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2019 Hyundai Sonata: What You Need to Know

US News & World Report - Cars logo US News & World Report - Cars 1/31/2019 U.S. News & World Report
a car parked on the side of a building: 2019 Hyundai Sonata© Hyundai Motor America 2019 Hyundai Sonata

The 2019 Hyundai Sonata finishes in the top third of our midsize car rankings. This is a spacious, comfortable sedan with plenty of tech features, and it makes a great family vehicle and daily driver.

The 2019 Hyundai Sonata is ranked:

Is the Hyundai Sonata a Good Car?

Yes, the Hyundai Sonata is a good car. It comes with intuitive tech features, roomy seats, and a large trunk. It rides comfortably over most road surfaces and is easy to drive. However, the engine options pale in comparison to rival offerings, and they don't get great gas mileage by class standards. Overall, though, this is a quality sedan that brings a lot to the table.

Should I Buy the Hyundai Sonata?

It's certainly an intriguing choice. In addition to its positive attributes, the Sonata carries a below-average starting price for the class, making it a solid value pick. There are, however, many quality choices among midsize cars, so you should check out rivals like the Toyota Camry and Mazda6.

Should I Buy a New or Used Hyundai Sonata?

The 2019 Sonata belongs to a generation that began with the 2015 model year. There aren't any notable changes for 2019, but the 2018 model saw a slight refresh with updates like a new suspension, a new eight-speed automatic transmission for the 2.0T trim, and features such as a heated steering wheel, lane keep assist, and pedestrian detection.

There haven't been any other significant changes to the Sonata since the 2015 redesign. You can save money by shopping for an older model, but you'll miss out on some of the new features. If you're interested in a used model, be sure to visit our overviews of the 2018 and 2017 Hyundai Sonata. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

We Did the Research for You: 35 Reviews Analyzed

We don’t base our car reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we combine the findings of professional test drivers with data such as reliability ratings and safety scores to give you a complete overview of every vehicle we rank.

This review uses applicable research and data from all model years of the current Sonata generation, which runs from 2015 to 2019.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking the best cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years’ worth of auto industry experience combined. To keep our reviews unbiased, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside company manages our advertising.

How Much Does the Hyundai Sonata Cost?

With a starting price a bit above $22,000, the Sonata costs less than many midsize cars. It offers several higher trims, with the range-topping Limited 2.0T starting just under $32,000. That's in the middle of the pack for a car's top trim in this class.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Hyundai dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Hyundai deals page.

Hyundai Sonata Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Hyundai Sonata or Toyota Camry?

The Toyota Camry finishes near the top of our midsize car rankings. It's more athletic than the Sonata, delivering better handling and offering a V6 with more horsepower than any of the Hyundai's engines. The Camry has an upscale interior with plenty of user-friendly features and a large trunk, though the Sonata's trunk is bigger. The Toyota is a better all-around car, though these are both fine vehicles.

Which Is Better: Hyundai Sonata or Mazda6?

The Mazda6 is one of the most fun-to-drive midsize sedans, delivering agile handling without sacrificing ride quality. While the Mazda has a more upscale interior than the Hyundai, it offers fewer features. The Sonata has a larger trunk, though. Choosing between these two may come down to what you want out of your next car.

Sonata Interior

How Many People Does the Sonata Seat?

The Sonata seats five and provides plenty of space for passengers. The supportive front seats help occupants stay comfortable even on long drives, and the rear seats offer enough room for adults to ride without feeling cramped.

Sonata and Car Seats

The Sonata comes with two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors. The system earns a Marginal rating (the second-lowest rating) for ease of use from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Sonata Interior Quality

Inside, the Sonata features mostly quality materials and looks pretty good. However, some competitors are more stylish and upscale.

Sonata Cargo Space

At more than 16 cubic feet, the Sonata features a larger trunk than most midsize cars. That’s enough space for multiple sets of golf clubs or the entire family's luggage for a vacation.

Sonata Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The Sonata’s standard infotainment system comes with a 7-inch touch-screen display, Bluetooth, a USB port, a six-speaker sound system, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. Available features include Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics system, an 8-inch touch screen, navigation, wireless device charging, a nine-speaker Infinity premium audio system, and satellite radio. 

