Hyundai vehicles are known as some of the best on the market. Known for being reliable and durable, while still maintaining an exceptional warranty, Hyundai vehicles are hard to beat. Introduced in 1986, the Hyundai Sonata has been a prime contributor to this standard of excellence that buyers have come to expect from Hyundai vehicles. Once branded as a Mitsubishi, the Sonata is one of Hyundai's longest running vehicles that is still available. Continual refinements have allowed this sedan to remain relevant and popular among buyers over the years.
Up until 1994, the Hyundai Sonata entered the US Market in its second generation. At this time, consumers got their first look at Hyundai's first front-wheel drive car. Going through its third generation and entering its fourth in 2005, the Sonata received a V6 engine for the first time ever. Hyundai's notorious 10-year/100,000-mile warranty was introduced at this time, making the Sonata even more desirable to consumers. Receiving an exterior design upgrade in 2002, a fifth-generation roll-out through 2010, a hybrid debut in 2011, and a sixth generation through 2014, the Sonata is currently in the era of refinement.
In fact, leading up to the 2021 model the Hyundai Sonata had stepped back a bit from its bold exterior style elements and moved toward a focus on more refined driving characteristic development. Further solidifying its spot as a Hyundai staple, the 2021 Sonata is currently in its eighth generation of production. Once again focusing on style enhancements, the 2021 model has maintained its economical price point but enhanced its technology feature integration. Knocking the socks off competitors in both interior and exterior style, the 2021 Hyundai Sonata is a highly desirable, modernized sedan.
Compare the 2021 Hyundai Sonata SE vs. SEL Trim Levels. What is the Difference?
Every great vehicle must begin somewhere, and for the 2021 Hyundai Sonata this point is the SE model. As the most economically priced Sonata model, the SE is a great entry point for Sonata enthusiasts or avid Hyundai fans. Achieving an astounding 33 MPG fuel efficiency in just its base SE model, this Hyundai Sonata trim is the way to go if you are looking for exceptional fuel efficiency. Getting its power from 2.5L 4-cylinder engine that is new to the SE model, this sedan can generate up to 191 horsepower 181 lb.-ft. of torque. Standard front-wheel drive and a six-speed automatic transmission round out the Sonata's impressive powertrain.
Sporting the same engine, the 2021 Hyundai Sonata SEL attains virtually the same performance specs as the base SE. Mechanically, the sole difference between the Hyundai Sonata SE and SEL models is the SE's 16-inch alloy wheel utilization in comparison to the 17-inch alloy wheel setup of the SEL model. This wheel size difference initiates the difference in design elements and standard and available features between the SE and SEL models. The SE is an impressive sedan already, offering automatic projector-beam headlights, body-colored power-folding side mirrors, variable intermittent windshield wipers, and automotive glass with solar control.
Comparatively, the 2021 Hyundai Sonata SEL boasts all the standard and available features of the SE, and then some. Incorporating the use of a proximity key with a push button start as a standard amenity, the SEL also offers a standard hands-free smart trunk. With the SEL model buyers will also get LED daytime running lights, heated side mirrors, chrome door handles, and sporty detailing. As one can see, the SEL raises the bar for the 2021 Hyundai Sonata SE model.
Upping the ante seems standard for the 2021 Hyundai Sonata SEL, as the improvements do not stop there. The interior of these two vehicles also varies drastically. From the SE's standard telescoping steering wheel with mounted controls to the SEL's leather-wrapped heated steering wheel, the SEL's enhancements are evident in every aspect of its interior design. In fact, the SEL even opens more options for safety features that are not available on the SE trim level. These include a Tech Package that incorporates the use of automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, smart cruise control, and an electronic parking brake.
Compare the 2021 Hyundai Sonata SEL vs. SEL Plus Trims. What is the Difference?
A vehicle with similar names would never stand out as incorporating such different standard and available features, as the 2021 Hyundai Sonata SEL and SEL Plus do. Yet, the 2021 Hyundai Sonata SEL Plus has been hailed as the most valuable way to achieve the Sonata's turbo 1.6L 4-cylinder engine that can produce up to 180 horsepower. Powerful yet distinctive, the SEL Plus trim level is also the only Sonata option to feature 19-inch rims and enhanced all-season tires as standard amenities. Not only does the 2021 Hyundai Sonata SEL Plus feature all the underlying SEL's attributes, but it also adds on to these impressive concepts.
Taking it up a notch, the 2021 Hyundai Sonata SEL Plus offers steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters that create an athletic look that meshes well with a factor convenience. It also incorporates leatherette and Dinamica microsuede upholstery that is visually appeasing and easy to clean. Air vents in the back, plenty of USB ports, and wireless driving complete the Sonata's image of interior comfort for both drivers and passengers. A 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster puts a modern spin on the display elements of the SEL Plus.
