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William Maley

Review: 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe Ultimate

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Hyundai can’t seem to stop itself from tinkering with the Santa Fe crossover. This is apparent when you consider the nameplate first debuted on compact crossover in the early 2000s before growing into a two-model family up until last year. Hyundai has made another drastic change to the Santa Fe by making it a single model again - the three-row Santa Fe XL has been replaced by the Palisade. Does this re-focus make the model competitive?

The overall shape of the 2019 Santa Fe is more upright than the outgoing Santa Fe Sport. This solves one of the biggest issues I had with the Sport, poor visibility. The upright shape and flatter belt line allowed Hyundai designers to increase the amount of glass used. Not only does this improve overall visibility. This also makes the interior feel more airy. Up front, Hyundai uses a hexagonal grille that is flanked by a split headlight layout. Slim LED daytime running lights sit on either side of the grille, while a pod housing the headlights sit underneath.

Where the Santa Fe really shines is the interior. It’s a modern and clean design with a two-tone dashboard, unique fabric covering the pillars and headliner; and the use of polygons in the seat pattern and speaker grilles. Materials for the most part are soft-touch plastics and leather on my Ultimate tester. There are some hard plastics used here and there, but it will not detract from the premium feel Hyundai is going for. The layout for the controls is excellent with all in easy reach for driver or passenger. Also earning top marks is the eight-inch infotainment system which is simple to use, provides snappy performance, and allows a driver to use either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

For those sitting up front, the Santa Fe Ultimate provides power adjustments, heat, and ventilation. Getting settled in and finding the correct position, I found the seats to be quite comfortable with enough padding to tackle any trip length. Back seat passengers will find plenty of leg and headroom. Those sitting in the back will also appreciate the rear seats can recline along with heat during the cold winter months. Cargo space is about average with 35.9 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 71.3 when folded.

Most Santa Fes will come with the base 2.4L inline-four with 185 horsepower. My Ultimate AWD tester featured the optional turbocharged 2.0L inline-four with 235 horsepower. Both engines come paired with an eight-speed automatic. Whenever a Hyundai vehicle is equipped with a turbo-four, it falls into one of two camps - works perfectly or there is a performance issue. The Santa Fe falls into the latter. There is a noticeable amount of turbo-lag when leaving from a stop. Once up to speed, the engine can sometimes be a bit too responsive with a jumpiness that makes smooth acceleration a difficult task. Whether this is something with the programming of the engine, transmission, or throttle, I cannot say. I hope this gets fixed with the 2020 model.

EPA fuel economy figures for the turbo-four with AWD are 19 City/24 Highway/21 Combined. I saw an average of 20.7 mpg during my week of testing. It should be noted this is the same as the Honda Passport with its slightly more powerful 3.5L V6 producing 280 horsepower.

The Santa Fe’s ride is still smooth and relaxing over many of the bumps and imperfections that dot the roads of Metro Detroit. It is also surprisingly quiet with barely any wind or road noise coming inside. Handling is where the Santa Fe really surprised me as it felt agile when driven around a bend. There was barely any body roll and steering provided excellent response. 

On the surface, the 2019 Santa Fe is an improvement over the Santa Fe Sport. It features a fetching design, comfortable ride, simple tech, and a lot of equipment for the money. My Ultimate tester came with an as-tested price of $39,905 and that includes adaptive cruise control with stop & go; blind spot monitoring, Infinity premium audio system, panoramic sunroof, and much more. Build up one of the Santa Fe’s competition to similar specs and you’re looking at spending on average around $5,000 more.

But the Santa Fe is soured by the turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder engine which appears to have two settings - slow off the line performance and unpredictable acceleration at higher speeds. Until Hyundai can figure out what is going on, stick with the base 2.4L four-cylinder. It may be a little bit underpowered, but at least it is more consistent in its power delivery.

Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Santa Fe, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

Year: 2019
Make: Hyundai
Model: Santa Fe
Trim: Ultimate
Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L GDI 16-Valve DOHC CVVT Four-Cylinder
Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
Horsepower @ RPM: 235 @ 6,000
Torque @ RPM: 260 @ 1,450 - 3,500
Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 19/24/21
Curb Weight: 4,085 lbs
Location of Manufacture: Montgomery, Alabama
Base Price: $38,800
As Tested Price: $39,905 (Includes $980.00 Destination Charge)

Options:
Carpeted Floor Mats - $125.00


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Like the looks of this version of the Santa Fe, shame they cannot get a properly powerful engine that has smooth linear delivery of power.

