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2022 Hyundai Sonata Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons.

2022 Hyundai Sonata Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: SE vs SEL vs SEL Plus, N Line, Limited and N Line Night

Compare the 2022 Hyundai Sonata Trims - SE vs SEL vs SEL Plus, N Line, Limited and N Line Night. What is the difference between them?

The 2022 Hyundai Sonata has great value. It looks fairly refined and has plenty of high-tech equipment in its cabin, and at the same time, it has an affordable price tag. It makes sense why this car has been so popular in the last few years. It definitely has a modern vibe to it, and people won't have to feel like they're missing out on too much by getting this model.

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Compare the SE vs SEL Trims. What is the difference?

These two lower trims run on the same type of engine. They use 2.5-liter engines that have four cylinders and can deliver 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. They have hill start assist and drive mode select, and they use eight-speed automatic transmissions.

The SE rides on 16-inch wheels, while the SEL uses 17-inch versions. Both use alloy wheels. The SEL has some other exterior upgrades, like heated side mirrors with LED turn signal indicators, a gloss black front grille, and sportier front and rear fascias. Plus, it has a twin-tip single exhaust. This kind of exhaust makes the SEL look more athletic than the SE does. In comparison, the SE only has a single hidden rear exhaust.

Both trims have LEDs in several places to help them stand out. LED Daytime Running Lights, LED headlights, and LED taillights are all standard on the Hyundai Sonata. It's nice that the regular headlights and the high beams are automatic.

When comparing the cabins of the SE and SEL, there are some notable differences. The first thing that many prospective buyers will pick up on right away is that the SEL has proximity key entry. This is a much more convenient system than the traditional system or keyless entry, and it comes with push button start. Other upgrades that the SEL has are heated front seats, dual-zone automatic temperature control, and an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat with power lumbar support. In contrast, the SE only has a manually adjustable driver's seat and a manual climate control system.

The SEL has some more optional features that can be fun to have. They include LED interior lights that can really enhance the ambience in the cabin, a panoramic sunroof can bring in much more light into the car, and Hyundai Digital Key, which allows a smartphone to be used as a key fob.

One reason why the Hyundai Sonata is so attractive to prospective buyers is that it has advanced technology. Even on the entry-level SE trim, there's an eight-inch touchscreen with HD Radio, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Bluetooth. On the SEL, the infotainment package has been upgraded with SiriusXM and BlueLink. Bluelink is a comprehensive system that provides drivers with automatic collision notification, monthly vehicle diagnostics, remote start, and more. A Bose premium audio system and wireless charging are available on the SEL but not on the SE.

On the base trim, there are several driver-assist technologies that can keep drivers more aware of potential issues while they're traveling. Standard driver-assist systems include lane keeping assist, driver attention warning, smart cruise control, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection. On the SE, blind-spot collision-avoidance assist and rear cross-traffic collision-avoidance assist are optional. In contrast, those two components are standard on the SEL. The SEL also has an indicator light that tells people when it's safe to open their doors and exit their cars after pulling into a parking spot.

Compare the SEL vs SEL Plus. What is the difference?

One difference between the SEL and SEL Plus has to do with their engines. The SEL Plus's engine, which has a displacement of 1.6 liters, is smaller than the 2.5-liter engine in the SEL, but it has the benefit of the turbocharger. It can make 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque.

Honestly, since the SEL Plus has slightly less horsepower but slightly more torque that the SEL does, it's hard to say which engine is superior. They even have the same mileage, which is estimated to be 27 miles per gallon in the city and 37 miles per gallon on the highway.

Paddle shifters can make the driving experience a little more thrilling. Paddle shifters are found on the SEL Plus, but not on the SEL. Their convenient location on the steering wheel makes it easy to shift whenever drivers want to take more control.

The SEL Plus has some enhanced exterior features, such as 19-inch alloy wheels and a black window trim. They make this trim look more edgy and stylish, and this may be something that some customers prefer.

More significant changes have been made to the cabin of the Sonata when moving from the SEL to the SEL Plus. For instance, the SEL Plus has a panoramic sunroof that really opens things up. Its front seats have Dinamica microfiber inserts, and there's a leather-wrapped steering wheel as well as LED interior lights. The Hyundai Digital Key system that was mentioned previously becomes standard at the SEL Plus level. Further, the SEL Plus has an auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink technology.

Back-seat passengers in the SEL Plus can stay a little more comfortable thanks to rear air vents. There's a armrest built into the center seatback, too, and that armrest has two cupholders.

The technology that the SEL Plus has is more advanced than what's found on the SEL. Instead of an eight-inch touchscreen, it has one that measures 10.25 inches. This larger touchscreen comes with navigation, dynamic voice recognition, wireless charging, and a Bose sound system that uses 12 speakers. Up to two devices can be connected to the infotainment system. This can be appreciated when people want to play music on different devices or when there are multiple drivers who frequently use the vehicle.

