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William Maley

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Features A Solar Roof: Comments

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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)

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It seems like a great idea but it just doesn't seem like it is worth whatever it will cost or the additional cost to insure something like that. 

It would be nice and all to be able to leave your car parked all day and your range goes up but its suuuuuch a negligible amount I can't imagine it would ever pay for itself. 

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I could see the solar panel useful when parked in a lot like where I used to work in Chandler, AZ...10-12 hrs a day of sunshine in horrific triple digit heat day after day...

Edited by Robert Hall
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12 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

I could see the solar panel useful when parked in a lot like where I used to work in Chandler, AZ...10-12 hrs a day of sunshine in horrific triple digit heat day after day...

There are scenarios in which it would probably work very well, that being one of them, but I don't see enough of that scenario being worth it.

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It's hardly rocket surgery or anything new, the idea of solar charging for EV batteries has been around for a while...

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/28/teslas-musk-rejects-solar-on-cars-its-not-stopping-toyota-hyundai.html

Edited by Robert Hall

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Is it just me or does that back remind me of the Honda Civic with the lighting? 🤔

1 hour ago, ccap41 said:

It seems like a great idea but it just doesn't seem like it is worth whatever it will cost or the additional cost to insure something like that. 

It would be nice and all to be able to leave your car parked all day and your range goes up but its suuuuuch a negligible amount I can't imagine it would ever pay for itself. 

Really just a marketing bit with the ability to keep a fan going circulating air to have a cooler inside in hot weather climates I think.

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if it's only like $500, i could see a big take rate for it, but if it's above $1000, only the greeny-weeinies will take it.

 

this would be good for fleets that aren't used 90+%.. keeping the batteries topped off to lower maintenance needs.... yeah.

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Awesome MPG, I like the optional solar panel too, that is really cool.  This new Sonata is really impressive, it looks good, has best in class interior and technology, now 52 MPG.  They brought their A game with this car, it is a stand out.

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3 hours ago, Robert Hall said:

 in Chandler, AZ...10-12 hrs a day of sunshine in horrific triple digit heat day after day...

Cry baby. It's a dry heat, bet you wish you were here right now! :D

Edited by USA-1
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Real MPG or Hyundai MPG? :scratchchin::D

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2 hours ago, USA-1 said:

Cry baby. It's a dry heat, bet you wish you were here right now! :D

Nah.   FTS...

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4 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

Nah.   FTS...

We don't miss you either Bob. 😂

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1 minute ago, Robert Hall said:

Rob, never ‘Bob’.  I’m the anti-Bob. 

Oh ok...we don't miss you either Rob. :D

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17 hours ago, USA-1 said:

Cry baby. It's a dry heat, bet you wish you were here right now! :D

Ya can keep the horrible dry heat. I love my rain and snow! :D ⛷️

14 hours ago, Robert Hall said:

Rob, never ‘Bob’.  I’m the anti-Bob. 

Until ya get your legs and arms cut off and then your the Pool Bob! :P 🤣

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2 minutes ago, dfelt said:

Ya can keep the horrible dry heat. I love my rain and snow! :D ⛷️

 

Have had both in the last 24 hours...freezing rain changing to snow...about 6 inches of snow so far over the ice. About 30 outside.  And it was almost 60 Monday-Tuesday.   More snow in the winter means my trees and yard will be green and healthy, so I don't mind it.  I love the greenery as opposed to dust and beige everything in the desert void..

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37 minutes ago, dfelt said:

Ya can keep the horrible dry heat. I love my rain and snow! :D ⛷️

BRRR!! 🥶 Ya can keep the nasty rain and clouds 10 months out of the year (grew up in PNW) I love my warmth and sunshine 325+ days of the year compared to nasty FL humid heat it's a big difference trust me, people like my buddy in FL bitch about the high humidity. Only 2.5 months of high heat here, that's when you travel to San Diego or Del Mar even the PNW in July and August to see family and friends 🏜️:D

33 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

Have had both in the last 24 hours...freezing rain changing to snow...about 6 inches of snow so far over the ice. About 30 outside.  And it was almost 60 Monday-Tuesday.   More snow in the winter means my trees and yard will be green and healthy, so I don't mind it.  I love the greenery as opposed to dust and beige everything in the desert void..

🥶 No thanks...🥶 " freezing rain changing to snow...about 6 inches of snow so far over the ice. About 30 outside." Yeah sounds awesome LOL!