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They have a new 2.5L turbo 4 in the works, it will be on the Sonata N-line, around 290hp and a little more than 300lb ft torque.  Maybe a version of that will replace the underwhelming 2.0L in a few years, might get better fuel economy as well.

 

 

 

 

 

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41 minutes ago, frogger said:

They have a new 2.5L turbo 4 in the works, it will be on the Sonata N-line, around 290hp and a little more than 300lb ft torque.  Maybe a version of that will replace the underwhelming 2.0L in a few years, might get better fuel economy as well.

 

 

 

 

 

Hopefully it will come sooner than later as a mid year update.

They need that motor in this CUV.

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The 2.0 Turbo troubles are not surprising. Power delivery has been a common complaint no matter the car by Hyundai. It’s just garbage.

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22 hours ago, frogger said:

They have a new 2.5L turbo 4 in the works, it will be on the Sonata N-line, around 290hp and a little more than 300lb ft torque.  Maybe a version of that will replace the underwhelming 2.0L in a few years, might get better fuel economy as well.

even if they lightly turbo it like Dwight has made posts about, it could probably be good for mazda turbo like power. lots of torque and some more HP.
https://www.thecarconnection.com/car-compare-results/hyundai_santa-fe_2019-vs-mazda_cx-9_2019  

no 3rd seat row, it's shorter. but the mazda  is rated better MPG.

Edited by loki
saving space

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I wonder if when people go into a Hyundai showroom (or any car dealership), the goal of the manufacturer is to have 9 SUVs there to pick from so the customer is just so overwhelmed, they just cave in and buy something there rather than going to a 2nd dealership to look at another SUV.

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Good looking CUV inside and out.  20 MPG is worse than my 308-hp V6 Colorado.

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there is getting to be quite of few of these with dealer plates on them (just sold) driving around here now, I am sure Hyundai has opened the deals and credit tap on these things.  And then Chevy has the 50,000 dollar Blazer, and I don't see very many of them.

Edited by regfootball
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16 hours ago, regfootball said:

there is getting to be quite of few of these with dealer plates on them (just sold) driving around here now, I am sure Hyundai has opened the deals and credit tap on these things.  And then Chevy has the 50,000 dollar Blazer, and I don't see very many of them.

I honestly have only seen a few blazers on the dealer lots here and not a single one in the wild. So I have to say that for $50K people are buying other autos over it.

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I've seen at least three Blazers on the road so far.  Caught a view of my first XT6 on the road yesterday, looked a little like a cheap copy of an XC90.

 

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These are everywhere in the northeast, which is expected. Enjoyed a last model year last gen base model Santa Fe I had last year for a few thousand miles, so these are just better in every way.

Still adjusting to the looks, but good ute. The 2.0T has gotten strange over the years, and isn't very well balanced, but the 2.4L is fine.

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1 hour ago, frogger said:

I've seen at least three Blazers on the road so far.  Caught a view of my first XT6 on the road yesterday, looked a little like a cheap copy of an XC90.

 

Yea, still not seen a Blazer in the wild, see plenty of XT6 out and about, selling well here, but not impressed.

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Mary and GM clearly want the poor people to stick to buying the Equinox and Terrain.  Then, the 'privileged' who really want a true mid size vehicle, the figured they could charge 55k for a loaded Blazer instead of the 40k Impala it functionally replaces.  In addition to that, make it in Mexico, too.

Honestly the Blazer would sell big in volume at lower prices, but clearly volume is not the goal.  GM is fine with letting inventory sitting on their lots for a year or two before they get an actual clue that they might need to adjust prices to market.  

I just think its sad that GM opens the door for competitors like Hyundai to gain volume in the market, and in this case even more and more.

 

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^ newsflash: Blazer starts at $28,800. Neither Mary nor anyone else is forcing anyone to buy a top-trim/fully loaded version of ANY vehicle.

