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2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: Stellar fuel economy for under $30,000

The Camry Hybrid and Accord Hybrid challenger includes a solar roof and will return up to 52 mpg combined.

2020 Hyundai Sonata
The Sonata Hybrid may be the one to get.

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata sedan is an impressive machine, but the Korean brand will offer a fuel-sipping hybrid model alongside it for frugal-minded drivers. The thrifty mentality continues to the sedan's price tag, as it comes in under $30,000.

Hyundai said Wednesday the new Sonata Hybrid costs $28,725 after a $975 destination charge, which puts it squarely between the Honda Accord Hybrid at $26,575 and the Toyota Camry Hybrid, which costs $29,385.

Like its Japanese competitors, Hyundai will offer the Sonata Hybrid in three trims: the base Blue model with the $28,725 price tag, an SEL trim for $30,875 and a top-of-the-line Limited for $36,275. Each trim's price is in the ballpark of its main rivals, but Hyundai's hybrid sedan is a smidge more efficient than the competitors.

The Sonata Hybrid Blue returns 50 miles per gallon city, 54 mpg highway and 52 mpg combined. The highway figure is best-in-class, Hyundai rightly boasts. The Camry Hybrid comes in a tick shy of the Sonata Hybrid with 51, 53 and 52 mpg. The Accord Hybrid falls shorter at 48, 47 and 48 mpg.

As each hybrid sedan adds more equipment, fuel economy drops, but the Sonata Hybrid still comes out the leader. The SEL trim should return 45, 51, 47 mpg compared to the Camry Hybrid XLE's 44, 47, 46 mpg. The Accord Hybrid's ratings remain consistent across its trim levels. While a couple mpg isn't a massive win, it's priceless marketing ammunition for Hyundai.

For those simply looking for something a little different, the Sonata Hybrid also packs a solar-powered roof that can add up to 2 miles to its overall distance-to-empty figure a day. It can also provide power to the infotainment and HVAC system when the car's off.

So, yes, Hyundai has a serious hybrid competitor on its hands. We know from experience. Roadshow Managing Editor Steve Ewing took a spin in the sedan earlier this year and found the fuel economy estimates translate to real-world results. Look for the sedan to hit Hyundai dealers next month.

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