata sales, leading to a total of nearly 76,000 units sold this year. That's an increase of nearly 3 percent compared with the same period in 2011.

What it means to you: The Sonata is largely unchanged for 2013 after its impressive redesign just two years ago.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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