2019 Hyundai Sonata Review
2019 Hyundai Sonata Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
Vehicle Test EngineerCalvin Kim is an automotive journalist at Edmunds.
- Solid list of standard features and tons of available tech
- Spacious interior accommodations and generous trunk space
- Excellent user interface receives a more upscale redesign
- Generous warranty coverage
- Lackluster power from base engine
- Top turbocharged engine trails performance of its competitors
- Slightly less rear legroom than the segment leaders
- No options available on Edmunds' recommended Eco trim
- The Sonata is unchanged for 2019
- Part of the sixth Sonata generation introduced for 2015
The midsize sedan playing field is vast with the competition coming from just about all the major manufacturers.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2019 Hyundai Sonata SE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.12 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$130/mo for Sonata SE
Avg. Midsize Car
Just about all of the midsize sedans these days are very good. As a shopper, it can be hard to choose. The 2019 Hyundai Sonata won't really wow you with dramatic styling or crazy amounts of horsepower, but it is a very competent sedan that ranks among the class leaders.
It has an easy-to-use interior and ample cargo room. And while it trails behind the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry in rear legroom, the Sonata is still large enough that your backseat passengers won't feel crowded. Standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integrate your smartphone into the car, while blind-spot detection, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane keeping assist help to prevent avoidable fender benders.
You will have to be a little careful about which engine you pick. We're not fond of the Sonata's tepid 2.4-liter four-cylinder base engine. It doesn't have the same punch and efficiency of the Accord's 1.5-liter turbocharged engine or the Camry's 2.5-liter engine. Thankfully, the Sonata Eco model features a stronger 1.6-liter turbocharged engine and a quick-shifting seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. At the top of the range is the Limited with its more powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. It's strong, but the resulting acceleration isn't as good as what you get from other manufacturers' optional premium engines.
Really, though, don't let horsepower figures sway you too much. The 2019 Hyundai Sonata's easy driving demeanor, excellent standard technology and roomy interior make it a solid pick for a midsize sedan.
Notably, we picked the 2019 Hyundai Sonata as one of Edmunds' Best Midsize Sedans for this year.
Edmunds' Expert Rating7.7 / 10
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of a Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.0T (turbocharged 2.0L inline-4 | 8-speed automatic | FWD).
|Overall||7.7 / 10|
Power in the top-of-the-line 2.0-liter turbo engine is plentiful for a midsize family sedan. The driving dynamics are spirited but not sporty. On the whole, it drives in a manner that the typical buyer will find satisfactory, but it doesn't change the game in any way.
In everyday driving, the 2.0-liter turbo engine is pleasantly responsive and smooth. In our testing, it propelled the Sonata from 0-60 mph in 7.4 seconds. That isn't as quick as some rival sedans equipped with their big engines, but it's still a respectable time.
The pedal is reassuringly firm and easy to modulate in routine driving. Under heavy braking, there is some noticeable nosedive, but the car remains very controllable. In our panic-brake test, it came to a stop from 60 mph in 118 feet, which is a pretty good result for midsize sedans in this class.
The amount of steering effort is appropriate throughout the speed range — it's suitably light at parking-lot speeds and weights up nicely on the highway. There's not a lot of feedback to the driver, favoring isolation over involvement.
Though it doesn't exactly encourage sporty driving, the Sonata is surprisingly capable on a challenging twisty road. The well-managed body roll certainly instills confidence. And despite its low-rolling-resistance tires, there's not much screeching when cornering aggressively.
It's easy to drive the Sonata in any condition, and it doesn't require the driver to adapt to any quirks or shortcomings. The turning circle is small enough that multipoint turns are a rarity and maneuvering in tight quarters is stress-free. Its transmission behaves as expected.
The newly updated suspension is a big improvement over past Sonatas. There's the right dose of compliance to smooth out road imperfections, yet body roll isn't excessive — it's a good balance of compliance and control. The front seats deliver long-haul comfort and very effective ventilation.
The front seats are supportive and well-cushioned for long-distance comfort. There's a good range of lumbar adjustments, and the ventilated seats do an excellent job of keeping you cool. The rear seats are flatter in shape but still comfortable for the average-size adult.
Given how well the Sonata handles, the ride quality doesn't suffer. Small to moderate bumps and undulations are smoothed over gracefully with no residual motions afterward. This improvement in damping is a definite step in the right direction for Hyundai.
Noise & vibration8.0
Wind noise is limited to a little bit of white noise by the mirrors at highway speeds, but it's really only noticeable if you turn off the stereo. Road noise intensity is comparable to that of other cars in this class.
The layout of controls is simple and effective. Once you set the dual-zone automatic climate control, there's little need for subsequent adjustments. The ventilated front seats are particularly effective.
