2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Review

Pros & Cons

  • Comfortable and handsome cabin with simple controls
  • solid acceleration for a hybrid sedan
  • lengthy warranty.
  • Odd braking response
  • real-world mpg historically falls short of EPA estimates
  • tight rear-seat headroom.
Other years
List Price Range
$7,611 - $16,495

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid has all the elements of a desirable and fuel-efficient hybrid family sedan, though hypermilers will note that its EPA fuel economy ratings are lower than competitors in this class.

Vehicle overview

Hyundai is one of several car companies that has taken a successful midsize sedan and installed a hybrid powertrain that provides increased fuel mileage and makes the car appealing to a wider range of consumers. In addition to its 38 mpg combined EPA fuel economy rating, the 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid stands out for its generous standard equipment list and available in-cabin technology.

In the middle of 2012, the Sonata Hybrid saw its EPA ratings drop from 35 mpg city/40 mpg highway to 34 city/39 highway. Since then, Hyundai has made some changes to the hybrid system to improve the sedan's efficiency. An upgraded 35-kilowatt electric motor allows the car to spend more time in electric mode, which benefits mpg and allows the car to achieve 35 city/40 highway ratings once more. During Edmunds testing of a 2011 Sonata Hybrid, we were unable to achieve the EPA's mpg estimates in normal driving. However, we plan to test the 2013 model to see how its improved fuel economy ratings hold up in the real world.

Hyundai has also made changes to the computer-controlled clutch between the Sonata Hybrid's 2.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and its electric motor to help smooth out the transitions between the gas and electric power sources in traffic. The improvements were obvious during our testing of the 2013 Sonata Hybrid, but there's still room to perfect the braking response, which simply doesn't feel natural when you first get into this car. In addition, Hyundai fitted the 2013 model with a lighter, more compact lithium-polymer battery pack. This opens up extra trunk space, as the Sonata Hybrid goes from just 10.7 cubic feet last year to a respectable 12.1-cubic-foot trunk in 2013.

These updates should add up to a better Sonata Hybrid, but it's still facing stiff competition from the similarly priced 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid (47 mpg combined EPA rating) and 2013 Toyota Camry Hybrid (41 mpg combined), which offer higher mpg ratings and a more refined driving experience. If the bottom line is important to you, keep in mind that the conventional Hyundai Sonata is a better value than the hybrid sedan, as it costs several thousand dollars less and has a respectable 28 mpg combined rating.

2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid models

The 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is offered in base and Limited trim levels.

Standard equipment on the base model includes 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, LED running lights, foglights, heated mirrors, keyless ignition/entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, an eight-way power driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, heated front seats, Bluetooth, Hyundai's BlueLink emergency communications system and a six-speaker sound system with CD player, satellite radio, an iPod/USB audio interface and an auxiliary audio jack. Hyundai doesn't offer any major options on the base Sonata Hybrid, so if you want more amenities, you'll need to look to the new Limited model.

The 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited comes with 17-inch wheels, leather seating surfaces, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, power driver seat with lumbar support, heated rear seats, a navigation system with a 7-inch touchscreen, rearview camera, an upgraded Infinity audio system with nine speakers and HD radio, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. A panoramic sunroof is optional on the Limited.

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2013 Highlights

The 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid receives an upgraded electric motor and a lighter, more compact battery, resulting in improved EPA fuel economy ratings and more trunk space. There's also a new Limited trim level, which includes much of the base model's optional equipment as standard, including 17-inch wheels and a navigation system.

Performance & mpg

The 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine generating 159 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque that is paired with an electric motor rated at 47 hp (35 kilowatts) and 151 lb-ft. Combined, the two power units are good for 199 hp. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission offered. In Edmunds testing, a Sonata Hybrid Limited hit 60 mph in 8.5 seconds, a pretty quick time for a mainstream hybrid sedan.

Fuel economy ratings for the base Sonata Hybrid are 36 mpg city/40 mpg highway and 38 combined. The EPA has given the heavier Limited model a slightly lower 37 mpg combined rating even though its city and highway figures are identical.

Safety

Standard safety features on the 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid include antilock brakes, stability control, traction control, front side-impact airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. Hyundai's BlueLink emergency communications system is also standard. At our test track, the Sonata Hybrid Limited used up 125 feet to come to a stop from 60 mph, about average for a sedan with low-rolling-resistance all-season tires.

In government safety tests, the Sonata Hybrid earned a top five-star rating for overall crash protection, with four out of five stars given for overall frontal protection and five stars for overall side protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the 2013 Hyundai Sonata earned a top rating of "Good" for frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength protection.

Driving

Most drivers will find the 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid's acceleration more than adequate in normal driving. You'll scarcely notice the transitions between gas and electric power in traffic, and there's ample power for passing maneuvers. Hitting the Sonata Hybrid's EPA fuel economy numbers takes some doing, but owners should expect to get 30 mpg or better on a consistent basis.

The biggest thing you'll have to get used to in the Sonata Hybrid is the odd braking response: Due to the blending of the car's conventional brakes with the hybrid regenerative braking system, there's a small but noticeable delay between when you press the brake pedal and when you actually get the desired braking force. That said, this is a peculiarity of driving the hybrid more than anything else, as our testing has shown that the car has plenty of braking power for repeated, hard stops.

Converted to hybrid duty, this midsize sedan loses some of the dynamic appeal of the conventional Hyundai Sonata. Nevertheless, it provides a smooth ride on most roads, along with competent handling around turns. If you're looking for a comfortable and reasonably efficient car to drive to work, the 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid should fill the bill.

