By Ron Moorhead
The 2020 Sonata gets noticed as it travels through a sea of sameness on the highways and byways of America. The new exterior styling is sharp and edgy. It is contemporary without being outlandish. The Sonata’s new platform is the basis for solid performance in handling and ride comfort. This exciting design territory extends to the interior as well as where we see an upscale styling that makes you feel you are traveling in a much more expensive vehicle.
The new exterior design is edgy with a quickly sloping hood that flows into a low, wide grill anchored by sleek aerodynamic LED light modules. The reversed boomerang shaped side lights add an exotic sports car-like accent.
Hyundai’s mid-sized sedan has, as most of the Hyundai line up, gone through a variety of styling and engineering innovations that have set this sedan high on most auto reviewers’ lists for many years now. Hyundai has cutting-edge styling that gets noticed, excellent engineering with enviable reliability and an earned practicality that sets it high on buyers’ lists.
The 2020 Hyundai Sonata is available in several different models. For our test, we were able to get a new Hybrid Limited that offers up excellent performance while serving up a good dose of practicality. Not a usual entry on our want list. We love hybrids for what they offer. The new Sonata Hybrid has a 2-liter, four-cylinder gas engine coupled with a 38-kilowatt electric motor. Performance from the combined 192 horsepower is impressive with good launch from stops and impressive economy stats. EPA ratings for the 2020 Sonata Hybrid are 45 miles per gallon city, 51 highway and 47 combined. We achieved in the neighborhood of 46-47 mpg during our test.
The coup-like exterior design might give the impression that interior space in the rear seat area, particularly headroom, would be compromised. We found the interior to be roomy and quite comfortable. The front leather bucket seats are supportive and firm, yet comfortable, even on lengthy rides. That could be thanks to the heated and ventilated feature.
The rear leather seat has plenty of legroom, even with the front seats adjusted for a 6-foot driver and passenger. The issue of headroom is nearly nonexistent as the rear headroom is a scant 1.5-inches less than the front seat. Considering the coup-like slope to the roof that gives the Sonata its good looks, this is quite accommodating.
Our Sonata was a Limited model with a plethora of equipment that was “included” according to the Monroney window sticker. In fact, the only two additions to the bottom line here were the optional floor mats at $155 and the destination charge of $975. But even with that, this 2020 Hyundai Sonata had a final list price of $36,430. Price out a similar vehicle from a popular Japanese manufacturer and you would be up in the $40,000 range.
Included in the standard equipment list with our test Sonata Hybrid was a solar roof panel that puts juice back in the batteries. Also included in that long list of features are adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, drowsy driver monitor, rear-passenger reminder and forward collision mitigation.
Beyond the usual interior tech-y features, our test Sonata was equipped with the side view camera display in the instrument panel. Operate the right turn signal and you get a perfect, clear video view of the Sonata’s right side, much like the side mirror. Though we always advise drivers get in the habit of watching all mirrors this was a cool feature that enhances safety.
We admit we have been fans of most of the products Hyundai produces and certainly the 2020 Sonata moves to the top of that list. This sedan is good looking, sporty, comfortable and can turn a boring drive into a fun excursion.
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