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2020 Hyundai Sonata delivers high-tech, high-style family motoring

Hyundai's eighth-generation family sedan is a looker once again, and it's packed with advanced safety and convenience tech you might not expect in this class.

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Chris Paukert
2020 Hyundai Sonata
1 of 57 David Dewhurst/Hyundai

The eighth-gen 2020 Hyundai Sonata recaptures some of the brash design magic that made the sixth-generation YF Sonata such a game-changer for the brand.

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The midsize family sedan is more than just radical looks, though, with a new platform, new range of Smartstream four-cylinder engines, and shocking amounts of advanced tech available.

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Trunk space is listed at 16 cubic feet.

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Said to be inspired by a drone's wing-shaped fuselage, the Sonata's dashboard is low and lean, with a horizontal theme.

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This 10.25-inch wide-aspect-ratio touchscreen is found on premium models. A fully digital gauge cluster is also available.

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The 2020 Hyundai Sonata's styling won't be for everyone, and that's by design. 

As of late, Hyundai has been venturing into edgier exterior designs, particularly with its SUV range, and they've been seeing good results.

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The Sonata is powered by either a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated four or an optional 1.6-liter 2.0-liter engine. Both are paired with a standard eight-speed automatic with available paddle shifters.

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The two powertrains are oddly similar in output, with the larger base engine generating 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque, and the up-level turbo delivering 180 hp and 195 lb-ft, albeit at lower in the rev range.

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During my afternoon of driving, the Sonata Limited's heated and cooled leather seats proved comfortable, but a bit more adjustability wouldn't go amiss.

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Despite the tapered roofline, you don't feel like you have to slouch or sit on a low cushion with your knees up in order to have decent space. That's even true of models equipped with the optional panoramic moonroof.

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It almost feels like this design could've been a hatchback for added utility, but Hyundai stuck with a conventional trunk, perhaps to please traditionalists, or perhaps for the sedan body style's typically better noise isolation characteristics. 

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The 2020 Sonata spans 192.9 inches long and 73.2 inches wide. Is overall height is 56.9 inches. Remarkably, that makes this Alabama-built Korean the same height overall as a Toyota Camry, but it manages to look sleeker.

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The Sonata now features a four-door-coupe-like roofline, but thanks to some clever rear-seat packaging, second-row room is actually quite spacious.

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Wheel sizes range between 16 and 18 inches in diameter.

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Note how the tail lamps feature subtle ridges on the top designed to smooth airflow and reduce drag.

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"Psst! Hey, kid. You, in the Camry. I got somethin' for yah."

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At least for now, the Sonata remains a gas-only, front-wheel-drive only proposition.  Having said that, we'd be surprised if a hybrid version or two doesn't present itself during this model's lifecycle.

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Hyundai has not released full fuel economy estimates yet, only saying that they expect the base 2.5-liter engine to achieve 33 miles per gallon combined and the 

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Key rivals for the 2020 Sonata will include the segment's highest-volume models, namely the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord and Nissan Altima.

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Keep clicking or scrolling for more images of the 2020 Hyundai Sonata -- not just in this color, but also in gray and dark blue.

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