The all-new, 8th generation Sonata is one of Hyundai’s most important name plates and for the 2020 model, everything has been revamped or redesigned and you know what? It’s a winner!
The American mid-sized sedan market is a gradually declining segment yet still represents an important volume for the Korean automaker.
The front and rear end of the Sonata are the most striking with the intertwined mesh grille looking a bit catfish-like. For me, it looks serious and modern, for others, they simply don’t care for the look. By far the most interesting feature are the chrome strips that start at the top of the headlights and slope back towards the rear of the hood, this becomes the overall side profile signature line that Hyundai calls the “Dynamic Lasso”. The front of this line is unique, as Hyundai embedded the DRL’s (daytime running lights) onto this strip, which slowly fades about midway up the hood, this is a gorgeous and creative accent item that makes the Sonata standout and look modern. The rear of the Sonata also offers impressive and innovative design cues as well, with an LED light bar that runs corner to corner featuring elegant frameless, aerodynamic tail lights as well as integrated exhaust tips.
The interior is all-new, offering a new and innovative sift by wire PRNDL gear selector, in this case, it’s an electronic push-button affair that blends surprisingly well with the center console and frees up extra room around the area. There is a large infotainment integrated screen that is just over 10” wide, a nice surprise for this price-point segment. Interface is intuitive and the presentation of the information is clear and easy to read both in bright and dark situations. Seats are supportive, comfortable, and offer a modern design pattern in the bottom and rear cushions, again not typical for this segment and making the Sonata look and feel more upscale. Rear seat is roomy and comfortable for two, snug for three. Trunk is spacious, with a wide total opening and conveniently low overhang, making it easy to load and unload.
A neat feature is the “Remote Smart Parking Assist” which is a remote self-park feature. Simply point the car where you want it to end up and click on the arrow on the remote. The car will slowly move until it’s in the spot. To retrieve, simply do the same with the reverse arrow on the remote. It’s an impressive feature, but frankly I don’t see it more than just being a party trick.
Driving the all new Sonata is a nice surprise. Having driven five of the previous eight generations, I had a good understanding what to expect and the 2020 model simply did everything better, smoother and faster than the previous ones. Our test car came with a 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder engine. (Hyundai offers a 2.5 liter, 195 HP engine as well). Acceleration is not lightning quick but it is adequate for almost any type of driving. Steering feedback and braking are good, even offering a hint of sportiness by selecting the sport setting. This is a great car for daily commuting or taking clients out. There is a noticeable premium look and feel everywhere around the car. The design is elegant and modern and the interior one step above the rest and it shows. For me, this is the clear winner in the ultra-competitive mid-level priced sedan segment.
Comparables Include: Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Mazda 6 among others.
MSRP: $33,300.00 MSRP (As Tested): $34,365.00
Fuel Economy (Observed): 29.1 MPG
Engine: 1.6 liter I-4, Turbocharged, 180 HP and 195 Lb/Ft of Torque
Popular Options: Carpeted floor mats $135.00
Please visit: www.hyundai.com
*Photos furnished by Hyundai