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Top Features of Base Model
- Good-looking redesign for 2020
- Tons of tech with features that you don’t see on other vehicles
Hyundai Sonata: Everything You Need to Know
About the Hyundai Sonata
The Hyundai Sonata is a four-door sedan made by the Korean company Hyundai. It holds five passengers and comes packed with a suite of brand-new technology for 2020.
The 2020 Hyundai Sonata is the eighth generation of the popular four-door sedan, and Hyundai has doubled down on packaging in the new car. Along with updated styling that makes the new Sonata look better than its previous generation, the Sonata offers a wide range of new technology that includes a new digital key that allows you to share your Sonata with friends and family.
Hyundai is a Korean company. The U.S. is the largest market for the 2020 Hyundai Sonata, and it is built in Montgomery, Alabama. Hyundai has a reputation for building feature-packed, reliable cars with impressive warranties.
What’s New in the 2020 Hyundai Sonata?
For 2020 the Hyundai Sonata gets a whole variety of updates and is all new for this model year.
The Hyundai Sonata comes with two engine options. Both options below come with an eight-speed automatic transmission:
- A 2.5-liter Smartstream GDI engine that makes 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque
- A 1.6-liter turbocharged engine that makes 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque
Hyundai says that the EPA estimates that the 2.5-liter engine will get 33 miles per gallon combined while the 1.8-liter engine will get 31 miles per gallon. At the time of this writing, there are no official estimates on the EPA site.
Base SE and SEL models will get the 2.5-liter engine, while the SEL Plus and Limited trims will get the 1.6-liter turbocharged version.
There is a possibility that the U.S. may see an all-wheel-drive version of the 2020 Hyundai Sonata.
What Does the Hyundai Sonata Compete With?
The Hyundai Sonata competes with the following sedans:
The Hyundai Sonata is great for someone looking for a great deal on a technology-packed car that looks good and drives well.
Exterior Design of the Hyundai Sonata
The 2020 Hyundai Sonata gets a full makeover for 2020.
At the front of the Sonata, the car gets a newly designed “Digital Pulse Cascading Grille” that dissolves into really innovative lighting that Hyundai calls “Hidden Lighting Lamps.” The daytime running lights seem to disappear into the chrome accent line that travels around the exterior of the vehicle.
To find out more about how Hyundai was able to achieve this effect check out our story on the first drive of the 2020 Hyundai Sonata in Korea, here.
Black side skirts and a trunk spoiler make the car look low and meaner than previous generations. In fact, the Sonata is shorter by a full inch for 2020. At the back of the 2020 Sonata, an LED light strip stretches across the trunk lid between each brake light reinforcing the low and wide stance of the car.
The 2020 Sonata is offered with a choice of 16-, 17- or 18-inch alloy wheels.
The Hyundai Sonata is based on the Le Fil Rouge Concept Car that Hyundai showed off in 2018 at the Geneva Motor Show.
Interior Style in the Hyundai Sonata
Inside the Sonata gets some updated styling and a suite of new technology.
Hyundai calls its redesigned interior, “beautifully smart.” Ambient mood lighting inside wraps across the dashboard and doors. The lighting can be configured to 64 different colors inside the Hyundai Sonata. Many of the touch points inside the car are soft with a few hard plastics on the doors.
The dash feels light and airy thanks to the incorporation of air vents into and around the infotainment display. Visibility out the front of the vehicle is good.
The new Sonata also gets a 12-speaker Bose Premium sound system as standard and an optional panoramic sunroof.
Designers worked hard to maximize interior space inside the Hyundai Sonata both for front-and rear-seat passengers. Even with six-foot-plus people in the front seat, there is more than enough room in the back for two more adults. While the Sonata seats five, the middle rear seat is less accommodating for a full-size adult.
What Technology Comes in the Hyundai Sonata?
The Hyundai Sonata comes nearly fully loaded. Some of the tech options you can get in a Hyundai Sonata include:
- 12.3- inch digital dash display which can be customized
- 10.25-inch HD infotainment screen that is relatively easy to use and offers a split-screen functionality
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Wireless charging
- Adaptive cruise control with stop and go as standard
- Bluetooth functionality with the ability to connect two wireless devices at once
- Hyundai’s Digital Key app that allows for car sharing, geofencing, and more (read more in our first drive of the Sonata on the blog)
Optionally you can also order a 2020 Hyundai Sonata with a heads-up display.
The virtual instrument cluster is an impressive addition, that can show video of the blind spots around the car when you are making a lane change. Flip the directional stalk and the feature appears in the digital dash. It’s a really neat addition to the Sonata and well worth the upgrade, in our opinion. Sister company, Kia, already offers this feature on the K900 sedan.
