2020 Hyundai Sonata Review: Smart Tech, Slick Style
The 2020 Hyundai Sonata’s sleek lines, smart tech, and stylish interior make it one of the best sedans that you can buy.
This is a car that can park itself and that you can start and drive with a digital key that lives on a phone. Once you stack those features up on an already impressive car and set of technology there is a lot of value.
The 2020 Sonata interior is upscale with a premium look and feel, roomy seating, and easy access to the buttons and functions you need in a car.
I especially enjoyed the bold exterior styling that draws the eye from the headlights back along the body, and the optional bright yellow paint is quite a statement.
The 2020 Hyundai Sonata starts at $25,700 plus destination and the SEL Plus we reviewed starts at $27,650.
2020 Hyundai Sonata Tech
The 2020 Sonata packs in useful tech that you won’t find on much of the competition. If you watch any amount of TV, you probably know about Smart Park, which is a handy way to remote park your Sonata.
Using the keyfob, you can park the Sonata into a tight parking spot or into a tight garage. You need to line the car up most of the way, but it can perform minor adjustments to complete the parking job. When you are ready to go, it will un-park itself.
Keep in mind that if you use this in a parking spot, and park too close to another car, that driver may be blocked in. This makes it very appealing for garages or for tight parking next to another car in your household.
Another cool piece of technology is the digital key on the 2020 Sonata. This allows you to share a key to an app on Android phones. iPhone support is reportedly in the works, but for now you need to be on Android.
With this, you can use the phone as the only key that you need. It unlocks the car in the app or with the phone held next to the door. With the phone in the wireless charger, you can start the car and drive.
The integration into the connected car experience allows a parent to set a geofence and to track other information. It’s even possible to remove key access and give it to someone else remotely.
Even as someone that regularly uses technology, I was cautious with this feature, but found it was very reliable and having already removed the need for house keys from my life, I am excited to see more tech like this. If you buy the Sonata, this is definitely a feature that you will enjoy.
Inside the car, you get support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on a large touch screen. The Hyundai infotainment system is good, but ultimately I prefer to plug a phone in for the best access to maps, communication, and my music. The interior tech is as impressive as the built-in smart features.
The sound system is good and the setup works well for taking calls on the road.
You can charge your phone with the three USB ports (two up front and one in the rear) or with the wireless charger.
Driver assistance features like adaptive cruise control and lane following assist make longer trips less stressful. The adaptive cruise control keeps you wit the flow of traffic, and the Hyundai system does an excellent job here.
The Lane Following Assist feature uses a camera to monitor lane markings and steering assist when you are using smart cruise control. With this in action, the system makes small steering adjustments to help keep you in your lane, but you are still in control. The system works well, but it tends to make more adjustments that you feel on the wheel while you are on the highway than competing systems we’ve used.
Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection is standard, while Blind Spot Collision Avoidance and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist require the SEL or higher trim level. If you are backing up and a vehicle is detected, the Sonata will automatically brake for you. This can be surprising, but it is very helpful.
On the Limited trim, you also get a Blind Spot View monitor that shows you a live view of the blind spot on the digital instrument cluster. This can be handy for seeing a pedestrian or cyclist that might not activate the blind spot monitor.
2020 Hyundai Sonata Interior & Style
The 2020 Sonata style is bold in all the right ways. The distinctive front end and flowing LED daytime running light which blends seamlessly into a line that runs along the hood are your first hints that this is not an ordinary sedan.
Inside there is plenty of room for a tall driver, and the backseat offers a good amount of space. The controls are easy to reach and there are useful storage areas in the cabin. The interior is well-appointed and laid out nicely, but You can find more luxurious interiors.
You will need to adjust to the button shifters, which you push to shift gears. This opens up the center of the cabin, and it’s something that I was able to pick up on after a few days, but it adds some extra thought to quickly turning around.
The trunk is spacious and on some models, there is a smart trunk, which allows you to walk to the back of the car and stand for a second or two with the key in your pocket to automatically open the trunk when your hands are full.
Driving the 2020 Hyundai Sonata
The 2020 Sonata SEL is a competent cruiser, but it’s not going to deliver the same thrill as you might find on some of the competition. It’s designed with comfort in mind.
Under the hood is a 180 horsepower 1.6L Turbo 4 cylinder engine that offers enough power to feel competent and it pairs nicely with a conventional transmission. The shifts are smooth and timely, and you can even control them with paddle shifters, but ultimately you’ll be leaving the car to do the shifting. If you try to downshift to zip on the on-ramp you won’t find a ton of power waiting for you.
The handling is good overall, but if you enable the Lane Following Assist feature prepare for it to feel a little busy. The ride quality is smooth and comfortable during our mix of city and highway driving.