2020 HYUNDAI SONATA LIMITED DELIVERS EXCITING STYLE & TECH AT AN AFFORDABLE PRICE
After the 2011 shock, Hyundai shook the automotive industry with their exclusive styling flair, it started to open consumers eyes that maybe Hyundai isn’t just this exasperating industrial company that thought they could build cars too. The Sonata was one of the most popular family sedans on the market nearly a decade ago and when it was redesigned in 2015, the funky ways that made it popular had fallen victim to the more serious, German enterprise. Happily, however, that no longer is the case as it has gone through a complete overhaul with unusual shaping, upscale swanky options, and more bang for your buck.
The styling is definitely an odd state of affairs – divorcing itself from the habits of the previous generation, the new Sonata is anything but boring. The curvature of the hood incorporating a slender piece of chrome trim that cascades into the LED daytime running light gives it a continuous waterfall effect that adds an attractive, modern touch in detail. Character lines following the side profile to the rearward panels present contemporary angles that ties perfectly into the LED taillights that continuously flows around the entire trunk. Even the little fins on the taillights that drift into to the trunk lip enhances an energetic appeal.
With pricing starting at $23,600, there are two engines options that follow four trim levels. The standard 2.5-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder trails behind the SE and the SEL models with 191-horsepower and can see upwards to 38-mpg on the highway. The friskier turbocharged engine on the other hands seeks the premium side of the SEL Plus and Limited models. Despite seeing an 11-horsepower drop, the 1.6-liter engine makes up for it in torque, as there is 195 lb-ft of it. Being only 180-horsepower, the Sonata is quite a happy camper when it comes to its performance application. It may not set the land speed record for quickest family sedans like the Toyota Camry V-6, but its supple demeanor never had us wishing there was more oomph. Set in Sport mode and foot to the floor, the 8-speed automatic snaps sassier than a Karen wanting to speak to a manager – its snap attacks however result in a friendly 7.5-seconds to 60-mph.
Being down on power than most of its competitors its spiffy acceleration is more than substantial enough to take on any eager highway go-getter – the seamless confinements of the transmission work effortlessly at providing the right gearing for the right occasion. Having four drive modes Smart, Normal, Sport and Custom; most of our driving was left to the norm – we did find while using the Smart feature that there was very little hesitation to acceleration and transmission responses. However, while we managed to see 35-mpg on the highway, we didn’t quite reach what the Hyundai doctors order with a combined average of 27-mpg – missing the targeted EPA 31-combined mpg.
If the sportier attributes of the Sonata styling increases your willingness to have some fun, then fun shall be encouraged. The tightly tuned electric steering inspires eagerness to drive spiritedly. There is plenty of heft from behind the chassis that manages the road and body control wonderfully all while maintaining a relaxed setting within the car. With our featured Limited fitted to 18-inch wheels and all-season tires, there is a limit to its grip and it is found relatively quickly. However, skipping out on summer tires helps keep road noise to a minimum within the cabin as well as the dual-pane driver and passenger side windows.
Inside, it’s almost unlike any Hyundai we’ve seen before… except for the Palisade. The interior is full of exquisite detail and delicacy. It’s almost as if we stepped into a high-priced luxury sedan. Every surface is nearly wrapped in leather with a tasteful display of contrasting materials. Every little object burst with detail and tactile feel from the steering wheel stocks to the fittings around the dual-zone climate control knobs. Keeping to a minimalist design, everything we need is controlled through the large 10.25-inch high-definition display that is easy to navigate and utilize while driving.
It comes as no surprise then the seats are fantastically comfortable with both the driver and passenger seats on the Limited being power adjustable. Despite having a slopped roof for a sportier style, this doesn’t affect the interior comfortability for rear passengers as occupants six-feet tall has room to grow a few more inches – as such, leg room is impeccable with the overall setting developing a pleasant balance for long distance driving.
Overflowing with technology, the Sonata enters a new phase of advancements that has not quite yet hit other consumers. SEL Plus and Limited models offer a new age of tech with a digital key that operates through your smartphone eliminating the need for an actual key fob. Both models also come equipped with a fantastic interactive 12.3-inch digital cluster display. Exclusive to the Limited models, the Blind Spot View Monitor and Surround View Monitor adds a crystal-clear view of our surroundings as well as the new Smart Park feature that allows you to operate your vehicle from the comforts of the curb when fitting in or out of a snug parking space.
All models come standard with the latest in safety technology as the entry SE incorporates Forward Collision and Pedestrian Detection with automatic emergency braking and Lane Follow Assist. With the Limited featuring even more development in safety, features such as Highway Driving Assist allows the vehicle to moderate its speed based on speed limit zones.
After years of working hard to stand out, it was surprising to see Hyundai trying to blend in. That is no longer the case here. The all-new Hyundai Sonata is a far cry from blending and with its new involvement in luxury and technology appeal – it delivers on standing out.
Model: 2020 HYUNDAI SONATA
Starting Price: $33,300
As Tested: $34,385
Color: CALYPSO RED
Engine: 1.6-LITER TURBOCHARGED FOUR-CYLINDER
Horsepower/Torque: 180-HORSEPOWER / 195 LB-FT TORQUE
Transmission: 8-SPEED AUTOMATIC
Drivetrain: FRONT-WHEEL DRIVE
Fuel Economy: EPA RATED: 27-CITY / 36-HWY / 31-COMBINED
AS TESTED: 27.0 MPG COMBINED
Fuel Range: 450 MILES
0-60 MPH: ±7.5 SECONDS