Yeah keep telling people that's what it's like here we don't want anymore!  I won't even post the beautiful pics I have of the NOT "dust and beige everything". That's why everybody and their dog is here right now...best weather in the country :neenerneener:

Edited by USA-1
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18 minutes ago, USA-1 said:

 

Yeah keep telling people that's what it's like here we don't want anymore!  I won't even post the beautiful pics I have of the NOT "dust and beige everything". That's why everybody and their dog is here right now...best weather in the country :neenerneener:

Remember, I lived there 9 years...yes, winter is nice..  May through October it beyond sucks.  Hell on Earth.  Too many triple digit days.  A sea of beige stucco houses in the burbs, ugly, ugly desert shit beyond that, dust and crap and unrelenting heat.   Now up north is nice--I liked Prescott, Jerome, Flagstaff..  I do miss my pool, the January car auctions, and a few restaurants..but that's about it...

Edited by Robert Hall
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18 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

Remember, I lived there 9 years...yes, winter is nice..  May through October it beyond sucks.  Hell on Earth.  Too many triple digit days.  You can keep it.  FTS.

Been here since 2011 myself. Nice dip in 78 degree pool out in my backyard then back into nice climate controlled home. Love it!  Mid June to mid Sept. is all of Monsoon season and worst of it, but keep telling people what you think, it's great for population control here. I would never live in the mundane frigid Winters, humid Summers Midwest. FTS as well.

Edited by USA-1

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3 minutes ago, USA-1 said:

Been here since 2011 myself. Nice dip in 78 degree pool out in my backyard then back into nice climate controlled home. Love it!  I would never live in the mundane frigid Winters, humid Summers Midwest. FTS as well.

Whatever floats your boat... I FUCKING HATE THE FUCKING DESERT.  Been there, done that...the damage done...I love greenery and going out to the islands and lakes..  😀

Edited by Robert Hall
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8 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

Been there, done that...the damage done...I love greenery and going out to the islands and lakes..  :)

Nice, glad you could get that anger out of your system LOL. Plenty of nice lakes here as well and San Diego/Del Mar is 1 hr. by jet.

Edited by USA-1

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4 minutes ago, USA-1 said:

Nice, glad you could get that anger out of your system LOL. Plenty of nice lakes here as well and San Diego/Del Mar is 1 hr. by jet.

I love San Diego/Del Mar..used to go there 3-4 times a year.  .The lakes here are in green wooded areas...and I have Lake Erie...huge.  The lakes in AZ still have desert ugly around them...

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Just now, Robert Hall said:

The lakes in AZ still have desert ugly around them...

Yep...ugly AZ desert...who knew? 😎

image.thumb.png.0e3f3dcc471dd6647d5a64dff28a1b4d.png

Roosevelt Lake AZ

 

image.png.64f0af7e51aa3fd6e742e7946bcdbeb1.png

Haigler Canyon AZ

 

image.png.d8eaac5ab8c77181aafda6e7eaee34db.png

Near Young Hwy. AZ

 

image.thumb.png.08e9c34e83199f51e16e4e57be040c32.png

Camelback Mountain AZ

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4 hours ago, USA-1 said:

BRRR!! 🥶 Ya can keep the nasty rain and clouds 10 months out of the year (grew up in PNW) I love my warmth and sunshine 325+ days of the year compared to nasty FL humid heat it's a big difference trust me, people like my buddy in FL bitch about the high humidity. Only 2.5 months of high heat here, that's when you travel to San Diego or Del Mar even the PNW in July and August to see family and friends 🏜️:D

🥶 No thanks...🥶 " freezing rain changing to snow...about 6 inches of snow so far over the ice. About 30 outside." Yeah sounds awesome LOL!

Yeah keep telling people that's what it's like here we don't want anymore!  I won't even post the beautiful pics I have of the NOT "dust and beige everything". That's why everybody and their dog is here right now...best weather in the country :neenerneener:

Keep delusion-ally telling yourself how you love it there. Being born here, the one thing you always do is put 6500K lights in your house so you have sun equal lighting. Never a dull depressed day. Love the drizzle 9 months of the year and the 3 months of summer that is 70-80's, no humidty and sunny. Plus gotta love our summer days of daylight from 4:30am to 11pm. 2 days in one. Work early morning and still enjoy a day of play after work.

