2020 Hyundai Sonata doubles down on sedan phase in fashion

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    Pulling out of the 123-story Lotte World Tower into the crush of Seoul’s morning visitors within the 2020 Hyundai Sonata, the hanging symbolism isn’t misplaced on me. The 1,819-foot tower is new, the fifth-tallest constructing on the planet, and the tallest in Korea. This engineering marvel symbolizes the dramatic progress Korea has made in a short while simply because the eighth-generation Sonata that can land within the U.S. later this yr represents the dramatic leap Korea’s largest automaker has made within the automotive business.

    The 2020 Sonata isn’t only a good Korean automotive, it’ll tango with the perfect of the mid-size phase. It has a couple of sturdy playing cards to play to make it aggressive. First, and most noticeably, is the styling. It’s beautiful, and photographs don’t fairly seize the presence the Sonata has in particular person. Nevertheless it’s additionally extra dynamic, and it’ll characteristic a variety of engines to fulfill a wide range of consumers.

    Gradual-rolling out of Seoul within the crush of visitors, I’m in a Korean-spec automotive fitted with a sleepy 2.Zero-liter inline-Four, paired to a 6-speed computerized transmission. The engine makes 158 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. The powertrain suffers from a noticeable lag between once I press the accelerator and when the engine truly begins to ship energy, usually about two seconds later. Fortunately, the U.S. will get a number of extra , and sure extra responsive, engines.

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    2020 Hyundai Sonata

    A 2.5-liter naturally aspirated inline-Four will function the bottom engine, good for 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque, whereas a 1.6-liter turbo-Four would be the ever-so-slightly upmarket play. That engine boasts related energy figures, at 180 hp, and 195 lb-ft of torque. A more-powerful 2.5-liter turbo-Four will finally come.

    Albert Biermann, head of R&D for Hyundai (and former head of BMW M) says whereas he can’t elaborate, we are able to anticipate a big energy bump to come back to Sonata quickly. Not coincidentally, he additionally mentions that Hyundai will develop its N lineup, particularly within the N-line, which is extra of a trim. Count on a Sonata N-line with the two.5-liter turbo-Four to observe, possible in 2021.

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    Whereas the Korean-market powertrain could be wholly inadequate within the U.S., fortunately I get a bit time with the 1.6 turbo-Four on Hyundai’s Namyang high-speed take a look at monitor. The monitor is brief, but it surely’s a superb take a look at for the Sonata’s new platform. It options a number of corners which can be nice for evaluating dynamics, its elevation adjustments will work the engine and transmission, and its lengthy straight will let me get nicely previous freeway speeds and provides the brakes a superb take a look at besides.

    The 2020 Hyundai Sonata is constructed on a brand new, third-generation platform that shall be utilized by a number of future Hyundai and Kia automotive and crossover SUV fashions. Codenamed “N3” internally, the structure makes strategic use of high-strength metal to make it lighter and safer, and to enhance driving efficiency. The front-drive platform can facilitate all-wheel drive, which won’t be supplied for the Sonata at launch, however Hyundai’s product planners say it’s one thing they’re contemplating.

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    2020 Hyundai Sonata

    2020 Hyundai Sonata

    The Sonata I’m driving on the monitor is paired to an Eight-speed computerized transmission, the identical setup we’ll get in America. Acceleration from the 1.6 turbo-Four feels pleasingly fast, and the Eight-speed auto—motivated by enhance and extra energy to name upon—does a superb job of channeling that energy. In computerized, whereas not seamless, shifts happen shortly and easily. I took a second lap, this time choosing the paddles, second into third for the brief corners, up into fifth and sixth earlier than coming down laborious on the left pedal. Whereas the engine lacks a sporty engine be aware, I assume the N-line engine will deal with these duties.

    Turning into the brief corners, the automotive stays planted even because the tires squeal. Whereas it reveals noticeable weight shift and physique roll, they’re each lower than you’d anticipate on a mid-size sedan.

    I momentarily crest triple-digit speeds on the straightway on my second go earlier than slamming on the brakes. The braking is superb. The engineer using with me swears the automotive doesn’t have Brembos or a particular monitor setup, and I verify he’s not pulling one over on me with a peek on the brakes after my run.