Same way hyundai isn’t forcing anyone to pay $40 grand for a $25K sante fe.

Edited by balthazar
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20 hours ago, dfelt said:

Yea, still not seen a Blazer in the wild, see plenty of XT6 out and about, selling well here, but not impressed.

Quite a few Blazers out my way but have not spotted one XT6 and don’t care if I ever do. 

On 12/14/2019 at 10:14 AM, smk4565 said:

I wonder if when people go into a Hyundai showroom (or any car dealership), the goal of the manufacturer is to have 9 SUVs there to pick from so the customer is just so overwhelmed, they just cave in and buy something there rather than going to a 2nd dealership to look at another SUV.

You mean like Mercedes does with their cars? Sounds about right to me.

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1 hour ago, balthazar said:

^ newsflash: Blazer starts at $28,800. Neither Mary nor anyone else is forcing anyone to buy a top-trim/fully loaded version of ANY vehicle.

Same way hyundai isn’t forcing anyone to pay $40 grand for a $25K sante fe.

I would like to add that the dealership, where I used to work, had a half a dozen in the mid 30s.

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9 minutes ago, surreal1272 said:

I would like to add that the dealership, where I used to work, had a half a dozen in the mid 30s.

My local dealer has 19 from mid 30's to mid 40's.

https://www.leejohnsonchevrolet.com/search/new-camaro-kirkland-wa/?cy=98033&tp=new&md=541

Not selling though.

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you will rarely find an AWD blazer for much less than 34-35 right now, and that's basically cloth seats.

Enjoy that FWD blazer with 4 banger if you like.

The Santa Fe has the size of the Blazer and admittedly with its 4 cylinders, but the truth is they can add lots of options to the Santa Fe that it will have at the 35k price that Chevy won't have.  So from a utlity standpoint the Santa Fe is the size of the Blazer and offers lots more options and amenities for a lower price.  The only advantage the Blazer would have is powertrain but in 2020 Chevy will load up the sales floor with much more of the new 2.0 turbo models at that price range than the v6's which they want to eventually only offer to those shopping in the 50k range.

1 minute ago, dfelt said:

My local dealer has 19 from mid 30's to mid 40's.

https://www.leejohnsonchevrolet.com/search/new-camaro-kirkland-wa/?cy=98033&tp=new&md=541

Not selling though.

WHICH IS MY POINT EXACTLY.  those 19 blazers have likely sat on that lot since early this calendar year.  Hard to run a business with stagnant inventory.

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The majority of Blazers at my local dealer are $ 34-35. There’s 1 $30K and a few in the mid $40s. Not seeing a major price disparity WRT hyundai.

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If the Blazer sells 80-100k copies a year compared to 100-120k for the Santa Fe that is not too bad considering how awkward looking it is in comparison.  The Traverse will get more volume based on looks and value for families.

Edited by frogger

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2 hours ago, surreal1272 said:

Quite a few Blazers out my way but have not spotted one XT6 and don’t care if I ever do. 

You mean like Mercedes does with their cars? Sounds about right to me.

They do have a lot but Mercedes 7 SUVs span $100k compared to the 7 at Hyundai that span $20k in base price.  But either way I think it is a method to overwhelm consumers.

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1 hour ago, ccap41 said:

None of the MSRP's are under 35k at my dealership(17 Blazers) but they're all discounted. 

https://www.steveschmittauto.com/VehicleSearchResults?make=Chevrolet&model=Blazer

 

the 35k i refer to is discounted price.  usually those msrps will be 40ish.

 

there are Blazer Premiers out there, stickering for 55 grand.  That is stupid ludicrous expensive. In spring 2020 when some of those 19 premiers are still on lots (after 18 months), maybe then they will go out the door for 42,000.......

