Hyundai Sonata ›› 2019 ›› 2019 Hyundai Sonata

2019 Hyundai Sonata

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Overview (Final Score: B)

The Hyundai Sonata resides in the competitive, but dwindling midsize sedan arena where only vehicles with an A-game are rewarded. The Sonata lacks the wow factor of some competitors, when first viewed, but generally wins us over with strong core competence and daily ergonomics.

The 2019 Hyundai Sonata carries over largely unchanged form the 2018 model year and will be completely revamped as a new generation for its 2020 rendition. That could spell good deals for shoppers looking at the 2019, though, and they'll be rewarded with a well-done sedan that offers plenty of tech and not a lot of fuss.

There's a lot to like in the 2019 Sonata, which comes in several formats as a midsize sedan. There are six well-stocked trim levels to choose from and three engine choices, depending on the trim level chosen. An automatic transmission and front wheel drive are standard.

What We Love About the 2019 Hyundai Sonata:

  • Lots of standard features and high-end tech

  • Lots of interior and cargo space

  • Great warranty that's one of the industry's best

What We Don't Love About the 2019 Hyundai Sonata:

  • Rear seat legroom can be at a premium

  • Turbocharged engine is nice, but not as powerful as competition

  • Style a big outdated with new Sonata coming in 2020


Exterior View (7/10)

The 2019 Hyundai Sonata is a good-looking, but not necessarily beautiful midsize sedan. It sports a rather yesterday feel to its appearance. That's not to say it's plain, only to say that it's a bit overly-contemporary. Flat body lines, an overstated grille, and a rounded fastback-style roof line aren't as sleek as newer, more modern designs can be.

The Sonata does feature good elements to its contemporary feel, though. Starting with the well-spaced and thin headlamps, aggressive front fascia cooling entry and fog lamps, and the stylish pace lines running up the hood.

Body lines on the 2019 Sonata are simple, but offer an effective use of belt line and flat panel grooves for good forward motion. The wheels are small for modern tastes and the greenhouse is a little overly curved for today's preference, but the Sonata remains nice looking regardless.

The overall impression that the 2019 Sonata gives is that of a somewhat dated, but not outdated vehicle with a simple, unobtrusive feel about itself. The Sonata doesn't turn heads, but that can also mean it doesn't turn them away either.

Interior Comfort, Quality, Ergonomics (8/10)

The interior of the 2019 Sonata is not going to demand photo ops with its beauty, but it's very well laid out and nicely designed for long-term comfort. The intuitive use of placement and sizing for switch gear and instruments is a Hyundai trademark which is put to excellent effect in the Sonata. Finding what's needed is easy. Materials quality is good, though not premium or high quality in comparison.

Seating in the 2019 Hyundai Sonata is very well done with comfort at all points. The driver's and front passenger's seats are adjustable and well-cushioned with a comfortable appeal that's hard to find elsewhere. Getting into and out of the Sonata is easy thanks to big door openings and a sensible ride height.

2018 Sonata

Back seats in the Sonata are accommodating and comfortable for most people. Taller folks will find legroom at a bit of a premium and the center position is not desirable, but at least usable. The seats fold mostly flat for access to the trunk, allowing more space when required.

The overall interior feel is of spaciousness. That's a nice thing to have. Trunk space is good as well, with a cavernous at 16.3 cubic feet with split-fold rear seating as standard. Finding space for small items throughout the cabin is also easy thanks to numerous stash spots and cubbies.

Technology (9/10)

To be frank, there are competitors with more robust and powerful infotainment than that which will be found in the Sonata. Those others, however, are not as useful or easy to get along with everyday as is the Sonata's. Simple often begets usability and the Sonata definitely has that for its infotainment.

The base model comes with Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto as standard equipment. Upgrading adds much more, including navigation and satellite radio. We like the on-screen button system and simple menus and especially like the intuitive hard buttons around the screen for quickly finding what is needed. Most everything about the infotainment in the Sonata with this upgrade means better feel and usefulness rather than bulky overhead to the system.

The only failing in the 2019 Sonata is with its stereo. The premium stereo isn't all that special when compared to others in the segment. We do really like Hyundai's suite of driver's aids and safety equipment, much of which is standard in the Sonata.

Fuel Economy (8/10)

The 2019 Hyundai Sonata offers three engines, each of which bring different fuel economy returns. The base engine retrieves and estimated 25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. That's below average for the midsize sedan segment. The Eco model with its engine is EPA-rated at 28 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway, which is far better. The upgrade engine for the higher trim points offers 23 city and 32 highway.

2018 Sonata

Predicted Reliability, Initial Quality Ratings (8/10)

The 2019 Sonata is rated as "About Average" for reliability by the J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study. We note, however, that the Hyundai has a best-in-class (matched only by Kia) warranty at 10 years and 100,000 miles. There have been no recalls for the 2019 Hyundai Sonata as of this writing.

Safety (10/10)

Both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety have given the 2019 Sonata high marks for safety. The NHTSA rates the Sonata at five stars overall (out of 5) with five stars each for frontal and side crash test results and four stars for rollover tests. The IIHS gives the 2019 Sonata top scores of "Good" across the board and a front crash prevention system test result of "Superior."

Performance (8/10)

There are three engine options for the 2019 Hyundai Sonata. The base engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that outputs 185 horsepower to a six-speed automatic transmission. This engine is adequate for the car, but not special in any way. Including with fuel economy returns.

The Eco model of the Sonata has a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that outputs 178 horsepower into a seven-speed automatic transmission. This engine doesn't offer much more in terms of umph versus the base engine, but it improves fuel economy significantly.

The top most trims come with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that fits the Sonata very nicely. This engine outputs 245 horsepower and utilizes an eight-speed automatic transmission with quick shifting.

The Sonata drives well, no matter the engine choice, with a good dynamic about its general demeanor on the road. It's not quick or exhilarating in any way, but the Sonata is confident and composed. Those looking for a sports sedan will be disappointed in the 2019 Sonata. Everyone else will find it well balanced.

Pricing and Value (9/10)

The 2019 Sonata is priced well considering the competition. Sales are declining and an all-new Sonata coming for 2020 may make finding a deal on a 2019 model easy. We'd look towards the Eco model for best value all around. These can easily be found in the $23,000 range and are well-equipped.

The Sonata enjoys an about average resale value, but if trade-in or resale happens within the standard ten-year warranty span, that warranty passes on to the next owner, boosting the Sonata's value. That's worth knowing.


Total Score and Competitive Comparison (67/80, 84%)

There are a lot of choices in the midsize sedan segment. For the price, few can compare to the Sonata, however, in terms of comfort and technology. The best-selling Toyota Camry far outsells any competitor, but is more expensive than the Sonata. The Kia Optima is a good choice with a competitive appeal against the Sonata and well worth cross-shopping. The lower-priced Chevrolet Malibu falls short in almost every way compared to the Sonata, though.

In all, the 2019 Hyundai Sonata offers a lot of value and excellence for the price being paid. With lots of infotainment and safety technologies on board, plenty of interior room, and a good everyday dynamic, the 2019 Sonata is an easy sell. It's well worth keeping on the shopping list when looking at midsize offerings in today's market.

Trim Style Engine Drive Train MSRP
Sedan - FWD
SE SE 2.4L 4 Cylinder FWD 22650
Eco Eco 1.6T 4 Cylinder FWD 23000
SEL SEL 2.4L 4 Cylinder FWD 24300
Sport Sport 2.4L 4 Cylinder FWD 25150
Limited Limited 2.4L 4 Cylinder FWD 27850
Limited Limited 2.0T 4 Cylinder FWD 32250

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