The 2020 Hyundai Sonata is all-new this year with sleek, coupe-like styling that makes it stand out rather than blending in with the crowd. As sedan sales continue to slide, standing out is exactly what a sedan needs to do if it has any hope of luring buyers away from SUVs and crossovers. The Hyundai Sonata does exactly that with its styling and adds additional appeal with a wide range of safety features and new technologies.
Two Engine Options
Power for the 2020 Hyundai Sonata comes from a choice of two engines. Base models get a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque. Top trims get a 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder with 180 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. Both are paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission and are front-wheel drive only.
We spent our time with the 1.6-liter engine and it had ample power for moving the Sonata into high speed highway traffic smoothly and quietly. It doesn’t offer an especially sporty ride, however, although switching the drive mode to Sport does make it more responsive. Instead, the Sonata is focused on providing a comfortable experience for passengers.
No matter which engine you choose, they provide fuel economy that make them easy on your wallet if gas prices rise. The turbocharged engine returns the lowest fuel economy of the lot with an EPA-estimated 27 mpg in the city, 36 mpg on the highway, and 31 mpg combined.
The 2.5-liter engine gets only the slightest uptick to 37 mpg on the highway in the SEL trim. The SE is the best fuel economy choice with 28 mpg in the city, 38 mpg on the highway, and 32 mpg combined. These solid numbers make the Sonata a good choice as a commuter car.
Although those looking for a performance sedan will find the Sonata underwhelming, that majority of sedan customers are focused on passenger comfort. Because the Sonata offers its power without aggression or undue noise, it creates a more relaxing ride for everyone.
Hyundai achieved this relaxing ride experience by working to insulate the cabin from the outside world. The engine is well-muted even under hard acceleration and road and wind noise are minimal. It’s easy to carry on a conversation between front and rear passengers without having to raise your voice to be heard.
The ride is smooth and pliant, so rough pavement won’t rattle occupants. Breaks in the pavement and unseen potholes are well-managed with the suspension system soaking up the worst of the bumps and jolts.
Roomy and Well-Appointed
Adding to passenger comfort is a roomy and well-appointed interior. There’s seating for five with rear seats that can seat three adults without being cramped. Headroom, despite the more coupe-like roofline, is still good so even taller rear passengers will find ample room.
Base trims have cloth seats with 6-way adjustability for the driver and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat. Higher trims feature leatherette with suede inserts or full leather along with heat and ventilation as well as an 8-way power driver’s and 4-way power front passenger seat. Dual automatic climate control is also available.
Base infotainment includes an 8-inch color touchscreen with 6-speaker audio, AM/FM/MP3, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Optional on all but the base trim is a 12-speaker Bose audio system with the same 8-inch touchscreen or a 10.25-inch touchscreen that includes navigation, which is standard on the top trim. Multiple USB ports, wireless charging, and SiriusXM are also available.
Hyundai Digital Key
There’s no need to carry a key with Hyundai Digital Key. Android smartphone users can use their phone to access the vehicle and drive without the pesky key fob. It even syncs to your digital profile so vehicle settings will automatically be tailored to you.
The digital key can also be shared with friends, so you don’t have to worry about getting a physical key to someone. Simply share the digital key and they’ll be able to access the vehicle and drive, too. This is a great feature, but fortunately not available for iPhone users who will have to rely on a key card instead.
Good Standard Safety
Every Hyundai Sonata, even the base SE comes with a wide range of standard safety features. This includes forward collision avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, advanced smart cruise control, automatic high beam assist, lane keep assist, lane follow assist, and driver attention warning.
As you move up through the trim range, there are additional features. The SEL adds blind spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert while the Limited adds front and rear parking sensors, around view monitor, and remote smart parking assist. Although top trims get added features, the bulk of the safety features on the Hyundai Sonata are standard across the lineup.
The base 2.5-liter engine is found on the SE, which starts at $23,400 and SEL priced from $25,500. The turbocharged 1.6-liter is available only on the SEL Plus at a price of $27,450 or Limited at $33,300. This makes the Sonata a value in every trim whether you choose the base model or the more fully featured Limited.
The 2020 Hyundai Sonata gets high marks for style with its new coupe-like roofline along with a comfortable and attractive interior. It offers a smooth, quiet ride ideal for passengers with plenty of power, but it’s not focused on providing exceptional performance. Its combination of style and features make it a good choice for those in the market for a sedan. Look for it in dealerships now.