2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Review Its Ultimate

I take a drive in Hyundai’s low, sleek and surprisingly luxurious (not to mention techy) hybrid mid-sizer.

Dan the wheel man here hybrids are all the rage in the midsize sedan segment these days and this is shouldn’t i’s latest effort this is the 2020 shindai sonata hybrid it’s a cool looking thing of those aluminum straights that run around the headlights and over you know towards the back of the hood it’s very low very sleek looking it’s got a uh it’s actually got

A solar panel for a roof which is pretty cool and pretty futuristic and it’s just overall quite almost grand touring-esque i should say looking forward to giving this thing a drive so we’re going to put through its paces in around the city of vancouver to see what’s what when it comes to the 2020 sunday sonata hybrid super modern here and i really like that

Uh the steering wheel is kind of weird looking the spokes are kind of odd but um i don’t know if you need this bottom spoke here i don’t know i mean you could just have the cross anyway it doesn’t matter that’s a bit weird but otherwise i love this big widescreen display i think it’s 10.2 inches wide i’ve got 12.5 inches i think of room of a of a screen here for

My gauge my gauge display i really think this floating kind of gear select panel is really cool the way it the way it doesn’t kind of mold in with the rest of the transmission tunnel here the way it kind of looks like it’s floating above the charge pad here i think that’s a really cool design piece that opens up the interior a little bit less stuff to snag your

Bag on or whatever a little bit area in here i mentioned the wireless charging apple carplay and android auto i’ve got the paddle shifters bose audio which is cool speakers here this is nice it’s really really really really really nice in here it’s a little monochromatic maybe i could maybe use a little a few more flourishes like this silver band i see here i

Mean there’s some around here maybe something here there’s a lot of piano black which looks good on the surface until about three minutes into the ownership and you realize it’s a dust magnet so but that’s the case with not just the sonata with a lot of vehicles using piano black these days but this is nice and it’s roomy too i’ve got headroom because i’ve got

No sunroof um and you know view out is good got a heads heads-up display here so it’s nice it’s really really nice hyundai shindai seems to know how to make airy open interiors yeah the leg box is a little narrow um my knee is a bit more jammed up against this center stack here as i hoped it would be but luckily it’s nice and flat it’s not a soft touch it is a

Hard touch but it’s nice and flat i don’t have like a corner or something or an edge to really jam my knee against so that’s good this is a nice interior with such a swooping roof line you think rear head would be a problem but i’ve got my big guy hat on here um i’m sat comfortably this seat is adjusted for my six foot three frame my knees aren’t jammed up against

It too badly i am feeling it a little bit which is too bad because it is a plastic backing here um but headroom really isn’t a problem when you don’t have a sunroof you tend to gain back headroom and that’s what we’re seeing here this is a nice back seat um got my armrest here and as i always like talk about i’ve got flush mounted cup holders because i like those

Because it doesn’t bother your arm when you’re not using them for a drink container so that’s nice um i have one usb port back here okay that’s that’s okay no big deal but i’ve got heated seats to two levels so it’s kind of interesting kind of uh situation there it’s a nice back seat to see this firm it’s not super deep i might be sliding around a little bit as

The turns got kind of a little more you know kind of constant or repetitive but otherwise it’s a mid-sized sedan with a with a reasonable back seat so you might think that because this is the hybrid version of sonata you might not have a folding rear seat back oftentimes when it comes to hybrid conversions of non-ha of sedans that didn’t start out their lives as

Hybrids you lose the folding seat back they got to find a place for the battery either you lose it or the space that you can slide stuff through becomes really narrow but in the sonata so just bear with me for a second the seat back does fold it’s not fully open back here there’s a bit of there’s about a half a foot of kind of plastic framework here but i can still

Get my hockey sticks here no problem so you know taking this sonata hybrid to my hockey game won’t be an issue so combined horsepower of the shindai sonata hybrid is 192 horsepower and 271 pound-feet of torque that’s of course you’ve got the gas engine and the electric motor running at the same time in hybrid mode the electric motor is good for something like 50