Edited by regfootball
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Blazers by me, difference between MSRP & advertised price ::
$3300
$2400
$2400
$2600
$2600
[about 6 more like this]
most expensive and the only AWD Premier:
$5200 (on a sticker of $52K)

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      New 2020 Segment-Busting Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Makes North American Debut at Chicago Auto Show
      2020 Sonata Hybrid Highlights
      Best-in-class highway fuel economy on Blue trim level
      Class-leading combined fuel economy on Blue trim level
      EPA estimated 52 mpg combined fuel economy rating and 686 miles of driving range on Blue trim level
      Solar Roof System can increase driving range – think of it as up to 700 “free” miles per year
      Hyundai Digital Key technology (optional)
      The top front-seat leg and headroom in the segment
      Unique eco-friendly design cues improve aerodynamics
      Active Shift Control technology makes shifts 30% faster and smoother
      CHICAGO, Feb. 6, 2020 – Today at the Chicago Auto Show, Hyundai introduced its new 2020 Sonata Hybrid, boasting 686 miles of driving range and an EPA estimated 52 mpg combined fuel economy rating on the Blue trim. This is the first time the Sonata Hybrid has been shown in North America. The 2020 Sonata Hybrid is also equipped with the world’s first Active Shift Control (ASC)  technology and a Solar Roof System (SRS), which increase driving range. The new Sonata Hybrid goes on sale this spring and is built in Asan, Korea. 
      Overview
      The 2020 Sonata Hybrid’s exclusive styling has a slippery 0.24 drag coefficient, thanks to a unique cross-hole grille with active air flaps, a rear spoiler and aerodynamic alloy wheels. Hyundai Motor’s Solar Roof System makes its debut on the Sonata Hybrid. This system recharges the hybrid battery while preventing unnecessary battery discharge when the car is off. SRS can increase the driving range by a couple of miles after 6 hours of charging. Engineers also applied Active Shift Control technology to control the electric motor, aligning it with the rotational speeds of the engine and transmission, reducing gear-shifting times by 30%. This synchronization not only improves the Sonata Hybrid’s acceleration and fuel economy but also improves the durability of the transmission by minimizing friction during shifts.
      The Sonata Hybrid is equipped with a Smartstream G2.0 GDi HEV engine and a 6-speed hybrid automatic transmission. The engine’s power output is 150 horsepower and 139 lb.-ft. of torque. The car’s electric motor delivers power output of 39 kW (51 HP) and maximum torque of 151 lb.-ft. of torque. Combined system power output is 192 horsepower and EPA estimated fuel economy numbers are 50 city, 54 highway and 52 combined for the Blue trim.
      Mechanical Specifications
      2020 Sonata
      Hybrid
      2020 Camry
      Hybrid
      2020 Accord Hybrid
      Gasoline Engine
      Size
      2.0L I4 GDI
      2.5L I4 GDI
      2.0L I4 GDI
      HP/Torque (lb.-ft.)
      150 / 139
      176 / 163
      143 / 129
      Electric
      Motor
      kW (HP)
      39 kW
      (51 HP)
      88 kW
      (118 HP)
      135 kW
      (181 HP)
      Voltage
      270V
      259V
      N/A
      Net Horsepower
      192 HP
      208 HP
      212 HP
      Fuel Economy
      (city/hwy./comb.)
      EPA estimates
      50/54/52 – Blue       
      45/51/47 – SEL, Limited
      51/53/52 – LE        
      44/47/46 – SE, XLE
      48/47/48 – Hybrid

