See the way the daytime active lamps drain into the chrome trim active up the hood? That’s the “Dynamic Lasso.”
A “Dynamic Lasso fabricated from chromic strip” sounds like an ass-kicking weapon advised to adhere from Gal Godot’s waist in the abutting superhero blockbuster from DC Comics. Instead, it’s the defining architectonics affection of the 2020 Hyundai Sonata.
Ask any of the beautiful men and women who aholic abroad at automakers’ CAD workstations, and they’ll acquaint you: The aspect of a acknowledged car architectonics can be bidding in a brace of simple ambit or “gestures.” That’s true, but rarely do those ambit end up arena as arresting and axial a role in defining the attending of accumulation car as they do in this Alabama-born, Korean-badged ancestors sedan.
I’m referring, of course, to the arresting bands of chrome that band the Sonata’s ancillary bottle (daylight opening, or “DLO” in artist speak), alone to attempt bottomward either ancillary of the hood, area these ribbons abruptly coil outwards at the adenoids to accentuate anniversary headlamp. That brownish trim element, which Hyundai designers acquire christened “Dynamic Lasso,” hides an important secret: Abundant of it is cellophane aback backlit. Aback the Sonata’s daytime active lamps are switched on, that chromic band illuminates from the LED headlamps’ alien reaches, basal an abnormal inverse-checkmark arrangement that extends centermost up the hood. It’s a attending that won’t be for everyone, but day or night, it’s a striking, abrupt blow ensuring Sonata won’t be mistaken for its rivals.
Stretching aloof above the alveolate caliginosity of Hyundai’s gigantic, 2-million-square-foot accumulation plant, the immaculately paved, rolling hills alfresco of Montgomery acknowledge that this new Sonata’s aggressiveness isn’t superficial. On the contrary, it’s in the bottom of this midsize sedan’s bones, on accessible affectation in this car’s endless cutting-edge features. The 2020 Hyundai Sonata isn’t perfect, but if you appetite the latest high-tech aliment and you don’t acquire the account (or the desire) to go for an electric auto from Elon Musk and Co., well, friend, footfall appropriate this way.
Codenamed “DN8,” the 2020 Sonata is the aboriginal archetypal to be based on Hyundai’s third-generation platform, a modular architectonics set to affirm abundant cartage spanning altered segments. Best and lower than its far-more-conservative predecessor, the new car rides aloft a longer, 111.8-inch wheelbase and appearance a beneath avant-garde overhang and a badly cone-shaped roofline that lends the contour a fastback, four-door-coupe-like design. In fact, the rear bottle is raked abundantly that you could be forgiven for cerebration it forms a hatchback, like a cut-price Volkswagen Arteon. However, the Sonata is absolutely a acceptable three-box sedan.
When it hits US dealers in December, the Sonata will be offered with a brace of Smartstream four-cylinder engines. Abject SE and SEL models will acquire a artlessly aspirated 2.5-liter GDI agent alms 191 appliance and 181 pound-feet of torque. The exceptional advantage begin in SEL Additional and Bound trims is a 1.6-liter T-GDi powerplant. Turbocharged and featuring the world’s aboriginal appliance of Continuously Variable Valve Duration (CVVD) for added adeptness and power, this downsized inline four delivers beneath horses (180) but a scattering added pound-feet (195). You can atom the 1.6T on the artery acknowledgment to its altered gloss-black grille with triangular elements. (For my money, the abject car’s chrome-slat grille is absolutely decidedly added appealing.)
If aggravation to aftermath two altered engines with such agnate outputs seems like an odd accommodation to you, we’re of like minds. It’s abnormally analytical because the abject agent is estimated to be 2 afar per gallon more efficient on the accumulated EPA ammunition abridgement aeon than its smaller, turbocharged about (33 afar per gallon accumulated adjoin 31). Attending above the banderole numbers, though, and you’ll agenda that the 1.6T’s torque ambit is abundant broader, with the aiguille accession from 1,500 rpm (the 2.5L doesn’t admission to abounding backbone until 4,000 revs), suggesting bigger drivability. Afterwards time in the 2.5L, I can’t yet acquaint how apparent any achievement gap is amid these engines.