Yup, will keep my hiking, camping, outdoor activities year round. Course love that we have more boats registered here than auto's. After all so many lovely places to boat too and explore.

20190210_094431.jpg

Love my winter views when skiing.

20190210_094417.jpg

20190317_085741.jpg

Better yet is my office view for working during the week.

20190617_124546.jpg

Yea can keep your heat hell of sun and skin cancer. I will enjoy the clouds and mountains and beauty of the PNW. Course your always welcome to come visit! :D 

20190707_112126.jpg

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2 hours ago, USA-1 said:

Yep...ugly AZ desert...who knew? 😎

image.thumb.png.0e3f3dcc471dd6647d5a64dff28a1b4d.png

Roosevelt Lake AZ

 

image.png.64f0af7e51aa3fd6e742e7946bcdbeb1.png

Haigler Canyon AZ

 

image.png.d8eaac5ab8c77181aafda6e7eaee34db.png

Near Young Hwy. AZ

 

image.thumb.png.08e9c34e83199f51e16e4e57be040c32.png

Camelback Mountain AZ

Glad you like it there, pretty pics, but still too warm for me. Anything over 60 is bloody hot. If I could do my job from Alaska, I would move there. :D 

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      Location of Manufacture: Ridgeville, SC 
      Base Price: $36,050
      As Tested Price: $46,249 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Advanced Package - $2,500.00
      Premium Package - $2,050.00
      Multimedia Package - $1,850.00
      19" 5-Spoke Cut Wheels - $800.00
      Heated Front Seats & Heated Steering Wheel Package - $750.00
      Pebble Grey Metallic - $645.00
      Linear Lime Deco Inlay and Interior High Level Illumination - $600.00
      Year: 2020
      Make: Volvo
      Model: V60
      Trim: Cross Country
      Engine: 2.0L Turbocharged DOHC Inline-Four
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 250 @ 5,500
      Torque @ RPM: 258 @ 1,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/31/25
      Curb Weight: 4,202 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Gothenburg, Sweden
      Base Price: $45,100
      As Tested Price: $56,990 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Bowers and Wilkins Premium Sound - $4,000.00
      Cross Country Pro Package - $2,800.00
      Advanced Package - $2,500.00
      Heated Front Seats & Heated Steering Wheel Package - $750.00
      Birch Light Metallic - $645.00
      Park Assist Pilot - $200.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Rarely, do I get the chance to drive different versions of the same model. The fleet companies I work with scheduling vehicles do their best to serve up a smorgasbord of vehicles for me to experience. But from time to time, things happen where one vehicle in a run has to be swapped because it needs to go home or is required for an important event. It happened to be that the stars aligned in such a way that two Volvo 60 series models would be swapped for various vehicles in this go around. So I found myself with an S60 Momentum one week and a V60 Cross Country another week.
      A prime opportunity to experience two different takes on the same model.
      Design: Same and Different
      Both of the 60 models continue Volvo’s design of simple elegance. The smooth boxy shape is contrasted by the “Thor’s Hammer” lighting element in the headlights and a sloping beltline along the side. Compared to the larger S90, the S60 looks cleaner. This can be attributed to the rear where the license plate has been moved from the bumper to the trunk and a raised lip on the trunk lid. The optional 19-inch wheels fitted on my tester look somewhat out of place as it removes some of the understated look the sedan is trying to present.
      The V60 Cross Country certainly looks the part of an off-road wagon with a three-inch lift to the suspension, body cladding along the side, different grille color, and new wheel choices. Around back, Volvo takes some ideas from their crossovers with the tailgate being similar in design to XC40 and XC60, and the tall L-shaped headlights. Out of the two, I found myself liking the V60 Cross Country more than the S60.
      Inside Story
      The simple elegance philosophy continues inside for both the S60 and V60. The dash features a simplistic design with clean lines and minimal brightwork. Both vehicles feature some surprising interior touches such as wood trim and machined metal pieces. The S60 does falter slightly as some interior pieces are hard plastics with some texturing. This is due to the S60 being the base Momentum trim, higher trims swap this for soft-touch material.
      Both the S60 and V60 feature front seats that provide an excellent balance of support and comfort. Ten-way power adjustments allow any person to find a setting that fits them. I also like both models coming with the optional power thigh extender to make long drives more bearable. Rear seat space is a mixed bag as there is plenty of legroom in both models, but headroom is constrained in the S60 due to the sloping roofline. 
      In terms of cargo, the V60 Cross Country is the champ. Open the power liftgate and you’re greeted with 23.2 cubic feet. This can be expanded to 50.9 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. The S60 trunk space is slightly disappointing, only offering 11.6 cubic feet. At least the rear seats can be folded down to increase load capacity.
      Non-Sensus-ical Infotainment
      All S60 and V60s come with a nine-inch screen featuring Volvo’s Sensus infotainment system. A large screen oriented like a tablet to control most of the functions fits in line with the company’s minimalist approach. But using this system becomes quite infuriating. To start, Sensus takes over a minute to boot up whenever the vehicle is started. You’ll be able to tell since the system will not respond or respond slowly whenever an input is made during this. Thankfully, the system responds quickly once it fully boots up. This brings us to another problem with Sensus, its confounding menu system. Trying to do something simple such as increase fan speed or turn on/off a safety system means swiping into various screens and menus to find that button or slider.
      Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is standard and does make Sensus slightly easier to use. But I think some real improvements will come when the next version of Sensus comes out that will be based on Google’s Android platform. I’m also hoping for some more redundant controls such as a fan knob or temperature buttons.
      When Five equals Four
       