Various package options are also offered for many 2021 Hyundai Sonata models. The SEL Plus works perfectly with the Tech Package, which incorporates a Bose stereo with 12 speakers, panoramic sunroof, 10.3-inch infotainment system with a touchscreen, and semi-autonomous drive mode. All these attributes can only be achieved through the addition of the Tech Package to the SEL Plus, making it more unique than competitor models. While many vehicles qualify for the addition of a manufacturer-specific Tech Package, Hyundai's is more exclusive and detailed than most.
Compare the 2021 Hyundai Sonata SEL Plus vs. Limited Trim Level. What is the Difference?
As consumers progress in their evaluation of 2021 Hyundai Sonata trim levels, every small feature difference makes a huge impact. If one can even imagine a model better than the SEL Plus, they would be envisioning the 2021 Hyundai Sonata Limited. As luxurious as it gets, the Sonata Limited model is refined, upscale, and exclusive in both its interior and exterior design elements. Buyers will feel the luxury and adventure of every mile in this distinctive Sonata model. Seeking to provide everything you have been looking for in a quality sedan, the 2021 Hyundai Sonata Limited is well-equipped and contemporary.
Building upon the features that the SEL Plus has laid out before it, the Limited goes up a bit in price but incorporates additional powertrain and design elements. LED taillights, a color head-up display, and driver's seat and side mirror memory integration are just a few features that buyers love about the Sonata Limited. Not only does this Sonata trim level take comfort and convenience seriously, but it also excels at safety technology integration. With the goal to make your drive safer than ever, the 2021 Hyundai Sonata Limited offers a vast array of driver-assistive features and standard safety enhancements.
From navigation to parking, the 2021 Hyundai Sonata Limited is dedicated to improving the driver's experience. Parking collision-avoidance assist, front and rear parking sensors, remote smart parking assist, and a surround view monitor make navigating in reverse easier than ever. In fact, many of the safety features of the 2021 Hyundai Sonata Limited seek to avoid accidents. A blind-spot view monitor and blind view monitor are a testament to this goal. While maintaining its dedication to style and luxury, the 2021 Hyundai Sonata Limited also excels at intuitive safety functionality.
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Which Trim to Choose?
In comparing and selecting a 2021 Hyundai Sonata for purchase, it is easy to become overwhelmed with the specs and features of each specific model offering. While Hyundai offers four different trim levels to differentiate their Sonata into various market spaces, drivers must decide which elements mean the most to them in a new vehicle. From a base SE to the luxurious Limited, there is a 2021 Hyundai Sonata for every buyer. Boasting the same look that buyers know and love, each trim level incorporates varying design and powertrain elements to set themselves apart from others. Since buyers love choices, there is no shortage of options in the 2021 Hyundai Sonata lineup.
Four trim levels are offered for the 2021 Hyundai Sonata, and each one must be thoroughly evaluated to determine the best option for each buyer. While consumers who enjoy basic features without the frills and maintenance of luxury elements may enjoy the Hyundai Sonata SE, those who wish to take design elements to the next level may find refuge in the Hyundai Sonata SEL. Available at a slightly higher price point, buyers can achieve everything the SE model has to offer and more in the upgraded SEL. Still yet, the enhanced features of the Hyundai Sonata SEL may not be enough for some buyers. In this case, the SEL Plus is a viable option that should be considered.
The Hyundai Sonata SEL Plus is exactly what its title insinuates. It adds on to the standard features of the underlying Hyundai Sonata SEL model and provides additional elements that are appealing to buyers who want more than the standard trim can offer. This trim level is exclusive to consumers who are willing to pay a bit more for the integration of more upscale features. While it is not as luxurious as the top Limited model, there is no mistaking this SEL Plus as a top-level choice.
Standing tall at the top of the 2021 Hyundai Sonata lineup, the Limited model is distinguished and equipped to please a specific type of buyer. Requiring more maintenance for its upscale features, buyers who want only the best out of their vehicle likely will not mind the extra hassle in exchange for extra high-end features. As one might expect, this is also the highest-priced 2021 Hyundai Sonata model. As the best Sonata trim level available, the Limited offers the best of every available attribute.
Consumers who are still unable to decide between the 2021 Hyundai Sonata trim level that is appropriate for them should try one out in person. Taking a Sonata on a test drive at a local dealership can help consumers get a feel for the differences in each model in person. While exploring these variances in writing can help, experiencing specific trim levels in person can be advantageous, as well. Even for buyers who are not sure of their preference in a new Sonata can find guidance in the experience of getting behind the wheel of each model. Finding the 2021 Hyundai Sonata that is perfect for you is not easy task, but once it is completed you can be assured you will not look back.
• Compare the 2020 Hyundai Sonata Trim Levels