The cabin does the basics well, from accommodating various driver shapes to facilitating easy entry and exit. The placement of displays and controls is intuitive and easy to use. Even though this cabin isn't all-new, it still asks for fewer sacrifices than some newer sedans.
Ease of use8.0
All of the controls are logically placed and easy to operate. Rather than rely solely on a touchscreen, the Sonata has physical buttons that are well-suited to accessing the information you need efficiently.
Getting in/getting out8.0
The big door openings and sensible ride height make getting in and out of the Sonata a breeze, even in tight spots. The sloping rear roofline does require rear passengers to stoop a little to clear it, but it's no worse than in other cars in the segment.
The wide range of adjustability, especially with the telescoping steering wheel, allows short and tall drivers to find their optimal position quickly. Unlike some of its competition, we never felt as if we had to compromise to get comfortable.
The Sonata conveys a spacious and airy feeling, with a decent amount of physical space in the front seats. The rear seats are also roomy. The rear roof pillar does cut down the view a bit, yet it's far less confining than the back seats of some other sedans.
Forward visibility is about average, as is the view out the back. A standard backup camera takes the guesswork out of reversing into a space. The high-mounted touchscreen helps to keep your eyes on the road.
The interior materials aren't quite as nice as some other sedans, but everything has a good sturdy feel about them. We never noticed any creaks or squeaks while driving, and all features functioned as they should.
There's little to complain about when it comes to the Sonata's everyday usability, which is aided by solid cargo capacity and no shortage of in-cabin storage options. It's as good as or better than what you'd get with the typical car in this class.
The smart placement and sensible sizing of bins and pockets mean there are plenty of places to store your personal items. A grippy wireless charging pad is another example of smart design.
The Sonata's 16.3-cubic-foot capacity beats rivals by a small margin. Remote seatback releases make for easier loading of large items. Its hands-free trunk opener is a nice touch, but we wish it would open completely. The trunk release is hidden in the badge; we had to consult the manual to find it.
While its infotainment isn't cutting-edge, the execution is sound and well-thought-out. The premium audio system might leave audiophiles wanting. It's decent but not exceptional. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard features, a nice attribute that's not universal in the segment.
Audio & navigation7.5
The well-spaced-out on-screen buttons are easier and less distracting to use while on the move. Graphics are sharp and the system is fairly quick to respond. The Infinity audio system is good, but we expect more performance from a premium feature such as this one.
With Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard equipment throughout the Sonata lineup, you'll have a familiar interface and more advanced music and texting features than Hyundai's system. It's not all that unusual, but it's worth noting that Toyota does not offer them.
The adaptive cruise control operates all the way down to a stop and smoothly maintains a consistent gap between you and the vehicle ahead. It's also effective in keeping a set speed on steep downhill grades. The Sonata's other advanced safety features are well-tuned to avoid false alarms.
Voice control for the navigation and phone systems is accurate and easy to use. Apple CarPlay remains our preferred voice-controlled system because it more readily accommodates natural speech and has more features that benefit from it.
Which Sonata does Edmunds recommend?
There's no bad pick here, but consider getting the Sonata Eco with its turbocharged 1.6-liter engine and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. This combo is more engaging and fuel-efficient than the standard 2.4-liter engine. You don't really get any options to choose from with the Eco, but it comes equipped just like the SE model, which is to say very well indeed.
2019 Hyundai Sonata models
The 2019 Hyundai Sonata is a midsize sedan available in six trim levels. The SE and the Eco are similarly equipped and mainly differ in their engines. The SEL adds a few luxury options, while the Sport adds visual appeal. Topping the range are the Limited and the Limited 2.0T, which has the most standard equipment and offers a powerful turbocharged engine option.
The SE is the entry-level trim and is powered by a 2.4-liter (185 hp, 178 lb-ft) four-cylinder engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Its list of standard equipment includes automatic headlights, power-folding mirrors, cruise control, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, a 7-inch touchscreen display, a six-speaker sound system with Bluetooth and USB/auxiliary jacks, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, a rearview camera, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.
You get the same features with the Eco. It mostly differs with what's under the hood: a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder (178 hp, 195 lb-ft) with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. This is the most fuel-efficient Sonata in the lineup.
Next up is the SEL, and it's a solid value if you don't mind the base engine. It adds larger 17-inch wheels, keyless entry and ignition, LED daytime running lights, hands-free smart trunk access, heated mirrors, a power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, satellite and HD radio, and a rear USB port. Also included is Hyundai's subscription-based Blue Link communications system. You can also add advanced driver aids such as adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking and lane keeping assist with the optional Tech package.
Following the SEL is the Sport trim. It has unique styling front and rear, a sunroof, a flat-bottom steering wheel with paddle shifters, leather sport seats with cloth inserts, and Sport-specific interior trim. The SEL's Tech package is also available on the Sport.
You don't get any of the Sport-specific items stepping up to the Limited trim, though the sunroof remains. Also standard are LED headlights, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, full leather seats, a power passenger seat, driver-seat memory settings, front-seat ventilation, and dual-zone automatic climate control. The safety features of the Tech package are standard here.
You also have the option of upgrading to the Ultimate package, which adds a panoramic sunroof, rear window sunshades and rear parking sensors. An 8-inch touchscreen navigation system and a premium audio system are also standard.
Topping out the Sonata line is the Limited 2.0T, which includes everything from the regular Limited but has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (245 hp, 260 lb-ft) and an eight-speed automatic transmission.
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
Wow, have the mid range cars come a long way!
2019 Hyundai Sonata SE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
I drove this car as a loaner while my 2010 Hyundai Genesis was being serviced, and I kept it for 3 days, this is not an ownership review. Nevertheless, I have been impressed by this vehicle, and I am aware that it is the base model. What I noticed right away is the accuracy of the steering. i had to drive 80 miles one way to the dealership for 120 K service on my car, and there … is no doubt that this car was easy to drive on the highway. Tracking was superior to that of my vehicle ( that is 10 years old), but I also compare the steering to that of a 2006 Passat I had owned with surprisingly good highway manners, and i find this Sonata better in this regard. Clearly, I value highway tracking more than most people. The noise inside the car was not luxury car level, but was good enough. The controls were instantly intuitive, and the climate control easy to get to perfect settings. I found the seats comfortable, the settings of mirrors, steering wheel, and seat all very easy to accomplish in seconds. I liked the lane change warnings, that work only when you use your turn signals . I never heard a lane departure warning in my drive, but it seemed to me the car was always glued to the center of the lane. The Edmunds review thought the power from the base engine was anemic, but I agree with the very first reviewer that I felt the acceleration was adequate for my needs, and I never felt I was wanting more, though I suspect that if I were climbing mountains i would want the better engine. Back seat room was tested only while parked, and I found it good enough for my 5'10" height, sitting behind myself. Trunk space was remarkably generous, and compared to a previous Audi A6 I had with millions of electronics taking up the trunk space, the trunk seemed HUGE. I could lay two sets of golf clubs along the rear trunk easily without having to take out the longer clubs or angle the bags into the trunk. I did not try to put in 4 bags. My only mild criticism is that the doors do not swing shut easily. They have to be pushed to close with more energy than I am used to. I had a 1986 Acura Legend Coupe, and I was really proud of that car when I bought it. This base Sonata has more power, more comfort, better steering, more space in the back seat ( not in the trunk), and is wildly more efficient . It is just as quiet as the Legend was. I am comparing a 30 year old luxury vehicle to a base 2019 vehicle, and ironically the Legend COST MORE in dollars in 1986 than this Sonata. This Sonata has floored me, cars are so much better, so much more comfortable, safer, more efficient than they were. This may seem obvious, but it brought the message home. Honda Accord, Mazda 6, and Toyota Camry are all rated above this vehicle, but I would have to drive them to believe it. Then, there's that warranty. I would say "Wow" but in my 2010 Genesis I just about never had to use the warranty. Nothing better than a car that doesn't need a warranty because it doesn't break. Finally, apropos nothing, I think that the 16 inch tires on the Sonata were ugly, but I just can't believe how excellent the ride in the Sonata is. I think that smaller tires are victims of style, but are underrated for their lighter weight and better ride.
5 out of 5 stars
3rd Hyundai and loving it!
Andrew Carter, 01/24/2019
2019 Hyundai Sonata SE 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
This is my 3rd Hyundai vehicle and I have to say that I love this brand! I feel that Hyundai builds high quality vehicles that are excellent values. I have the 2018 SE model, Jet Black (Gorgeous) with the black interior. I find that the exterior is beautiful from any angle. I especially love the front end, it looks premium without the premium price. The interior is spacious and … comfortable and quiet. My only knock on it is that there is too much plastic, I get that I have the base model but they could have used some slightly nicer materials, nonetheless the gauges are big, bright, and easy to read. I love the 7” touch screen and the Apple Car play, a great feature that comes standard. I also enjoy the rear cross traffic alert and blind spot monitoring. For just over $23,000 this is a fantastic value! I don’t understand the people that complain about the 2.4L engine, they say it’s underpowered and lackluster. I don’t agree the engine is smooth and powerful and I never have any issues with merging onto the highway or passing. It gets good gas mileages (mid 20’s) around town and even better on the highway. The engine is just fine. It rides smooth and quiet and it handles well. So, I can honestly say that for anyone looking for a family sedan, don’t pass the Hyundai Sonata by, you’ll regret it.