Interior

Not surprisingly, the Sonata Hybrid's passenger cabin looks and feels very similar to its traditionally powered sibling. The interior is handsome and controls are straightforward and intuitive to use, regardless of whether you have the base model or the Limited and its standard touchscreen interface. The slick-looking gauge cluster sets the interior apart from the non-hybrid model and includes a separate LCD display meant to encourage more fuel-efficient driving.

Front seats are comfortable and supportive. The backseat offers plenty of room for two adults, though taller passengers will find headroom in short supply. All hybrid sedans lose a good bit of trunk space due to intrusion from the hybrid system's battery pack, and the Sonata Hybrid is no exception, with 12.1 cubic feet of capacity compared to 16.4 cubic feet in the regular Sonata. Among hybrid midsize sedans, the Sonata Hybrid offers comparable trunk space to the Fusion Hybrid and 1 cubic foot less than the Camry Hybrid.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

I Love this Hybrid
golfing713,03/02/2014
Limited 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)
I test drove 2014 Toyota Camry Hybrid XLE. 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid, 2014 Toyota Prius Plug-In, and 2013 Honda Civic Hybrid. All of these hybrid cars share the same feature, CVT. Continuous Variable Transmission. I work for Nissan and most Nissan's have a CVT in the car which are consistently being replaced. Since there first or second year CVT's I passed on Honda/Toyota. The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited has a smooth quiet ride. Has a lot of great features and gas mileage so far has been in the low to mid 30's. Fit and Finish, seat comfort, back-up camera. nav, bluetooth make this car a great choice. Don't listen to the bad reviews, I feel this car has a great value for the $$. After driving the car for 2 1/2 years on the lease. I still feel this car is a great value for the money. However, combined mileage is slightly better than my wife's 2012 Hyundai Sonata limited. I get low 40's combined and Hyundai seems to over estimate overall mpg. Also, the 2013 sonata hybrid has the battery in the trunk which limits trunk space. I realize Hyundai changed battery location to increase trunk capacity. Overall, if your looking for a great used car the 2013 Sonata hybrid has a lot of great features and value as compared to Honda or Toyota. However, hybrid battery technology is better with other mfg. I plan on looking at the Hyundai Ioniq when my lease is up because I will not buy a Prius and would like to get better mpg closer to 50 combined.
2013 Sonata Hybrid burned up due to faulty engine
Barbara,07/02/2018
4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)
All Sonata's manufactured between 2011-2014 manufactured at the Alabama plant have faulty Theta II engines. The engines will thump, lose power then catch on fire. The regular Sonata's were recalled for engine repair only after a major class action lawsuit stating that Hyundai knew about the problem, was won. Hyundai, however, did not recall the Sonata Hybrid which uses the exact same Theta II engine also manufactured in Alabama. The hybrids fail at about 90,000 miles, which is on the higher end of the 50-90,000 mile Sonata engine failure, probably due to the hybrid battery assist on the engine. According to the Center for Automobile Safety, other Sonata Hybrids are experiencing engine failure at around 90,000 miles and burning up. Don't buy a used Sonata Hybrid if it was manufactured in Alabama (look inside the driver door jam for where it was manufactured) until Hyundai recalls the hybrids and fixes the engines. It's a death trap.
I love my hybrid!
teke45,08/09/2013
Limited 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)
Purchased Limited 2.4L 4-cyl. Hybrid 6 speed automatic. The car is not slow or noticeably shifty when merging into traffic. The ride is smooth and braking is precise. If you drive like a teenager then this car may not be for you. I travel approx. 90m a day, mostly highway miles. Avg. miles 44.5 per gallon. I am saving serious money on gas! The seats are comfortable and the cabin (two tone camel/black) is roomy. The dashboard is pleasant to look at and the navigation system is easy to manage. I am so happy I did not dismiss this car based on the expert reviews. Find out for yourself and test drive this car, you won't be disappointed. Three year update: I am disappointed that I pay a higher insurance premium simply because of the lithium battery. 7 year update: Replaced the trunk battery, and replaced a hose that caused the car to overheat in year six. Since the car is garaged, it still looks good and rides good as well. I'm not complaining about the mileage. Next step will be a tune-up.
NOT A BAD RIDE AT ALL
samsmith76,08/13/2014
Limited 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)
Got about 4K mi on my 2013 Sonata Hybrid LTD (no sunroof). People have mentioned they don't like the brakes with this car but to me brakes are fine (I'm not a tailgater though!). They take a bit getting used to at first. People seem to forget that the brakes are specially designed to capture energy when you slow down and brake to help recharge the HEV battery. I quickly learned that you shouldn't mash the brakes. Nice and gentle, steady as she goes = $aving $ at the pump!

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover5 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover9.7%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Used 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Overview

The Used 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is offered in the following submodels: Sonata Hybrid Sedan. Available styles include Limited 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A), 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A), and Limited 4dr Sedan w/Panoramic Sunroof Package (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A). Pre-owned Hyundai Sonata Hybrid models are available with a 2.4 L-liter hybrid engine, with output up to 199 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid comes with a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 10 yr./ 100000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid?

Price comparisons for Used 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid trim styles:

  • The Used 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Base is priced between $7,611 and$16,495 with odometer readings between 15794 and155958 miles.
  • The Used 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited is priced between $8,295 and$11,700 with odometer readings between 85553 and145764 miles.

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Which used 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrids are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid for sale near. There are currently 13 used and CPO 2013 Sonata Hybrids listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $7,611 and mileage as low as 15794 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.

Can't find a used 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrids you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Hyundai Sonata Hybrid for sale - 8 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $21,176.

Find a used Hyundai for sale - 2 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $24,147.

Find a used certified pre-owned Hyundai Sonata Hybrid for sale - 5 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $11,661.

Find a used certified pre-owned Hyundai for sale - 7 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $12,941.

Should I lease or buy a 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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