The 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid made its initial debut in the South Korean market last year, and buyers in the U.S. long wondered when it would eventually make its way to the U.S. Hyundai delivered a resounding answer, and used the 2020 Chicago Auto Show to formally debut the all new Sonata Hybrid.
We first got our glimpse of the Hybrid late last year, and while the prototype we saw was still a bit rough around the edges, it did show us that Hyundai was aiming to make people rethink the way that they looked at hybrids. The full production version embraces a lot of the bold styling cues that made there initial mark on the standard Sonata, however, Hyundai designers made several modifications to help bring better aerodynamics to the car. Model exclusive active grille flaps, air deflectors at the front and rear fascias, and panels that cover the entire underside of the vehicle. Even the wheels get in on the act, and the spokes feature a special design that helps further enhance aerodynamics. This helps create a noticeable increase in fuel economy and driving range, but we will get more into that later. The styling that is on hand here allows the Hyundai to stand out against its rivals, and it drives home the car’s mission of providing more for the money.
Meanwhile the interior of the Sonata Hybrid comes standard with an 8.0 inch touchscreen infotainment system, but buyers can opt for a bigger 10.25 inch scree, as well as a separate 12.3 inch digital instrument cluster. The Hybrid also comes with an extensive list of driver assistance technologies which include forward collision alert, blind spot collision avoidance assist, rear cross traffic collision avoidance assist, lane keeping assist, and even advanced cruise control.
However, the bulk of the changes center around its green hardware, with the Sonata Hybrid being powered by a 2.0 liter four cylinder engine that makes 150 horsepower, and is paired with a 51 horsepower electric motor for a combined output of 192 horsepower. All of this muscle is channeled through a six speed automatic transmission that comes equipped with Hyundai’s Active Shift Control System. This system works with the engine, transmission, and the electric motor to help reduce shift times by 30 percent. Hyundai claims that a Blue spec Hybrid is capable of achieving an estimated 50 mpg in the city and 54 mpg on the highway, with this translating into 52 mpg in combined driving. The Blue model is also capable of allowing drivers to drive up to 686 miles on a single tank of gas. The slightly heavier SEL and Limited models offer 45 mpg in the city, and 51 mpg on the freeway.
Along with what’s under the hood, the Sonata Hybrid also has other ways of saving fuel, with the roof featuring an integrated solar panel. While the panel does only add a couple extra miles of range after it has had the chance to charge the batteries for six hours in sunny weather, Hyundai reps revealed that when one looks at the big picture, the roof panel has the potential to add up to 700 cumulative miles per year, which is an impressive amount when viewed from this perspective.
Hyundai did not release pricing information with this weeks unveiling, but look for that information to be released closer to the Sonata Hybrid’s official launch, with deliveries expected to beging this spring.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.