The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid features well-coordinated styling. The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid features well-coordinated styling. Photos Courtesy of Hyundai/Tim Miller

Hyundai Sonata Hybrid a well-balanced and economical package

Written by  on Friday, 09 October 2020 10:35

Hyundai’s entry into the mid-sized hybrid sedan arena was a pleasant surprise, offering a solid and comfortable ride, tasteful styling inside and out, and fuel mileage that will make other automakers sit up and take notice.

While there is no sunroof available, you’ll be able to afford a trip to lay in the sun and surf as the Sonata’s roof contains a solar roof system which helps charge the lithium-ion battery. The company expects an extra 1600 kms of increased travel distance yearly with the roof panels. While the standard Sonatas are produced in Alabama, the hybrid version comes from Korea.

LIKES
The Sonata is very quiet on the road. It is also very smooth riding on the road, better than vehicles larger in both wheelbase and price. Wind noise is also low at highway speeds. The interior provides ample space, controls are well-placed, and sightlines are good.

WHAT’S BEST
This is a good-looking car with front and rear styling cues that blend in along the sides of the car providing a continuous flow with overall good proportions. Inside the car is loaded with infotainment and safety equipment, including a 10.25 touch screen that is simple to work with, and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster that provides a host of information for the driver. The Sonata also has a back-up beeper when in reverse, something new which has been added to a large host of safety enhancements.

WHAT’S WORST
Some may not like the Sonata’s front-end treatment with its excess angular styling cues, but that is a subjective matter. When the car is in electric mode, the motor does make more noise than other hybrids. Also, the 2.0-liter engine, very capable upon acceleration, does not sound happy above legal highway speeds.

OVERALL
The Sonata did not have to be driven like other hybrids upon acceleration. One could gain speed without pretending there was an egg under the accelerator, and the car would get up to city speed efficiently without the use of the engine. The combined city/highway Natural Resources Canada fuel consumption rating for the Sonata hybrid is 5.0 L/100km, but during my testing session I was able to better that mark, with 4.4 L/100km posting. Impressive.

DETAILS
2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, four-door sedan, FWD
Price as tested: $40,999
Engine: 2.0-liter, inline four-cylinder, electric motor 51 hp
Power/Torque: 150 hp, 139 lb-ft, combined 192 hp, 271 lb-ft
Fuel Mileage: 4.5 to 5.0 L/100kms
Drivetrain: six-speed automatic, final drive ratio 3.51:1, MacPherson strut front suspension, multi-link rear suspension, 305-mm ventilated rotors on front brakes, 284-mm solid rotors on rear brakes, rack and pinion steering with 2.6 turns lock to lock, 17 by 7 wheels, P215-55R17 tires
Wheelbase: 2840-mm, 111.8-inches
Weight: 1600 kg, 3,527 pounds
Fuel tank capacity: 50 liters
Cargo volume: passenger 2956 liters, 139.7 cubic feet: trunk 453 liters, 16 cubic feet
Towing capacity: not recommended

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