While the popularity of SUVs and crossovers can’t be denied, there are still a lot of buyers out there who prefer a sedan and to the dismay of many, some automakers are shedding sedan models so they can concentrate more fully on the hot SUV segment.
Thankfully, several major automakers like Hyundai continue to offer ever-improving sedan models so the future isn’t as bleak as it may seem for people who prefer this body style.
For 2020, Hyundai is bringing us an all-new version of its popular and long-lived Sonata model and it’s certainly the best yet and a solid competitor for equivalent midsize products by Toyota and Honda, not to mention a fair number of others. The Sonata has been in Hyundai’s lineup since 1985.
The 2020 Sonata is going to be easily recognizable thanks to its new and dramatic styling. Hyundai describes the car’s looks as incorporating a “sensuous sportiness design language” and that’s a pretty good summary of what the stylists achieved. The car is all flowing lines and compound curved panels and it looks wonderful from every viewpoint.
One of the aims was clearly to come up with a “four-door coupe” appearance and the result is a car with lots of character and individuality. It’s also practical because the doors are wide and getting in and out is a fuss-free experience – an important consideration for older occupants. One innovative touch involves “hidden lighting” that glows dramatically when turned on and appears to be chrome trim when turned off. This lighting has been seen on Hyundai auto show concept vehicles in the past.
All Sonatas for the Canadian market come with a 1.6-litre turbocharged power unit mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The engine develops a respectable 180-horsepower and given its efficient turbocharger, promises to deliver excellent fuel economy. In fact, when federal figures are revealed, Hyundai expects the car to record about 7.6-litre/100 km combined.
The car’s suspension has been engineered to provide a combination of quiet, solid, highway cruising performance and agile, controllable, capability on winding rural roads.
The cabin of the new Sonata combines luxury with practicality and features lots of useful features presented in a logical and intuitive fashion. A head-up display is available to display some information on the windshield close to the driver’s line of vision. Much praise has been levelled at the car’s Bose sound system and this should ease the burden for those who have to commute in heavy traffic.
Even the base car is feature-packed and has a satisfying luxury ambiance. While some may wonder why a V-6 engine isn’t available, it’s worth pointing out that today’s turbo fours offer the same level of performance with better fuel economy. The Sonata should prove a solid seller for Hyundai and might even tempt buyers back from the SUV fold thanks to its eye appeal and impressive interior.
SPECS AT A GLANCE…
BODY STYLE: Four-door midsize sedan
ENGINE: 1.6-litre turbo four-cylinder
TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic
PERFORMANCE: Zero to 100 km/h in approx. 8-secs
FUEL ECONOMY: 7.6-litres/100 km combines (estimated)
PRICE: Starting at $26,999 MSRP