5 out of 5 stars
My second Sonata. Great car!
2019 Hyundai Sonata Sport 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl 6A)
This 2019 Sonata Sport replaced our 2009 Sonata Limited 2.4 which has been an excellent vehicle. I have owned it for only 3 months and have put only about 2,000 miles on it, but my first impressions are very positive! The car comes very well equipped, but I added the Tech Package ($600) as I wanted the additional safety features it offered. I drove the vehicle back from Phoenix, AZ to … Washington State (1,500 miles) and averaged 38 mpg. the ride comfort and handling were outstanding! I'm really impressed with the technology. The "smart" cruise control and the Lane Keep Assist are fantastic! I like the Android Auto feature. All the controls are easy to get at and use. The 18.5 gallon gas tank gives this vehicle a long cruising range between fill ups. Build quality seems very good. I have had strangers come up to me in parking lots and gas stations and tell me what a great looking car this is. If this car is as trouble free as our previous Sonata I will be very pleased. Love it so far! My second review: Have driven the car for over 8 months now and have 5,000 miles on it. Just as I said in my first review the car is great! No problems or reliability issues. Car drives and handles great. The 2.4 L engine provides more than adequate power. Comfortable! Made a trip back down to Arizona from Washington State with much of the highway speeds at 75 mph (Two adults and trunk & backseat loaded) and averaged 38 mpg for the trip. Running around city streets in Phoenix I usually get 25 mpg. Love the "smart" cruise control and lane keep assist. Recently, I was stopped at a stop light with several cars in front of me and the light turned green. We all accelerated when suddenly the cars in front of me slammed on the brakes, coming to an abrupt halt. Before I could react and apply my own brakes, the Sonata brakes itself and gives an audible warning. Wow!! The forward collision system works great! A really nice car at a very reasonable price! I highly recommend it. My 3rd review: I've had the car for 14 months now and have 7,650 miles on it. I still absolutely love this car. No reliability issues. Drives and handles great! Comfortable. Very good performance from the 2.4 litre engine and great gas mileage. Still looks fantastic! Only maintenance I've done is change the engine oil twice and rotated the tires. Would definitely buy this vehicle again! My fourth review: I've had the car for about 1 year and 9 months and love it! About 9,800 miles on it and no problems. Drives and handles great, comfortable. Good gas mileage. I've done 3 oil/filter changes and rotated the tires. I would definitely buy this vehicle again or a new Sonata. Rate it 5 plus stars! My 5th review: Car is almost 3 years old and continues to be an excellent performer. No reliability issues or trouble at all! Great ride and performance! 5 stars again and would definitely buy again! My fifth review: The car is going on 4 years old now and I have a little over 18,000 trouble free miles on it. The car continues to deliver great performance, comfortable ride and very good gas mileage. I just replaced the original OEM tires (Kumho Solus TA31) with a much better all season tire even though the original tires had plenty of tread left. Great car! I would definitely buy it again! My 6th review: Car is over 4 years old now with 20,300 miles on it. No problems at all. Continues to perform great. Put new tires on it a while back. Just a fantastic car at a very reasonable price.
4 out of 5 stars
Hyundai driver, 06/28/2019
2019 Hyundai Sonata Limited 2.0T 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
I got the car before the 2020 shows up at the dealers, and got a good lease deal. The features included at the price range is excellent. The ride is quiet, and smooth. Even though sporty sedan, suspensions are soft enough for a comfortable ride. Seats are great, safety features with LKA and adaptive cruise control are great. I am glad this is a stop and go cruise control, works perfectly … in traffic. I love the turbo engine in the sport mode, reminds me of my past volvo s60. Even with the child seat, a lot of space in the back seat. The downside is the quality of materials when compared to accord and mazda 6, but if you get a good deal you will quickly forget about that. Also Hyundai skipped the rain sensing wipers even at the top level.
2019 Sonata Highlights
|Combined MPG||29 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$130/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||front wheel drive|
|Warranty||5 years / 60,000 miles|
Our experts like the Sonata models:
- Blind Spot With Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
- Assists the driver by warning of cars in the blind spot of an adjacent lane and if vehicles are approaching from the side when reversing.
- Smart Cruise Control With Stop-Start
- Detects vehicles in front of you and automatically adjusts cruise speed to maintain a preset distance, and can even bring you to a stop.
- Lane Keep Assist
- Applies corrective steering assistance to help keep your vehicle positioned in its lane if it senses the vehicle drifting.
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover10.5%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Small Overlap Front Driver-Side TestGood
- Small Overlap Front Passenger-Side TestGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – OriginalGood
- Moderate Overlap Front Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Side Impact Test – OriginalGood
- Side Impact Test – UpdatedNot Tested
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood