The 2020 Hyundai Sonata is completely redesigned and in a big way. If midsize sedans were having a party, the room would turn and look once the 2020 Sonata came in. The exterior styling is on point, and there are plenty of technology and connectivity features to satisfy today's buyer. Although lacking a few things, it's not enough to justify skipping outright. We anticipate many buyers (especially loyal Hyundai ones) will be pleased with the 2020 Sonata.
Safety & Tech Features
No Heated Steering Wheel
The 2020 Hyundai Sonata is all-new, and with the redesign are some killer new looks. The 2020 Sonata is a head-turner, and that’s before we even get to the other impressive upgrades. With sedans losing ground to SUVs and crossovers, it will take something special like this to get people’s attention. Hyundai succeeds in the exterior styling department, but how does the rest of the new sedan stack up?
That’s what we wanted to find out this week as we drove the 2020 Hyundai Sonata Limited.
Hyundai Sonata: What’s New For 2020?
The Hyundai Sonata gets a complete redesign for the new model year. The 2020 Sonata rides on an entirely-new platform, something Hyundai says will improve design, safety, efficiency, and driving performance. Again, we agree on the design but wanted to see how this new Sonata actually performs.
Also new is the Sonata’s Digital Key, which allows it to be unlocked, started, and driven without a physical key, via a smartphone. A hybrid variant is also available.
Features & Options: Lots of Little Touches
Our top-trim Sonata Limited tester ($33,300) came with lots of standard features like leather upholstery; panoramic sunroof; a four-way power-adjustable passenger seat; heated and ventilated front seats; leather-wrapped dashboard; and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
As a bonus, our Sonata Limited came with heated outside mirrors; hands-free power trunk; keyless entry; dual-zone automatic climate control; and remote start.
Features & Options: Tech & Safety
Tech and connectivity features are numerous in the Sonata Limited as well. Our tester included a 10.25-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay; a USB port; Bluetooth; navigation; and a 12-speaker Bose premium stereo with HD and satellite radio.
All Sonata models, except the entry-level SE, include three years of complimentary Blue Link services via your smartphone. Blue Link provides things like remote start with climate control, remote lock/unlock, stolen vehicle recovery, and destination search by voice.
Additional active safety features include reverse automatic braking; blind spot camera; surround-view parking camera; remote parking assist; front and rear parking sensors; and a heads-up display.
What Does The 2020 Hyundai Sonata Cost?
Total MSRP, including destination, for our 2020 Hyundai Sonata Limited tester: $34,365. By comparison, the 2020 Sonata starts at $23,600.
Interior Highlights: Just One Thing Missing
The inside redesign of the 2020 Sonata also gets high marks from us. The new Sonata has upscale materials throughout the interior, build quality is excellent, and the overall design flows together nicely. It boasts an attractive color scheme and comfortable, heated and cooled leather seats. The cabin is driver-focused too, with the center-mounted display screen turned toward the driver for easier viewing.
Our only question: why didn’t Hyundai also include a heated steering wheel on this top- trim Limited model? It was cold in Denver this week and we would have used that.
Outward visibility is very good for something with such attractive, low-slung stying. The lower ride doesn’t affect driver sight lines either, even in heavy traffic when we need to change lanes quickly. We cranked up the 12-speaker Bose premium sound system and enjoyed the long commute into Denver from the mountains. Even with the radio turned down, however, not much road or wind noise enters the cabin.
There is enough room in all seating positions, and taller passengers have ample legroom and a decent amount of headroom in the back. Total trunk volume is 16 cubic ft., which is more than the 2020 Camry and Altima (15.1 and 15.4 cubic ft. respectively).
2020 Hyundai Sonata: Engine & Powertrain
The Sonata’s optional engine, which powered our Limited tester, is a 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder. The engine delivers 180 horsepower and 195 lb-ft. of torque. All trims come with front-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic. The push-button transmission (which might take some getting used to) features steering wheel paddle shifters in the 1.6-liter turbo variants.
Base models come equipped with a naturally-aspirated, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft. of torque. Both of the Sonata’s engines are known as “Smartstream” powertrains.
EPA fuel mileage estimates for our Limited tester came in at 27/36 city/highway and 31 combined mpg. By comparison, the 2020 Sonata with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder and auto start/stop comes in at 28/38 city/highway and 32 combined.
How Does The 2020 Hyundai Sonata Drive?
The Sonata’s optional 1.6-liter engine provides solid acceleration for merging onto the highway and passing slower traffic. We tested the sedan at altitude, in the mountains of Colorado, where we weren’t sure it would have enough power. However, when the turbo kicked in, it put our concerns to rest. The Limited with the turbo 1.6-liter engine is our choice for the 2020 Sonata. If you live at sea level, you won’t need any more power.
On the tighter mountain curves west of Denver, there was minimal body lean and motion, but the steering response feels largely disengaged. Hyudai uses a column-mounted and motor-driven power steering system but it feels boring and uninspiring at times. However, the eight-speed automatic did an admirable job shifting, and the paddle shifters came in handy for more spirited driving this week. We had to remind ourselves it’s not a sports sedan.
The 2020 Sonata offers a comfortable ride on the highway, even over broken pavement and bumps in the road. Overall, the Sonata is quiet, comfortable, and as satisfying to drive as any car in its class. The four-door sedan is a good city commuter and gets excellent fuel mileage too, a bonus for buyers on a budget.
Conclusion: A Really Compelling Choice
The 2020 Hyundai Sonata goes up against formidable opponents, but it’s a good car to put on your shopping list. It offers a good value for the money, especially in the SEL trim. If you want something a little more fancy, the Sonata Limited features a higher-end cabin with plenty of quality materials. It also boasts a number of standard driver assistance features, some cool infotainment amenities, and an above-average-size trunk.
Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. All of his firsthand reviews are archived on our test drives page. Follow Denis on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy