The hybrid car segment is jam-packed with spaceship-looking cars like the Toyota Prius and the Hyundai Ioniq, but if you want something more comfortable and normal looking, then you can step up to the 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. In addition to being comfortable, it’s filled with all kinds of tech-savvy features that put it ahead of its competitors, and best of all, it’s able to achieve up to an EPA-estimated 47 mpg in combined driving.
During my time with the Sonata Hybrid, I played around with all of the features and marveled at its crisp infotainment display and configurable LCD instrument panel, but I also tried to focus on fuel economy. More specifically, I wanted to see if I could get the worst mileage possible out of the car.
Getting bad fuel economy in a Sonata Hybrid is harder than you think
I actually did the same thing in the 2021 Toyota Prius that I recently had as a press car loaner and the results were mediocre at best. In that car, I averaged 44 mpg during my time with it and the combined EPA-estimated fuel economy was 50 mpg. Go figure. But I wanted to see if I could do the same thing in the 2020 Hyundai Sonata and achieve better results. Better meaning “worse.”
If you’re not familiar with it, the Sonata Hybrid is powered by a 2.0-liter engine connected to an electric for a combined output of 192 hp What I really like about it that it’s connected to a six-speed automatic transmission, however, I found that it didn’t shift gears very smoothly, so I found myself actually wishing it had a CVT.
Aside from that, the powertrain operates smoothly and, as I found out, very efficiently. If you must know, I was only able to average 38.9 mpg, which is about 8 mpg below the EPA estimate. I know, I need to try harder.
The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid gets amazing fuel economy without trying
If you run a Google search on the 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, you will most likely see the words “remarkable” and “fuel economy” lumped together over and over in almost every review. And it’s no joke, as Green Car Reports even noted that they achieved 47.2 mpg during their time with it as well. Granted, their testing was mostly highway miles, while mine were mostly city miles that were covered by pressing the accelerating hard up to the speed limit while in “sport” mode. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.
Good fuel economy is a good thing
Don’t get me wrong, the fact that this car can still achieve such great fuel economy when you’re deliberately trying to watch the fuel gauge inch toward “empty” is a good thing. That means that anyone that drives this car is almost certain to get over 500 miles on one tank and, to be honest, the solar panel roof might actually be helping a little.
For reference, the Sonata Hybrid has a solar panel on its roof that equates to an extra 2 miles to its overall range per day. It could be a gimmick, but considering this car beat me in my race to empty the tank, I’ll buy into it. Ultimately, if you’re looking to spend around $37,000 on a comfortable, stylish, and extremely fuel-efficient mid-size sedan, then the 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid needs to be at the top of your list.