      Both models come equipped with the T5 engine. Before you start thinking that this means a turbocharged five-cylinder, T5 in current Volvos means a turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet. An eight-speed automatic is the only transmission choice. Opting for the T5 on the S60 means you only get front-wheel drive - you’ll need to step to the twin-charged T6 or PHEV T8 for all-wheel drive. As for the Cross Country, it gets all-wheel drive as standard. 
      The T5 is a very potent engine as I found in my review of the XC40 last year and that still holds true for both 60 series models. No matter the situation such as needing to pass a slower truck or leave a stoplight, the turbo-four is eager to move the vehicle at an astonishing rate. The eight-speed automatic is smooth and delivers prompt shifts.
      On the Cross Country, Volvo has an Off-Road mode that turns on a low-speed function, hill descent control, and optimizes the steering to keep the vehicle moving through whatever muck. For most buyers, this mode will never be touched at all. But I found it to be very handy driving through unplowed roads.
      EPA fuel economy figures stand at 23 City/34 Highway/27 Combined for the S60 and 22/31/25 for the V60 Cross Country. I got an average of 24.7 for the S60 and 23.1 in the Cross Country on a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving.
      A Smooth Ride Is Here, Provided You Have the Right Wheels
       
      As I mentioned earlier, the S60 I had came with a set of optional 19-inch wheels. This introduces a problem as the ride feels choppy. Over various bumps and imperfections, the S60 wasn’t able to smooth over a fair number of them. I assume going with the standard 18-inch wheels solves this issue somewhat, although some people report the ride is still rough on the smaller wheels. The V60 Cross Country also has a set of 19-inch wheels, but it is noticeably smoother over rough surfaces. Credit must be given to the higher ride height and softer suspension tuning. Wind and road noise are almost non-existent, making both perfect long-distance travelers.
      Handling is where the S60 redeems itself somewhat. The sedan shows little body and impressive grip when driven through a winding road. I do wish the steering had a little bit more weight, but that may be solved by moving to the R-Design or Polestar models. The Cross Country is a vehicle you want to push due to its softer suspension tuning.
      Two Good Models, But One Stands Tall
      The new 60 models are worthy successors to the models before it. An elegant design and mostly roomy interior pair nicely with the strong performance from the T5 engine. Sensus is the biggest stumbling block for both models, but a new version is around the corner which may solve some of the issues.
      Between the two, I found myself being more impressed with the V60 Cross Country. It has more character in its design compared to the S60 and the ride is much more comfortable. The almost $57,000 price-tag is a bit much, but with some smart optioning, you can make it much more reasonable. As for the S60, I did find it to be quite a decent steer. But the ride does need some work when on the larger wheels. Also, the Momentum can get quite expensive if you go overboard with options. My tester carried a nearly $46,000 price tag, three-grand more than the T5 versions of the R-Design and Inscription which come with some of the optional features as standard.
      The S60 and V60 Cross Country are excellent alternatives to the usual suspects, just be careful on the options.
      How I would configure them:
      There are two different ways I would go configuring an S60.
      Value: Start with the Momentum T5 at $36,050 and add Heated Front Seats & Steering Wheel ($750) and Premium Package ($2,050) to end up with a nicely equipped S60 at $39,845. You will miss out on some items such as the 360’ camera system, pilot assist, and Harman Kardon audio system, but that pushes the price to over $44,000. Sport: An R-Design T6 fits the bill here and comes with all-wheel drive as standard for a price of $48,045. Decide which metallic paint you would like ($645) or stick with the basic black. Add on the Advanced Package and Heated Rear Seats and Steering Wheel to end up with a final price tag of $51,645 for black or $52,290 for any of the metallic colors. For the V60 Cross Country, it would be similar to my test vehicle with most of the option packages and adding the Harman Kardon Premium Sound system ($800) to bring the final price to $52,795.
      Disclaimer: Volvo Provided the S60 and V60; Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Volvo
      Model: S60
      Trim: T5 Momentum
      Engine: 2.0L Turbocharged DOHC Inline-Four
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 250 @ 5,500
      Torque @ RPM: 258 @ 1,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 23/34/27