50 55 horsepower thereabouts uh so you’ve got you’ve got some get up and go but and you’ve got a six-speed automatic transmission as well no cvt nothing like that just a proper six speed that can be shifted with these paddles here which is which is nice um but there’s there’s you you get the sense there is some weight being hauled around hybrids in general i seem

To it just seems to be the case with so almost all of them that i drive when you really want to step on it they really try they kind of struggle i mean they have a lot of weight to haul around the battery and the ev motors and all that kind of stuff so they do this so this is not i wouldn’t and it’s also as you can hear that it’s a little bit loud in operation too

I i wouldn’t call this a fast car but it’s a very tractable car it’s it’s fine for cruising which you and you can cruise in ev mode as i’m doing right now it’s 65 kilometers an hour which is pretty great and of course you can be an eevee only when you’re in the city and driving around slow speeds plus you’ve got brake regen as you come to a stop and stuff but one

Thing you don’t have that a lot of hybrids that maybe not as many hybrids but then more and more alternative power cars are getting is they don’t really have like an increased brake or increased drag mode whereby you get because you do get power region while you’re coasting as well some vehicles you could select make a certain selection in the transmission or maybe

The drive mode if there’s an eco drive mode for example will give you a little more kind of brake regen when you are coasting region when you let off the throttle this doesn’t have that it does have an eco mode as well as a sport mode too and of smart mode which kind of reads what the driver is doing kind of adjusts its various um kind of settings accordingly uh an

Eco mode will change you know how quickly your your throttle gets how quick your throttle response is how long the gear the transmission holds onto a gear for as well as how much climate control is being used and so on so you’ve got you’ve got all that um but while it but it might not be the fastest ground you don’t have as maybe you don’t have an increased brake

Regen mode what you do have though is on the roof here as you can see there’s no sunroof in this vehicle that’s because there’s a solar panel on the top of this thing and that solar panel can according to shindai and i have now tested this regen your entire electric drive system just by sitting there and taking in sun that’s pretty cool if you can get to work

I mean my guess is is you will need to be in a very sunny climate for that to really be feasible uh i’m an overcast october day in vancouver here i think that would take a while to regen my battery through through the the solar panel but it’s cool to have anyway but would you rather have a sunroof uh i guess that’s something to be determined and unfortunately

Or fortunately depending look at it there’s only one trim available right now for 2020 for the sonata it’s ultimate trim there’s very few options to choose from it and there’s no sunroof option that i’ve seen um so you are stuck with that uh panel up there and no sunroof then again um having no sunroof gives me more headroom here as i demonstrated before and

More hit them in the back too so there you go uh i’m averaging as i check my trip computer 5.5 liters per hundred kilometers of fuel usage um i’ve been driving in city and on highways so that’s a pretty good number um i don’t have shindais or nrcans test as tested figures here i’ll put those on the screen to know how i’m doing compared to what they say i should be

Doing but five and a half liters per let’s be honest no one’s gonna complain about that no way and very few people i think are complaining about the ride this is a very it rides really really well it’s quiet uh the damper settings are good um it’s quiet low speeds i should specify as we heard back there as speeds increase and as that gas motor starts doing more

Work it does get a little bit loud and the transmission even though it isn’t a cvt sometimes sounds a little bit droney to me i’m really picky about this kind of stuff and it really seemed to only be an issue when i was putting the vehicle under duress climbing a steep hill or making a highway pass and so on so um it’s not like a a deal breaker but it’s something

To keep in mind anyway but the re but the rest of this is so well put together and and kind of fastened together everything is done with a purpose every button press is met with a good response the even the indicator stalks are give this nice bassy clunky feel when you activate them and it’s it really feels like it’s it’s doing something and i don’t know if this

Is probably me i’m probably a weirdo like this but i i like a good indicator stock i don’t like ones that feel cheap and chintzy because that’s a really good indicator of what might be going on under the surface so all the controls are nice the paddle shifters have a nice throw if you want to call it that the buttons here everything is really quite good when it

