2020 Hyundai Sonata hybrid delivers 52 mpg, surprising features

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Thread: 2020 Hyundai Sonata hybrid delivers 52 mpg, surprising features

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    2020 Hyundai Sonata hybrid delivers 52 mpg, surprising features

    MARK PHELAN | DETROIT FREE PRESS | 3 hours ago

    Value and unexpected features drive new hybrid midsize sedan’s appeal as it competes with Honda Accord and Toyota Camry

    Hyundai should score a choice slice of the shrinking pie for midsize hybrid sedans with the stylish and well-equipped 2020 Sonata hybrid. The new hybrid offers a miserly version that the EPA rates at 52 mpg in combined city and highway driving and a loaded top model rated at 47 mpg combined.

    What used to be a flood of hybrid midsize sedans has all evaporated in the last few years, as automakers dropped sedans like the low-profit bad habit they’d become. Where once an automaker had to offer them to seem relevant, hybrid sedans are now more symbols of an automaker’s good intentions than core products.

    The Sonata, which debuted its new gasoline model late last year and just began selling hybrids, is nothing if not sincere.

    More: 2020 Hyundai Sonata’s features, value should worry Honda and Toyota

    Where’d all the hybrids go?
    Hyundai Kia has quietly become one of the world’s leaders in electrification, adding all-electric models at the same time it rolls out new hybrids. That’s a meaningful philosophical and financial decision, as automakers like General Motors and Volkswagen abandon hybrids to concentrate on purely electric vehicles.


    About 33% of all car shoppers are considering a hybrid for their next vehicle, according to Hyundai, while 24% are considering all-electric and 20% plug-in hybrids, a technology that offers the best of both worlds but seems to leave shoppers irredeemably confused.

    As with most customers shopping for vehicles these days, many people leaning toward a hybrid are looking for SUVs. Hyundai, Honda and Toyota are the only major automakers to introduce new hybrid midsize sedans in recent years. Ford and Kia still offer carryover hybrid sedans. A new Kia Optima hybrid should arrive soon, but Ford’s Fusion midsize sedan is on borrowed time until a vehicle in a potentially more popular body style replaces it.

    Priced to move
    Prices for the 2020 Sonata hybrid start at $27,750 for the Blue model, which is also the most fuel-efficient, rated at 50 mpg in the city, 54 on the highway and 52 mpg combined. The Blue’s 52 mpg matches the Toyota Camry LE as the midsize sedan with the best fuel economy.

    Stepping up to an SEL model raises the price to $29,900 and adds features and larger 17-inch aero-look wheels. The base Blue has 16-inch wheels.

    I tested a top of the line Sonata Limited that stickered at $35,300. Features on it included a solar panel on the roof; blind spot alert; video blind spot monitor; adaptive cruise control; Apple CarPlay; Android Auto; front and rear collision alert and automatic braking; LED headlights, taillights and daytime running lights; 12-speaker Bose audio; leather seats; heated and ventilated front seats, and a 10.25-inch touch screen.

    The SEL and Limited are heavier than the base Blue, thanks to extra features and bigger wheels. The EPA rates them at 45 mpg in the city, 51 highway and 47 combined.

    Sonata prices are competitive with top Camry and Accord hybrids. The 2020 Sonata hybrid is in dealerships now.

    Unexpected features
    The solar panel on the roof weighs 66 pounds. That’s about 29 pounds less than a panoramic sunroof, but 44 pounds more than a simple steel roof.

    On a sunny day, the solar roof generates enough electricity to move the Sonata hybrid about 2 miles a day or 700 miles a year, if you live in a particularly sunny area.

    A "smart” driving mode reads inputs including the accelerator pedal, following distance, steering and hilly terrain to choose eco, comfort or sport mode. Sport mode adjusts steering feel and engine sound noticeably.

    You can play "nature sounds,’ including a crackling fire, rainy day and footsteps in snow on the audio system.

    Hyundai took advantage of cameras and sensors required by safety and assistance to add the video blind spot monitor simply by adding a few lines of code.

    Highway driving assist supplements adaptive cruise control by helping keep the car centered in its lane. The driver still must have hands on the steering wheel, but the system takes a surprising amount of work out of a long drive.

