Hyundai Sonata

The 2018 Hyundai Sonata comes in five basic trims, SE, Sport, Eco, SEL and Limited. The SE, SEL, Sport and Limited are powered by a 185-horsepower 2.4L 4-cylinder. This engine is mated to an advanced 6-speed automatic transmission, which sends power to the front wheels, a combination that is good for up to 35 mpg on the highway. The Sonata Eco is powered by a 178-horsepower turbocharged 1.6L four, which is paired with a 7-speed EcoShift dual-clutch transmission. The result is mileage estimates of up to 38 mpg on the highway. For prospective buyers who want a bit more power, Hyundai offers a 245-horsepower 2.0L turbocharged engine as an option on the Sport and Limited trims.

The Sonata SE is the entry-level trim, but still includes heated side mirrors, air conditioning, power windows and door locks, projector beam headlights, 16-inch alloy wheels, daytime running lights, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel with audio and cruise control interfaces, a 7-inch color touchscreen infotainment system, USB and auxiliary input jacks and a 6-speaker stereo.

The Sport and Eco trims include side mirror-mounted turn signals, leatherette interior appointments, automatic headlights and LED daytime running lights and an 8-way power adjustable driver's seat with heating for the front seats. They differ where the Sport offers 17-inch alloy wheels and a unique bumper and front grille, plus chrome and carbon fiber accents throughout the interior. If buyers elect to get the more powerful 2.0L engine with the Sport trim, they will also get 18-inch wheels, HID headlights, aluminum pedals, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, leather seats, automatic climate control and vents for rear seat passengers.

The Limited trim really steps up the luxury content of the car. It comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, a chrome front grille, LED tail lights, rear window shades, a 6-way power adjustable passenger seat to complement the eight-way, power-adjustable front seat for the driver, heated rear seats, leather seating, wood grain interior accents and an improved stereo that includes a subwoofer.

Part of the fun of the Sonata is that buyers can option the car up with features normally reserved for big luxury cars. Optional items on the Sonata include an 11-speaker Infinity premium sound system, an 8-inch touchscreen navigation system, a 4.2-inch color LCD trip computer display, HD radio, an electronic parking brake with vehicle hold, an intelligent cruise control system, a forward collision system, a heated steering wheel, vented and cooled front seats, a memory system for the drivers' seat and mirrors and HID xenon headlights.

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Editors' First Take

Hyundai knocked it out of the park with the new Sonata. From its standout design to its super-comfy interior -- not to mention its impressive roster of onboard tech -- there's a lot to like about this midsize sedan. All of that goodness carries over to this new Sonata Hybrid, too. And hey, how does 54 miles per gallon sound?

Class-leading fuel economy is the latest feather in the Sonata's cap. The EPA says the 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid should achieve 50 mpg city, 54 mpg highway and 52 mpg combined in its most-efficient Blue trim level, which bests the hybrid versions of the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. Opt for an SEL or Limited and those ratings drop to 45 city, 51 highway and 47 combined, which might actually be a bit conservative.

On a 100-mile highway loop around the greater Los Angeles area, with relatively light traffic (thanks, COVID-19) and the adaptive cruise control set at 72 mph, I saw an average of 54.6 mpg in the fully loaded Sonata Hybrid Limited pictured here. That's stupendous. Even when just tooling around running errands, I saw 51.3 mpg over the course of 25 miles of city driving.

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