2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid evaluation: Guilt-free excellence

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid evaluation: Guilt-free excellence

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Not everybody will love these seems.

Tim Stevens

How do you are taking a handsome, sensible, value-oriented household sedan and make it even higher? You dial up the gas economic system. That is simply what we have now right here within the 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. It takes the brand new Sonata, which we already know and love, slaps in a tech-forward hybrid powertrain after which caps it off with a flowery, photo voltaic roof.


  • Compelling seems
  • Nice array of security tech normal
  • Robust gas economic system

Do not Like

  • These nice seems are divisive
  • Photo voltaic roof solely on Restricted

The outcome? A powerful EPA gas economic system ranking of 54 miles per gallon on the freeway for the Blue trim, up 18 mpg from the sedan, all with none actual unfavourable repercussions — aside from the $4,000 upcharge, after all.

Visually, little has modified from the usual 2020 Sonata sedan and in my ebook that is factor. I recognize that the chrome line working from every headlight all the way in which again previous the rear doorways is not going to be for everybody, however I am a giant fan of the automotive’s distinctive seems.

And for those who don’t love brightwork, I am sorry to say the Hybrid Restricted comes normal with the bottom Sonata SE’s chrome grille. Whereas this provides a good bit of pop to the automotive’s ahead presence, I do have a slight desire for the darker grille on the SEL and Restricted non-Hybrid trims. Right here, that grille has been augmented by active-aero flaps to cut back drag, whereas a petite spoiler sits on the rear deck and a novel set of 17-inch wheels convey this automotive to the bottom.

All that helps the automotive earn a 0.24 drag coefficient, although none of it does a lot to set this automotive aside from its historically powered predecessor. Take a more in-depth have a look at the Hybrid Restricted’s roof and it is a world of distinction, although. Up there you may discover a tidily built-in array of photo voltaic panels which have a pleasant futuristic depth to them, like for those who squinted laborious sufficient you can see Kevin Flynn’s Lightcycle carving its manner by way of the sun-catching circuitry.

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

The look of the photo voltaic roof is sort of well worth the Restricted’s value of admission alone.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

Tron aspirations apart, this roof is alleged so as to add as much as “a few miles” to the automotive’s vary after a day sitting within the solar. I am sorry to say I by no means noticed a rise throughout my testing, however then once more, the week I examined the automotive was within the midst of a very wet, cloudy and usually depressing spring, so I will not maintain that in opposition to the Hyundai. Nonetheless, such charging could possibly be preferrred for long-term parking and the like, whereas actually any exterior enhance to the vary is appreciated given this is not a plug-in.

And the way does it really feel on the highway? The bottom Hyundai Sonata, with the 1.6-liter turbocharged I4, is torquey, easy and, whereas removed from sporty, undoubtedly enjoyable to drive. The Hybrid? Extra of the identical. Right here we have now a 2.0-liter Smartstream I4 that produces 150 horsepower and 139 pound-feet of torque. That is mated to a large 56-kilowatt lithium-ion battery pack and electrical motor, which convey 51 hp and 151 lb-ft to the celebration.

Hyundai says mixed output is 192 hp and, whereas the corporate does not quote a mixed torque determine, it is absolutely greater than the 195 lb-ft from the non-hybrid automotive’s 1.6-liter I4. The Sonata Hybrid is robust off the road and throttle response is superb, aided by a six-speed transmission that makes use of a brand new know-how Hyundai calls Lively Shift Management. Mainly, the automotive screens engine rotation pace and makes use of the electrical motor to make sure the transmission pace matches. This makes up for the shortage of a torque converter and, in accordance with Hyundai, boosts shift pace by 30%.

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Torque comes from right here.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

I can not say I used to be actually speeding the transmission in my time with a Sonata Hybrid, however the shifts are certainly fast and easy, although maybe a bit much less slick than the usual Sonata’s conventional, eight-speed slushbox. The brakes, too, are barely extra harsh, however I really like that. The regen of this hybrid feels extra like that you just’d count on on a full EV. It is effectively wanting one-pedal driving, but it surely’s good to know you are sending extra juice into the battery and fewer into heating up the brake discs.

On the within of the Restricted, there are lots of nice methods to make use of that juice because of a completely digital gauge cluster, a large, 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system with NFC pairing, wi-fi charging and a head-up show. Hyundai’s infotainment software program is primary however useful, kindly providing each Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, although sadly neither integrates with the navigation prompts on the HUD. Once you’re away out of your automotive, Hyundai’s smartphone app allows the standard suite of distant beginning and pre-conditioning capabilities, although you may also remote-start the automotive instantly from the important thing — when in vary. Or, you probably have an Android cellphone, you possibly can simply go away your bodily key at dwelling and use the Hyundai Digital Key.

The automotive’s inside has few disappointments, the cream sprint and seats on my automotive pairing properly with the darkish blue inside and gratuitous chrome trim to create a shiny really feel that is sadly uncommon in fashionable automobiles. The supplies are good, the 12-speaker Bose system on the Restricted trim is robust and actually the one considerations I had, which had been minor, had been with the one USB port for rear-seat occupants and an incapacity to fold the 60/40 rear seats down with out first opening the trunk.

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

No scarcity of show area right here.

Tim Stevens/Roadshow

The tech continues by way of the driving, with a complete suite of energetic security techniques normal on all Sonata Hybrids, together with adaptive cruise management that’ll take you to a full cease, computerized emergency braking with pedestrian detection, driver consideration warnings and rear-seat occupancy reminders. Step as much as the Restricted trim — such as you see right here — and also you get niceties like ventilated entrance seats, LED headlights and inside lighting and a 360-degree digicam system.

And what about a very powerful side of the factor, the gas economic system? Properly I am sorry to say that I did not fairly meet the EPA’s ranking of 45 metropolis, 51 freeway and 47 mixed. In my blended driving, which was about 50/50 nation and freeway, I noticed a mean of 43.9 mpg. That is regardless of a light-weight foot and loads of use of cruise management. However, once more, my testing happened over some unseasonably chilly climate. When my colleague Steven Ewing took a equally outfitted Restricted for a 100-mile tour round Los Angeles, he noticed 51.Three mpg.

In the meantime, the Blue trim guarantees to do even higher, with an EPA mixed ranking of 52 mpg. You may should make do with a fabric inside, smaller infotainment display screen and another cuts, however you may save lots of money. The beginning value on a 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Blue is $27,750, plus $975 for supply. Step as much as the SEL — which crucially provides heated seats and some different niceties — and the worth goes to $29,900. The total-fat Restricted, the one trim with that trick photo voltaic roof, begins at $35,300.

It is a substantial premium, however for all the pieces on supply right here and with the drive high quality plus the look of the factor, it nonetheless looks like good worth. For the document, the Sonata undercuts the top-shelf 2020 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring, with its 48 mpg mixed ranking, by about $1,000.

It is laborious to go fallacious on this ultra-competitive phase and certainly Hyundai’s newest does lots of issues proper. It drives effectively, provides all of the tech, delivers nice economic system and manages to seems incredible whereas doing it. The 2020 Sonata Hybrid Restricted is an excellent alternative and about as near compromise- and guilt-free motoring as you are going to get lately. 

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