2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Review – It Comes with a Solar Roof

The all new 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is out and for the first time, the roof is now topped with solar panels! Do they work? How does it help? Curious to know?

I’m eric novak and this here is a 2020 hyundai sonata hybrid this all new generation of the hyundai sonata was introduced in 2019 as a 2020 model year and earlier this year i was able to do a full review of the gas powered hyundai sonata so if you want to take a look at a full sonata review please check that one out on my youtube channel because for this review

I’m pretty much going to focus on the unique aspects of the hybrid version of this 2020 sonata so this new 2020 sonata hybrid does have some exterior changes compared to the gas version that i should point out to you there is a unique uh design on the grill for the hybrid compared to the gas variant you’ve also got different tires and a wheel design they’re

Obviously more aerodynamic there are 16 and 17 inch tires available on this sonata there’s also a unique uh to the hybrid a spoiler here now all this of course is designed to mitigate the drag and improve aerodynamics and that’s something we probably should talk about a little with respect to this vehicle because it is quite aerodynamic aerodynamics is an important

Consideration especially with hybrids and other cars that aspire to be very low in terms of fuel economy because you know goes without saying the easier a vehicle has at cutting through wind and creating less resistance the more fuel efficient it’s going to be there’s a measurement that’s used called coefficient of drag and it’s a pretty technical term we don’t

Really need to get into it too much all we really know is that the baseline for the ultimate most efficient aerodynamic design is a teardrop and we tend to measure everything against that this hyundai sonata hybrid is the most aerodynamically efficient in its class it is designed to be more efficient than the camry or accord other things that are in its sort

Of same segment so probably the far and away most unique design element of this 2020 so now the hybrid is right here it’s the roof because on the roof here we have solar panels there are actually two solar panels here they are connected to not only the uh the battery attached to the hybrid motor but also the 12 volt regular battery in the car as well it will

Continue to keep these two charged up just by driving and absorbing the uh energy from the sun obviously at night it won’t and in dim conditions you’ll see less of it but it will basically add extra eevee miles to you from the battery hyundai says you’ll probably get about 700 miles a year about 1200 kilometers just by the added use of this solar panel on top

It’s an interesting use of space some people prefer a moon roof for panoramic view and you might have concerns about the overall weight but the solar panels actually weigh less than a panoramic moon roof it does weigh more than you would see on a regular metal roof but overall it’s a unique thing i think it’s something we’d like to see more of solar panels on their

Own aren’t efficient enough to say power a phev we’re not going to quite get to full electrics run on solar from the roof yet but in an application like this with a hybrid the ability to supplement and enhance the charge through already the traditional hybrid systems of uh regenerative energy from breaking and such well that’s an amazing thing in terms of the

Overall interior layout in this sonata hybrid it’s basically the same as the gas version there’s just a couple of small differences and mostly it’s in with the information if you’re looking here on the large center screen that’s available here in the top trim you can actually see if you’ve driven a hybrid before most hybrids will have some sort of information

Video showing you where you’re drawing power from but given that this has the solar panels on the roof there’s an additional element here and as you can see currently right now i’m not actually driving i’m i have the accessories on but i’m not running right now yet still you can see that the solar panels are charging uh the main battery and connected to the

Overall uh engine and battery and motor and the drivetrain so it’s a bit of extra information um other than that it generally flows well um the information cluster here for the driver it does have some hybrid readings as well and it gives you the eco driver lets you know when you’re ev mode but otherwise it’s pretty much the same compared to the regular gas

Sonata you know it used to be that hybrids uh would also mean sacrifice in terms of your cargo capacity because quite often the batteries would take up a large amount of trunk space this new sonata they’ve actually repositioned both the uh fuel tank and the batteries uh in a better way so that you actually have no sacrifices in interior space in the passenger