With standard smartphone connectivity features and available wireless charging, the Sonata is a haven for today's tech-savvy car owner. It also features a user-friendly infotainment system with a responsive touch screen and sharp graphics.

Sonata Performance

Sonata Engine: Skip the Base Engine

The Sonata offers three powertrains: the 185-horsepower base engine, a 178-horsepower turbo-four, and a 245-horsepower turbo-four. The base engine fails to impress in most driving situations. The turbocharged engines are livelier, but even they don't stand out when compared to some competitors' engine upgrades.

Sonata Gas Mileage: Disappointing Numbers

With its base engine, the Sonata earns 25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. Most other midsize cars get better gas mileage. You can step up to the Eco model, which gets 28/37 mpg city/highway, though those are still only mid-pack numbers for the class.

Comparatively, the Toyota Camry earns 29/41 mpg city/highway with its base engine, and the Nissan Altima gets 27/38 mpg city/highway.

Sonata Ride and Handling: A Solid Performer

The Sonata absorbs most road imperfections to deliver a comfortable ride and handles reasonably well. Some class rivals are more athletic, but overall, this Hyundai is easy to drive and makes a fine commuter vehicle.

Sonata Reliability

Is the Hyundai Sonata Reliable?

This generation of the Sonata typically earns above-average predicted reliability ratings from J.D. Power.

Hyundai Sonata Warranty

Hyundai backs the Sonata with a five-year/60,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Sonata Safety

Sonata Crash Test Results

The 2019 Sonata earned a perfect five-star overall crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Sonata Safety Features

The Sonata comes with a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, lane change assist, and rear cross traffic alert. Available active safety features include automatic headlights, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, rear parking sensors, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control. 

Which Hyundai Sonata Model Is Right for Me?

Several of the Sonata's six trims have some appeal, depending on what you want out of your car. The base SE trim has a lower starting price than many competitors, and it still offers a decent number of tech features. The Eco trim is similarly equipped, but it costs slightly more due to its engine, which is the most fuel-efficient in the lineup.

If you want more features, the Sonata SEL is a good choice. It has a reasonably low starting price for a midsize car, more standard features than the lower trims, and an available option package that adds more driver assistance technology.

The Sonata’s most powerful engine option is a 245-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder, and it’s only available in the highest trim. It also carries a marked price increase, so you should be certain it’s the engine you want before paying for the upgrade. If you don’t need the 245-horsepower engine, but still want the most features, the Limited is your choice. It comes standard with many more comfort features than the lower trims.

Hyundai Sonata SE

The Sonata SE carries a base price of $22,300. It comes with a 185-horsepower four-cylinder engine and an infotainment system with a 7-inch touch-screen display, Bluetooth, a USB port, a six-speaker sound system, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay.

Hyundai Sonata Eco

The Sonata Eco starts at $22,650. This trim features a 178-horsepower turbo-four engine paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Hyundai Sonata SEL

The Sonata SEL has a starting price of $23,950. It comes with the same engine and transmission as the base model. In addition to the lower trims’ standard features, the Sonata SEL comes with heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, HD Radio, and satellite radio.

Hyundai Sonata Sport

Sonata Sport models start at $24,800. Standard features in the Sport include a power sunroof, front sport seats, and some styling differences.

Hyundai Sonata Limited

The Sonata Limited has a starting price of $27,500. It comes with leather upholstery, a power-adjustable passenger seat, ventilated front seats, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

There is also a Sonata Limited 2.0T trim, which comes with the 245-horsepower turbo-four engine and has a starting price of $31,900.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Hyundai dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Hyundai deals page.

The Final Call

The 2019 Hyundai Sonata may not be the most fun-to-drive car, but it's a composed, competent vehicle with a spacious interior and user-friendly technology. That overall appeal is why the Sonata finishes in the top third of our class rankings and why it makes a good choice for a large swath of buyers.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

Read the full 2019 Hyundai Sonata review on U.S. News & World Report for more details, photos, specs and prices.


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