Comes to build quality and this and this is not and shouldn’t i used to say well yeah of course their top spec of their sonata is going to be really well fast together they don’t have a luxury brand that can pull up some of that slack like panda does with acura or like toyota doesn’t like so on but now shindai has genesis they do have a luxury brand and yet still

At this level in the sonata here it’s really really really nice and for 40 grand which is in and around what this costs i’ll put the azure msrp on the screen here this is really good plus i mentioned all the features but before i talked about the blind spot um uh system i said maybe i didn’t mention that um i didn’t the blind spot system this one’s actually

Really really smart when you flick the indicator if you flick left the left hand side of your digital gaze cluster becomes a blind spot camera really cool if you flick it right the right hand side because it becomes a blind blind spot camera honda’s done a similar thing with their um lane watch system thing is though that only works last i tried it on the right

Hand side so only the right hand side blind spot gets shown and it gets shown on your center stack or your infotainment display here which isn’t as natural it’s not as natural to be changing lanes and looking here you want to be looking at your mirrors or over your shoulder you should be anyway um but here you do your shoulder check and then you flick this and

Now you’re looking straight ahead to the gaze clouds are not having to look over here which i really really like some would say well don’t the steering wheel supposed to get in your way no they don’t because when you’re changing lanes you don’t have to turn the wheel around all that much really oops my bit of a sensitive system there anyway um that’s my forward

Collision alert system so that’s there that one works obviously um you don’t when you’re changing lanes you don’t have to turn the wheel all that much you you only turn a little bit so the spokes never get in your way now if my backup camera was there like it is on a mclaren 570 for example well that’s a different story because when you’re backing up now you’re

Winding the wheel a little bit more and you might block that uh the view of the of the backup camera and your gaze cluster there so instead the backup camera is in its traditional spot right here and it’s also a top-down view camera as well it’s the only way to get it in the sonata hybrid because that’s ultimate spec for you so that’s really nice too nice drive in

Here it’s efficient we talked about the space before i like the features it has the build quality is great this is a cool this is a really cool car it’s it’s a mid-sized sedan that has a bit of swagger uh and the sonata’s been doing that for quite a while now um the i guess it’s probably two generations ago i guess it’s two generations ago now the sonata hybrid

Really or the sonata sorry really kind of made it uh to the mainstream they really started to fix the styling a bit so it really looked quite good and now it looks great especially in hybrid form there’s those special turbine wheels you would have seen earlier that cool chrome strip that goes from the headlight all the way to the rear of the side windows that’s

A really cool effect the plastic over the rear view sorry the tail lights you would have seen in the earlier shots on the trunk there you might think that’s just decorative but i’ve actually found a good touch point for when you’re closing the trunk i have a ring on my hand and i always get nervous that when i’m closing the trunk of my car the ring might scratch

Scratch the paint probably no i mean paint should be more kind of robust than that when it comes to you know vehicle paint but with that plastic touch point you have to worry about so much so it’s got little ridges on it which are actually i believe functional are made to help the aerodynamics a little bit but they also make for good grip so that’s really cool

Styling is really really good uh the rear end looks a little bit i’ll admit like a volvo you know s90 for example or even one of the new polestar vehicles which is no bad thing those are cool cars and very modern so and plus you’ve got the nice swooping roof on here a bit of a kind of grand touring look to it kind of kia stingerish that way very very cool for all

That a good stance low and wide a little bit guppy like when you look directly from the front because the way the grille is shaped maybe but other than that good looking car that comes well equipped nice audio visual stuff in here nice kind of nice lighting in here really really really really cool and efficient too and working as a hybrid should so the sunday

Sonata hybrid is impressing a lot of my colleagues now that i’ve had a chance to drive it’s impressed me too i hope i showed that to you in this review um thanks for watching uh if you haven’t already subscribed to the channel please do if not of course no hard feelings you can also follow me on twitter at that wheel man and on instagram down the wheel man as well

So thanks tuning into this video and until next time sayonara folks

Transcribed from video
2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Review — It’s Ultimate! By DanTheWheelMan