    Quiet, comfortable, thrifty and clean
    The Sonata hybrid is smooth, comfortable and easy to drive. I got good fuel economy in real world driving that combined city, suburb and highways. The gasoline engine and electric motor provide 192 horsepower, fine for daily drives. While most hybrids have continuously variable automatic transmissions, Hyundai uses its six-speed automatic. It works fine with the hybrid system.

    The hybrid system uses a lithium-ion battery that’s under the rear seat. That location preserves trunk space at a useful 16.0 cubic feet. Leg, shoulder and headroom are also fine.

    The interior of my car featured leather upholstery and soft materials on the doors, dash and arm rests.

    Visually, the hybrid gets a unique grille (with shutters to reduce drag), front bumper, rear spoiler and 17-inch multi-spoke, aero-look wheels. The interior is unchanged, except for some display pages that show hybrid energy flow and fuel efficiency.


    Safety equipment includes:
    Front and rear collision alert and automatic braking

    Pedestrian detection

    Parking sensors

    Blind spot alert and assist

    Lane keeping assist

    Automatic high beams

    Adaptive cruise control

    Lane following assist

    Highway driving assist

    Rear cross traffic alert and assist

    Rear occupant alert

    2020 Hyundai Sonata Limited hybrid at a glance
    Base price: $35,300

    As tested: $35,300 (excluding destination charges)

    Front-wheel drive midsize sedan

    Powertrain: 2.0L gasoline engine and electric motor

    Output: 192 hp

    Transmission: 6-speed automatic

    EPA: 45 mpg city/51 highway/47 combined

    Wheelbase: 111.8 inches

    Length: 192.9

    Width: 73.2

    Height: 56.9

    Curb weight: 3,530 lbs.

    Assembled in Asan, Korea

    Contact Mark Phelan: 313-222-6731 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @mark_phelan. Read more on autos and sign up for our autos newsletter.

    Originally Published 5 hours ago
    Updated 3 hours ago

    https://amp.freep.com/amp/5263025002
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    Re: 2020 Hyundai Sonata hybrid delivers 52 mpg, surprising features

    Much rather have the solar panels than a panoramic sunroof (compromises the structural integrity too much).

    For the majority of buyers when it comes to electrification (at least for the near-term), it will be hybrids (including 48V systems), whereas full-bore electrics will be more of the provenance of luxury buyers (who can afford the price premium, as well as usually having 1 or more other vehicles in their stable).

    PHEVs, OTOH, don't make much sense unless there are significant govt. incentives.
    Last edited by YEH; 05-30-2020 at 09:40 PM.

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    Re: 2020 Hyundai Sonata hybrid delivers 52 mpg, surprising features

    Quote Originally Posted by YEH View Post
    Much rather have the solar panels than a panoramic sunroof (compromises the structural integrity too much).

    For the majority of buyers when it comes to electrification (at least for the near-term), it will be hybrids (including 48V systems), whereas full-bore electrics will be more of the provenance of luxury buyers (who can afford the price premium, as well as usually having 1 or more other vehicles in their stable).

    PHEVs, OTOH, don't make much sense unless there are significant govt. incentives.
    I was this close to an Optima EX with the panoramic a couple of years ago. I was leery of the panoramic and asked here, most people who had them liked them. My issue would be leaks and fit. I can live with the weight and rigidity penalties, pano is a luxury item after all and you pay a price for everything.

    Once again it was a totally incompetent saleshomie who ensured the sale did not go to him. Sometimes I wonder how many of these clowns make a living, but then when you're a dumbass, you're a dumbass.

    I thought about solar panels some years back and wondered why more didn't use them. Given the miniscule payout in range, I can see why. I'd like to see the costs/benefits studies.
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    Re: 2020 Hyundai Sonata hybrid delivers 52 mpg, surprising features

    Quote Originally Posted by YEH View Post
    Much rather have the solar panels than a panoramic sunroof (compromises the structural integrity too much).

    For the majority of buyers when it comes to electrification (at least for the near-term), it will be hybrids (including 48V systems), whereas full-bore electrics will be more of the provenance of luxury buyers (who can afford the price premium, as well as usually having 1 or more other vehicles in their stable).

    PHEVs, OTOH, don't make much sense unless there are significant govt. incentives.
    According to Hyundai's numbers, almost 1/4 of all new buyers are considering electric for their next vehicle compared to 1/3 for hybrid. Assuming those numbers are correct, it suggests that luxury buyers aren't the only ones considering electrics. Of course, "considering" doesn't mean "buying".

    I for one am certainly "considering" a hybrid for my next vehicle, in that I would check out the specs and see if it made sense to me. Someday I might "consider" an electric as a second vehicle (but only a second vehicle). But it all depends on price, practical issues, style, etc.

    Here's Hyundai's page on the Hybrid:

    https://www.hyundaiusa.com/us/en/veh...-sonata-hybrid


    "About 33% of all car shoppers are considering a hybrid for their next vehicle, according to Hyundai, while 24% are considering all-electric and 20% plug-in hybrids..."
    Last edited by dannyg; 05-31-2020 at 09:01 AM.
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    Re: 2020 Hyundai Sonata hybrid delivers 52 mpg, surprising features

    Quote Originally Posted by Neanderthal View Post
    I was this close to an Optima EX with the panoramic a couple of years ago. I was leery of the panoramic and asked here, most people who had them liked them. My issue would be leaks and fit. I can live with the weight and rigidity penalties, pano is a luxury item after all and you pay a price for everything.
    Maybe it's just me, but aside from the loss of rigidity and the added weight, pano roofs are more prone to leak, much less shatter.

    And even w/ standard sunroofs, hardly ever opened them (hot sun beating down on you).



    Quote Originally Posted by dannyg View Post
    According to Hyundai's numbers, almost 1/4 of all new buyers are considering electric for their next vehicle compared to 1/3 for hybrid. Assuming those numbers are correct, it suggests that luxury buyers aren't the only ones considering electrics. Of course, "considering" doesn't mean "buying".

    I for one am certainly "considering" a hybrid for my next vehicle, in that I would check out the specs and see if it made sense to me. Someday I might "consider" an electric as a second vehicle (but only a second vehicle). But it all depends on price, practical issues, style, etc.
    As you have stated, the key word is "considering."

    The American buyer is notorious to being price conscious (which is what Altima sales would drastically go up and down depending on how the incentives were for the month) and a buyer is still paying a premium to go gas-less (even w/ govt. tax credits).

    And there are plenty of drivers who live in apts. or otherwise don't have access to charge overnight, many employers still don't offer charging (and if they do, its only a few spots that get quickly taken, and the charging network in most places is still pretty sparse.

    So w/ gas prices being what they are, another reason not to full electric.

    But for higher income couples who live in a metro area w/ sufficient charging stations and or live where they can home charge, can definitely see them considering a BEV as their other vehicle.
    Last edited by YEH; 05-31-2020 at 09:51 PM.

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    Re: 2020 Hyundai Sonata hybrid delivers 52 mpg, surprising features

    Quote Originally Posted by YEH View Post
    Maybe it's just me, but aside from the loss of rigidity and the added weight, pano roofs are more prone to leak, much less shatter.

    And even w/ standard sunroofs, hardly ever opened them (hot sun beating down on you).





    As you have stated, the key word is "considering."

    The American buyer is notorious to being price conscious (which is what Altima sales would drastically go up and down depending on how the incentives were for the month) and a buyer is still paying a premium to go gas-less (even w/ govt. tax credits).

    And there are plenty of drivers who live in apts. or otherwise don't have access to charge overnight, many employers still don't offer charging (and if they do, its only a few spots that get quickly taken, and the charging network in most places is still pretty sparse.

    So w/ gas prices being what they are, another reason not to full electric.

    But for higher income couples who live in a metro area w/ sufficient charging stations and or live where they can home charge, can definitely see them considering a BEV as their other vehicle.
    I always liked the sunroofs I had. Not sure if Optima offered a roof or just the pano. IMO that's a mistake. Also never had a leaky s'noof.

    And when I was car shopping I'd have a number of cars on the "consider" list. Like Bill Clinton's definition of "is," it all depends on how you define "considering." Price compare? Go in and look at? Drive? Talk with wife about it? Apply for loan/lease? Pretty loose term.
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