Hyundai Sonata
Hyundai Sonata
Hyundai Sonata

2021 Hyundai Sonata

Pros: Smooth ride; comfortable cabin; high level of features per dollar; Hybrid’s fuel economy

Cons: Step-up gasoline engine doesn’t offer much of a performance upgrade; Hybrid’s engine power trails rivals

CG Says: The 2021 Hyundai Sonata adds Safe Exit, a feature that locks the rear doors if there is oncoming traffic, to all non-hybrid models except the base SE. The Sonata Hybrid is unchanged. A sporty new N Line model with unique styling and a 290-horsepower turbocharged 2.5-liter engine is expected midyear. Hyundai’s Sonata midsize sedan was redesigned for 2020, gaining dramatic new styling and a host of new technology features. Two conventional gas engines and a hybrid powertrain are offered. The base engine is a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder with 191 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. The step-up 180-hp 1.6-liter turbo four has less horsepower, but a bit more torque—195 lb-ft. Both engines are paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The Hybrid combines a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with an electric motor for a combined 189 hp. A 6-speed automatic transmission has Active Shift Control technology that Hyundai says aligns the car’s electric motor with the rotational speeds of the engine and transmission for smoother, faster shifts and better efficiency. An available solar-panel roof can charge both the hybrid and 12-volt batteries and helps provide a bit of extra driving range and helps prevent battery discharge from the HVAC and infotainment systems when the car is off. In the extra-economical Blue trim level, the Sonata Hybrid is capable of an impressive 686-mile driving range.

Among the available Sonata features is “Smart Park,” a remote parking assist feature which allows the driver to be outside the vehicle and use the key fob buttons to move the car forward or backward into a parking spot, and a Digital Key feature that allows the vehicle to be locked/unlocked and started by using a dedicated app on a compatible smartphone. Other available features include a panoramic sunroof, hands-free trunk release, heated and ventilated front seats, head-up display, and a wireless smartphone charging pad with cooling fan. Available safety features include forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality, lane-following assist, blind-spot alert, and a surround-view camera. The redesigned Sonata’s dramatic looks and “gee-whiz” technology features certainly attract attention. Although its driving personality isn’t as dynamic as its looks might suggest, the Sonata is a smooth-riding, versatile midsize sedan with a generous list of desirable available features, easy-to-use controls, and Hyundai’s traditional feature-rich value.

The Facts
Class Midsize Car
Body Style(s) 4-door sedan
Passenger Count 5
Drive Wheels front-wheel drive
Manufacturer Hyundai
Nation of Manufacture USA
Base Prices SE: $24,595
SEL: $26,695
SEL Plus: $29,195
Limited: $34,845
N Line: $34,195
N Line w/summer tires: $34,395
Hybrid Blue: $28,745
Hybrid SEL: $30,895
Hybrid Limited: $36,295

Base Engine
2.5-liter 4-cylinder (SE, SEL)
Horsepower
191
Std. Transmission
8-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
27-28
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
37-38

Optional Engine
turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder (SEL Plus, Limited)
Horsepower
180
Std. Transmission
8-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
27
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
37

Optional Engine
2.0-liter 4-cylinder/electric motor (Hybrid)
Horsepower
189
Std. Transmission
6-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
45-50
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
51-54

Optional Engine
turbocharged 2.5-liter 4-cylinder (N Line)
Horsepower
290
Std. Transmission
8-speed automated-manual
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
NA
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
NA

Hyundai Sonata N Line
2021 Hyundai Sonata N Line
Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
NHTSA Ratings
Overall - 5
100%

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Crash - 4
80%
Side Crash - 5
100%
Rollover - 5
100%

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