The thought of Honda and Toyota difficult it for the supremacy of a midsize sedan, with each different competitor – from excellent to mediocre to friends – battling it out for scrap is just about an auto journalism cliché on the time.
Different contenders dance out and in of the ring however by no means totally stay a part of the dialog. Hyundai’s sonata has lengthy been considered one of them. Sure generations of the sonata have been an integral a part of the combination on the prime of the category. Others have been memorable and hung within the tousled middle.
A part of it, as I wrote final fall, was that Hyundai did not appear in a position to strike a steadiness between driving dynamics and styling. If the automobile seemed good, it wasn’t nice to drive and vice versa. And whereas solely a share of midsize patrons are interested by both attribute, that does not imply both must be ignored. Even probably the most car-ignorant commuter would seemingly choose a automobile that appears good and would not allow them to fall right into a deep nap on the freeway.
Enter the newest sonata. That is Hyundai’s first participant shortly that can make the parents at Honda headquarters and Toyota company workplaces just a little sweaty. Positive, each the Accord and Camry are fairly good themselves in the mean time, however ought to both stumble, properly, Hyundai sellers may need a phrase.
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2020 Hyundai Sonata Limited fast facts
1.6-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder (180 hp at 5,500 rpm, 195 lb-ft at 1,500-4,500 rpm)
Eight-speed automatic with front-wheel drive
27 city / 36 motorway / 31 combined (EPA Estimated Rating, MPG)
8.6 city, 6.6 motorway, 7.7 combined (NRCan rating, L / 100km)
Base price: $ 33,300 (US) / $ 38,599 (Canada)
As tested: $ 34,365 (US) / $ 40,736.20 (Canada)
Prices include a target fee of $ 930 in the US and $ 1,910 for freight, PDI, and A / C taxes in Canada and cannot be directly compared due to cross-border equipment differences.
Let’s begin with the powertrain. The 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder below the hood develops 180 hp and 195 lb-ft, which is sufficient for easy, comparatively fast acceleration.
Hyundai is step by step enhancing the steering of its autos. The sonata’s unity feels appropriately weighted, however even the computer-controlled magic evoked by choosing the game mode would not fairly put this automobile within the league of the sportiest choices within the section. Should you’re a household sedan lover for sensible causes, the Sonata is not as satisfying because the Accord or possibly the Mazda 6. However for everybody else, the dynamics are spectacular sufficient.
My first drive in Arizona was free from the sleek experience of the Sonata, and it was no disappointment on the smallpox-marked streets of Chicago. It is also a quiet machine.
The styling may very well be a bit divisive, not less than in photographs. Nevertheless it would not look unhealthy in individual. The clenched snout is not less than one signal that Hyundai is able to take dangers after being deemed too conservative of earlier generations. There are cool touches, just like the working gentle that brushes again to the A-pillar or the C-shaped taillights which are related by a lightweight bar that disassembles the Hyundai and Sonata emblem.
It is equally combined inside – the four-spoke steering wheel seems bizarre and the push-button change will break up opinions. Nonetheless, the infotainment display, which runs throughout the dashboard, integrates higher than many of the different “pop-ups,” and the HVAC controls are neatly combined.
The highest trim is proscribed, and my take a look at automobile had just one choice: $ 135 carpeting. Customary options included a blind spot assistant, a rear cross site visitors assistant, a ahead collision avoidance assistant with pedestrian detection, a parking collision avoidance assistant (rear), entrance and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise management, 18-inch wheels, panoramic sliding roof, LED lighting , keyless entry and begin, auto-opening / hands-free trunk, digital key, leather-based seats, heated and cooled entrance seats, electrical entrance seats, Bose audio, two-zone air con, 12.3-inch infotainment display, navigation, USB, AUX enter, Apple CarPlay , Android Auto, satellite tv for pc radio and Hyundai’s BlueLink Linked Automotive app.
Oh, and it included the distant managed parking app which, should you keep in mind life earlier than the pandemic, was memorable on a Tremendous Bowl business. The one with the Boston accents: “Smaht Pahk”. I might like to let you know how properly this function works, however I stupidly forgot to check it. I feel I am nonetheless an analog participant in a digital world (the web factors to the commentator who receives this movie reference).
Additionally, I am unable to let you know if the digital key or its close to discipline communication is working as that is an Android function and I haven’t got an Android cellphone.
Inside, the Sonata is just not solely quiet, but in addition comfy and spacious. It is a balanced machine.
One of the best driver automobiles within the mid-range section are bought by different manufacturers. Nonetheless, should you’re in search of a well-balanced, well-rounded mid-range system that is competitively priced (simply over $ 34,000 as proven right here), you would do worse.
Welcome Sonata again to the highest center class. Perhaps this time it is going to keep some time.
[Images © 2020 Tim Healey/TTAC]