2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: Does It Measure Up?

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: Does It Measure Up?

Hyundai has long been criticized for its overly wise and tasteless design. The message has obviously been heard by the Korean manufacturer, its latest creations displaying a more daring and distinctive style.

Whether it is the new Elantra, the Sonata or the future Tucson 2022, there is a significant break with the previous models.

Whether you love it or hate it, you have to admit that the new Sonata does not look like its competitors. In particular at the front with headlights from which escapes a light strip which then runs along the bonnet to the surrounds of the windows.

Under the hood, three engines are available, two gasoline engines (2.5 L naturally aspirated and 1.6 L turbo) as well as a hybrid version, our test model of the week.

The top of the range or nothing

It may seem strange that Hyundai has chosen to offer a hybrid powertrain for its Sonata as a high-end version only. Aside from the Ultimate model, which sold for $ 40,099, this technology cannot be obtained. It is all the more regrettable that Honda and Toyota offer several hybrid models for the Accord and Camry.

For example, the cheapest Camry LE hybrid starts at $ 33,819. For those who want more equipment, it is also possible to opt for an XLE model at $ 43,619.

This lack of choice on the Sonata side could cost Hyundai dearly, especially since fuel consumption will not allow you to make substantial savings compared to a gasoline Sonata.

Indeed, Natural Resources Canada announces an average consumption of 7.7 L / 100 km for the two gasoline engines against 5 L / 100 km for a hybrid Sonata. But with the difference in starting price, it will be difficult to monetize your investment with a difference of 2.7 L / 100 km, especially at current gas prices.

During our test, consumption fluctuated between 5.5 L and 6 L / 100 km, to reach an average of 5.9 L / 100 km at the end of the test week. This is a good result overall, but about 0.5 L / 100 km better than that obtained with a Camry or Accord Hybrid, which never exceeded 5.5 L / 100 km during of our tests.

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Photo: Julien Amado

A little shy

On the performance side, Hyundai equipped the Sonata Hybrid with a 2.0-liter gasoline engine that produces 150 horsepower and 139 lb-ft. By combining the electric drive, we arrive at a combined output of 192 horsepower and 271 lb-ft. Once behind the wheel, we enjoy decent performance, but somewhat timid acceleration.

With 1600 kg empty on the scale, do not hesitate to press the accelerator frankly to overtake or get on the highway. A little noisy when requested to the maximum, the engine is then forgotten, the passenger compartment remaining silent on the expressway.

Handling is good, but again, not really brilliant. The car cuts a good figure in most situations, offers good ride comfort and satisfactory soundproofing. The steering is a little too light, however its precision remains correct.

Overall, the Sonata Hybrid doesn’t do a bad job, but considering the price paid, we expected better. A Honda Accord is a lot more fun to drive, including its hybrid version. In addition, its direction is more communicative, as well as its front axle, more incisive.

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Photo: Julien Amado

Well equipped and ergonomic

As often with Hyundai, the ergonomics have been neat. The controls are logical, just like the multimedia system, which has lost its physical buttons on either side of the screen in favor of touch controls, whose intuitiveness is still one of the strengths.

The rotary knobs for ventilation and temperature on the 2019 model have given way to controls that resemble piano keys, but they are still usable on a daily basis.

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Photo: Julien Amado

There is sufficient space and four people comfortably settle in the cabin. The seats provide very good comfort, similarly to the rear bench. For its part, the trunk can accommodate 453 liters of luggage, a capacity in the average for the category.

To conclude this test, we can say that the Sonata Hybrid is a good car, certainly capable of doing you proud services on a daily basis. Unfortunately, its overpriced and somewhat dreary ride don’t really work in its favor. Especially since the resale value may be terribly low, the intermediaries no longer really popular.

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