    2020 Hyundai Sonata

    2020 Hyundai Sonata

    The brakes could also be inventory, however I do discover that the automotive is sporting Continental summer season rubber. U.S. automobiles will get all-season tires, in order that they received’t grip in addition to this one did.

    The suspension damping may also change barely. The Korean market usually prefers softer damping than North America, largely to take care of a distressing quantity of velocity bumps. Nonetheless, this automotive feels about proper for what we’ll get within the U.S. The steering is well-weighted—mild, as this phase requires—and constant.

    Regardless of Hyundai’s efforts to enhance NVH, street noise and wind noise each make themselves identified at freeway speeds. They’re not distractingly loud, however they’re noticeable at occasions within the background.

    2020 Hyundai Sonata

    2020 Hyundai Sonata

    2020 Hyundai Sonata

    2020 Hyundai Sonata

    2020 Hyundai Sonata

    2020 Hyundai Sonata

    Designed to draw in an SUV world

    As improved because the dynamics could also be, the Sonata’s trump card is its design. In a shrinking sedan market, Hyundai went daring and broke new floor with the Sonata’s design.

    “It was a case of will we go the way in which of the Massive Three, and start to remove and go in an all-SUV path? We determined to go a unique manner, to go daring, we predict there’ll all the time be a spot for the sedan.” SangYup Lee, head of Hyundai design (and a former Bentley and GM designer), tells Motor Authority.

    The hood is lengthy, and the nostril pinches down low, like on an Aston Martin. That’s not a coincidence. “Astons are very costly automobiles, and so they have some huge cash to work with the sheet steel. However why can’t we convey a few of that fashion to a automotive on this value vary?,” Lee says.

    2020 Hyundai Sonata

    2020 Hyundai Sonata

    The standout design ingredient is the Hidden Lighting Lamp, which employs a chromic strip that appears prefer it’s a part of the chrome strip that runs from the headlight, alongside the hood, to the door. When the automotive is on, it illuminates and is an extension of the daytime working lights. It’s particularly eye-catching once you see the Sonata in your rear-view mirror.

    Two character strains draw the attention and break up quantity within the profile view, whereas within the rear aero pins on the taillights add a sporty contact. The Sonata seems to be nice to my eye, but it surely’s additionally a dangerous play that’s positive to polarize.

    Whereas the outside is daring, the inside is decidedly trendy. It’s designed round two screens. One is a curved-display, 12.Three-inch touchscreen that’s simple to make use of and controls navigation and infotainment capabilities. The second is a 10.2-inch digital pores and skin for the instrument cluster. Its graphics and colours change relying on driving mode. Toggle into Sport mode, for instance, and a blue splash momentarily overtakes the speedometer and tachometer, as they flip to pink. Hyundai additionally gives a wi-fi charging pad—although I observed my cellphone was on slow-roast after 30 minutes of resting on the charger.

    2020 Hyundai Sonata

    2020 Hyundai Sonata

    2020 Hyundai Sonata

    2020 Hyundai Sonata

    2020 Hyundai Sonata

    2020 Hyundai Sonata

    The cabin is roomy and splendid, too. The middle stack options tactile knobs for the temperature controls that would have been pinched from a German luxurious automotive; the soft headliner feels high-end; and piano black, chrome, and faux-leather trim accents complement the general aesthetic. The obtainable nappa leather-wrapped seats are comfy, and higher-end fashions have a hanging stitch-quilting sample on the seats. The again seat has ample knee and leg room, and head room is adequate for all however the tallest passengers.

    The 2020 Hyundai Sonata boasts hanging, elegant styling, and a contemporary, engaging, and cohesive inside to create a premium vibe normally reserved for pricier automobiles. Its vary of engines will go well with various tastes, and its improved dynamics will fulfill extra drivers. Hyundai has come a great distance from the worth model of the 1990s, and the 2020 Sonata shall be an alluring standout in a shrinking mid-size automotive phase.

    Hyundai paid for journey and lodging for this Web Model Automotive contributor to convey you this firsthand report.