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Josh Rosenberg By Josh Rosenberg
Updated Nov. 6, 2023

2013 Hyundai Sonata Pros, Cons, Reliability, Mechanical Watchlist

Related: How To Get The Best Deal On A "Brand New" Hyundai Sonata

Due to extremely high new and used car prices, as well as high interest rate loans, many shoppers are now looking for "older" models to better fit their budgets.

2013 Hyundai Sonata SE

And it turns out a 2013 Sonata might fit the bill. When it comes to longevity, the Sonata is estimated to last in the 200,000 to 250,000 mile range with regular maintenance. It also has a better reliability rating and lower annual repair cost than most other midsize cars.

However, this still does add some additional risk in terms of reliability and maintenance issues for people considering the 2013 Sonata, or any other older vehicle.

So here, we will look at its pros and cons, and its general reliability reputation along with specific mechanical issues to have checked out before purchase.

At the time, the 2013 Sonata was a serious contender among midsize sedans thanks to a major redesign for the 2011 model year. With its sleek looks, lively engines and upgraded cabin, the Sonata comfortably settled in with the segment's best.

And that's saying a lot since this segment sports a bevy of solid choices also worthy of serious consideration, including the Honda Accord, the Mazda 6, the Volkswagen Passat, the Toyota Camry, the Chevy Malibu and its sibling the Kia Optima.

However, very important before getting into the pros and cons of the 2013 Sonata ...

Things To Do When Considering An "Older" Sonata

Locate Lower Mileage Vehicles: They are certainly out there to be found with careful and patient shopping. Be willing to drive a distance if you have to.

Vehicle History and Maintenance: Ask for the vehicle history report (CarFax or AutoCheck) as well as documented maintenance and repair records. If not provided by the Dealer or private seller, it's best to move on.

Pre-Purchase Inspection: Have the vehicle independently inspected before making a final decision. This usually will cost in the $150-$200 range but is well worth it given the potentially thousands in savings over the long term.

And My #1 Price Tip: Please always get online price quotes at auto sites such as and (both, actually), whether looking for a new or used car. Competition among dealers for your business does amazing things to prices, and it's so easy. It really does make a difference.

2013 Hyundai Sonata Pros

Abundance of Features for the Dollar: The 2013 Sonata is simply less expensive than its rivals, while even the base GLS model comes standard with features such as remote power door locks, power mirrors, heated mirrors, one-touch power windows, air-conditioning, cruise control, keyless entry, Bluetooth, steering-wheel mounted audio controls, wheel locks, four-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), stability control, traction control, front and rear head airbags, dual front side-mounted airbags, a remote anti-theft alarm system, an emergency braking assist system, a tire pressure monitor, and a 6-speaker audio system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack, and an iPod/USB audio interface.

Other available features depending on the model include leather upholstery, 18-inch alloy wheels with performance tires, a sport-tuned suspension, foglights, a dark chrome grille, keyless ignition/entry, dual-zone automatic climate control and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Available options made it possible to outfit a Sonata like a full luxury sedan with features such as a navigation system with a touchscreen display, a rearview camera, premium Infinity speakers, a sunroof, a panoramic sunroof, side mirror turn signal repeaters, front and rear heated seats, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and an upgraded stereo system with HD radio.

Lively Engines: The new Sonata comes with a choice of two very competent engines. The base engine is a powerful 2.4-liter four-cylinder that should satisfy most drivers with its output of a healthy 198-horsepower (200 in the SE model) while still getting an impressive 28 mpg in combined driving (see more on gas mileage below).

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For those seeking still more power, the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder pumps out a robust 274-horsepower with no noticeable turbo lag while still nearly matching the less powerful engine's fuel efficiency.

In performance tests, the 2.4-liter GLS with an automatic transmission was timed from a standstill to 60 mph in just 7.9 seconds. This is a full second faster than the average car in the segment. And the 2.0-liter turbo with an automatic transmission was timed in the same sprint in a still quicker 6.7 seconds.

Excellent Fuel Economy: Fuel economy for the Sonata is another big plus. The 2.4-liter engine, coupled with either the automatic or manual transmission, is EPA-rated at an impressive 24 mpg city and 35 mpg on the highway. And even with the 2.0-liter turbo's added power, it comes at a very pump-friendly 22 mpg city and 34 highway.

2013 Hyundai Sonata SE interior

Comfortable and Attractive Interior: Even though the Sonata is a midsize sedan, its interior is so big that the EPA classifies it as a "large" car. Its generous passenger space puts it second in the class to only the Honda Accord, while its seats are also comfortable and supportive. Its large trunk has a cargo capacity of 16.4 cubic feet, making it another convenient plus.

The cabin's actual design also compares very well for the class with its modern and attractive looks combined with upscale and user-friendly features. Build and materials quality is also impressive with an overall look and feel one would expect from a more expensive car.

Excellent Safety Scores: In government crash tests, the Sonata was awarded a top five-star rating for overall crash protection, consisting of four stars for front-impact occupant protection and five for side-impact protection.