Compartment and in fact in the trunk it’s actually been increased the cargo capacity compared to the previous sonata hybrid we now have 16 cubic feet in the back there compared uh it’s about two feet more than it used to be so there’s more room for uh for groceries or luggage or whatever it is to need so really the the smarter placement of things has led to

Actually increases in usable space as opposed to decreases so in terms of a power output this sonata hybrid has its two liter 16 valve gasoline direct injected four-cylinder engine it is paired with a 39 kilowatt uh motor with a total combined output of 192 horsepower that’s not you know going to get you a rocket here it’s not like some hybrids or plug-in

Hybrids that have a lot more power but it’s on par with pretty much uh all the other hybrids in this class the the accord and the camry hybrid they’re all basically within the same range in terms of total output one of the more notable uh enhancements to this 2020 sonata hybrid that hyundai likes to talk about is something called active shift control technology

Uh it’s there’s a lot of technical terms around it what it basically means is that the transmission works more efficiently with the new powertrain system and ultimately that leads to greater fuel economy or improvements in fuel economy overall now as for fuel economy the posted combined ratings for this 2020 sonata hybrid depends actually upon the trim level

That you are driving in the base blue entry level trim has a greater fuel economy rating than the the limited the the ultimate uh or the upper end trims overall the combined uh fuel economy rating for the entry blue is uh 4.52 liters per 100 kilometers that works out to 52 us miles per gallon on the upper entrance which is what i’m driving now it is actually

5 liters per 100 kilometers or 47 us miles per gallon now again that is the posted ratings and as typically as i found when driving hybrids my own observed fuel economy rating is uh better than that i’m currently i’ve driven this now for about six days and my total is 4.5 uh observed liters per 100 so i’m really with the upper and trim i’m in line with um the

The blue model so it is great fuel economy given the size of this vehicle um i’ve been quite impressed with it so far one of the things that i really like about this premium with the bose sound system is they have their sounds of nature option here so if you don’t like what’s on the radio or on satellite or whatever is in your your streaming service you can just

Basically hit the sounds of nature which i’m going to do here because you know what it’s actually kind of cool maybe more appropriately so with a hybrid than anything else but hey you know i might not be in the countryside but i’ve got my sounds of nature in a lively forest you can actually change it too you’ve got your calm sea waves if you want to be pretending

You’re by the beach or if you like the sounds of a rainy day you’ve got that as well the open air cafe feature i’m not quite familiar or why you want to sound like you’re in a busy coffee shop nonetheless and on those winter days of course we have the sound of a warm fireplace which is all good and actually one of my favorite ones because it sounds so weird is

They have the snowy village but if you listen to it it’s just crunchy feet some person walking with crunchy boots on and snow but hey let’s go let’s go back to the uh let’s go back to the lively forest we’ll deal with that awesome i love it when i reviewed the gas version of this 2020 sonata earlier this year i made the comment that you know with such a push

Towards crossovers and suvs it’s great to see at least some automakers are putting a lot of effort into the redesigning of their sedans there’s so much about this sonata that i really love overall the look of it a lot of the interior this is really really one of the best vehicles in its class that i’ve seen in some time now you move to the hybrid version and once

Again you’ve got some really impressive features it’s good to see that it’s not just toyota that makes great hybrids but hyundai here is making a very compelling case with this sonata at the solar panels now is probably one of the biggest differentiators and while solar technology isn’t quite there to basically make this a fully v where you could run it off

The sun from the roof seeing this enhancement is really really something encouraging i think we could see something like this in a phev as well i know the prius prime does have solar panels available as well so why not see at least these type of enhancements or the supplement through solar energy being used wherever possible and jumping up to as many hybrids

And plug-in hybrids as we can overall i love this vehicle and i think it’s definitely something worth considering if you’re looking for a mid to full-size sedan with hybrid technology that’s it for this review i’m eric novak thanks for watching there’s plenty of ways for you to keep connected with me so check out some of my social media links suggested videos

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2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Review – It Comes with a Solar Roof! By Eric Novak