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One of the most attractive cars in the Hyundai lineup is the Sonata. Like other models from the South Korean automaker, this midsize sedan offers shoppers a solid balance of features and value. That’s especially true regarding the options in the various trim levels. Here are the 2023 Sonata’s advantages and how the most popular Hyundai Sonata trim is an excellent value for under $30,000.

The N Line interior is luxurious, but the most popular 2023 Hyundai Sonata trim is the SEL
2023 Hyundai Sonata N Line | Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai offers eight 2023 Sonata trims. Five have a gas-powered engine, and three are hybrids.

The SE trim is the base model and starts around $25,500.

Next is the SEL, priced at just under $28,000. The SEL is also the most popular Sonata trim, according to Edmunds.

Then there’s the SEL Plus for about $32,500. 

The sporty N Line follows, priced at about $34,800.

Next is the Limited, starting around $35,300. It’s the top trim level of the gas-powered Sonata lineup.

The Blue trim is the cheapest hybrid version of the sedan, starting at $28,500.

That’s followed by the Hybrid SEL, running $31,800.

Finally, the range-topping Hybrid Limited retails for $36,600 MSRP.

Comparing the 2 Hyundai Sonata trims under $30,000

Only two gas-powered 2023 Hyundai Sonata trims retail for less than $30,000. They’re the standard SE and the best-selling SEL. Both Sonata trims offer plenty of value. That said, because the SEL costs slightly more than the SE, the higher trim provides more features than the base model. 

Both pack a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 191 hp. However, the SEL rides on 17-inch wheels, while the SE gets 16-inch ones. That reduces the SEL’s fuel economy to 31 mpg combined, slightly less than the SE’s 32 mpg combined. Also, both Sonata trims have robust safety systems, but the SEL has more or better features overall.

For example, the SEL boasts a 10.25-inch touchscreen, while the SE has an 8.0-inch one. In addition, the SEL has a built-in navigation system. It also has satellite radio and a Bluelink-connected system. Furthermore, the SEL has heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, a hands-free trunk opener, proximity keyless entry, and push-button start.

The SEL trim is a great deal, and car shoppers seem aware of that

Buyers get all those upgrades in the SEL for about $2,500 more than the base model. Although the SEL shaves 1 mpg off the fuel economy, its features are worth the tradeoff. The heated front seats and tech upgrades add value to this 2023 Hyundai Sonata trim.

Plus, Hyundai offers the Convenience package for the SEL but not the base model. This package adds even more upscale features, such as a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a panoramic sunroof, and rear air vents. These features and options make this 2023 Hyundai Sonata trim a great deal. It’s unsurprising that Edmunds also recommends the SEL.