Overhauled Sonata hybrid is a splendid gas-sipper!
By NITISH S. RELE
Heading over to Atlanta for vacation? Or to West Palm Beach and back? Then we suggest checking out the redesigned 2020 Hyundai Sonata hybrid. The sedan can go more than 550 miles on a tank (13.2 gallons), thanks to its gas/hybrid technology.
A 2.0-liter GDI 4-cylinder engine develops 150 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 139 pounds-feet of torque at 5000 rpm. When paired with the 39-watt kW electric motor, the car boasts 192 hp. A powerful 56 kW lithium-ion polymer battery pack contributes to improved gas mileage. Another gas saver is an all-new solar roof, which recharges the battery when the car has been turned off, thereby boosting driving range. And as always, during regenerative braking, the battery is recharged by the captured energy as the driver brakes or slows down. At stops, the gas engine shuts down for fuel savings and zero emissions. Eco, smart, sport and custom drive modes are offered.
Totally redesigned for 2020, the seventh-generation Sonata hybrid conveys a four-door coupe appearance. LED headlamps and daytime running lights surround the cascading cross-hole grille adorned in a mix of liquid chrome and dark metal with active air flaps. Step into the roomy cabin and for the driver’s convenience, an analog instrument gauge solely devoted to the hybrid display, portrays charge, eco and battery readings. With 104.4 cubic feet of passenger volume, the cabin is comparable to other passenger sedans. And trunk capacity is up by 2.5 cubic feet to 16, beating Toyota Camry volume. Standard amenities include dual a/c, eight-way power driver and four-way front-passenger heated and cooled seats, 60/40 rear seat, leather tilt/telescopic steering wheel with paddle shifters, and a 10.25-inch touch screen for phone and audio capabilities.
Safety is paramount for Hyundai as is evident from standard dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, driver knee airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes with electronic brake distribution and brake assist, front/rear parking sensors and crumple zones, electronic stability and traction control, blind-spot, forward and rear cross-traffic collision assists, highway driving and lane-keep assists, front seatbelt pretensioners, remote keyless entry and tire pressure monitoring system.
Base-priced at $35,300 (our Limited edition totaled $36,430), the Sonata hybrid is even more appealing once you factor in EPA fuel estimates of 45 mpg city, 51 highway and 47 combined. The sedan responds with nimbleness irrespective of road/weather conditions, ensuring a pleasant and comfortable ride. And, of course, bold styling, a trait missing in hybrids.
SONATA HYBRID (LIMITED)
Wheelbase: 111.8 inches
Length: 192.9 inches
Height: 56.9 inches
Width: 73.2 inches
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Suspension: MacPherson strut front; multilink rear
Steering: motor-driven power steering
Weight: 3,530 pounds
Nitish S. Rele, editor/publisher of Motoring Tampa Bay and Khaas Baat (www.khaasbaat.com), was an automotive editor/columnist for The Tampa Tribune.