Chicago Auto Show 2020

Redesigned 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid delivers 52 mpg, has available solar roof

Hyundai is adding a fuel-efficient Sonata Hybrid model to its lineup.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The 2020 Hyundai Sonata has won praise for it's high-quality interior and budget-friendly packaging. Now it's the 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid's turn. Hyundai introduced the model at the Chicago Auto Show this week, making it one of the 13 new products the automaker is adding to its lineup by 2022.

Boasting 686 miles of driving range and an EPA estimated 52 mpg combined fuel economy rating on the Blue trim, the Sonata Hybrid is nearly as efficient as the Toyota Prius - and much larger.

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid The Sonata Hybrid has a sleep and aerodynamic exterior design.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The Sonata Hybrid's fuel efficiency comes, in part, from its exterior design. The model has a unique cross-hole grille with active air flaps, a rear spoiler and aerodynamic alloy wheels. There's also a unique solar room, which recharges the car's battery when the car is off. The system can increase the driving range of the car by a couple miles after six hours of charging.

The sedan is powered by a 2.0-liter hybrid regimen that is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Hyundai's engineering team has reduced the time the Sonata takes to shift gears by 30 percent, allowing the car to accelerate more rapidly and achieve better fuel economy.

Sonata Hybrid's powertrain is capable of achieving a maximum of 151 pound-feet of torque and 192 horsepower. Those outputs put the Sonata right down the middle of its segment, delivering slightly less horsepower but significantly more torque than its closest competition.

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid The exterior of the Sonata Hybrid is very similar to the Sonata.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai's solar roof covers the top most roof area from the windshield to the rear glass. It consists of two solar panels that charge the car's 12-volt and hybrid batteries, outputting 205 watts of electricity. The system increases mileage by two miles per day and helps prevent battery discharge from the infotainment or HVAC system while the car is turned off.

The Sonata features most of the same comfort, convenience, and safety technology that can be found in the traditionally powered 2020 Sonata. That includes Digital Key, which uses a driver's smartphone as the key to the car via near field communication and bluetooth technology.

There's also a hands-free trunk, Qi high-speed wireless smartphone charging pad with cooling fan, standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated and ventilated front seats, and split-folding rear seats.

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid The car has a unique solar roof, which helps charge the car.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Sonata Hybrid comes with a standard eight-inch digital display screen and a 10.25-inch infotainment touch screen is available. The digital instrument cluster in front of the driver features a 12.3-inch display. A Bose audio system is available.

Hyundai was able to change the storage location for the car's hybrid battery, allowing the model to have 2.5 cubic feet more trunk space compared to the 2019 Sonata Hybrid. There's also best-in-class headroom and legroom.

2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid The interior of the 2020 Sonata Hybrid is just as luxe as the Sonata.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The 2020 Sonata Hybrid goes on sale soon. Pricing is expected to be similar, though slightly elevated, compared to the 2019 model.

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The 2022 Audi Q5 Sportback has debuted but Americans will have to wait around six months to get one.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

The Audi Q5 Sportback takes the traditional dimensions of the Audi Q5 and shaves some off the back of the roof to creating a more sloping design. The result is a model that fits right into Audi's lineup.

At the front of the new all-wheel drive model is an octagonal Singleframe grille that is flanked by large air inlets. The car's headlights feature daytime running lights with the buyer's choice of LED or matrix-design LED technology. At the rear are taillights that feature OLED lighting technology split into three ties of six segments each.

2022 Audi Q5 Sportback

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Like the roof, the car's windows taper as the design of the vehicle flows backward. Its rear bumper appears to be high-mounted.

Base Audi Q5 Sportback models are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with a 12-volt mild-hybrid system to to deliver 261 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Buyers can upgrade to the 3.0-liter V6 engine that produces 349 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.

The SQ5 will come standard with adaptive dampers and has an available air suspension and dynamic steering capability.

Each model has Audi's new MIB 3 infotainment system, which can be optioned to include a 12.3-inch digital display in front of the driver as well as virtual cockpit and head-up display technologies. At the center of the dashboard is a 10.1-inch infotainment touch screen with navigation. The system allows for multiple user profiles.

The Audi phone box and a Bang and Olufsen sound system with 3D sound are available.

Inside the cabin, the car has a rear bench seat the can be shifted laterally as well as forward and aft. The seat also reclines.

Each Q5 Sportback comes with a standard hands-free power tailgate.

Buyers can option their model to include numerous driver assist systems including adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist, standard Audi Side Assist and Audi Pre Sense Rear, lane departure warning, and Parking System Plus.

The 2020 Audi Q5 starts at $43,000. Expect the Sportback model to be slightly pricier when it arrives in the U.S. in the first half of 2021. It will be assembled at the San José Chiapa plant in Mexico.

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The Jeep Gladiator Rubicon is made to be trail-ready

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

If you want to go off-roading but you’re apprehensive behind the wheel? Jeep is introducing the Jeep Adventure Academy, a program that provides hands-on, off-road driving instruction to Jeep 4x4 owners.

"Off-roading is a rite of passage for Jeep 4x4 owners and the new Jeep Adventure Academy will provide key knowledge every off-roader can use for hitting the trails," said Jim Morrison, Head of Jeep Brand, FCA - North America. "The new Jeep Adventure Academy underscores the Jeep brand's commitment to delivering Jeep 4x4 vehicles that provide owners with a sense of capability, safety and security to handle any condition or adventure with confidence."

2021 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk Jeep Trailhawk models are trail-tested ahead of their retail salePhoto courtesy of FCA US LLC

The Academy kicks off this October and will take place at select locations nationwide. Instructors from Jeep Jamboree USA will lead the program alongside off-roading experts.

Each Academy session will focus on several essential areas of off-roading instruction, including 4x4 system basics, driving techniques, trail etiquette, vehicle preparation and equipment, how to properly read terrain and challenging obstacles, safety tips and more.

The Jeep Adventure Academy will take place during the first three weeks in October at the following locations:

  • Holly Oaks Off-road Vehicle Park, Holly, Michigan: October 2-4
  • Southern Missouri Off-Road Ranch, Seymour, Missouri: October 9-11
  • Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recreation Area, Hollister, California: October 16-18

Registration is available at jeepadventureacademy.com. A one-day session starts at $99 and requires Jeep 4x4 vehicle ownership. The academy sessions will be led by professional staff from Jeep Jamboree USA, an organization that has been conducting off-road adventures since 1953.

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