Classy Midsize Luxury: Hyundai’s 2019 Sonata

Hyundai has come a long way since the brand first entered the American automotive market, and Hyundai’s impressive standard warranty makes any model appealing. But right now, the 2019 Sonata is making a splash – a surprise for a sedan in a crossover-filled world

The latest Sonata brings together class, style, and a dash of luxury in the midsize sedan segment. Here’s why it’s one of the years impressive sedans.

Performance Specifications

Customers can pick from the following paint colors on their brand-new 2019 Hyundai Sonata:

  • Phantom Black
  • Scarlet Red
  • Electric Blue
  • Machine Gray
  • Symphony Silver
  • Quartz White Pearl
  • Lakeside Blue

Hyundai chose 4 powertrain options for the 2019 Sonata. The first is a 2.4-liter inline-4-cylinder capable of 185 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque. Want the most ponies out of your new Sonata? Choose the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder, that makes 245 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. Those greener-minded should consider the 1.6-liter turbo engine, a 4-cylinder that puts out 178 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque.

Finally, the Sonata Hybrid powertrain is comprised of a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine paired with a Permanent magnet high-power motor. Customers should see 193 horsepower combined from this pairing, with an additional 9 horsepower in the plug-in hybrid variant.

Though the Sonata is front-wheel drive only, there are 3 transmissions available on the 2019 model: a 6-speed automatic, a 7-speed dual-clutch, and an 8-speed automatic.

Entertainment and Safety Features

There are quite a few features to choose from when it comes to the 2019 Sonata lineup of trim levels. Here’s a quick breakdown of what Hyundai has to offer:

  • Base SE models are powered by the 2.4-liter inline-4-cylinder mated to a 6-speed automatic. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard equipment on all Sonata trims. Also available on the SE is a 7-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, and a 6-speaker sound system.
  • The Eco model swaps out the 2.4-liter turbo engine for the 1.6-liter of similar make and the 6-speed auto for one more gear. 
  • The SEL model has the same 2.4-liter engine as the SE trim. Drivers will enjoy the additional keyless entry and push button start, LED daytime running lights, 17-inch wheels, heated front seats, a leather steering wheel, and hands-free trunk access. Advanced driver aids include adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and lane-keeping assist.
  • Sport features modified front and rear fascia, but these aren’t the only aspects setting this model apart from the rest. Also included are a sunroof, a flat-bottom steering wheel with paddle shifters up top, leather seats, and Sport-exclusive interior cues.
  • The Limited trim includes a standard sunroof, LED headlights, leather seats, ventilated front seats, dual-zone climate control, and all the safety features optional on the SEL trim. 
  • The Limited 2.0T model has everything the Limited trim offers minus the engine and transmission pairing. It’s been replaced by the 8-speed auto and the 2.0-liter engine.

If safety is your priority, the 2019 Hyundai Sonata should be at the top of your list. It’s a 2019 Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), having received a “Good” rating in all test categories. And in fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) agrees, having awarded it 5 out of 5 stars for their overall safety rating as well.  

Fuel Efficiency

It’s very difficult these days to successfully manufacture a family sedan without also offering a hybrid powertrain. Hyundai certainly sets the fuel economy bar high with the Sonata Hybrid, which makes anywhere from 39-40 city and 44-46 highway EPA-estimated miles-per-gallon (MPG).

Gas engines on the 2019 Sonata are no slouches either. The 2.4-liter 4-cylinder achieves 26 city and 35 highway MPG in the SE trim, while SEL, Sport, and Limited models will likely post 25 city and 33 highway MPG ratings. The larger of the 2 available turbo engines ranks in at 23 city and 32 highway MPG, while the Eco 1.6-liter engine boasts 28 city and 37 highway MPG. Quite astounding numbers for such a small package.

How Hyundai’s 2019 Sonata Compares

The sixth generation of the Hyundai Sonata competes with quite a few brands in the midsize sedan segment. Competitors like Ford’s Fusion and Taurus, the Honda Accord, Toyota’s Avalon and Camry, and Chevy’s Malibu are popular in their own right, alongside the Mazda6, the Kia Optima, and Nissan’s Maxima. Like any other automotive segment, brands succeed by offering their customers a wide array of options and accessories.

When it comes to the 2019 Sonata, Kelley Blue Book (KBB) notes the model’s “projected mid-pack resale value has been improving.” Experts at KBB marveled at the trunk release hidden within Hyundai’s logo. And though Edmunds reviewers weren’t enthused about the base engine, they named it a “very competent sedan that ranks among the class leaders.”

Edmunds recommends customers choose the Eco model since it has the most fuel efficient powertrain in the Sonata lineup. But whichever trim you end up going with, U.S. News calls the Sonata “a great family vehicle and daily driver.” It’s large enough to easily accommodate a family of 4 and still easy on the monthly budget when it comes to filling up at the pump.

Pros

  • Easy-to-use infotainment system
  • Both hybrid and turbocharged engines available
  • Refined interior trimmings

Cons

  • No all-wheel drive variants
  • Not necessarily the sportiest sedan
  • Better fuel economy to be found in rivals

Hyundai’s 2019 Sonata, big brother to the brand’s smaller Elantra, has a lot to offer families of average size. A step above your typical economy car, the Sonata won’t necessarily turn heads, but it won’t up-end your piggy bank at the pump either. For a midsize sedan that ticks most of the boxes, check out the 2019 Hyundai Sonata.

Khairil Azhar Junos / Shutterstock

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