The 2020 Hyundai Sonata has been garnering a lot of attention since its debut late last year and there’s a lot to like about it. New styling, new tech features like Smart Park, and a new choice of engines make it a strong competitor in the burgeoning mid-size sedan segment. But Hyundai is going kick things up a notch with the forthcoming Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.
It’s not out yet (as of this writing) and not all of the details have been released, however, we do know about some of the features and will say that they are very enticing. So much so, that they could lead some buyer’s attention away from the much-coveted Honda Accord Hybrid. To show you what we mean, here are five Accord-Hybrid-beating features that will be available Sonata Hybrid when it is released this Spring.
Solar panel roof
With all this talk about self-driving cars and cutting-edge technology, it’s a wonder that more automakers haven’t just looked to the sky for answers. Hyundai did, and they realized that harnessing the sun’s power could be advantageous on their new Sonata Hybrid.
According to Hyundai, the optional solar panel roof will charge the batteries and increase driving range by up to two miles per day, or possibly 700 miles per year. While it might not seem like a lot of energy, every little bit helps and this is definitely an edge that the Sonata has over the Accord Hybrid.
Better overall fuel economy
Speaking of gas mileage, the Honda Accord Hybrid is rated at 48 mpg in the city and 47 mpg on the highway, 48 combined. That’s impressive for a big sedan no matter which way you look at it, however, the Sonata does just a little better.
In the higher trims, the EPA estimates that the Sonata hybrid can achieve 45 in the city and 51 on the highway, 47 combined. That’s technically less than the Accord, but let’s not forget the base “Blue” trim level that will incorporate some wind-cheating design elements in order to achieve a class-leading 50 city, 54 highway, and 52 combined mpg. Take that, Accord Hybrid!
Six-speed automatic transmission
We’re getting down to the nitty-gritty here, but let’s face it, we’re not huge fans of CVT transmissions like the one found in the Accord Hybrid. So we really like that the Sonata Hybrid will utilize a traditional six-speed automatic transmission, just like the one in the gas-only version. Couple this with the last factoid concerning the car’s stellar fuel economy ratings and you’ll see why we’re juiced up on the idea.
This feature is pretty simple: you download the Hyundai app on your Android smartphone and it allows you to lock and unlock the doors either remotely or as a key fob. It’s really handy and it’s a shame that the Accord Hybrid doesn’t have something similar. Score another one for Hyundai.
More driver-assist features
The Accord Hybrid comes standard with Honda Sensing, which is Honda’s comprehensive suite of driver-assist features. The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid has SmartSense, which is basically the same features including adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, automatic braking, etc. However, Hyundai’s system adds a couple more features: Driver Attention Warning and Rear Occupant Alert.
The former prevents accidents by detecting the driver’s awareness and cautioning them accordingly, while the latter alerts the driver is anyone is left in the back seat after parking. They may seem trivial to some, but we must admit that they can be life-saving. Good job, Hyundai.
More than meets the eye
We’ll know more about the 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid when it’s made available to the public and Hyundai decides to release more detailed information. However, it looks like they definitely have strengthened up their artillery when it comes to facing the mid-size sedan hybrid category, and we advise that anyone shopping in that segment to keep an eye out the new Sonata Hybrid.