2020 Hyundai Sonata Limited 1.6T in Quartz White
The new 2020 Hyundai Sonata is significantly restyled and performance enhanced with new features, more technology and simplified pricing for the consumer.
Offering just four trim levels that are feature packed with prices running from $23,600 to $33,500, Sonata for 2020 has seriously stepped up, raising the bar at every level.
Formerly a decent mid-size sedan in the popular price category, the new Sonata – in our view – is now the best value in its segment.
In a recent week long test drive of the new Sonata, we found it to be a really good drive and ride as well.
Sonata Limited – As Tested
Our test Sonata was the Top-of-the-Line 2020 Hyundai Sonata Limited in a Quartz White exterior with Black on Black leather trimmed interior and powered by the 1.6L Turbocharged engine.
Featuring Hyundai’s simple pricing formula that limits the extras – putting it all in the MSRP – our Limited listed for $33,500.
Adding the optional Quartz White Paint and some floor mats, the delivered price was just $34,890.
It was truly ‘drop the mic’ time when looking at that price and then taking a deeper look at this car. Following a weeklong ride and drive, we are beyond impressed with all that Hyundai delivers in the new 2020 Sonata Limited.
And yes, that does include the innovative ‘smaht pahk’ key-fob-operated Remote Smart Parking Assist you saw in the 2020 Super Bowl commercial.
Powertrain / Mechanical
The Limited is powered by a new – very spirited – 1.6L GDI Turbocharged gasoline engine producing 180 horsepower @5,500 rpm with 195 lb.-ft. of torque (1,500-4,500 rpm).
It is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission using a ‘Shift-by-Wire’ Button feature that may put some drivers off at first. However, we found it easier to use than traditional shifter operated transmissions. Button placement is intuitive and positively responds with simple push of the button.
The transmission features an OverDrive lock-up torque converter, shift lock and Shiftronic mode and has steering wheel mounted Paddle Shifters.
Equipped with Smart Cruise Control w/Start/Stop, the fuel economy for this powertrain is rated at 27/36 mpg city/highway and 31 mpg combined.
Underneath, the new Sonata runs on a new vehicle platform featuring enhanced MacPherson Strut suspension front with Multi-link in the rear – delivering a comfortable ride.
The 4-wheel ABS braking with Electronic Brake Force Distribution and 12.8-inch ventilated disc front and 11.8-inch solid discs rear delivers a crisp brake response.
The Rack and Pinion Motor-Driven Power Steering system w/engine speed sensing power assist is nicely responsive.
Sonata Limited runs is well planted on the road running on 18-inch Aluminum Alloy Wheels mounted with P235/45R18 all-season tires.
Drive Modes & Performance
The 2020 Sonata also features driver Drive Mode Select. There are four settings, ECO, Sport, Smart and Custom. ECO speaks for itself – maximizing fuel economy. Sport adjusts powertrain settings for enhanced performance response. Smart actually learns your driving style over time, making adjustments accordingly or you can choose Custom which offers you through a menu of settings to select from.
For purposes of this drive test, we found ECO delivered below our expectation for this vehicle. Without time to learn Smart, we chose Sport for most of our weeklong test.
Good choice. From standing starts to high speed lane changes, we were not embarrassed at any time by the performance of this 1.6L Turbo and 8-speed automatic powertrain combination.
(Note ‘smaht pahk’ switch below Drive Mode)
Distinctive exterior styling elements include a new coupe-like profile highlighted with sharp character lines that are distinctively alluring.
At the front is a new – what they call – Digital Pulse Cascading Grille, Sport Front Bumper Fascia, LED Matric Headlights and LED Daytime Driving Lights.
OF NOTE are their high-tech Hidden Lighting Lamps. We ask you, are they chrome accents or LED lamps? The answer is they are both. Chrome by day and light by night
At the rear you find full LED lighting highlighted by an accent strip of LED light that runs between the tail light assemblies.
Featuring the optional Panoramic Sunroof that let in in copious amounts of light, we were impressed with the simple elegance of the roomy and comfortable cabin.
