Although the current Hyundai Sonata was a game-changer when it first came out, that was a number of years ago -- but you wouldn't know it from the reaction you get on the street. To this day, Hyundai's mainstream sedan turns heads like a sports car. And with some major updates this year, the 2014 Hyundai Sonata is right back in the thick of things. Here are five reasons why this family hauler is still in its prime.
When this Sonata debuted, it was like no family sedan we'd ever seen. With all those swoops and curves, it looked more like a performance coupe than a humdrum 4-door. It still does, and thoughtful updates, such as new front and rear fascias, have kept it looking fresh. If you care about visual impact, the Sonata continues to be a top pick.
Hyundai's been working round the clock on making the Sonata fun to drive, and now you can even pick your own steering effort. If you need to carve some corners, go with Sport. Just sitting in traffic? Dial down the effort with Comfort. It's an exclusive feature in this class, and it shows Hyundai's commitment to never leaving well enough alone.
The Sonata has had a pretty cool cabin from day one, but now it's even cooler. Almost every Sonata trim level now comes standard with a 4.3-inch touchscreen, while the optional navigation system brings a beautiful new 8-in touchscreen. There's also more sound-deadening material for a quieter ride. This isn't just a run-of-the-mill midcycle refresh; the Sonata really looks and feels like a different car inside.
The Sonata's base 4-cylinder engine puts out around 190 horsepower and gets 35 miles per gallon on the highway. Best of both worlds, right? Well, not quite, because there's also the turbocharged 2.0T 4-cylinder that cranks out 274 hp and still gets 34 mpg. That's what we call an embarrassment of riches. The turbo really flies, by the way; it's one of the quickest family sedans on the market. Even BMW only gets 240 hp from its 2.0-liter turbo four.
Somehow, you can still get a base Sonata for not much more than $20,000, with a well-equipped model running about $25 grand. The top-of-the-line Limited model is a tempting upgrade at around $30k out the door. Hyundai's famous for its value, and the Sonata carries on the tradition, even though it's one of the best cars in its class. Translation: Don't confuse value with compromise, because there's none of the latter in this Hyundai.
The 2014 Hyundai Sonata is no spring chicken, but if you ask us, it hasn't aged a day. If you're shopping for a family sedan, it's still a must-drive.