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The 2022 Hyundai Sonata already holds a significant share of the midsize sedan market. Hyundai gives users a wide array of Sonata options to choose from. From those who want a simple gas-powered car to energy-conscious hybrid drivers and adventurous drivers who need more power, Hyundai doesn’t disappoint. However, while all of these Sonata trims have their strengths, one wins when it comes to value. 

The 2022 Hyundai Sonata lineup

An overhead shot of 2022 Hyundai Sonata models in red and black parked on a slate plaza
2022 Hyundai Sonata models | Hyundai Motor America

The Hyundai Sonata brings a history of acclaim and a user-friendly approach to the table. While the base design might not turn many heads, the interior boasts a cabin filled with next-gen features to keep your eyes on the road and your passengers safe. There are three hybrid options, but those looking for the best gas-powered option need to focus on the one that works best for them.

However,  knowing the basics on models ranging from $25,000 on the baseline trim to $35,000 on superior models, drivers should know what they’re getting into. 

2022 Hyundai Sonata SE and SEL – $24,350 to $26,100

According to MotorTrend, the Hyundai Sonata SE and SEL trims boast a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission for everyday driving. While it might not be the most powerful trim under the Sonata label, the 191-horsepower engine gives drivers plenty of power to work with. With 17″ alloy wheels, a Bluelink Connected car system, and a hands-free trunk release, the base model is nothing to be ashamed of and should work immensely well for in-town drivers. However, those who seek a smoother ride might want to look at the SEL Plus and Limited trims.

2022 Hyundai Sonata SEL Plus and Limited – $31,300 to $34,250

The Hyundai Sonata Limited and the SEL Plus models feature a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder turbo engine with the same eight-speed automatic transmission as the base models. The SEL Plus model performs marginally better on the road, getting 27-37 mpg. However, while the two vehicles perform similarly to one another, there’s a difference in how they feel.

The Sonata Limited trim has 18″ wheels, and with them, a smoother ride that feels good and performs well while you go to work or drop the family off along the way. 

2022 Hyundai Sonata N Line and Night Edition – $33,600 to $34,750

The Hyundai Sonata N Line is the lineup’s most ferocious entry. Its 2.5-liter engine with an eight-speed, dual-clutch transmission gives drivers impressive control, with 290 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque. With 23-33 mpg, you end up paying more for gas, but those who land here likely know the cost of such an upgrade. 

The Sonata N Line goes from 0-60 in just over 5 seconds and has an easy-to-use 10.3″ touchscreen on the dash with a user-friendly interface and several technological upgrades that make the vehicle worth the extra cost. Furthermore, the Hyundai Sonata N Line Night Edition gives you perhaps the most aesthetically pleasing member of the bunch, thanks to its black exterior with matte black wheels and a dark interior to match. 

Which trim is best? 

All in all, the Hyundai Sonata is one of the best affordable midsize sedans on the market, and while you can’t go wrong with any of them, the N Line trim affords you more power and features that make the extra money worth it. Yes, the lower fuel economy is a concern, but the difference between the N Line and the lower models justifies the cost. 

The Sonata has a reputation to uphold. The SE, SEL, and hybrid models all entail this. However, few give the combination of power, aesthetic value, and performance on the road that the Hyundai Sonata N Line does. As such, Car and Driver named it the best of its family, and while there might be arguments to the contrary, it’s hard to argue with their final verdict. 


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