      Curb Weight: 3,657 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ridgeville, SC 
      Base Price: $36,050
      As Tested Price: $46,249 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Advanced Package - $2,500.00
      Premium Package - $2,050.00
      Multimedia Package - $1,850.00
      19" 5-Spoke Cut Wheels - $800.00
      Heated Front Seats & Heated Steering Wheel Package - $750.00
      Pebble Grey Metallic - $645.00
      Linear Lime Deco Inlay and Interior High Level Illumination - $600.00
      Year: 2020
      Make: Volvo
      Model: V60
      Trim: Cross Country
      Engine: 2.0L Turbocharged DOHC Inline-Four
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 250 @ 5,500
      Torque @ RPM: 258 @ 1,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/31/25
      Curb Weight: 4,202 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Gothenburg, Sweden
      Base Price: $45,100
      As Tested Price: $56,990 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Bowers and Wilkins Premium Sound - $4,000.00
      Cross Country Pro Package - $2,800.00
      Advanced Package - $2,500.00
      Heated Front Seats & Heated Steering Wheel Package - $750.00
      Birch Light Metallic - $645.00
      Park Assist Pilot - $200.00
    • By William Maley
      The landscape of midsize sedans was much different ten to fifteen years ago. All of them offered the choice of a four-cylinder and V6 engine. Today, it is a completely different story as most automakers that still offer a midsize sedan have dropped their V6 engines in favor of turbo-fours. But Toyota is bucking the trend by sticking with the V6 in the Camry. It seemed like a good time to ask whether or not there is a place for a V6 in the midsize class.
      The V6 in question is a 3.5L used in many Toyota and Lexus vehicles. In the Camry, output is rated at 301 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic routes power to the front wheels. This V6 is one of my favorites due to its combination of excellent acceleration off the line and smoothness that turbo-fours can only dream of. One gotcha you need to keep in mind that torque steer will pop up if you decide to mash on the accelerator. The eight-speed automatic is very smooth and quick to upshift but hesitates to downshift when you need more speed. This is likely due to programming in the transmission to improve fuel economy. EPA fuel economy figures for the Camry XLE V6 are 22 City/33 Highway/26 Combined. My average for the week landed around 24 on a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving. The XSE and TRD V6s see a slight dip in fuel economy due to their performance ambitions. While the XLE can’t fully match the athleticism of the XSE I drove last year, it still can hold its own in the bends. The XLE has the added benefit of providing a smoother ride, as most bumps and road imperfections become mere ripples. Disappointingly, there is a fair amount of road and wind noise comes inside when driving on the freeway. A key difference between the XLE and the XSE I drove last year is the front end treatment. There is a larger lower grille and a different top grille design. I find this design to be a bit much and may scare a lot of people away. On the other hand, the new front does give Camry some needed presence on the road - something that couldn’t be said for previous-generation models. The XLE is surprisingly luxurious with quilted luxury upholstery for the seats and stitching on the dash. Although, a Mazda6 Signature is slightly more premium in terms of offering more luxurious trim pieces, whereas the Camry XLE uses a lot of piano black trim.  Comfort is one area that the Camry XLE excels in. The seats are quite cushy and offer plenty of support, no matter the distance of any trip. The back seat offers plenty of head and legroom. The Entune system may not have the sharp and modern graphics as some competitors, but it does have a simple interface and the ability to use either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The XLE starts at $29,455 for the base four-cylinder, while the V6 will set you back $34,580. With a few options, my test XLE V6 carried an as-tested price of $37,824. That’s slightly more expensive than a Mazda6 Signature which offers a slightly more premium interior and better driving dynamics. But the Camry can counter with the smooth performance of the V6, comfortable ride, and its long-standing reputation for reliability. I came away really impressed with the Camry XLE, but also wondering how much longer Toyota will hold out. Despite all of the positives, the V6 is a very expensive proposition and most buyers will likely be happy with the four-cylinder. If I was to buy one, I would likely go for an XLE minus the options. Disclaimer: Toyota provided the Camry, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Camry
      Trim: XLE V6
      Engine: 3.5L DOHC D-4S Dual-Injection w/Dual VVT-i V6
