2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata is a technological feast wrapped in high style. We loved it the first time around. Not to mention how consumers have taken to the sleek package and accommodating interior.

Hyundai did not stop there. They had another trick up their sleeve. The Sonata needed to also be efficient and sustainable, too.

In its third generation, the 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid adds an electric motor, a battery pack, and regenerative braking to its future-forward package. Plus, one additional feature that you have seen on a few electrified vehicles. Let’s see what it is and how it is elevating the Sonata further.

On top of the clean sheet design of the 2020 Hyundai Sonata, a new solar roof panel was added for the Hybrid. This panel is designed as another way to recover energy from the sun into the battery pack.

The Sonata still retains a design that stands out in its class and beyond. This sedan shows off a coupe-like profile that continues its sleek, low language to a short deck. Hybrids receive a specific grille that is distinguished from non-hybrid models. Plus, the Hybrid rides on a set of 17-inch aerodynamic wheels that are both handsome and distinctive. All other details are shared between the two drivelines on the outside.

There seems to be no real distinction inside the cabin between our Hybrid Limited tester and the turbocharged Limited tester we a few months ago. It is simply a same clean-sheet approach that is modern. The cabin is a full of Hyundai’s excellent controls, some of which were made of high quality. Our Hybrid Limited tester had a digital instrument cluster that is customizable and easy to read, including Hybrid specific gauges, such as a power transfer gauge and an energy use screen. The transmission has the same push button arrangement as in the non-hybrid Sonata, with paddle shifters on the steering wheel.

Seating for five is available in leather on our Hybrid 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.

The Hybrid driveline starts with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine attached to a 39kW electric motor gaining energy from a 270-volt lithium-ion battery pack. Combined, this driveline puts out 192 horsepower. While most hybrid systems use a continuously variable transmission to deliver power to the wheels, Hyundai uses a six-speed torque converter automatic transmission instead.

Performance is fine and it has no qualms accelerating with the electric motor’s instant torque adding that extra push in lane changes and freeway ramps. Cruising is smooth on the highway with this hybrid driveline. With the torque converter transmission, we found shifts to be almost as smooth as a CVT. As for fuel economy, we turned an average of 45.6 MPG.

The ride quality is very good with a solid drive on all surfaces. Handling is on soft side with some roll and lean. In all, the steering system offers a good turning radius with a bit of softness at the wheel. However, it feels soft when on-center and found the Lane Keeping Assist to help a bit within the lane. However, we found the braking system to be very powerful in stopping the Sonata Hybrid. Pedal feel is solid, devoid of regenerative braking delay found on some hybrids.

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid lineup is available in three different trim levels. Pricing starts at $27,750 for the Blue model. Our Hybrid Limited tester came with a sticker price of $36,430.

Luckily, there are a few hybrid mid-size family sedans around to compete against the Sonata Hybrid. These models include the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Kia Optima, and Ford Fusion.

What makes the 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid stand out in this crowd is to combine an efficient and solid driveline with the latest technology – including the solar roof panel – into one of the most compelling vehicles introduced this model year. It is definitely something worth looking at if you are in the market for a mid-size family sedan.

Story Credits: CarSoup Editors

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