2013 Hyundai Sonata Cons

Limited Rear Headroom: While the new Sonata offers generally roomy passenger accommodations and the ability to stretch out on longer trips, the car's handsome and sleek exterior design does come with a possible comfort sacrifice for some occupants. It's the attractive but sloping roof line that results in only an adequate amount of headroom, both front and rear. Six-foot-plusers in back will be especially challenged.

Harsher SE Model Ride: The sporty SE model offers more agile handling abilities and driver engagement along with its 18-inch alloy wheels, performance tires and sport-tuned suspension. Those potentially interested in this model, however, should be aware that the increased performance comes at the price of a harsher and bumpier ride quality.

Limited Rear Visibility: The Sonata's sloping roofline and rear window design can impede rear visibility, which may be a concern for some drivers.

Steering Feel: The electric power steering has been criticized by some for lacking feedback and a connected feel, making it less engaging for some drivers.

2013 Hyundai Sonata Reliability

The 2013 Sonata has several positive factors when it comes to reliability, which contribute to its reputation as a dependable midsize sedan:

Solid Build Quality: The 2013 Sonata generally features good build quality with attention to detail in its construction. This can lead to a reduction in common problems associated with poor assembly and fit-and-finish issues.

Proven Engine Options: The 2013 Sonata offered a range of engine options, with the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine being one of the most popular choices. These engines have a reputation for durability and longevity when properly cared for.

Limited Reported Issues: While no car is entirely free from issues, this Sonata does not have widespread or systemic problems that affect its reliability.

Availability of Parts and Service: Hyundai is a popular automaker with a wide service network, making it relatively easy to find replacement parts and qualified mechanics to service and repair the Sonata.

Keep in mind that a vehicle's reliability also depends on how well it has been maintained by previous owners. Regular maintenance, adherence to the manufacturer's recommended service schedule, and prompt attention to any issues that arise can significantly impact the long-term reliability of any car.

More Car Buying Tips:

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2013 Hyundai Sonata Mechanical Problem Watchlist:

The 2013 Hyundai Sonata, like any vehicle, had its share of reported mechanical problems and issues. It's important to note that the severity and frequency of these problems can vary among individual cars, and not all vehicles of the same model year will experience the same issues.

That said, it's a good idea to have these possible issues checked before purchase:

Transmission Issues: Some owners reported problems with the automatic transmission, such as rough shifting, hesitation, or slipping. In some cases, this led to the need for transmission repairs or replacements.

Engine Problems: There have been occasional reports of engine-related issues, including oil leaks, engine knocking, and in some cases, engine failure at around 80,000 miles.

This issue led to a class action lawsuit where Hyundai paid a 2016 settlement of $8.5 million. The settlement covered engine repair and replacement, towing expenses, and rental fees of the replacement cars for the owners of affected 2011-2014 Sonatas with 2.0- or 2.4-liter Theta II engines.

Steering and Suspension: Some drivers have noted issues with the steering system, such as problems with the power steering pump and occasional vibrations. Suspension components like struts and shock absorbers may wear out over time, affecting ride quality.

Electrical Problems: Electrical issues, such as problems with the vehicle's electronics, can occur. These may include malfunctions in the infotainment system, power windows, or various sensors.

Brake Problems: While not widespread, there have been reports of brake issues, such as premature wear of brake pads and rotors.

Air Conditioning and Heating: Some owners have experienced issues with the air conditioning system, such as the compressor failing or problems with the heating system.

Exhaust and Emissions: A few Sonata owners have reported issues related to the exhaust system and emissions components.

It's important to emphasize that not all 2013 Hyundai Sonatas will experience these problems, and many owners have had trouble-free experiences with their vehicles. Regular maintenance and proper care can go a long way in preventing or addressing these issues.

Also, Always Know The Value Of Your Trade-In!

Whether you are trading or selling on your own, it's just a good idea ... even whether you are in the market or not at the moment. You can then use this important information for a number of purposes ... to negotiate with a dealer, or to know how to price your car in the retail market, or simply to know the value of one of your assets, which is always a good idea.

Getting trade-in values online tend to vary a lot from site to site. But I've found the one at Edmunds Trade-In Quotes is particularly comprehensive and accurate.

It's free and just takes a couple of minutes. I think what helps its accuracy is the inputs will include either your plate# or VIN# followed by many simple, but specific, yes/no questions. They really focus in on the detail of the specific vehicle.

Lastly, Suggestions For Getting The Lowest Price

First of all, here's a Lowest Price Used Car Buying Guide that details a very effective method.

Here's another method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.

In addition, you can also try the Public Car Auctions in your own geographic area. This article reviews what to expect at wholesale open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them.

And for those of you who might be interested in a "brand new" Sonata if the price was really good, here's info on exactly How To Get The Best Price On A New Car. This works just phenomenally well.

And checkout our Facebook page for more tips, car news and fun.

Other Older Models Of Possible Interest:
Older Used Hyundai Elantra
2013 Hyundai Elantra
2012 Hyundai Elantra
2012 Hyundai Genesis
Older Used Hyundai Sonata
Older Used Hyundai Genesis
Older Used Hyundai Accent
Older Used Hyundai Santa Fe
More Older Used Hyundais