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2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: Up to 54 mpg, Solar Roof Option

Claims best-in-class highway fuel efficiency for Blue trim level.

Boasting best-in-class EPA highway fuel economy in Blue trim level, a 686-mile range and optional solar roof, the 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid today makes its debut at the Chicago Auto Show. With 189 horsepower combined from its 2.0-liter I-4 and electric motor, the Sonata Hybrid has achieved an EPA rating 50/54 mpg city/highway estimate, topping the Toyota Camry Hybrid's 51/53 mpg on the highway and the Honda Accord Hybrid's 48/47 mpg, as well.

Hyundai says the Sonata's optional Solar Roof System can boost driving range by up to 800 miles over the course of a year, with range typically increasing "by a couple of miles after six hours of charging," says Hyundai. The solar roof also charges the 12-volt and hybrid batteries with its 205-watt output, helping prevent battery discharge from entertainment/information and heating/ventilating/air-conditioning systems.

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid gasoline engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder rated for 150 hp and 139 lb-ft, combined with a 51-hp (38-kilowatt) electric motor, which combine for 189 hp. That's 19 ponies shy of the Camry hybrid, and 23 shy of the Accord hybrid. The Sonata Hybrid is offered in the SEL and Limited trim levels, rated 45/51 mpg city/highway, or 47 mpg combined, while the Sonata Blue Hybrid reaches 50/54 mpg city/highway, and 52 mpg combined.

The transmission is a six-speed automatic specific to the hybrid, with active shift control (ASC), which monitors gearshifts 500 times per second. Hyundai says it delivers smoother gear changes and cuts shift times by 30 percent, from 500 milliseconds, down to 350 milliseconds.

Already arguably the sexiest midsize sedan on the market, the 2020 Hyundai Sonata achieves an 0.24 drag coefficient with help from dynamic air flaps behind the grille, which close when less engine cooling is needed, plus a redesigned rear spoiler, a bumper lip, front- and rear-wheel deflectors, undercovers in the front and back of the engine bay, center floor undercover and rear undercover.

The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid also comes with an optional smartphone-based digital key, as well as handsfree trunk opening, Qi wireless smartphone charging pad with a cooling fan, standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Text-to-Speech via Bluetooth, heated and ventilated front seats, and split-folding rear seats.

Standard safety features are lane keeping assist, smart cruise control with stop/start, forward collision-avoidance assist with pedestrian detection, daytime running lights, high-beam assist, blind-spot collision avoidance assist, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance assist and nine airbags.

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid goes on sale in the U.S. this spring.