Hyundai Sonata delivers on performance and design
Roseville, CA – Due to the ramifications of the coronavirus and a late release, Hyundai has already announced there will be no changes when it rolls out the 2021 Sonata Hybrid.
From our perspective, that’s not a problem, because we loved the fully redesigned 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. Changes for next year? Who needs them?
For starters, this year’s Sonata Hybrid is a sleeker version of the 2019 model. It features a front grille with active aero flaps and a spoiler that Hyundai says will combine to make it more aerodynamic. It’s striking new look, good technology package, and terrific fuel economy are all major pluses for anyone searching for a midsize sedan hybrid.
We tested the Limited model, the most expensive of the three trims (the other two are Blue and SEL). One can ponder the merits of paying around $28,000 for the base (Blue) model or going with the Limited version, a hike to approximately $35,400.
What we did find intriguing about the Limited model was the new solar roof panel that reportedly generates 205 watts of electricity and directly charges the 12-volt hybrid batteries. What that means to a driver is about 2 more miles of range per day and around 700 miles of total range over a year.
While we’re on the topic of mileage, we need to point out that the base model Sonata Hybrid gets between 52-54 mpg. Thanks to the great fuel efficiency and its 13.2-gallon tank, that means the Sonata can travel nearly 700 miles before a fill-up is required. Note that the milage for the SEL and Limited models ranges from 45-51 mpg.
This year the Sonata Hybrid has a different location for its battery, moving it under the rear seat cushion and creating a lower, flatter cargo floor. Trunk space is deep and wide, measuring 16 cubic feet overall. Seating is good for adults, the adequate head and leg room making it a vehicle that can be comfortable on longer trips.
Hyundai has done a nice job of equipping the Sonata with smartly placed center stack controls that are reachable for both driver and passenger. It’s also intuitive, something that can get overlooked these days with the focus given to technology. The Sonata has just about the right blend, offering Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, voice control, and its easy-to-read 8-inch touch infotainment screen.
AT A GLANCE – 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
- Performance: 2.0-liter, four-cylinder paired with 39-kW electric motor, combined 192 horsepower
- Mileage estimate: 45-54 mpg
- Price estimate: $27,900 to $35,400
- Warranty: 5 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain: 10 years/100,000 miles; roadside assistance: 5 years/unlimited; corrosion: 7 years/unlimited
Performance is another plus with the Sonata Hybrid, pairing a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine to a 39-kW electric motor to deliver 192 horsepower and 210 pound-feet of torque. It goes 0-60 mpg in 6.8 seconds, providing good acceleration and passing power.
Drivers will like that the Sonata Hybrid has four driving modes (Eco, Comfort, Sport, Custom). The choices give the Sonata lots of options and make for a fun car to drive that’s controlled and balanced on even challenging roadways. Standard safety features include lane keep assist, lane following assist, rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, and high-beam assist.
A striking new look, fantastic gas mileage, good performance, and solid interior make the 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid a player in the competitive midsize sedan class.