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2019 vs. 2020 Hyundai Sonata: What’s the Difference?

  • The Hyundai Sonata is all-new for 2020.
  • The new Sonata is lower, wider and longer than its predecessor and has a sharp new look.
  • Advanced technology, good fuel economy and competitive pricing make the new Sonata worth a serious look.

For a while now, the Hyundai Sonata has served as a budget-friendly alternative to the more established leaders in the midsize sedan segment like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. There’s an all-new Sonata for 2020 that is competitive with the big dogs on much more than price. With modern technology, a distinct new look and a premium cabin with plenty of standard features, the new Sonata is a big improvement over the outgoing model.

Let’s take a closer look at what’s new with the 2020 Hyundai Sonata.

2019 vs. 2020 Hyundai Sonata


Being a visual standout is nothing new for the Sonata, but the all-new 2020 model takes its head-turning style to the next level. It has a light signature unlike anything else on the road, including the 2019 Sonata. It has daytime running headlights that sharply run up along the hood of the car and around back there’s a taillight bar that wraps around the back of the car. See the 2020 Hyundai Sonata models for sale near you

The 2019 Sonata certainly has an interesting look to it as well with a few of the same design cues, but compared to its 2020 successor, the 2019 model actually looks pretty conservative. The new Sonata is also longer, lower and wider than the outgoing model and it has shorter overhangs. The result is a decidedly premium-looking sedan that will never be accused of looking boring. See the 2019 Hyundai Sonata models for sale near you

2019 vs. 2020 Hyundai Sonata


The sleek and premium look of the new Sonata continues on the inside. We can confidently say that the 2020 Sonata has one of the nicest interiors in its extremely competitive class. The interior of the 2019 Sonata isn’t bad, but not what we’d call premium. The interior is one of the biggest improvements that came with the 2020 redesign with an attractive design and nice materials.

A couple of things that the 2019 and 2020 Sonata models have in common is spacious, comfortable seating and one of the biggest trunks in its class. If you like the idea of a midsize sedan that almost has the room of some full-size sedans, then a Sonata should be on your shopping list.

2019 vs. 2020 Hyundai Sonata


The 2019 Sonata has four engine options and the 2020 Sonata only has two. They both come with front-wheel drive (FWD) with no all-wheel-drive (AWD) option. As of this writing, we don’t have any details on a new Sonata Hybrid, but we’re expecting one to come out later in 2020.

2020 Hyundai Sonata Engines

  • 2.5-liter inline-4; 191 horsepower, 181 lb-ft of torque; up to 28 miles per gallon in the city/38 mpg on the highway
  • 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4; 180 hp, 195 lb-ft of torque; up to 27 mpg city/36 mpg hwy

2019 Hyundai Sonata Engines

  • 2.4-liter inline-4; 185 hp, 178 lb-ft of torque; up to 26 mpg city/35 mpg hwy
  • 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4; 178 hp, 195 lb-ft of torque; up to 28 mpg city/37 mpg hwy
  • 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4; 245 hp, 260 lb-ft of torque; up to 23 mpg city/32 mpg hwy
  • 2.0-liter hybrid inline-4; 193 hp, 151 lb-ft of torque; up to 40 mpg city/46 mpg hwy

The 2020 Sonata has more of a focus on comfort and efficiency than performance. The base engine gets a nice improvement in fuel economy compared to the base engine in the 2019 model while also getting a modest bump in power and torque. Performance and fuel economy numbers for the 1.6-liter turbocharged engine are very similar in both model years.

The 2.0-liter turbo engine has been dropped for 2020 and although it was the highest-performance engine in the Sonata, it won’t be missed that much. If a sport sedan is what you’re looking for, you’d be better off looking to one of Hyundai’s rivals.

2019 vs. 2020 Hyundai Sonata


Technology is another big area of improvement in the new Sonata. Both the 2019 and 2020 models have excellent, user-friendly infotainment systems with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay standard on every trim. When it comes to safety tech, the 2020 Sonata is much more generous at the base level than its predecessor. The 2020 model comes standard with adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, pedestrian detection, forward automatic emergency braking, automatic high-beam headlights, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, lane-tracing assist and driver attention monitoring. The 2019 model just comes with blind spot monitoring and lane-changing assist with some more optional safety tech available.

Some very cool tech that you can get in the 2020 model that you can’t in the 2019 model includes a 12.3-in digital instrument display that turns the whole gauge cluster into a screen and the Hyundai Digital Key which can turn your Android device into a key that can lock, unlock and start your car. There’s even a Remote Smart Parking Assist feature available for the 2020 Sonata that allows you to pull in or out of your parking spot only using your phone while standing outside of the car kind of like Tesla’s “Summon” feature.

2019 vs. 2020 Hyundai Sonata


There are myriad improvements that come with the redesign of the Sonata, but only a modest increase in the base price. The 2019 model starts at $22,650 and the 2020 Sonata has a starting MSRP of $23,400. On the high end, both model years can get into the mid-$30k range in the higher trims with the upgraded engines.

2019 vs. 2020 Hyundai Sonata 


The Hyundai Sonata sees some big improvements without a big price increase with its major 2020 redesign. If you’re shopping for a midsize sedan and considering the Sonata, the 2020 model is a very worthwhile upgrade over the 2019 model for its more advanced technology, nicer interior, and better base engine fuel economy. Find a 2019 Hyundai Sonata for sale or Find a 2020 Hyundai Sonata for sale

Eric Brandt
Eric Brandt is an author specializing in Oversteer content, new car reviews, and finding the best car, truck, and SUV deals each month. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Eric can often be found exploring the north woods on his 1983 Honda Gold Wing when the weather allows it. Father of four, husband of one, and unapologetic minivan enthusiast. Eric mastered driving stick by having a 3-cylinder Chevy... Read More about Eric Brandt

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