SEATTLE — Hyundai has been firing on all cylinders for years now and with its 2020 Sonata, it looks to keep things cranking. What Hyundai has designed is nothing short of extraordinary. Not only does the car look amazing and yet perhaps polarizing to some people, it establishes a new design language for Hyundai.
For the 2020 model year, Hyundai engineers seem to have thrown all rules out of the window and started from a clean slate. Everything about the design of this car strikes a beautiful combination of modern-elegance. From the way the light-band above the headlights run up into the hood line to the way the back-end light wraps around the rear of the car, to everything in between.
For those who prefer gasoline, the Limited trim model features an inline 1.6 liter Turbocharged engine that’s good for 180 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 195 lb-ft of torque that kicks in at only 1,500 rpm. It’s mated to a Shiftronic 8 speed automatic transmission that does have paddle shifters, which you’ll find very useful in the car’s sport-mode.
If you opt for the Hybrid model, you’ll have a 2.0 liter engine that’s paired with a 39-Kilowatt electric motor that has a combined output of 192 horsepower and also has an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The EPA gives these cars a rating of up to 51 miles per gallon the highway for the Hybrid model and up to 37 miles per gallon for the gasoline model.
Inside the Limited model you’ll find the highest level of features, comfort and amenities.
Not only does it have handsome-looking stitched leather, it has a generous amount of quality, to-the-touch surface materials and features. In a surprise move, Hyundai now features a Bose sound system for its premium offering. While the sound quality is good it’s nowhere near as close to the audio prowess their previous model years had with Harman/Kardon or Infinity.
Rear seats are comfortable and have a fold-down middle armrest with built-in cup holders. Legroom and headroom give even taller adults a feeling of good space. Front seats are comfortable as well, but not the best we’ve seen in this class of car. While the driver’s seat has 2-way lumbar support, it’s not four way and the passenger seat gets no lumbar.
The infotainment screen in each car, is a gorgeous 12.3inch display that works like a smartphone screen. Additionally, it displays several sections of info on the screen at the same time. The 9-speaker audio system delivers very good sound reproduction and has a variety of sources, including; AM/FM/XM Satellite Radio, CD, MP3, and Bluetooth Audio. There is also Apple Carplay and Android Auto, standard.
On the Limited model, you can pull the car out of its parking stall using the remote control, or back it into the stall. This feature was highlighted in Hyundai’s Superbowl advertisement and even though it’s a tad gimmicky, it’s still kind of cool. It’ll certainly wow others who see a car moving on its own, with nobody in the car.
Airbags all around the cabin are standard, as are an ABS braking system and very cool tech that turns the left-hand or right-hand gauge on the instrument cluster into a real-time camera view when you put on the corresponding blinker. This gives drivers a quick view as to what’s in their blind-spot. We’ve seen this tech in some of the higher end KIA products, such as the Telluride and it’s great to see Hyundai adopt this into its line-up.
Both the Limited and Hybrid models have four drive modes; normal, sport, eco and custom. Custom is great as it lets drivers adjust each aspect of the driving experience to their own desire.
Take it for a spin:
Out on the road, we found the Limited model to have an excellent power band with low-end torque helping propel the car to freeway speeds rather effortlessly. The way it drives and handles in sport mode makes it feel like a very capable sedan of quenching the thirst of most casual drivers. Body roll isn’t excessive but it could be better – especially on the Hybrid model. We found that the Hybrid exhibited quite a bit more of a body roll.
There’s no denying that Hyundai has a clear winner on its hands with the 2020 Sonata. It’s easily one of the best-looking mid-sized sedans available and is chocked full of features, tech and presents a solid driving experience.
By the way, if you were hoping for a higher performance Sonata, rumor has it that a “N” version will be announced later this year!
Things we love:
Things we’d like to see improved:
– Front seats should each have 4-way lumbar
– A few more charging ports would be great