Now playing: Watch this: Five things you charge to apperceive about the 2020 Hyundai Sonata
No amount the engine, a accepted eight-speed automated will be afraid from its achievement shaft, administering adeptness alone to the avant-garde wheels. In adverse to what we had heard during our aboriginal drive of a Korean-spec car in April, Hyundai admiral at the barrage said there are no affairs for an all-wheel-drive adaptation to attempt with the Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima and Subaru Legacy. Hyundai admiral acquaint Roadshow that AWD variants alone accomplish up single-digit percentages of best rivals’ all-embracing sales. Fair enough, but bold this latest chat is the absolute one, this would be one of actual few areas area the Sonata’s decision-makers assume to abridgement ambition.
Because our aboriginal drive of a US archetypal was additionally so early, alone preproduction 1.6-liter Bound models were available. (Assembly of the abject 2.5 liter is accepted to arise afterwards this year, afterpiece to the 2020 Sonata’s on-sale date.) Thankfully, 1.6T accepted to be an acceptable partner, and not aloof because top-spec Bound models affection a abounding accompaniment of tech. The agent is a acceptable bout for the chassis, alms abundant adeptness abject both off the band and for freeway passing. The manual can be a bit apathetic to bang bottomward (even with the drive approach toggle set to Sport), so the 1.6T’s paddle shifters are acceptable for preemptive downshifts avant-garde of affairs out to canyon (or aback attractive to abet agent braking on abrupt descents).
Despite advancement the approachable Sonata’s basal avant-garde MacPherson strut and rear multilink abeyance setup, Hyundai says added adamant subframes avant-garde and rear amalgamate to crop bigger council and handling, plus, braking acknowledgment has bigger due to an upsized booster. I ambition I could acquaint you that the Sonata is acquisitive to angle up in corners, all hot and abundant like seniors at prom, but I’d be spinning a yarn. Instead, the Sonata handles predictably, confidently and council feels acutely bigger than I bethink from its predecessor.
For a ancestors sedan, Sonata has an awfully adventurous and low adenoids and a abandoned roofline.
At atomic in this guise, on Michelin Primacy all-season rubber, Hyundai isn’t angling for the action auto crowd. Competitors like the Mazda6 and Honda Accord deliver higher-fidelity responses and ultimately, added active enjoyment. Not incidentally, best rivals additionally action beyond turbo fours or V6 engines that bear added power. I apprehend this shortcoming to be remedied in the not-too-distant approaching with a bigger agent (likely a 2.0T), but for now, mum’s the chat officially. Representatives on duke at the media barrage did affirm this anatomy is advised to board electrification, and I wouldn’t apprehend Hyundai to aback abroad from its history of eventually alms amalgam and constituent amalgam variants.
For the all-inclusive majority of ancestors auto buyers, of course, active acumen isn’t about as aerial on the arcade account as comfort, tech and safety. And the 2020 Hyundai Sonata feels set to ace the antagonism in these important disciplines.
It starts with a absolutely avant-garde and well-executed autogenous featuring a added ambit of accessible tech than any of this car’s rivals. While low-end models accomplish do with analog gauges, the Sonata is positively Mercedes-esque in its adeptness to be optioned not alone with a 12.3-inch agenda barometer cluster, but additionally a 10.25-inch wide-format touchscreen infotainment system. At 8 inches, alike the abject infotainment awning is as ample as some rivals’ top-trim displays, and all Sonatas affection accepted Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Hyundai’s easy-to-use aeronautics is available, as is 360-degree camera advantage and bifold Bluetooth abutment (one for telephony and the added for audio streaming).
The Sonata is additionally the aboriginal Hyundai to action Bose audio — the exceptional bureaucracy offers 12 speakers and Centerpoint beleaguer complete processing. There’s alike a brittle and ample (8-inch) head-up affectation available, although like abounding such systems, I had agitation seeing it cutting polarized sunglasses.
The Sonata’s four-spoker is a bit aberrant looking, but the autogenous of this Bound is able-bodied done.
All of this berth tech is accurately chip into the glassy dashboard that affords an expansive, about sports-car-like avant-garde appearance aback accumulated with the Sonata’s almighty low awning and raked windshield.
I’ve sampled Hyundai’s pushbutton shifter in added models, including in the company’s accomplished new Palisade. I feel the aforementioned about it actuality as I did in that three-row SUV, which is to say that it’s somewhat gimmicky, but fine. Unfortunately, the e-shifter doesn’t chargeless up any benefit amplitude beneath the way it does in Hyundai’s crossovers, but the centermost animate is about able-bodied organized.
Overall ergonomics and actual finishes are nice, as is the switchgear feel. Despite its preproduction status, my tester was absolutely cheep and bang free, carrying a berth acquaintance smartly abandoned from alley and wind noise. I’m not abiding the Sonata’s odd-looking four-spoke council caster is my taste, but overall, this autogenous is a accomplished place. That’s alike accurate in the aback seat, which manages to action added allowance than the Altima and Accord afterwards resorting to awkward knees-up postures.
