2020 Hyundai Sonata Limited: Value-packed family car excels
Like many of you, I first became aware of the all-new 2020 Hyundai Sonata because of its ad during this year's Super Bowl. A couple standing on a Boston sidewalk challenge the driver of a new Sonata to "pahk" it in the only available but very narrow straight-on space. He gets out of the Sonata and the car slips into the space by itself after he plays with the key fob.
Cute, I thought, but how often would anyone really use the new Remote Smart Parking Assist feature in the far less crowded Pacific Northwest? Well, as it turns out, I did within hours after my test Sonata was delivered at work. Before I left, a large truck parked near the driver's side of the car. I could have squeezed in, but I didn't have to — I just hit the buttons on the fob in the right order and the Sonata backed straight out, allowing me to get in without any inconvenience.
I'm not saying that's the reason reason to buy the completely redesigned Sonata. It's one, but there are many more, including the styling, quality, performance and value of the newest version of Huyndai's trademark midsize sedan.
Hyundai disrupted the affordable midsize car market in 2010 with its redesigned model. Along with the Optima from sister company Kia, it was larger, much more stylish and refined, and a greater value than anything else available. Everyone else started chasing them, but few ever came close to catching up, thanks to the constant upgrades and innovations (like hybrid models) offered by the two companies.
Today, although many buyers prefer crossover SUVs over sedans, the 2020 Hyundai Sonata is still worth considering. Because it's a car, it drives better than an SUV and also gets better mileage, especially the hybrid and plug-in hybrid models. Our well-equipped Limited version came with optional turbocharged 1.6-liter engine, which provided plenty of power and is still EPA rated at 31 average miles per gallon.
The Sonata has been completely redesigned for 2020, with "four-door coupe" styling that invites comparisons to Audi's and interior appointment that challenge genuine luxury cars. It also came with a package of advanced safety features — including cameras that provide views down each side of the car when the turn signals are activated — and one of the best warranties in the business.
And there's also the Remote Smart Parking Assist feature. Even if you don't really need it, your friends will be impressed by how easily it "pahks" itself.
Base price: $23,600 (base SE)
Price as tested: $34,365
Type: Midsize sedan
Engine: Turbocharged 1.6-liter (180 hp, 195 lbs-ft)
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Drive modes: Normal, Sport, Smart, Custom
EPA estimated mileage: 27/36
Overall length: 192.9 inches
Curb weight: 3,120 to 3,336 pounds
Final assembly: Montgomery, Alabama
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