Reviews

2019 Hyundai Sonata Introduction

The 2019 Hyundai Sonata serves as the automaker’s mid-size family sedan. It’s now in its seventh generation and to some eyes, it’s the best Sonata yet played.

Restyling during the 2018 model year improved the Sonata over the rather dowdy 2015-2017 version. Little has changed for 2019, except that the turbocharged engine is no longer available in Sport trim.

SE, Eco, SEL, Limited, and Sport trim levels are offered for the gasoline-engine Sonata. Hybrids come in SE and Limited trim, with an Ultimate Package available. The Plug-in Hybrid comes only in base and Limited guise.

Sonatas come in a choice of five powertrains. Most common is the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, rated at 185 horsepower and 178 pound-feet of torque, mated with a 6-speed automatic transmission. All Sonatas are front-wheel drive.

Fuel-efficiency fans can choose the Sonata Eco, with a 178-horsepower, 1.6-liter turbo-4. Instead of the 2.4-liter inline-4, the Sonata Limited may be equipped with a 2.0-liter turbo-4 that generates 245 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque.

Regular Hybrid models pair a 154-horsepower, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder gas engine with an electric motor. Positioned between the gas engine and 6-speed automatic, the electric motor is rated at 38 kw (51 horsepower). Total system output is 193 horsepower. A 1.6-kwh lithium-ion battery sits beneath the trunk floor.

In the Plug-in Hybrid, a higher-capacity 9.8-kwh battery helps raise vehicle weight near 3,800 pounds. Recharging takes place while driving, or by plugging into a 240-volt outlet for at least 3 hours (9 hours using a 120-volt household outlet). On battery power alone, the Plug-in can travel up to 28 miles.

Crash-test scores have excelled. The NHTSA rated the 2019 Sonata at five stars overall, and for both frontal and side-impact. The IIHS named Sonata a Top Safety Pick+.

All Sonatas have blind-spot monitors with rear cross-traffic alert. Automatic emergency braking is either standard or available in an option group for most Sonatas.

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