2020 Hyundai Sonata Preview

May 15, 2019
FAST FACTS
  • Redesigned midsize sedan
  • Built on an all-new vehicle architecture
  • Longer, lower than the model it replaces
  • An array of tech features available; many are standard
  • Optional Remote Smart Parking Assist
  • Built in Alabama
  • Available October 2019

Introduction

Hyundai’s popular midsize sedan, the Sonata, is all-new for 2020, built on a newly designed vehicle architecture that will be shared with several other upcoming models from both Hyundai and Kia.

2020 Hyundai Sonata photo

In addition to allowing for an influx of new tech features, the new vehicle platform is intended to provide better occupant crash safety. Rear-collision braking and a blind-spot view feature that shows a video in the digital gauge display are available. Additionally, the new Sonata is longer and lower than the outgoing model.

Exterior Features

The fastback-style roofline is one of the most eye-catching features of the 2020 Hyundai Sonata. Also of note is the redesigned grille and front headlights. Hyundai designers went in a daring direction by stretching the daytime running lights onto the Sonata’s hood. When the vehicle is stopped, these lights remain hidden, but they activate once the car is on.

The new Sonata, which features a coupe-like profile, has a longer wheelbase than the outgoing model. Also, the front wheels are pushed out to the corners for a shorter overhang. Another distinctive exterior feature is the chrome trim strip that graces the headlights and runs up along the hood, encircling the window frame of the car.

Interior Features

The interior of the 2020 Sonata is sleek and exceptionally modern. The dashboard design features a mix of rounded-off angles, and that includes the frame of the touch screen, vents, and the chrome trim on the steering wheel.

Even the interior handles have a modernized edge to their rounded-off appearance. And while the roofline has a sleek profile, there is still ample headroom in the rear.

Optional Features

Optional in the 2020 Sonata is a 12.3-inch digital cluster as well as a 10.3-inch center screen, similar to what you’d find in the Audi A7. For an added touch of luxury, Nappa leather is an available upgrade in the 2020 Sonata.

The new Sonata also may be optioned with remote smart parking assist, or RSPA, which is designed for small parking spaces and tight garages. Once activating RSPA, the driver can direct their vehicle into the close-fitting space, then exit the car and stand clear. The driver then utilizes arrows on the key fob and can “drive” their vehicle into the parking spot and turn the car off, all from the outside. The same thing can be done when it’s time to leave.

Under the Hood

The new Sonata gets a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine as standard for both the SE and SEL trim levels. A turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder is standard in SEL Plus as well as Touring models.

While the larger 2.5-liter engine has more horsepower than the 1.6 turbo, the latter has more torque (195 lb.-ft. versus 181), thus providing better acceleration and excellent fuel economy. Both engines are mated with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Fuel Economy

Though official numbers from the EPA aren’t yet available for the 2020 Sonata, Hyundai says that customers can expect combined fuel economy of 33 mpg from the 2.5-liter engine and 31 mpg from the 1.6-liter turbo. This is an improvement over the 28 combined mpg for the 2019 Sonata with a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine and the 6-speed transmission.

Safety

According to Hyundai, the Sonata’s new design is meant to improve driver and passenger safety and utilizes super-high tensile steel and hot stamped parts to stop the distortion of the passenger area if a collision does occur. The Sonata’s new platform also implements a multi-load structure that increases the car’s capacity to absorb a crash’s energy. The tires are now designed to move outward in a minor frontal collision to prevent spinning and possible secondary accidents.

A robust array of driver-assist features are available on the new Sonata thanks to its three radar sensors, five cameras, and 13 ultrasonic sensors. Standard features include forward-collision braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane-following assist (sensors track the car ahead even if the sight of the lane lines are lost).

Available on the premium Touring trim level is a blind-spot-view monitor, which is more advanced than Honda's Lanewatch, taking the concept one step further. Whereas Honda’s system only shows on a center-stack display what’s behind and to the right, the system on the 2020 Sonata displays on the video screen either the left- or right-side blind spots, depending on which turn signal has been activated. It also displays the video images in place of the speedometer on the left and tachometer on the right.

Additionally, there is a new safety feature that alerts the driver if a vehicle approaches from the rear when a door is opened.

Technology

Tech highlights for the upcoming Sonata include a digital key, which allows the vehicle to be unlocked and driven using just a smartphone through the app that controls this functionality. Owners will be able to permit temporary access to others via the app, as well.

There is also a wireless charging pad that circulates air over the user’s phone to help keep it from overheating. This charging pad also enables charging at around twice the previous rate, Hyundai says.

Noteworthy standard technology features include automatic high-beam assist, auto-on headlights, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. While blind-spot monitoring is not a standard feature, forward-collision warning paired with automatic braking and pedestrian detection, smart cruise control, as well as lane-following assist come on every new 2020 Sonata.

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