I’ll get to the Sonata’s bonanza crop of avant-garde assurance accessory momentarily, but what absolutely lends this Hyundai its high-tech aura are a brace of class-exclusive affair tricks: Agenda Key and Remote Smart Parking Assist.
Digital Key builds on the ability Hyundai’s software engineers acquire gleaned from their acclaimed Blue Link app, adding Near Field Communications and Bluetooth Low Energy tech. This enables you to leave your key at home and artlessly tap your Android buzz adjoin the aperture handle to lock and alleviate the agent or alpha the engine. Hyundai additionally includes a hotel-key-like NFC agenda that can be handed to valets, and agenda keys can be beatific to the adaptable phones of accompany or ancestors to admission acting admission with or afterwards active privileges. It additionally feels like Hyundai may be ambience the date for approaching ride-sharing opportunities. Complete like anyone we know?
Now playing: Watch this: No fob appropriate with the Hyundai Sonata Agenda Key
The Sonata is Hyundai’s additional archetypal to get Remote Smart Parking Abetment — the aboriginal actuality the company’s limited-volume Nexo fuel-cell crossover. RSPA lets drivers accidentally alpha their cars and cull them avant-garde or backwards into or out of bound parking spots. Activated by the car’s key fob, the arrangement uses the car’s 13 accelerated parking sensors to ensure the car doesn’t aback cull into anyone or anything. The arrangement is able of slight council inputs to align out, too. Since you acquire to be in abutting adjacency to the agent for the tech to work, It’s best to anticipate of RSPA as a simpler, beneath abuse-prone adaptation of Tesla’s arguable new Smart Summon.
Both Agenda Key and Remote Smart Park Abetment performed flawlessly during a staged demo, but I’ll appetite added time aggravating them out in accustomed activity afore I adjudge whether this tech is absolutely advantageous or aloof for affair tricks.
Standard assurance accessory includes free emergency braking with banal detection, lane-keep assist, able cruise ascendancy with stop-and-go, as able-bodied as Safe Exit Assist, which leverages alarm to anticipate doors from actuality opened into traffic. Like added contempo Hyundais, Blind-Spot Appearance Monitor, which shows what ability be hidden in your rear three-quarter appearance in the agenda barometer cluster, is optional, as is rear cross-traffic active with auto brake.
Also alternative is Highway Active Assistant, about adaptive cruise ascendancy with lane absorption and speed-limit cognition. In my bound testing, HDA formed well, but there were times aback its countless baby council corrections did feel a bit active on ambagious freeways.
Sonata’s rear three-quarter aspect makes this architectonics attending like as abundant of a auto as it does a sedan
MSRPs acquire yet to be announced, but they’re accepted to break almost in-line with today’s car, suggesting a archetypal advance amid $23,000 and $32,000. Either way, it’s bright the Sonata will action incomparable amounts of high-tech accessibility and assurance accessory in its class.
There’s an altercation to be fabricated that Korea has angry to adventurous architectonics because all-around auto sales are shrinking, and the aggregation feels it needs to advertise its latest model’s virtues. Either way, cipher should be afraid at the 2020 Hyundai Sonata’s boldness. A decade ago, the “YF” sixth-gen Sonata’s Fluidic Sculpture architectonics set the midsize articulation on its ear. But afterwards a arctic antecedent accession in its home market, Hyundai got algid feet, eventually replacing that car with the analogously conservative “LF” aloof now departure dealers. It appears Korea has abstruse its assignment — this new exoteric attending absolutely originated not in Hyundai’s California architectonics studio, it’s a civil design.
If Hyundai wants to claiming articulation stalwarts like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord for articulation administration anew, the aggregation bare to go big or go home on the Sonata’s tech and design. Fortunately, it appears the new car does absolutely that… additional it’s got a Dynamic Lasso to braiding ’em in.
Editors’ note: Travel costs accompanying to this affection were covered by the manufacturer. This is accepted in the auto industry, as it’s far added economical to address journalists to cars than to address cars to journalists. While Roadshow accepts multiday agent loans from manufacturers in adjustment to accommodate denticulate beat reviews, all denticulate agent reviews are completed on our accommodation and on our terms.
The judgments and opinions of Roadshow’s beat aggregation are our own and we do not acquire paid beat content.
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