2020 Hyundai Sonata
If you recall, Hyundai introduced their 2020 Sonata during Super Bowl LIV. They brought in actors Chris Evans, Rachel Dratch, John Krasinski, and retired baseball legend David Ortiz to demonstrate the ground-breaking Remote Smart Parking Assist feature around the city of Boston.
They proclaimed that this feature was “wicked smaht.”
There is more to this mid-size sedan than just an affected Boston accent and a new semi-autonomous feature. The 2020 Sonata was designed to bring customers back to sedans. After years of SUV and crossover dominance in the market, Hyundai pulled out all the stops on their long-running family sedan and created something that would spark interest beyond the tight streets and parking spaces of Boston.
Hyundai took a clean sheet approach to the 2020 Sonata. The result is a design that stands out in its class and beyond. The grille is a progression of Hyundai’s design language. The lower, leaner shape will form the basis of the next generation of models for the brand. From the grille is a coupe-like profile that continues its sleek, low language to a short deck.
The details on the Sonatas exterior are what make this design stand out even more. Flowing from the top of the headlamps is a pair of extended LED lights that continues as chrome pieces towards the windshield. The rear taillight unit wraps around the top edge of the rear fender around across the center of the trunk lid. Our Limited tester came with sporty 18-inch alloy wheels giving the Sonata an upmarket finish all around.
The same clear-sheet approach is also seen inside the four-wide opening doors. The instrument panel is a modern design full of current and new versions of Hyundai’s excellent controls. Our Limited tester had a digital instrument cluster that is customizable and easy to read. As in the Palisade, the Blind Spot View Monitor screens replace the large dials when the turn signal is activated. A wide 10.25-inch infotainment screen dominates the center stack.
The 2020 Sonata also features a push-button transmission system with paddle shifters on the back of the steering wheel. On a few dials and the control stalks, you get a high-quality textured finish that may just remind you of a more expensive vehicle.
Seating for five is available in leather on our Limited tester. The front seats are a bit firm, but comfortable and supportive over the miles. There are power adjustments for rake, recline, height, and lumbar support. Rear seat room is excellent with great leg room and good head room for six-footers. A wide opening trunk offers 16.0 cubic feet of space with fold-down rear seatbacks for longer cargo.
Powering our tester is a 180-horsepower 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It offers great performance, including excellent lane changes and on-ramp runs. A smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission is connected to this engine. This driveline is also good on fuel. We turned an average fuel economy figure of 30.5 MPG.
The 2020 Sonata features the aforementioned semi-autonomous feature called Remote Smart Parking Assist. If you need to park in a space where there is not much room available to get out of your Sonata, you can use this feature by pressing a button on the center console, then using the remote fob to press the button to move the Sonata into the parking space – and out of it. This feature only works when the Sonata is positioned towards a parking spot. It does not work for parallel parking or turning into a space.
The Sonata does offer a wonderful driving experience. The ride quality is very good with a solid drive on even rough streets. Handling is controlled with great cornering. There is some roll and lean, when pushed to the limits. However, putting the Sonata into Sport mode does help to flatten the curves with some firmness in the ride.
In most modes, the steering system offers a good turning radius with a bit of softness at the wheel. Switching to Sport mode will weigh down the wheel and offer more control through the turns. We also love the brakes, as they are very powerful in stopping the Sonata. Pedal feel is firm for the right amount of control.
The 2020 Hyundai Sonata lineup offers four different trim levels. Pricing starts at $23,600 for the SE model. Our Limited tester came with a sticker price of $34,365.
There is still plenty of competitors in the mid-size family sedan segments. The Sonata is often compared to the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Subaru Legend, Mazda 6, Kia Optima, Chevrolet Malibu, Volkswagen Passat, and Ford Fusion.
Thanks to its Super Bowl LIV commercial, the newest Hyundai Sonata is bringing the sedan back into vogue. After driving it, we actually fell in love with its charms, as well as its technology. We have a good feeling you would, too.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors