2019 Hyundai Sonata First Review
- 8 different models including 2 hybrids
- Second year of mid-cycle refresh
- Multiple powertrain choices
- Prices range from $22,500 to $39,000
- You might want to wait after reading our 2020 Hyundai Sonata First Review
If there is one complete midsize sedan that offers a multitude of configurations to match just about any need, the 2019 Hyundai Sonata is it. While the wraps have come off the restyled 2020 version, which will make its debut at the New York Auto Show, it is still many months away from appearing in showrooms. Consequently, there’s plenty to recommend the current 2019 Sonata, which is only in the second year of a mid-cycle refresh.
That 2018 redesign gives the Sonata a much more contemporary look thanks to Hyundai’s signature cascading grille, tauter lines around the front and rear fascias and redesigned lighting elements. While it’s not as big a change as Honda’s redesign of the Accord or Toyota’s Camry makeover, the Sonata facelift adds an element of freshness that will wear well in the coming years and allows it to stay on competitive footing with its Japanese rivals.
Many trims and powertrains to choose from
The eight models include base SE, fuel-efficient Eco, SEL, Sport, Limited, Limited 2.0T, Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid variants. There are five different powertrains available depending on trim. The SE, SEL, Sport and Limited models are equipped with a 2.4-liter normally aspirated 4-cylinder engine making 185 horsepower and 178 lb-ft of torque. That engine comes with a 6-speed automatic and fuel economy is rated at 26 mpg city/35 mpg highway/29 mpg combined on SE, while SEL, Sport and Limited get 25/33/28 mpg city/highway/combined.
The 2019 Sonata Eco model has a turbocharged 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine making 178 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque. It uses a 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. The EPA rates this model at 28 mpg city/37 mg highway/31 mpg combined.
For maximum performance, there’s the 2.0T version of the Sonata Limited which is powered by a 245 horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder with an 8-speed automatic transmission. This version delivers 23 mpg city/32 highway/26 mpg combined.
Sonata is also available with a hybrid powertrain, including a plug-in. The standard 2019 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid has a 2.0-liter engine making 154 horsepower and 140 lb-ft of torque. It’s mated to a 38 kW (51-horsepower) electric motor and the total combined output of this drivetrain, which includes a 6-speed automatic, is 193 horsepower. The EPA says the Hybrid can get 40 mpg city/46 mpg highway and 42 mpg combined in SE trim and 39 mpg city/44 mpg highway/41 mpg combined for the Limited.
The Sonata Plug-in Hybrid uses the same engine mated to a more powerful 50 kW (67 horsepower) electric motor for a total system output of 202 horsepower. The plug-in has a pure electric range of 28 miles, which helps deliver a 99 MPGe figure from the EPA in addition to its 39 mpg rating for the hybrid model. This model is also equipped with a 6-speed automatic, so the driving experience is similar to a conventional vehicle and avoids the drivability issues sometimes associated with continuously variable transmissions.
2019 Hyundai Sonata SE
The 2019 Hyundai Sonata SE starts at $22,500 and includes such standard features as 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlamps, air conditioning, 60/40 split fold down rear seat, 7-inch infotainment display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, Bluetooth, blind spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert and lane change assist.
2019 Hyundai Sonata Eco
The more fuel-efficient Sonata Eco is priced just $350 more than the SE at $22,850 and is equipped with the same features as the base model. The only differences are the turbocharged 1.6-liter engine, 7-speed dual clutch automatic transmission and Michelin tires instead of the standard Kumho rubber.
2019 Hyundai Sonata SEL
The SEL models add 18-inch alloy wheels, a mesh grille, LED daytime running lights, heated side mirrors with built-in turn signals, keyless entry with pushbutton start, hands-free trunk opener and a 10-way power driver’s seat. Also on the standard roster are heated seats, 4.2-inch LCD trip computer, heated leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, wireless phone charging, HD radio and Blue Link connectivity. Pricing starts at $24,150. A $600 Tech Package comes with automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, smart cruise control with start/stop, electric parking brake with vehicle hold and larger front brakes.
2019 Hyundai Sonata Sport
The Sport model is priced from $25,000 and adds a sunroof, gloss black exterior trim, a rear diffuser, dual exhaust, dark chrome rocker panels and door handles, paddle shifters, black headliner and sport instrumentation. Also included are sport seats with leather bolsters and cloth inserts, leather-wrapped flat-bottom steering wheel, leather-wrapped shift knob, aluminum pedals and 3D tech appearance interior. The same $600 Tech Package available on the SEL model is also offered on the Sport version.
2019 Hyundai Sonata Limited
Priced from $27,700, the Limited model includes all the driver assists from the Tech Package as standard equipment including automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, smart cruise control with stop start, electric parking brake and larger front brakes. It also comes with dynamic bending lights, LED head- and taillights, sunroof, leather upholstery, memory function on the power driver’s seat and outside mirrors, heated/ventilated front seats, 6-way power front passenger seat, woodgrain trim, wireless phone charging and LED map lights. The $2,300 Ultimate package adds a panoramic sunroof, rear parking sensors, rear side window sunshades, an 8-inch center touchscreen with navigation, Infinity premium sound system, real-time traffic, SiriusXM radio and Blue Link Guidance Package.
2019 Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.0T
The most powerful Sonata in the range is the 245 horsepower 2.0T with its turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and 8-speed automatic transmission. Priced from $32,100, it includes 18-inch alloy wheels, Michelin tires, sport-tuned suspension, a rear diffuser, dual exhaust, dark chrome exterior accents including the rocker panels and door handles, paddle shifter, black headliner, sport instrument cluster, flat-bottom steering wheel, aluminum pedals, sport shifter knob and 3D Tech appearance interior trim.
2019 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
Both the standard Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid are available in SE and Limited trims with corresponding equipment levels. The Sonata Hybrid SE is priced from $25,750, while the Limited model is $31,300. The Plug-In Hybrid starts at $33,400 for the SE, while the Limited trim is priced from $39,000. The Plug-in is also eligible for a $4,900 federal tax credit. All prices exclude $920 delivery.