3 Reasons to Choose (And 2 to Skip) the 2014 Hyundai Sonata

Shoppers looking for a reputable vehicle in trying economic times may be looking at the used market. Since fuel-efficient, well-appointed base model cars packed with safety features have been typical for nearly a decade, a second-hand sedan is a decent pick, like the 2014 Hyundai Sonata.

The 2014 Hyundai Sonata was ranked high by many auto reviewers on their midsize sedan lists. In its seventh generation, the four-door offered customers great interior and safety features, ample fuel economy, and a strong base engine. Although it’s nearly a decade old, there are plenty of reasons why the 2014 Sonata is a good pick for a midsize sedan.

Reason #1 to choose: powerful base engine

Base Sonatas came with a naturally-aspirated 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission. As a member of Hyundai’s Theta II engine family, it featured an aluminum block and cylinder head, dual overhead camshafts, and direct fuel injection, VehicleHistory.com says.

The open deck design added continuously variable valve timing, giving the Sonata 199 hp and 179 lb-ft of torque. At just over 3,000 pounds, the power is plenty to propel the five-seater, front-wheel-drive sedan in everyday driving and highway acceleration.

Reason #2 to choose: impressive fuel economy

A silver 2014 Hyundai Sonata.
2014 Hyundai Sonata | Andrew Harrer

With a strong engine comes decent fuel mileage. The EPA estimated the 2.4-liter engine could achieve 24 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. For those who want more efficiency, the 2014 Hyundai Sonata could be had with a hybrid drivetrain.

Using the same base engine and transmission, a 30-kWh electric motor was added for a slight power boost. The mild hybrid system dramatically increases to 35 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. Kelley Blue Book says the Sonata can even do 74 mph in all-electric mode, better than most plug-in hybrids.

Reason #3 to choose: great features at all trim levels

Although the 2014 Sonata was the last before a complete redesign, Hyundai packed it with new standard features. Base GLS models came with a driver-selectable steering mode, Bluetooth, dual-zone climate control, a six-speaker audio system, and heated front seats. All models also featured Hyundai’s BlueLink emergency communications system.

Customers could get a cooled driver’s seat, leather upholstery, and heated rear seats in higher-priced trim levels. On the tech side came an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen with integrated navigation, a nine-speaker Infinity audio system, and a rearview camera. You can even pick up one with a premium panoramic sunroof as part of the Limited trim level’s Technology Package.

Reason #1 to skip: a less-than-engaging drive

The midsize sedan segment does have its sporty examples. Yet, the Sonata isn’t one of them. Even though customers could get an optional 274-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter and well-balanced brakes and suspension, it’s less engaging than others in the segment. Similar offerings like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord provide more athletic sedans at comparable prices.

Reason #2 to skip: short on rear headroom

U.S. News reviewers seemed to love the Sonata’s front row of seats, calling the room given “generous.” However, the characteristics don’t follow into the back. One drawback to the sweptback coupe-like styling of the Sonata was rear passenger comfort. Unfortunately, those gifted with the blessing of larger-than-average height may mess up their hairdos in the back.

Is the 2014 Hyundai Sonata a good car?

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Apart from less-than-stellar rear headroom and a less-than-engaging ride, the 2014 Hyundai Sonata had its issues. CarComplaints.com lists a variety of customer grievances with Sonata’s engine and electrical system. However, Hyundai has a best-in-the-business, ten-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty that will have taken care of much of the issues.

The Sonata also has a reasonable resale value, second only to the Toyota Camry, according to J.D. Power. Listings on Autotrader show that base GLS Sonatas are seldom priced above $10,000, nearly all with less than 100,000 miles.

The top-of-the-line Limited versions can fetch into the mid-$10,000 range, some with less than 25,000 miles. Although there are reasons to pass on the 2014 Sonata, there are plenty of reasons to like the four-door. Two of the most important are that it’s affordable and has great value.