Of particular note to us was the simplicity of the slim dash that runs the width of the cabin. Highlighted by ambient mood lighting that runs across the dash and then along the doors, its functional elements offer just what you need without any of what you don’t.
The front seating is very comfortable with good head, leg and shoulder room – well situated for driver control and passenger comfort. Front seating is leather covered, heated and ventilated with 8-way driver and 4-way passenger power adjustment. Easy to drive and easy to ride.
A minor blemish is Sonata’s new lower vehicle height coupled with the coupe styling, makes getting in and out of the rear seating challenging for taller folks. Rear seating was comfortable though a bit shy in leg room. With fold-down center armrest with cupholders, we recommend just two in back.
OF NOTE is the fit of the cabin elements – in particular the doors – on the new Sonata. Very well sized and weighted, the fit is exceptional. In fact, they are equal to (or better) than those on luxury sedans costing twice as much.
Technology and Infotainment
Technology and infotainment highlights include the Driver Information Display – a 12.3-inch digital instrumentation cluster that responds to Drive Modes and is customizable for driver preferences.
Also notable is the Color 8-inch Multi-function Head Up Display, Remote Keyless Entry, Proximity Key w/Push Button Start and the Smartphone Hyundai Digital Key System.
Other features include the High Resolution 10.25-inch Center Stack Display with Navigation and Split Screen functionality, Bose Premium Sound System w/12 speakers and 9-inch subwoofer, Wireless Charging, MP3/USB/iPod auxiliary jacks, 12V power outlet, USB charging port, SiriusXM and TravelLink, AM/FM/HD Radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto plus Hyundai Blue Link Connectivity.
Safety and Convenience
Active safety elements include Driver Attention Warning, Highway Driving (Lane Keep and Follow) Assist, Front and Rear Parking Sensors, RearView Monitor, Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist w/Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Change Assist, Parking-Collision Avoidance Assist Rear, Rear Seat Occupant Alert (children or infants in back seat) and Surround View Monitor.
OF NOTE are the Forward-Avoidance Collision Assist with Cyclist Detection and Blind-Spot View Monitor systems.
They use the digital circular displays in the IP cluster and/or the split screen display in the center stack. Surround View System cameras provide views alongside, behind or in front of the vehicle when signaling or beginning a turn to visually warn of vehicles, cyclists or pedestrians present.
2020 Hyundai Sonata Lineup
The new 2020 Hyundai Sonata comes in four trims. The Sonata SE (MSRP $23,600) and SEL (MSRP $25,700) are powered by a 2.5L GDI 4-cylinder engine. The top end of the line is equipped with the 1.6L Turbo GDI 4-cylinder engines – Sonata SEL Plus (MSRP $27,650) and Limited (MSRP $33,500).
Contact your local Hyundai dealer if you are interested in the new Sonata. Depending on the locale and the dealer – arrangements during the Covid-19 emergency may be possible to purchase a new Sonata from dealer stock.
If you are just ‘shopping’ during the current emergency, you can build a 2020 Hyundai Sonata at https://www.hyundaiusa.com/us/en/vehicles/sonata – ordering one from the factory later.
A new Sonata Hybrid is scheduled for 2020. Originally planned to launch in April, we expect the current challenges presented by COVID-19 will push that back to later in the year.
Learn more about it here: https://www.hyundaiusa.com/us/en/vehicles/2020-sonata-hybrid
KEY DATA: 2020 Hyundai Sonata Limited
- Model: Sonata
- Trim Limited
- Class: Mid-size Sedan
- Seating: Five
- MSRP: $33,500
- As Tested: $34,890
- Engine: 1.6L Turbo GDI
- Horsepower: 180
- Torque: 195 lb.-ft.
- Transmission: 8-Speed Automatic w/Paddleshifters
- Drive System: FWD
- Wheel size 18–inch
- Fuel Economy 27/36/31 mpg city/highway/combined
- Fuel Tank 15.9 gallons
- Range Over 550 miles