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 HybridThe 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 HybridThe 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 HybridThe 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 HybridThe 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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Updated EV

2023 Nissan Leaf pricing announced

The Leaf got a mild facelift for 2023.

Nissan

Nissan is nearing the release of the Ariya, its first new EV in several years. Even so, the brand hasn't forgotten about its first mass-market EV, the Leaf. It was an early entrant in the space, and has been an efficient, affordable, commuter car for over a decade. The car got a mild facelift for 2023, with updated wheels and exterior styling accents. Today, Nissan announced pricing for the Leaf, which starts at just under $29,000.

2023 Nissan LeafThe Leaf feels lively, despite middling power numbers.Nissan

The base Leaf comes with a 40-kWh battery capable of delivering a 149-mile range. Its 110-kW electric motor produces 147 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. The Leaf SV Plus features a 60-kWh battery for a range of 212 miles. It comes with a 160-kW motor that makes 214 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. Nissan backs all Leaf models with an eight-year/100,000-mile battery warranty.

ProPilot Assist comes standard for the Leaf SV Plus, and brings a full suite of advanced driver aids that include adaptive cruise control, driver alertness features, and a surround-view monitor. All Leaf models get Nissan Safety Shield 360, which includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warnings, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts, automatic high beams, and rear automatic braking.

2023 Nissan LeafThe Leaf SV Plus offers up to 212 miles of range.Nissan

The new Leaf starts at $28,895, which includes a $1,095 destination charge. The Leaf SV Plus starts at $36,895. The 2023 Nissan Leaf is on sale now, and may be eligible for federal tax credits of up to $7,500. Depending on where you live, you may also be able to receive a state tax credit or other incentives.

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The Hyundai Palisade got a mild refresh for 2023.

Hyundai

Earlier this year, Hyundai announced changes to the Palisade for 2023. The list includes a new front fascia, an updated grille with new headlights and daytime running lights, a 12-inch touchscreen with navigation, and more. A new XRT trim joined the lineup as well, bringing brawny off-road styling and dar exterior trim. Today, Hyundai announced pricing for the SUV, which starts at a little more than $32,000.

2023 Hyundai PalisadeA new XRT trim adds rugged styling. Hyundai

The Palisade's powertrain carries over from 2022, which includes a 3.8-liter V6 that makes 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive. Inside, the SUV got several new and updated technology features, including a more powerful wireless device charging pad, an updated digital key system, and a larger infotainment display.

As Hyundai's flagship SUV, the Palisade edges on luxury territory, with plush leather upholstery and a serene cabin that offers excellent noise cancellation and comfort. Captain's chairs and seven-passenger seating are available, but a second-row bench comes standard and brings eight-passenger capacity to the SUV.

Muscular SUVs are more popular than ever before, so Hyundai gave the posh Palisade an outdoorsy treatment with its XRT trim. The new Palisade XRT builds on the SEL trim with 20-inch wheels, a more rugged bumper and lower body cladding, a sunroof, and leatherette upholstery. To be clear, XRT is an appearance package that does not improve off-road capability to a large degree.

2023 Hyundai PalisadeTop trims border on the quality and design of some luxury brands. Hyundai

Standard safety equipment is generous, and includes forward collision warnings with avoidance, lane keep assist, lane following assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, driver attention warnings, high beam assist, and adaptive cruise control.

Pricing for the base Palisade SE starts at $36,245, which includes a $1,295 destination charge. The top Calligraphy AWD model starts at $52,095 after destination. All-wheel drive is available for all trims as an added-cost option.

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