By Asian Journal Auto Editor
The eighth generation of the Sonata mid-size sedan from Hyundai is certainly a force to be reckoned with. For 2020 the Sonata features; Dramatic styling; an upscale well-finished interior; and all the high-tech gadgetry you could possible want. First up in the visuals department, the Sonata looks like an expensive sleek four-door coupe, think more Audi- looking, with a steep raked rear roofline and the low, low hood. Building on Hyundai’s “sensuous sportiness,” design direction the Sonata sits planted with a wide -crouched look. The designer have done some wonders here. A “Dynamic Lasso.” Chrome strip curves extend to the tops of the front fenders and wraps around the headlights in a sleek continuous ribbon. Tiny LEDs embedded create a unique look at night. Out, back, wonderful looking light clusters and tiny black splitter like details add yet more visual interest and drama. It ain’t just pretty either, there is a new lighter, stronger platform.
Two engines are available, a base 2.5-litre, naturally aspirated four-cylinder, with 191 Horsepower, while the upper tier Sport and Ultimate trims come the 1.6-litre, turbocharged inline-four. Rated at 180 horsepower the smaller engine is more fuel efficient. The only transmission available is as an eight-speed Smartstream automatic (with paddle shifters on the upper level trims) featuring SHIFTRONIC mode and Front Wheel Drive. The 2020 Sonata trim lines are comprised of: Preferred (2.5L): $26,999, Sport (1.6T): $31,299, Luxury (1.6T): $35,999 and the as tested Ultimate (1.6T): at: $38,599.
Inside, the new Sonata’s design is jaw dropping, a meticulously crafted upscale sea of wide horizontal elements, flowing curves, and expensive looking touches soft touch plastics, leather trim add a nice look and feel all over the cabin, and in the weight and heft of the controls. The two-tone light tan and black treatment available on the Ultimate model as tested gives the car a premium German like ambience, with the high quality deeply supple leather seats and matching trim. It all looks and feel world class.
The attention to detail is exquisite. The Ultimate trim, arrives fully loaded especially, with bountiful equipment list including:, a panoramic sunroof, dual-zone climate control ambient LED interior lighting, heated and cooled seats, and an incredible – sounding, 12-speaker Bose audio system. Technology is also high, the Sonata arrives a multitude of radar units, sensors and cameras, to facilitate such things as the: forward and rear collision avoidance, active cruise control and highway driving assistance. You also get Hyundai’s Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA), which enables the driver to manoeuvre the car into or out of a tight parking spot via the remote, without actually being in the car. Other fancy tech includes a system that recognizes different drivers, and through that person’s key fob or smartphone, can set up dedicated driver’s seating and steering-wheel position, and even the preferred colour of the interior ambient lighting, and the warning chime sounds. In the top trim lines, the Sonata has a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system along with the 12.3-inch full digital instrument cluster and the head-up display. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, can be configured and there is also Hyundai’s BlueLink concierge connected services.
Hyundai also takes care of safety with its comprehensive suite of its Smartsense active safety functions, with Lane Keeping, Lane Follow assist, smart cruise control with stop-and-go functionality and rear parking collision avoidance. Also new is the Blind View Monitor that displays what’s in the vehicle’s blind spot within the instrument cluster screen when the turn signal is activated. Another cool feature is that when you park, sensors and cameras detect if there is a pedestrian or other vehicle coming up alongside from behind, the car will automatically lock the doors on that side until it’s passed. Note, many of the features are standard on even the lower trim levels.
On the road, the Hyundai’s acceleration and passing power is good, it is no high end sports sedan and there are more powerful cars out there in this sector, but the Sonata has a great mix of performance and fuel economy. The Sonata eight-speed automatic is also set up for smoothness and combined with the responsive smaller turbocharged engine, fuel efficiency, is estimated at a combined a (litres/100 km): 7.1 for the 1.6-litre engine. The 2.5 l engine delivers 7.6 km/100L combined. The Sonatas rides beautifully with a balanced, undramatic handling. To sum up, all Sonata’s comes superbly equipped and the upper tier models such as the Ultimate match entry- level German machinery loaded with options costing many thousands more. The Sonata is very impressive and will charm anyone who steps in behind the wheel. Highly recommended.
2020 Hyundai Sonata: Priced from: $26, 99 – $38.599. More info at www.hyundai.ca