Several months ago Torque News reported that the North American car buyers are generally abandoning sedans in favor of SUVs and pickup trucks. This is why Ford is abandoning nearly all of its sedans. However, this trend may slowly be reversing because NIssan is still making the 2020 Altima and with Tesla's Model S and Model 3 success the Hyundai's 2020 Sonata looks bolder. Thus, with the 2020 Sonata, Hyundai will try to solidify its presence in a segment largely abandoned by American carmakers.
Hyundai has so many reasons to continue developing the Sonata. It has built the 2020 Sonata in a ultra-modern factory located in the suburbs of Montgomery, Alabama. Hyundai has made a spectacular progress with the 2020 Sonata, which is the eigth generation model. While there aren't any technical and aesthetic upheavals, the development of this new model is very effective and impressive. I wrote, no upheavals because the previous generation Sonatas also had sophisticated refinements.
The first think you notice in the 2020 Hyundai Sonata is its sporty look. In fact, Hyundai calls it Sensuous Sportiness, which is the philosophy of how Hyundai designed the 2020 Sonata's exterior.
Here are some of 2020 Sonata's exterior changes.
Hyundai lowered the key components of the 2020 Sonata's exterior. Note how Hyundai has lowered the vehicle's shock tower and the roof-line. They also extended the wheel base and shortened the overhangs. As a result, you get a lower, sleeker and more sensuous looking car.
This look is very important because Hyundai Sonatas have always had forward-looking design, which greatly contributed to car's wide acceptance with the car-buyers. This is why I think the 2020 Sonata will really work bringing success to the brand in the 2020 model.
Also note the continuous chrome strip that flows from around the windows and forward toward the headlights. I should note that the 2020 Sonata's tail-light is another continuous light signature that wraps around the rear end. All of these changes give the 2020 Sonata a premium look.
The Interior Changes of the 2020 Hyundai Sonata
The interior changes and features of the 2020 Hyundai Sonata are even more impressive than the exterior changes we discussed above. Everywhere you look inside the 2020 Sonata you see Hyundai's effort make good changes and updates. First of all, you an interior made of high quality materials. You have contrast stitching on the Limited version. The interior also features large screens both in front of the driver as well as the center.
Sonata has upgraded the screens featuring high quality screens with great graphics. Besides Hyundai has put some great technology inside the 2020 Sonata.
In the passenger compartment, the new, completely redesigned dashboard is fitted with mood lighting that extends into the doors. In the center, there is a 10.25-inch touch screen full of various digital instruments, apps and features.
No Gear Lever
The 2020 Hyundai Sonata has no gear lever. The gear lever of the 2020 Sonata has been replaced by a series of buttons. Hyundai is also innovating by integrating on board all models (except the basic one) its BlueLink connectivity system, free of charge and for a period of five years.
Blind Spot Monitoring Upgrade
Another change in the 2020 Sonata is that Hyundai has upgraded the blind spot monitoring feature by incorporating the gauge cluster into the display system. It does look really good. Here is how it works. The cameras on either side of the Sonata will actually display what's on either side of you in the same cluster when you are changing lanes (about 50 percent side view is displayed). It's right in front of you. Habitually I still kept viewing through the mirrors and over my shoulder when changing lanes, but at some point in my test-driving of this vehicle, I realized that the display can help greatly too.
The image is circular and replaces the rev counter on the right and the speedometer on the left, as long as the flashing light on one side or the other is activated. It is ingenious and very practical.
The Tesla-Like Summon Feature
Hyundai has put an impressive technology in the 2020 Sonata. There are all types of interesting gizmos in this vehicle. There is Tesla-Summon like feature for this car that nothing else has had so far. This feature in the 2020 Sonata is called "Advanced Smart Park Assist." It will actually let the driver to pull the car in and out of tight parking spots using this Tesla-Summon like feature. It's used through your phone and you don't need to be in your car.
Also, you can now use your phone instead of the traditional key not only to just unlock the, but also to get in it and drive to places. There is a common practice that iPhone gets it and Android doesn't. It's reverse here. You need to use an Android phone for now. I am sure Hyundai will bring the iPhone soon.
Changes in the 2020 Hyundai Sonata's Mechanics
Hyundai has introduced changes not only in the exterior and interior, but also to the mechanics of the 2020 Sonata. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine benefits from multiple improvements. In particular, the stroke of the pistons has been lengthened in order to reduce vibrations while the exhaust manifold is connected directly to the cylinder head. This naturally-aspirated Atkinson cycle engine produces 191 horsepower. This is more than the 2.4-liter used previously.
The 2020 Sonata and The Competition
I think this car is more or less similar to its main competitors in terms of technological refinement and safety. I mean the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima and Mazda 6 basically have the same tech refinements. The Sonata for its part is distinguished by a careful construction, a modern engine, an elegant silhouette and some electronic accessories that set it apart: particularly the Tesla-Summon like feature, which you can use through your Android App.
In fact, also take a look at the 2018 Honda Accord vs. Toyota Camry - and see why the reviewers' favorite is way behind.
The Road Handling of the Hyundai Sonata
The 2020 Hyundai Sonata is a firm and a reliable car. I would say it's a good car. When it comes to road handling, it's hard to find fault. First, there is excellent soundproofing, generally well-placed controls and transmission management buttons placed on the central console that are easy to access and handle. The paddle shifts make it even more fun to drive.
This vehicle has been awarded the 2020 Best Auto Tech Award by Kelley Blue Book. This award means that the 2020 Hyundai Sonata is identified as a model with the best use of in-car technology at a good price.
Watch the 2020 Hyundai Sonata first drive from KBB and click to subscribe to Torque News Youtube channel for continuous automotive news coverage.
You can expect a lot of value pricing in the 2020 Hyundai Sonata. Especially, when you consider the standard features on the base model and the advanced technology available on the higher trim levels. The 2020 Hyundai Sonata has a starting MSRP of $23,600 and is now available at dealerships across the U.S.
Armen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded TorqueNews.com in 2010, which since then has been publishing expert news and analysis about the automotive industry. He can be reached at Torque News Twitter, Facebok, Linkedin and Youtube. Check out all of our Nissan stories at Torque News Nissan where you will find expert reporting on latest Nissan news and happenings.