The Sonata also comes with an optional Remote Parking Assistance on the top-level Limited trim, which is particularly useful in places where parking is tight and narrow. The driver can drive the car in front of a spot, climb out, and essentially “drive” the car into a spot using the keyfob. There are front and back directional arrows on the key that enable this feature.
What Safety Features are in the Hyundai Sonata?
The Hyundai Sonata comes complete with a variety of safety features at its base level including:
- Forward collision avoidance with pedestrian avoidance
- Lane-keeping assist
- Driver attention monitor
The Sonata also features an optional highway driving assistance option which helps the car maintain a safe driving distance from the vehicle ahead and keeps it centered in the lane.
The 2019 Hyundai Sonata is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick. The 2020 model has not yet been evaluated at the time of this writing.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2019 Hyundai Sonata a 5-star safety rating. The 2020 model has not yet been evaluated.
What is the Hyundai Sonata Like to Drive?
We got an opportunity to drive a version of the 2020 Sonata that will not be available in the U.S., on a recent trip to Korea with the automaker. You can read our review of that car, here.
One thing that impressed us was the very advanced cruise control system on the 2020 Hyundai Sonata we drove in Korea. The system is surprisingly skilled at following vehicles ahead and taking turns with very little input required from the driver and is a welcome self-driving style feature.
Additionally, the Sonata is comfortable to drive and ride in. From the driver's seat of the Sonata, visibility is good, and the addition of the digital dash with the side view mirror integration is a fantastic feature, particularly for city dwellers who have to deal with continuous lane changes, bikes, pedestrians, and motorcycles. It’s easy to use and offers a clear view of the entire side of the Sonata.
Riding as a passenger is a comfortable experience, as well. The Sonata rides smoothly and comfortably without being floaty.
Rather than a traditional gear selector, you get a push button style system in the 2020 Hyundai Sonata. You can choose to drive the Sonata in a variety of modes suited to your style of driving.
Should I Buy a 2020 Hyundai Sonata?
Yes, we think that the 2020 Hyundai Sonata is well buying out mainly for its level of packaging and the amount of technology that comes as standard in the car.
Should I buy a Used Hyundai Sonata?
There are many used Hyundai Sonatas on the market, and they can offer a great way to get into a well-equipped, safe, and comfortable sedan for a reduced price.
We would, however, recommend avoiding 2011 Sonatas as they tend to have engine problems around 88,000 miles according to cartalk.com. The problem is covered by NHTSA, as the engines in this model year were recalled. Before buying a 2011 Sonata, you should run a VIN check to be sure that the engine received the recall service it needed.
How Much Does the Hyundai Sonata Cost?
At the time of this review, pricing for the 2020 Hyundai Sonata has not been announced. We anticipate that it should start around $23,000 for the base models. Top of the line SEL Plus and Limited versions of the 2020 Hyundai Sonata could top out around $30,000.
Overall the 2020 Hyundai Sonata is well worth the cash if you want a tech-loaded car that is comfortable, roomy, and a good commuter car.
Pros and Cons of the 2019 Hyundai Sonata
- Roomy interior
- Warranty that covers the powertrain for 10 years/100,000 miles
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard
- Bluetooth connectivity that allows the connection of two devices simultaneously
- The 2.5-liter engine still feels a bit underpowered
- Not much steering wheel feedback
- 2020 Sonata will not be available in showrooms until the end of 2019
- Resale-value could be low
The History of the Hyundai Sonata: The Most-Popular Korean Sedan
The Hyundai Sonata first appeared on U.S. shores in 1989. The original was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, who famously designed the DMC DeLorean of Back to the Future fame.
The design of the Hyundai Sonata has evolved quite significantly since then, walking the line between somewhat dull and commonplace to striking and sharp. The 2020 Hyundai Sonata will be in showrooms at the end of 2019.