       
      Solar Roof System
      Hyundai Sonata Hybrid’s solar-panel roof directly charges the 12-volt and hybrid batteries and outputs 205 watts of electricity. This system has several benefits:
      Mileage increases by about 2 miles per day Helps prevent battery discharge from infotainment or HVAC systems when the car is off Unique design cue Active Shift Control Technology
      ASC technology optimizes transmission efficiency by monitoring gear shifts 500 times per second and precisely adjusting the transmission rotation speed for faster shift times. ASC applies new control logic software to the Hybrid Control Unit (HCU), which aligns the electric motor with the rotational speeds of the engine and transmission to reduce gear shifts by 30%. The technology also delivers smoother gear changes and quicker shift times.
      “The development of the world’s first ASC technology is a remarkable innovation that incorporates precise motor control to an automatic transmission,” said KyoungJoon Chang, Vice President and Head of Powertrain Control System Group of Hyundai Motor Group. “It will not only save fuel but also provide a more fun driving experience for our customers.”
      Independently Developed Control Logic Software Applied to the Electric Motor
      Conventional hybrid vehicles do not have torque converters to improve fuel economy because torque converters lose energy while transferring power to the drive wheels. Although fuel efficient, such a system also requires longer shift times to ensure smoother gear changes.
      ASC technology allows the hybrid’s electric motor to also take control of gear shifts by applying new software logic to the Hybrid Control Unit (HCU) to mitigate issues with slower shift time. The HCU monitors the rotational speed of transmission with a sensor installed inside the electric motor at 500 times per second to synchronize the rotational speed with that of the gasoline engine.
      The synchronization reduces shift time by 30% from 500 ms to 350 ms. This improves not only the hybrid vehicles’ acceleration performance and fuel economy but also the durability of the transmission, by minimizing friction during gear shifts.
      Aerodynamics
      The Sonata Hybrid slips through air with 0.24 drag coefficient. The low drag coefficient is accomplished by managing airflow over and under the body. Up front, the Sonata Hybrid has active air flaps behind the grille, which close when less engine cooling is needed. A redesigned rear spoiler further improves airflow. To reduce drag under the body Hyundai engineers added several elements:
      Bumper lip Front- and rear-wheel deflectors Undercovers in the front and back of the engine bay Center floor undercover Rear undercover Digital Key
      Continuing to promote the latest advances in technology, the new Sonata Hybrid offers an optional smartphone-based Hyundai Digital Key. Digital Key uses a dedicated mobile app, Near Field Communication (NFC), and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to allow a new Sonata to be unlocked, started and driven without a physical key, via a smartphone. Sonata’s Digital Key also allows secure sharing of virtual keys with family and friends.  
      Sonata owners can tailor the different vehicle functions available to each shared virtual key, and can make the key available for only a defined amount of time. The vehicle owner can preset the duration of vehicle use or limit the use to only certain features when loaning the vehicle, and can also revoke keys remotely. For additional convenience, such as using a valet service or visiting a Hyundai dealer, Hyundai Digital Key also works with an NFC card, which will be provided with each vehicle. Each Sonata still comes with traditional keys. Hyundai Digital Key is compatible only with phones using the Android operating system. 
      Hyundai Digital Key utilizes NFC technology, which exhibits a high level of security. The NFC wireless data communication takes place only when the device and the reader are placed several centimeters apart.
      Optimized Hybrid Battery Placement
      By optimizing the placement of the high-voltage hybrid battery, Hyundai engineers were able to increase trunk capacity by 2.5 cubic feet, compared with the 2019 Sonata Hybrid. This placement also helps create best-in-class front headroom and legroom.
      Convenience Technology
      The 2020 Sonata Hybrid features a number of advanced comfort and convenience features including an electric parking brake, Hands-free Smart Trunk, Qi high-speed wireless smartphone charging pad with cooling fan, standard Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto®, Text-to-Speech via Bluetooth®, heated and ventilated front seats and split-folding rear seats.   
      The top-of-the-line audio and navigation display is a wide, high-definition, customizable, 10.25-inch touchscreen monitor with split screens and natural language, and cloud-based speech recognition powered by Blue Link, while the cluster supervision display is a full 12.3 inches. The navigation system includes a bird’s-eye view in navigation maps, and drivers get HD Radio traffic flow and incident data without ever paying for a subscription. Dual Bluetooth support is also available, so two devices can be paired at the same time—one for phone calls and one for streaming audio. The navigation system also comes with three years of Blue Link Multimedia/Map updates. Hyundai’s eight-inch display audio user interface, equipped with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, is standard on the 2020 Sonata Hybrid. An optional Bose® audio system also delivers an exceptional experience to customers.
      SmartSense Safety Technologies
      Sonata features Hyundai’s latest SmartSense advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). A series of sensors and systems, often restricted to luxury cars, combine to potentially warn the driver and may take action in the event of a safety incident. Meanwhile, other ADAS systems can help the driver perform certain tasks using the car’s 3 radar sensors, 12 ultrasonic sensors and 5 cameras. These features include:
      Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (standard) Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (standard) Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (standard) Lane Keeping Assist (standard) Advanced Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go (standard) Highway Driving Assist (optional)
      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The next step in Hyundai's Sonata offensive launched today at the Chicago Auto Show. The 2020 Sonata Hybrid features a 2.0L four-cylinder paired with an electric motor to produce a combined 192 horsepower. This is paired with a six-speed automatic which comes with new shift programming to improve the speed and smoothness of gear changes. Hyundai touts the Sonata Hybrid will return 50 City/54 Highway/52 Combined, but that is for the efficiency Blue model. Other models will return 45/51/47 on the EPA cycle.
      One interesting feature for the Sonata Hybrid is an optional solar panel roof that can extend the electric driving range by up to two miles (provided the panel is exposed to sunlight for six hours). The panel can also keep the various batteries around the vehicle charged.
      No word on pricing, but the 2020 Sonata Hybrid goes on sale later this spring.
      Source: Hyundai
      Press Release is on Page 2