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Eight-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 301 @ 6,600
      Torque @ RPM: 267 @ 4,700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/33/26
      Curb Weight: 3,549 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, KY
      Base Price: $34,050
      As Tested Price: $37,824 (Includes $920.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Driver Assist Package - $1,550.00
      Navigation Package - $1,040.00
      Carpet/Trunk Mat Set - $264.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      The landscape of midsize sedans was much different ten to fifteen years ago. All of them offered the choice of a four-cylinder and V6 engine. Today, it is a completely different story as most automakers that still offer a midsize sedan have dropped their V6 engines in favor of turbo-fours. But Toyota is bucking the trend by sticking with the V6 in the Camry. It seemed like a good time to ask whether or not there is a place for a V6 in the midsize class.
      The V6 in question is a 3.5L used in many Toyota and Lexus vehicles. In the Camry, output is rated at 301 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic routes power to the front wheels. This V6 is one of my favorites due to its combination of excellent acceleration off the line and smoothness that turbo-fours can only dream of. One gotcha you need to keep in mind that torque steer will pop up if you decide to mash on the accelerator. The eight-speed automatic is very smooth and quick to upshift but hesitates to downshift when you need more speed. This is likely due to programming in the transmission to improve fuel economy. EPA fuel economy figures for the Camry XLE V6 are 22 City/33 Highway/26 Combined. My average for the week landed around 24 on a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving. The XSE and TRD V6s see a slight dip in fuel economy due to their performance ambitions. While the XLE can’t fully match the athleticism of the XSE I drove last year, it still can hold its own in the bends. The XLE has the added benefit of providing a smoother ride, as most bumps and road imperfections become mere ripples. Disappointingly, there is a fair amount of road and wind noise comes inside when driving on the freeway. A key difference between the XLE and the XSE I drove last year is the front end treatment. There is a larger lower grille and a different top grille design. I find this design to be a bit much and may scare a lot of people away. On the other hand, the new front does give Camry some needed presence on the road - something that couldn’t be said for previous-generation models. The XLE is surprisingly luxurious with quilted luxury upholstery for the seats and stitching on the dash. Although, a Mazda6 Signature is slightly more premium in terms of offering more luxurious trim pieces, whereas the Camry XLE uses a lot of piano black trim.  Comfort is one area that the Camry XLE excels in. The seats are quite cushy and offer plenty of support, no matter the distance of any trip. The back seat offers plenty of head and legroom. The Entune system may not have the sharp and modern graphics as some competitors, but it does have a simple interface and the ability to use either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. The XLE starts at $29,455 for the base four-cylinder, while the V6 will set you back $34,580. With a few options, my test XLE V6 carried an as-tested price of $37,824. That’s slightly more expensive than a Mazda6 Signature which offers a slightly more premium interior and better driving dynamics. But the Camry can counter with the smooth performance of the V6, comfortable ride, and its long-standing reputation for reliability. I came away really impressed with the Camry XLE, but also wondering how much longer Toyota will hold out. Despite all of the positives, the V6 is a very expensive proposition and most buyers will likely be happy with the four-cylinder. If I was to buy one, I would likely go for an XLE minus the options. Disclaimer: Toyota provided the Camry, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Camry
      Trim: XLE V6
      Engine: 3.5L DOHC D-4S Dual-Injection w/Dual VVT-i V6
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, Eight-Speed Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 301 @ 6,600
      Torque @ RPM: 267 @ 4,700
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/33/26
      Curb Weight: 3,549 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Georgetown, KY
      Base Price: $34,050
      As Tested Price: $37,824 (Includes $920.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Driver Assist Package - $1,550.00
      Navigation Package - $1,040.00
      Carpet/Trunk Mat Set - $264.00
    • By William Maley