Another large screen has been placed behind the steering wheel of the SEL Plus. It's a 12.3-inch LCD cluster display that shows key information about the vehicle. It adds to the youthful feel of the car.

Compare the SEL Plus vs N Line. What is the difference?

Under the hood of the N Line, there's a much more powerful engine than the ones found in the lower trims. It's a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine. As a result of its size and its design, it can deliver 290 horsepower an 311 pound-feet of torque. Even the average driver would be able to tell the difference in responsiveness between this engine and the other options.

To enhance the driving experience in the N Line, Hyundai has given it a few mechanical upgrades. It has an eight-speed wet dual clutch transmission with paddle shifters, and it has electric power steering. The tradeoff is that it's not as efficient as the other trims. While the others have a combined fuel economy of 31 or 32 miles per gallon, the N Line can earn an estimated 27 miles per gallon (combined).

The N Line has a sporty appearance to match its performance. It has a twin-tip dual exhaust, a rear spoiler, and unique front and rear fascia. Instead of having chrome around its windows, it has gloss black accents, and it has gloss black side mirrors, too.

In the cabin of the N Line, there are special sport bucket seats in the front row. Like the seats in the SEL Plus, they have Dinamica microfiber inserts. In addition, there are aluminum sport pedals and customizable ambient lighting that has 64 color choices.

Compare the N Line vs Limited Trims. What is the difference?

Overall, the Limited has a more sophisticated feel in comparison to the athletic N Line. With the Limited, Hyundai shifts back to using an eight-speed automatic transmission and a 1.6-liter turbocharger engine.

The Limited has 18-inch alloy wheels, premium LED headlights, and full LED taillights. Hyundai swapped out the black accents on the N Line with chrome accents when designing the Limited, and it replaced the N Line's twin-tip dual exhaust with a twin-tip single exhaust on the Limited.

A benefit that comes along with the Limited is leather upholstery. This definitely adds to the luxury in the cabin. Both front seats in this trim are power-adjustable, and they're heated and ventilated. The steering wheel has a heating element as well. The driver's seat in the Limited has an integrated memory system, and a memory system has also been built into the side mirrors for convenience.

There are a number of high-tech safety features that come with the Limited. One is a color head-up display, which gives drivers a way to quickly check on their speed, any safety warnings, and more. The surround view monitor can be very useful when getting in and out of parking spots. Even more helpful and futuristic is a remote smart parking assist program. A driver can get out of the vehicle and just push a button, and the car can take care of getting itself parked in a perpendicular or parallel spot.

In addition, the Limited has parking collision-avoidance assist and a blind spot view monitor. That monitor shows the driver a live feed of what's in the Sonata's blind spot. It can be so nice to be able to have an extra pair of eyes when traveling on busy roads.

Compare the Limited vs N Line Night Trim. What is the difference?

With the N Line Night, Hyundai brings back the 2.5-liter turbocharged engine and the dual clutch transmission. The N Line Night is very similar to the N Line in terms of performance and style. For instance, it has the same black exterior accents and sporty interior features as the N Line does, and it comes with the same type of seating and technology found in the N Line.

That being said, it does have a few extra features that the other trims don't have. They include matte black 19-inch alloy wheels, dark chrome badging, matte black mirror covers and door handle covers, and a carbon fiber trunk lip spoiler. The red painted brake calipers are very noticeable.

While the N Line Night is slightly more expensive than the Limited, it doesn't have the surround view monitor, remote smart parking assist, or head-up display that the Limited has. It does, though, have the large touchscreen with navigation and the 12.3-inch LCD cluster.

Buying Tip: To avoid overpaying on a new car, shop prices online first. Get up front pricing before you walk into a dealership. We recommend the following free services; Car Clearance Deals, NADAguides, CarsDirect & Motortrend.
These free services will offer you the lowest prices and supply you with multiple competing price quotes. You will know the best price before you visit the dealer.

Which Trim to Choose?

There are many good options with the 2022 Hyundai Sonata, but the SEL Plus comes out on top when taking everything into consideration. As a trim in the middle of the lineup, it has a reasonable cost. Since the Sonata will likely attract attention from budget-conscious consumers, this is a point that's quite important.

On top of having a competitive price, it has some great features. Its 19-inch wheels help the car look more upscale, and so does its panoramic moonroof. While the SEL Plus doesn't have leather seats, it does have seats with microfiber inserts, and its front seats are heated.

It's significant that the SEL Plus has a 10.25-inch touchscreen with navigation. Navigation is something that was once only included on the very high-end models, so it's impressive that Hyundai has included this on the SEL Plus, which isn't even the nicest Sonata available. Because the SEL Plus also has many driver-assist technologies and a lot of interior amenities, it would make for a smart choice for anyone who needs a new car and wants it to be sleek and modern.

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