      New 2020 Segment-Busting Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Makes North American Debut at Chicago Auto Show
      2020 Sonata Hybrid Highlights
      Best-in-class highway fuel economy on Blue trim level
      Class-leading combined fuel economy on Blue trim level
      EPA estimated 52 mpg combined fuel economy rating and 686 miles of driving range on Blue trim level
      Solar Roof System can increase driving range – think of it as up to 700 “free” miles per year
      Hyundai Digital Key technology (optional)
      The top front-seat leg and headroom in the segment
      Unique eco-friendly design cues improve aerodynamics
      Active Shift Control technology makes shifts 30% faster and smoother
      CHICAGO, Feb. 6, 2020 – Today at the Chicago Auto Show, Hyundai introduced its new 2020 Sonata Hybrid, boasting 686 miles of driving range and an EPA estimated 52 mpg combined fuel economy rating on the Blue trim. This is the first time the Sonata Hybrid has been shown in North America. The 2020 Sonata Hybrid is also equipped with the world’s first Active Shift Control (ASC)  technology and a Solar Roof System (SRS), which increase driving range. The new Sonata Hybrid goes on sale this spring and is built in Asan, Korea. 
      Overview
      The 2020 Sonata Hybrid’s exclusive styling has a slippery 0.24 drag coefficient, thanks to a unique cross-hole grille with active air flaps, a rear spoiler and aerodynamic alloy wheels. Hyundai Motor’s Solar Roof System makes its debut on the Sonata Hybrid. This system recharges the hybrid battery while preventing unnecessary battery discharge when the car is off. SRS can increase the driving range by a couple of miles after 6 hours of charging. Engineers also applied Active Shift Control technology to control the electric motor, aligning it with the rotational speeds of the engine and transmission, reducing gear-shifting times by 30%. This synchronization not only improves the Sonata Hybrid’s acceleration and fuel economy but also improves the durability of the transmission by minimizing friction during shifts.
      The Sonata Hybrid is equipped with a Smartstream G2.0 GDi HEV engine and a 6-speed hybrid automatic transmission. The engine’s power output is 150 horsepower and 139 lb.-ft. of torque. The car’s electric motor delivers power output of 39 kW (51 HP) and maximum torque of 151 lb.-ft. of torque. Combined system power output is 192 horsepower and EPA estimated fuel economy numbers are 50 city, 54 highway and 52 combined for the Blue trim.
      Mechanical Specifications
      2020 Sonata
      Hybrid
      2020 Camry
      Hybrid
      2020 Accord Hybrid
      Gasoline Engine
      Size
      2.0L I4 GDI
      2.5L I4 GDI
      2.0L I4 GDI
      HP/Torque (lb.-ft.)
      150 / 139
      176 / 163
      143 / 129
      Electric
      Motor
      kW (HP)
      39 kW
      (51 HP)
      88 kW
      (118 HP)
      135 kW
      (181 HP)
      Voltage
      270V
      259V
      N/A
      Net Horsepower
      192 HP
      208 HP
      212 HP
      Fuel Economy
      (city/hwy./comb.)
      EPA estimates
      50/54/52 – Blue       
      45/51/47 – SEL, Limited
      51/53/52 – LE        
      44/47/46 – SE, XLE
      48/47/48 – Hybrid