Specs & Key Features of the 2019 Hyundai Sonata
- Body Style
- 2.4L GDI DOHC 16-Valve I4
- 185 hp
- 6-Speed Automatic w/SHIFTRONIC
- Passenger Doors
- Passenger Seating
- Front Wheel Drive
- City MPG
- Hwy MPG
- Air Conditioning
- Android Auto
- Apple CarPlay
- Back Up Camera
- Blind Spot Assist
- Blind Spot Sensor
- Cruise Control
- LCD Monitor
- Lane Change Assist
- Remote Keyless Entry
- Tinted Glass
- Engine: 2.4L GDI DOHC 16-Valve I4
- Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic w/SHIFTRONIC -inc: OD lock-up torque converter and shift lock
- Transmission w/Driver Selectable Mode
- Front-Wheel Drive
- 2.89 Axle Ratio
- 80-Amp/Hr 640CCA Maintenance-Free Battery w/Run Down Protection
- 140 Amp Alternator
- Gas-Pressurized Shock Absorbers
- Front And Rear Anti-Roll Bars
- Electric Power-Assist Speed-Sensing Steering
- 18.5 Gal. Fuel Tank
- Single Stainless Steel Exhaust w/Chrome Tailpipe Finisher
- Strut Front Suspension w/Coil Springs
- Multi-Link Rear Suspension w/Coil Springs
- 4-Wheel Disc Brakes w/4-Wheel ABS, Front Vented Discs, Brake Assist and Hill Hold Control
- Wheels: 16 x 6.5J Aluminum Alloy
- Tires: P205/65R16
- Wheels w/Silver Accents
- Steel Spare Wheel
- Compact Spare Tire Mounted Inside Under Cargo
- Clearcoat Paint
- Body-Colored Front Bumper w/Chrome Bumper Insert
- Body-Colored Rear Bumper
- Chrome Side Windows Trim and Black Front Windshield Trim
- Body-Colored Door Handles
- Body-Colored Power w/Tilt Down Side Mirrors w/Manual Folding
- Fixed Rear Window w/Defroster
- Light Tinted Glass
- Speed Sensitive Variable Intermittent Wipers
- Fully Galvanized Steel Panels
- Chrome Grille
- Trunk Rear Cargo Access
- Fully Automatic Projector Beam Halogen Daytime Running Headlamps w/Delay-Off
- Perimeter/Approach Lights
- Radio: AM/FM/MP3 Display Audio -inc: 7" color touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, integrated Bluetooth w/phonebook transfer, 6 speakers (2 front-door-mounted, 2 tweeters and 2 rear) and iPod, USB and auxiliary input jacks
- Radio w/Seek-Scan, Clock, Speed Compensated Volume Control, Steering Wheel Controls, Voice Activation and Radio Data System
- Streaming Audio
- Integrated Roof Antenna
- 1 LCD Monitor In The Front
- Front Bucket Seats -inc: 6-way manual front seats (height-adjustable) and passenger side seatback pockets
- Driver Seat
- Passenger Seat
- 60-40 Folding Bench Front Facing Fold Forward Seatback Rear Seat
- Manual Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column
- Gauges -inc: Speedometer, Odometer, Engine Coolant Temp, Tachometer, Trip Odometer and Trip Computer
- Power Rear Windows
- Front Cupholder
- Rear Cupholder
- Valet Function
- Remote Keyless Entry w/Integrated Key Transmitter, 2 Door Curb/Courtesy, Illuminated Entry, Illuminated Ignition Switch and Panic Button
- Remote Releases -Inc: Power Cargo Access and Power Fuel
- Cruise Control w/Steering Wheel Controls
- Manual Air Conditioning
- HVAC -inc: Underseat Ducts
- Illuminated Locking Glove Box
- Driver Foot Rest
- Interior Trim -inc: Metal-Look Instrument Panel Insert, Metal-Look Door Panel Insert and Metal-Look Interior Accents
- Full Cloth Headliner
- Cloth Door Trim Insert
- Urethane Gear Shift Knob
- YES Essentials Premium Cloth Seating Surfaces
- Day-Night Rearview Mirror
- Driver And Passenger Visor Vanity Mirrors w/Driver And Passenger Illumination, Driver And Passenger Auxiliary Mirror
- Full Floor Console w/Covered Storage, Mini Overhead Console w/Storage and 3 12V DC Power Outlets
- Front Map Lights
- Fade-To-Off Interior Lighting
- Full Carpet Floor Covering
- Carpet Floor Trim and Carpet Trunk Lid/Rear Cargo Door Trim
- Cargo Space Lights
- FOB Controls -inc: Trunk/Hatch/Tailgate
- Driver / Passenger And Rear Door Bins
- Power 1st Row Windows w/Driver 1-Touch Up/Down
- Delayed Accessory Power
- Power Door Locks w/Autolock Feature
- Systems Monitor
- Redundant Digital Speedometer
- Trip Computer
- Outside Temp Gauge
- Analog Display
- Manual Adjustable Front Head Restraints and Fixed Rear Head Restraints
- Front Center Armrest and Rear Center Armrest
- Perimeter Alarm
- 3 12V DC Power Outlets
- Air Filtration
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
- ABS And Driveline Traction Control
- Side Impact Beams
- Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
- Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Lane Change Assist (LCA) Blind Spot Sensor
- and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA)
- Tire Specific Low Tire Pressure Warning
- Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
- Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
- Airbag Occupancy Sensor
- Driver Knee Airbag
- Rear Child Safety Locks
- Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Center 3 Point, Height Adjusters and Pretensioners
- Back-Up Camera