2019 Hyundai Sonata

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2019 Hyundai Sonata Review

The midsize sedan segment is a tough one, with the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord leading the pack. That means the 2019 Hyundai Sonata has its work cut out for it. Priced from $22,300 to $31,900 the Sonata is priced competitively and offers six trim lines with varying specification levels. Three engines are available, with a lackluster base 2.4-liter developing 185 horsepower mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox, a 1.6-turbo developing 178 hp matched to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, and a 2.0-liter turbo does duty in the top Limited 2.0T developing 245 hp and paired with an eight-speed automatic. Drive on all models is sent to the front wheels. While all models from the SEL are well equipped, highlights available on higher trims include an eight-inch navigation screen, a ten-speaker Infinity premium audio system, and a wireless charging pad.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 7 /10
  • Performance 7 /10
  • Fuel Economy 7 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 7 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 8 /10
  • Reliability 8 /10
  • Safety 9 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
7.6
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2019 Hyundai Sonata Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2018 Sonata?

For 2019 the Sonata continues unchanged, after receiving a substantial revision for the 2018 model. Minor changes include the dropping of the "+" nomenclature while retaining all the features associated with it.

Pros and Cons

  • Loads of available features and technology
  • Spacious, comfortable interior and large trunk, with available hands-free access
  • Simple, easy to use interior layout
  • Class-leading warranty
  • Smooth ride and surprisingly nimble handling
  • Base engine is truly lackluster
  • Even turbocharged range-topper isn't as potent as rivals
  • Below par fuel economy
  • Interior doesn't feel as premium as some rivals
  • 2.0T engine not available on lower trim lines

Best Deals on 2019 Hyundai Sonata

2019 Hyundai Sonata Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
SE
2.4L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$22,650
ECO
1.6L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
7-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$23,000
SEL
2.4L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$24,300
Sport
2.4L Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$25,150
Hybrid SE
2.0L Inline-4 Hybrid
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$25,750
See All 2019 Hyundai Sonata Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

We'd describe the driving dynamics of the Sonata as capable of spirited driving, but by no means sporty. Even the Sport model is little more than a cosmetic upgrade. Still, the Sonata isn't incapable of a fun blast through a twisty section of road, particularly when you've got the 2.0T motor to get you up to speed and enable you to power out of a corner. It may not encourage you to push the limits of its handling ability, but there's a good amount of support through corners with well-managed body roll and decent levels of grip, despite the low rolling resistance tires. The suspension manages to filter out mid-corner bumps without unsettling the Sonata.

The steering is direct and has a decent amount of weight to the wheel - the D-shaped wheel in the Sport trim feels great too - with the wheel being light enough at parking lot speeds and weighting up suitably when on the move. There's not a lot of feedback going on, which doesn't inspire spirited driving, but there's also nothing outright wrong with the steering setup.

To the Sonata's credit, the composed handling doesn't come at the expense of comfort. Small to medium bumps are managed with grace and poise, and undulating surfaces are kept out of the cabin almost completely. Larger bumps aren't too invasive, and the secondary body motions are well controlled. There's a good amount of insulation with a cabin quieter than several rivals, too, but there is some wind noise that creeps over the mirrors.

Though it's quite capable, the Sonata doesn't beg to be driven hard, nor is it particularly rewarding. It's no sports sedan, but in the company of the Accord, Fusion, and Camry, it doesn't need to be. It's comfortable and composed, and it'll cater to the needs and wants of 99% of those in the market for a sedan of this size.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2019 Hyundai Sonata a good car?

Compared to rivals, the Sonata's base 2.4 engine is dismally underpowered, while even the 2.0T isn't quite as potent as what some competitors offer. But it's still a good engine, paired with a good eight-speed automatic gearbox and a surprisingly nimble chassis that handles as well as it wafts along comfortably. There's more cargo volume than rivals, loads of equipment, high levels of safety, and impressive levels of comfort for all occupants. So why not choose the Sonata? Well, despite there being a good deal to like about the Sonata, it doesn't feel memorable. Capable, yes, but it just seems to lack character, which may be a deciding factor when it comes time to lay down a deposit on this, or a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord, the latter being an outright class-leader with character to boot.

Check out other Hyundai Sonata Styles

2019 Hyundai Sonata Comparisons

Honda Accord Honda
Toyota Camry Toyota

2019 Hyundai Sonata vs Honda Accord

In this segment, the Honda Accord is target number one for the Hyundai Sonata as it's ruled the roost for a number of years as the best in class. The Sonata fares admirably too, albeit in a different manner. It's more plush and comfortable rather than driver focused, but as a result it doesn't quite handle as well as the Honda, nor does it perform as well with its lackluster base engine and underpowered 2.0T motor. However, the Sonata undercuts the Accord on pricing, and top spec trims like the Limited and Limited 2.0T come jam-packed with tech, securing IIHS TSP+ status for the Sonata compared to just TSP status for the Accord. The Accord may offer a slightly fancier interior, and marginally more cargo volume (just 0.3 cubic feet is all that separates them), but the Sonata's infotainment is easier to use . Where the Accord is comprehensively better, however, is in interior room, where no segment rival can match it for front and rear occupant accommodation. Both of these sedans are exceptional in different ways - the Sonata comfortable, safe, and technologically jam-packed at an affordable price - while the Accord is a potent performer, roomy, and reliable. Buyers will be happy with either, but the Accord is marginally better in most aspects.

See Honda Accord Review

2019 Hyundai Sonata vs Toyota Camry

Yet another name synonymous with class excellence, the Camry has been a segment favorite for decades. The Sonata is better in several regards, offering 16.3 cubic feet in its trunk to the Camry's 15.1, while also rating higher on safety, and packing a more comprehensive infotainment system - the Camry doesn't offer Android Auto. But the Camry has the Sonata beaten when it comes to firepower, its V6 engine nearly 100 horsepower up on the 2.0T in the Sonata. It rides more comfortably, too, and the interior feels more luxurious, and it allmost matches the Sonata for available technology and creature comforts, while maintaining an affordable price. The Camry is our pick here as the better all-rounder in the segment.

See Toyota Camry Review
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