       
      Solar Roof System
      Hyundai Sonata Hybrid’s solar-panel roof directly charges the 12-volt and hybrid batteries and outputs 205 watts of electricity. This system has several benefits:
      Mileage increases by about 2 miles per day Helps prevent battery discharge from infotainment or HVAC systems when the car is off Unique design cue Active Shift Control Technology
      ASC technology optimizes transmission efficiency by monitoring gear shifts 500 times per second and precisely adjusting the transmission rotation speed for faster shift times. ASC applies new control logic software to the Hybrid Control Unit (HCU), which aligns the electric motor with the rotational speeds of the engine and transmission to reduce gear shifts by 30%. The technology also delivers smoother gear changes and quicker shift times.
      “The development of the world’s first ASC technology is a remarkable innovation that incorporates precise motor control to an automatic transmission,” said KyoungJoon Chang, Vice President and Head of Powertrain Control System Group of Hyundai Motor Group. “It will not only save fuel but also provide a more fun driving experience for our customers.”
      Independently Developed Control Logic Software Applied to the Electric Motor
      Conventional hybrid vehicles do not have torque converters to improve fuel economy because torque converters lose energy while transferring power to the drive wheels. Although fuel efficient, such a system also requires longer shift times to ensure smoother gear changes.
      ASC technology allows the hybrid’s electric motor to also take control of gear shifts by applying new software logic to the Hybrid Control Unit (HCU) to mitigate issues with slower shift time. The HCU monitors the rotational speed of transmission with a sensor installed inside the electric motor at 500 times per second to synchronize the rotational speed with that of the gasoline engine.
      The synchronization reduces shift time by 30% from 500 ms to 350 ms. This improves not only the hybrid vehicles’ acceleration performance and fuel economy but also the durability of the transmission, by minimizing friction during gear shifts.
      Aerodynamics
      The Sonata Hybrid slips through air with 0.24 drag coefficient. The low drag coefficient is accomplished by managing airflow over and under the body. Up front, the Sonata Hybrid has active air flaps behind the grille, which close when less engine cooling is needed. A redesigned rear spoiler further improves airflow. To reduce drag under the body Hyundai engineers added several elements:
      Bumper lip Front- and rear-wheel deflectors Undercovers in the front and back of the engine bay Center floor undercover Rear undercover Digital Key
      Continuing to promote the latest advances in technology, the new Sonata Hybrid offers an optional smartphone-based Hyundai Digital Key. Digital Key uses a dedicated mobile app, Near Field Communication (NFC), and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to allow a new Sonata to be unlocked, started and driven without a physical key, via a smartphone. Sonata’s Digital Key also allows secure sharing of virtual keys with family and friends.  
      Sonata owners can tailor the different vehicle functions available to each shared virtual key, and can make the key available for only a defined amount of time. The vehicle owner can preset the duration of vehicle use or limit the use to only certain features when loaning the vehicle, and can also revoke keys remotely. For additional convenience, such as using a valet service or visiting a Hyundai dealer, Hyundai Digital Key also works with an NFC card, which will be provided with each vehicle. Each Sonata still comes with traditional keys. Hyundai Digital Key is compatible only with phones using the Android operating system. 
      Hyundai Digital Key utilizes NFC technology, which exhibits a high level of security. The NFC wireless data communication takes place only when the device and the reader are placed several centimeters apart.
      Optimized Hybrid Battery Placement
      By optimizing the placement of the high-voltage hybrid battery, Hyundai engineers were able to increase trunk capacity by 2.5 cubic feet, compared with the 2019 Sonata Hybrid. This placement also helps create best-in-class front headroom and legroom.
      Convenience Technology
      The 2020 Sonata Hybrid features a number of advanced comfort and convenience features including an electric parking brake, Hands-free Smart Trunk, Qi high-speed wireless smartphone charging pad with cooling fan, standard Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto®, Text-to-Speech via Bluetooth®, heated and ventilated front seats and split-folding rear seats.   