      The redesigned Corolla Hatchback brought back something that was missing in the Corolla for a number of years; being somewhat interesting. With more expressive styling and a new platform that improves driving dynamics, the model has started to shed its image of being bland. But would this continue with the redesigned Corolla sedan? To find out, I spent a week in the top-line Corolla XSE.
      The basic profile is unchanged from the previous Corolla sedan, but Toyota has done their best to make look a bit more exciting. On the XSE, this means a different front clip from other Corollas with the emblem moved to towards the cutline of the hood, a larger lower grille, and deep cuts for the bumper. The distinctive fang headlights are carried over from other Corollas. Around back, not much has changed aside from a new rear diffuser. The updated look does make the Corolla sedan have presence, but I prefer the hatchback in terms of overall looks. One item that is shared between the sedan and hatchback is the dashboard. As I noted in my Corolla Hatchback review, the dash features a layered design, faux stitching, and infotainment screen mounted on top - measuring either seven or eight inches depending on the trim. I like that Toyota is taking chances with the design, but also retaining the excellent ergonomics it’s  known for. My particular tester came with the larger eight-inch featuring the newest version of Entune. While I wish Toyota had done more to make the interface look more modern and feature colors that weren’t various shades of grey. But I cannot deny Toyota builds a system that anyone can quickly grasp thanks to the simple interface design, physical shortcut buttons to various features, and Apple CarPlay compatibility. Those with Android smartphones are left out in the cold. Those sitting up front will have no complaints about space, seat adjustment, or comfort. In the back, legroom is about average for the class. But headroom for taller passengers comes up a bit short, especially when you have the optional moonroof. Three powertrains are available in the Corolla; a 1.8L four in the L, LE, and XLE; 2.0L four for the SE and XSE; and a hybrid for the LE Hybrid.  The 2.0L produces 169 horsepower and 151 pound-feet. The XSE only gets a CVT transmission, while the SE has the choice between the CVT and a six-speed manual. Performance is the same as with the Corolla SE I drove last year; decent around town and leaving stoplights, but really struggles when trying to get to higher speeds. A fair amount of engine noise does make it way inside when driving on the highway. EPA fuel economy figures for the Corolla XSE are 31 City/38 City/34 Highway - lower than the Corolla SE hatchback (32/41/35). My average for the week landed around 33.4 mpg on a 60/40 mix of highway and city driving. Handling is an improvement over the old Corolla as it feels slightly more lively with better control of body motions. But it cannot match the nimbleness of the hatchback. This likely comes down to the Corolla Hatchback being sold in the European market where a sportier ride is desired. The sedan sold in the U.S. is more attuned to providing a smooth ride. The Corolla XSE for the most part is able to smooth over most bumps and imperfections, but the 18-inch wheels does mean some bumps do make their way inside. Road and wind noise is kept to acceptable levels. There is one area that the Corolla XSE falters, value for money. With an as-tested price of $28,794, that puts you in the range of a well-equipped Mazda3 that not only offers more power, but has an interior that the Corolla cannot match. For only a couple grand less, a Kia Forte EX offers more equipment and a slightly larger back seat. Toyota has improved the Corolla sedan to a point where most of the blandness doesn’t exist. I would have liked to seen Toyota take some of the handling magic used on the hatchback and place it into the sedan. But Toyota knows most buyers don’t really care about this. By taking the strengths and wrapping it up in a package that stands out, it will mean more people may check out the Corolla. But I would recommend sticking with one of the lower trims as they offer a slightly better bang your for your buck. Disclaimer: Toyota Provided the Corolla, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Toyota
      Model: Corolla
      Trim: XSE
      Engine: 2.0L DOHC 16-Valve, Dual VVT-i
      Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT
      Horsepower @ RPM: 169 @ 6,600
      Torque @ RPM: 151 @ 4,400
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 31/38/34
      Curb Weight: 3,150 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Toyota, Aichi, Japan
      Base Price: $25,450
      As Tested Price: $28,794 (Includes $930.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Premium Audio with Dynamic Navigation and JBL w/Clari-Fi - $1,715.00
      Adaptive Front Lighting System - $450.00
      Cargo Mat Package - $249.00

      View full article
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