Hyundai gives 2020 Sonata beauty and brains

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata comes with front-wheel drive; an 8-speed shiftable automatic transmission; and a 5-year/60,000 mile basic warranty.
The 2020 Hyundai Sonata comes with front-wheel drive; an 8-speed shiftable automatic transmission; and a 5-year/60,000 mile basic warranty.

There’s a lot to like in the Sonata’s latest generation. With Hyundai’s characteristic mix of attractive design and high-level features at an affordable price – the all-new Hyundai Sonata for 2020 could be just the thing.

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata is a midsize sedan sold in four trim levels: SE, SEL, SEL Plus, and Limited, all with an eight-speed automatic transmission. While I tested the Limited, buyers looking for just the basics will likely find the SE sufficient, with a solid list of standard features, including advanced driver safety aids, LED headlights, an 8-inch touchscreen, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

But the SEL and the SEL Plus add a number of modern amenities for a reasonable price bump. It’s cheapest way to get the Sonata’s 180-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine. It’s also a pretty good value at less than $30,000 and packed with features including 18-inch wheels, paddle shifters, suede and leatherette seating surfaces, and a wireless phone-charging pad.

These two levels, SE and SEL, are powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine producing 191 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque. The SEL Plus and the Limited use a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine with 180 hp and 195 lb-ft on tap. Fuel economy-wise, the base 2.5-liter engine and the turbocharged 1.6-liter engine both earn EPA mileage of about 27 city and 36 highway, which is quite good.

Step up to the range-topping Limited and you’ll find all features listed above, plus an automated remote parking system, and what Hyundai is calling Digital Key – the ability to use your smartphone to enter the car, allowing you to leave the fob at home. With this top trim, you also get a surround-view parking camera, driver-seat memory settings, a head-up display, a power-adjustable passenger seat, and ventilated front seats.

Depending on which trim level you go with, prices range from $24,500 for the SE to under $37,000 for the Limited hybrid.

My first impression of the new Sonata’s exterior styling was intrigue – it looks significantly sportier than before thanks to longer and lower dimensions, as well as an aggressively styled grille and daytime running lights that stretch up over the hood.

Inside Hyundai has also completely reworked the cabin. Controls are great and seem easy to learn, and the overall look is a little less cluttered with just enough buttons on the dash to complement the functional, well-organized high-mounted touchscreen infotainment system.

Hyundai has clearly made safety features a priority with this new generation. The Sonata can even pull in and out of a parking space while you wait for it from outside. That feature is reserved for the top-level Limited trim.

If you want a car that hits luxury-brand benchmarks at an affordable price, the 2020 Hyundai Sonata Limited is just the right thing.

Grant Miller is the publisher of Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277 or via email at

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