Stick Shift: 2020 Hyundai Sonata Limited

It seems that more and more auto manufacturers are letting their midsize sedans suffer from neglect. Or cutting them from their line-up altogether. Turning their attention instead to crossovers and midsized SUV’s, who’s popularity seems to know no limit these days. While this is especially true for domestic brands like Ford and Chevy, Hyundai didn’t seem to get the memo. This is lucky for us. Opposite of even casual neglect, Hyundai has poured some significant improvements into their midsize sedan, the Sonata. 

Far from plain or overlooked, the 2020 Sonata has never looked better. Some could even say that it’s styling is down right bold. With carefully executed design cues and a completely reworked rear end. The most noticeable new feature being a taillight that extends across the entire length of the trunk to connect the two side lenses. These lenses are topped with small aerodynamic fins that incorporate into the lip spoiler. In the front, a sloped nose compliments the new ‘fast-back’ styled rear-end nicely. Sharp headlights have narrow, illuminated tracks that run up the sides of the hood over the front fenders and towards the side mirrors. Like a ribbon of wet paint dripping down a clean white sheet of paper. It matches the aesthetic of the new taillight and draws the theme together perfectly. 

Photo via: Hyundai

On the inside, you’ll be delighted to discover ample leg and head room for a quartet of six-footers. Keep traveling back to find an impressive for its class, 16-cubic-foot trunk. On the spec sheet, there’s an extremely long list of standard features. All for your comfort, convenience and safety. Driving aides work well, stepping in when needed but never too aggressively. A big panoramic sunroof bathes the interior in natural light by day, while bright, thoughtfully place lighting brightly illuminates it by night. The effect is incredibly inviting and luxurious feeling, reminding me of the lighting experience that Mercedes-Benz offers. 

Despite being one of the more feature-packed cars in its class, the Sonata arranges itself in a manner that’s surprisingly simple. Controls are incredibly intuitive and easy to use despite being able to manage and adjust nearly everything. All on a bright 12.3” LCD cluster and 10.25” touchscreen navigation display. The touch display will do it all except for climate. Which gets its own set of controls. Even the traditional shifter is gone. Replaced by button controls for Park, Reverse, Drive and Neutral. The simple, clean layout conveys an elegance that most will appreciate. The fact that everything remains so easy and intuitive to use is a compliment to Hyundai’s obvious efforts with the 2020 Sonata.

Photo via: Hyundai

I enjoyed some time behind the wheel of the Limited edition model. Their top trim offering. As expected, it came with many exclusive goodies, like a 360-degree and blind-spot camera system. There’s LED lights on every corner of the Sonata Limited, leather upholstery, a sharp heads-up display, leatherette dashboard, parking sensors and more.

In the performance department, the Sonata lacks a little in power. Handling won’t inspire any Mario Andretti moves around tight bends either. Despite the tight ride the Sonata delivers that would suggest otherwise. Still, acceleration and cornering performance will be satisfactory to most. While it may not be an evolutionary leap forward, the 2020 Hyundai Sonata Limited is far from forgotten. It’s progressively getting better and better. Delivering an elegance and usability that’s easy, effortless and enjoyable. 

Bold styling, an attractive interior and that wonderful reputation for stellar value. All with a packaged-in warranty that’ll give any new owner peace of mind. It would seem that Hyundai is transforming itself into a brand that’s gone from only being considered because it’s affordable, to being considered because it’s both affordable and just really good. 

Price as tested: $34,365.00

By: Brandon Randall

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