Sonata 2020 is one of Hyundai’s unique products. Here’s a review of this beautiful product.
Hyundai Sonata 2020 – Overview Interior & Exterior
Just recently, Hyundai’s Palisade—and its mechanical twin, the Kia Telluride—did to the three-row crossover segment what the $60,000 mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette is doing to supercars. And now the brand’s redesigned 2020 Sonata, all slope-nosed, fast-backed, and filled with unadorned opulence, is here to make us re-envision the humdrum midsize sedan. It’s possible the Hyundai/Kia value machine is transforming into something significantly more important. Something you want because it’s both affordable and good. It’s also possible you should buy this car.
Ample Power, Ample Moves
Under the curved hood of our range-topping Limited-trim test car was an unremarkable turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four (a slightly more powerful naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four will follow) linked to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The 1.6 is good for 180 horsepower, which is sufficient to power it to 60 mph in an adequate-for-the-class 7.3 seconds. Its conventional automatic saves us the need to groan about groan from a CVT, and it hands off gears wisely enough to enable effortless moves around town. There are shift paddles should you want to manage those duties yourself. Just don’t plan on hammering through downshifts to grab that entrance ramp; the Sonata’s powertrain responses aren’t sharp in its Normal driving mode. Plus, it’s just not that kind of midsize sedan. Lacking the lively Honda Accord’s dynamic moves, it tolerates being rushed about as much as your spouse probably does.
It is not fast, nor do its controls speak to you in the language of the great ones. They don’t need to. But if you choose this car over nearly any crossover, you’ll find yourself in a very reasonable place. It is still a car, after all. The Sonata’s ride is—and we’ll be honest here—a little bit busy. The Limited’s 18-inch wheels and tires (16s and 17s are available on lower trims) probably do it no favors. Damping is heavily controlled for this segment, and body roll is minimal. Nothing the Sonata does in corners will make you want to press it harder, and its 0.89-g skidpad performance isn’t going to awaken your inner autocrosser.
A Stylistic Effort
But look at that dashboard. Really, look at it. Despite being among the most feature-packed cars in its class, the Sonata is refreshingly simple. Perhaps most amazing is that it manages to have intuitive controls despite the abundance of functionality. Our tester came with a 10.3-inch infotainment touchscreen managing almost most everything except the Sonata’s climate controls. Almost ironically, the limited number of buttons doesn’t extend to its primary controls. Four buttons—Park, Reverse, Neutral, and Drive—replace a traditional shift lever. But even these are easier to use than many other button-style shifters. (Hear that, Honda?)
There’s ample space, too. Six-footers can easily sit behind six-footers, and the 16-cubic-foot trunk is just about as big as they get for the class. Front-seat passengers sit high in the Sonata, which is great if you’re short in torso, though this might prove a burden to card-carrying members of Tall Club International. Visibility is good as the sedan’s relatively narrow pillars and large greenhouse are easy partners.
Despite its wider-ranging appeal, value will still sell this car. Although that play has traditionally been predicated on features per dollar, there’s an elegance here that, in certain areas, exceeds even our sweetheart of the segment, the 33-time 10Best-winning Accord. The elegant, uncomplicated design of the Sonata’s center stack, the precision of its secondary controls, and their ease of use are all areas where we struggle to see anyone doing it better.
There’s plenty remaining to be discovered about this latest Sonata, including its exact cost. Hyundai hasn’t announced pricing yet, but it tells us our option-heavy test car carries an estimated $33,000 as-tested price tag. That sum gets you a lot of hardware, including forward-collision avoidance, adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality, the ability to move the car forward and backwards remotely with the key fob to ease entry in parking lots, a genuinely useful lane-keeping assist, and a pile of other standard equipment. It’ll also get you a 2020 Honda Accord EX-L.
And, at the moment, we’re not certain which we’d prefer. Either way, we’ll keep talking about Hyundai.