The Sonata is a staple in the Hyundai lineup. This midsize sedan offers a dramatic exterior along with a sophisticated interior. Available with two different powertrains and four trim levels, there is likely a version of the Sonata for everyone. The 2021 Hyundai Sonata continues the tradition of offering a luxurious vehicle at an affordable price.
What's New for 2021?
Choosing the SEL, SEL Plus, or Limited trim levels of the new Sonata will now mean getting a safe-exit warning feature. It alerts passengers when it detects oncoming traffic when they go to open their doors. Choosing the 2021 Sonata Limited will mean getting six-way power-adjustment for the front passenger, a feature that was previously unavailable.
For both the SE and SEL trim levels, the Sonata utilizes a 2.5L four-cylinder engine that can make 191-horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque. Buyers who select either the SEL Plus or the Limited trim get a turbocharged 1.6L four-cylinder. This engine has the ability to make 180-horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. Considering how similar these numbers are, buyers may need to test them both out to see if they have a preference. An eight-speed automatic transmission gets paired to both options.
Excellent fuel efficiency is one of the Sonata's biggest selling points. The SE and SEL models are expected to give drivers 28mpg in the city and 38mpg on the highway. Going with the turbocharged engine will mean both of these numbers drop, but just by one mile per gallon each.
While the SE is the entry-level model, it is certainly not lacking in any way. Drivers get cutting-edge tech features and a long list of standard driver aids when they choose this option. The SEL gets a few more comfort features, like power-adjustment for the driver's seat. It also unlocks two different packages for the Sonata, known as the Premium package and the Convenience package.
The SEL Plus is the first to come standard with the turbocharged engine and also adds faux leather upholstery. It comes standard with the SEL's Convenience package, which includes mostly tech upgrades like a wireless charging pad. Finally, the Limited trim gets all of the standard and available features from the models that came before it. It also gets highly-advanced safety and tech features that can only be found on this top trim, such as a head-up display and digital key.
The SE trim comes with an 8-inch touchscreen. The all-important Android Auto and Apple CarPlay features are standard as well. Optional for the SEL and standard for the higher two trims is a beautiful 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster. This feature is part of that SEL Convenience package.
Choosing the SEL Plus and adding its available Technology package will mean getting a 10.25-inch touchscreen. It also adds a premium audio system, navigation, and even a panoramic sunroof. The Limited model comes standard will all of that, plus the digital key that allows drivers to use their phone to access certain remote features.
The Sonata can brag about its five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It was also named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. SmartSense, Hyundai's comprehensive bundle of advanced driver aids, is included for all models.
From the base model up, the Sonata offers forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking as well as lane-keeping assist. Also included in the standard bundle is adaptive cruise control and a driver attention monitor. Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert is not available for the SE but is standard for all other models. The Limited model will also give drivers a surround-view parking camera system.
Interior Space & Comfort
Thanks to a very respectable amount of leg and headroom in both rows of seating, adults will be fine riding in the backseat of the 2021 Sonata. There is enough space for up to five in the cabin. All seats are supportive and should remain comfortable for longer journeys. The driver's seat is particularly impressive thanks to its position, which offers great outward visibility.
Although sedans are not known for their cargo-hauling capabilities, the Sonata has a good deal of space in its trunk. There are 16 cubic feet back there for driver's to work with. This is typically plenty of space for a grocery shopping trip or a weekend getaway. It also beats out a few of the Sonata's key rivals.
The 2021 Hyundai Sonata is an example of how excellent a midsize sedan can be. It will work beautifully as a daily commuter or family car.
Formula for Calculating Dealer Cost:
Total Dealer Cost - Rebate and Incentive + Taxes / Licensing Fees = True Dealer Cost. (You can get rebates and incentives here)
Note: All Hyundai Sonata MSRP, invoice and dealer cost dollar figures above are approximate amounts. Prices are subject to change without notice.
A note about rebates: Most rebates are subtracted from the "on the road" figure. In most cases, you can have the rebate if you are arranging your own financing or you are paying cash. If you decide to use the manufacturer’s low interest financing, you do not usually get the rebate. Ask your dealer for details.