If there is one car that can lure mainstream buyers away from CUVs, this is it.
The user experience value proposition for the redesigned 2020 Hyundai Sonata is simply stunning. With the price of the average vehicle now reaching $38,000, the $34,365 (including $930 destination charge) on the sticker of our test car seems like a typo.
There is an awful lot to like about the interior and user experience of the new Sonata, which incorporates some of the same interior design vocabulary as the Hyundai Palisade, which won a 10 Best UX award last year.
A premium Bose 12-speaker audio system and ambient lighting with many color choices are surprising features at this price point, as are welcoming graphics.
When you enter the car, you are greeted by a lovely startup animation on the 12.3-in. (312-mm) digital instrument cluster and an impressive 10.25-in. (260-mm) high-resolution touchscreen mounted high on the instrument panel, exactly where it should be for optimum visibility.
The infotainment display features richly detailed graphics and is well organized. Its width allows for a three-tile home page displaying navigation, audio and weather just like premium luxury brands.
We settle into the comfy leather-upholstered driver’s seat and enjoy its ventilated coolness on a hot day (a rare feature at this price).
“I find more to like about this car than some of the ‘luxury’ models I’ve been in lately,” Judge Christie Schweinsberg writes on her scoresheet.
The list of electronic safety and advanced driver-assist features is long , including forward collision avoidance with pedestrian detection, ACC (which Hyundai calls Smart Cruise Control) with stop-and-go capability; blindspot detection; lane-keeping assist; rear cross-traffic alert; parking collision avoidance assist in the rear; and surround view with front and rear parking sensors.
There also is a remote smart parking assist feature which enables the car to pull out from a tight parking space without the driver being inside. A phone-based digital key also is available.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on our top-of-line Limited trim level test car, which starts at $33,300. But there’s also an embedded navigation and voice command system.
The base model starts at a mere $23,600 by the way.
The center console layout is clean, with two large control knobs bracketing infotainment and HVAC control buttons. Many judges comment on the high-quality finishes and knurling on the knobs and switchgear, as well as excellent physical and electronic haptics overall.
The electronic push-button transmission shifter is attractive and easy to use, and it frees up space in a crucial area of the center console.
“Solid value and good aesthetics overall,” sums up judge Dave Zoia.