      The top-of-the-line audio and navigation display is a wide, high-definition, customizable, 10.25-inch touchscreen monitor with split screens and natural language, and cloud-based speech recognition powered by Blue Link, while the cluster supervision display is a full 12.3 inches. The navigation system includes a bird’s-eye view in navigation maps, and drivers get HD Radio traffic flow and incident data without ever paying for a subscription. Dual Bluetooth support is also available, so two devices can be paired at the same time—one for phone calls and one for streaming audio. The navigation system also comes with three years of Blue Link Multimedia/Map updates. Hyundai’s eight-inch display audio user interface, equipped with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, is standard on the 2020 Sonata Hybrid. An optional Bose® audio system also delivers an exceptional experience to customers.
      SmartSense Safety Technologies
      Sonata features Hyundai’s latest SmartSense advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). A series of sensors and systems, often restricted to luxury cars, combine to potentially warn the driver and may take action in the event of a safety incident. Meanwhile, other ADAS systems can help the driver perform certain tasks using the car’s 3 radar sensors, 12 ultrasonic sensors and 5 cameras. These features include:
      Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist (standard) Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (standard) Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (standard) Lane Keeping Assist (standard) Advanced Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go (standard) Highway Driving Assist (optional)
    • By William Maley
      I’ve driven my fair share of Challengers on both extremes - from the standard V6 to the high-performance SRT and Hellcat models. But I never had any time behind the wheel of the R/T with its 5.7 V8. That changed in the summer when a bright orange Charger R/T Shaker was dropped off for a week. This allowed me to ask a question that has been sitting in my head for some time: Is the R/T the best bang for your buck in the Challenger family?
      The Shaker sets itself apart from other Challenger models with the use of a ‘Shaker’ scoop that prominently pops up from the hood. There is also a blackout treatment on several trim pieces and wheels that make it look even more imposing on the road. Along with the scoop, the Shaker package does add a new cold-air intake seated right in front of the driver’s side corner. This addition should boost the output of the 5.7L HEMI V8 (372 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque when paired with the eight-speed automatic. But FCA’s spec sheet doesn’t say anything about the Shaker Package adding more oomph or not. When you first start up the R/T Shaker, it makes presence known with a deep and loud exhaust note. I had to do a double-take the first time as I was wondering if I was given either an R/T Scat Pack or a Hellcat by mistake. While it may lack the high power numbers of the 6.4 and supercharged 6.2 V8s, the 5.7 is no slouch. 60 mph comes in at just over five seconds and power is seemingly available at any speed. My tester came with the optional Performance Handling Group that adds upgraded springs, sway bars, and a set of Bilstein shocks. This does improve the handling by a fair amount with less body roll. But it doesn’t feel nimble due to a curb weight of around 4,158 pounds. The steering has a quick response, but there is a noticeable lack of road feedback. If you want your muscle car to have some handling, consider the Camaro or Mustang. Nothing new to report on the Challenger’s interior. It still has the angled center stack, retro-inspired gauges, and easy to use UConnect infotainment system. The seats are where the Challenger loses some points as it feels like you’re sitting on top of cinderblocks. The Shaker package is surprisingly good value, adding $2,500 to the base price of the R/T which begins at $34,295. But you’ll need to be careful on the option sheet, or you’ll end up with something quite expensive. My tester came with an as-tested price of $46,555, which is $300 more than an R/T Scat Pack Widebody with the 6.4 HEMI V8.  The Dodge Challenger is getting up there in age and sadly cannot compete with the likes of the Camaro and Mustang in terms of handling. But Dodge is still able to offer a lot of performance in the form of the R/T. With a potent V8 engine, old school styling, and different packages like the Shaker to make your Challenger stand out, the R/T is possibly the best value and well-rounded model in the lineup. Disclaimer: Dodge Provided the Challenger, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2019
      Make: Dodge
      Model: Challenger
      Trim: R/T
      Engine: 5.7 HEMI VVT V8 Engine
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 372 @ 5,200
      Torque @ RPM: 400 @ 4,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/25/19
      Curb Weight: 4,158 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Brampton, Ontario
      Base Price: $34,295
      As Tested Price: $46,555 (Includes $1,495.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      "Shaker" Package - $2,500.00
      TorqueFlite Eight-Speed Automatic Transmission - $1,595.00
      Performance Handling Group - $1,495.00
      Driver Convenience Group - $1,295.00
      Power Sunroof - $1,295.00
      UConnect 4C Nav with 8.4-inch Display - $1,095.00
      Alpine Sound Group with Subwoofer - $995.00
      Shakedown Graphics - $495.00

      View full article
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