By Andrew Ganz
Monday, Oct 7th, 2013 @ 5:20 pm
 
Hyundai's popular Sonata midsize sedan has received a handful of revisions as part of a mid-cycle update for the 2014 model year, even though an all-new model is likely just a year or two away.

Introduced for the 2011 model year, the Sonata made waves in its segment by providing a high level of equipment with a more evocative look. That style returns for 2014, albeit with a new grille design, LED tail lamps, available HID headlamps and revised 17 and 18 inch wheel designs. Those wheels, by the way, were designed specifically to transmit less road rumble into the cabin.

In addition, Hyundai says it has added foam into the A-pillars and B-pillars, as well as upgraded the car's carpeting, moves that should reduce noise levels even further.

Underneath, the Sonata gains an additional dynamic damper designed to boost the car's NVH refinement, while a driver selectable steering system will let operators choose between three levels of resistance for the car's electronic power steering.

For the most part, the Sonata's 2.4-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder and 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine choices carry over unchanged. SE models equipped with the automaker's turbo mill gain a sport-tuned exhaust system.

Oddly, the naturally-aspirated motor's power output drops from 198 to 190 horsepower (a drop of 200 to 192 horsepower for the dual exhaust-equipped Sonata SE).

Although the Sonata's interior retains its general look and feel, the automaker upgraded SE and Limited models with features like a full-leather steering wheel (replacing a urethane/leather unit), a color audio screen with rearview camera integration and a color LCD screen in the gauge cluster. Limited models go further with a newly standard driver's seat ventilation system. SEs, on the other hand, add a carbon fiber-style interior trim.

On the tech front, a blind spot detection system is newly optional on SEs and standard on Limiteds. All models gain a tire-specific tire pressure monitor system and a Vehicle Stability Monitor that works with stability control and the electric power steering unit to improve handling in adverse conditions.

Despite all the changes, Hyundai says that prices increase only $155 on the base model Sonata GLS, which now starts at $21,350 plus a mandatory $795 destination charge. Opting for a fully-loaded Sonata Limited 2.0T boosts that figure to $32,445.