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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Hyundai has completely refreshed the Santa Fe for 2021.

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The Hyundai Santa Fe is getting more than just a traditional mid-cycle update for the 2021 model year. It's closer to a generational shift with new powertrains, a new platform, and more premium features.

If you're saying to yourself, "Didn't they just change it?" to yourself right now, you're not wrong. The current Santa Fe shifted generations just about two years ago as the company prepared to introduce the three-row Palisade. When the Palisade arrived, the Santa Fe was relegated to the new two-row Santa Fe and a holdover three-row Santa Fe for a year before going to just a two-row model for 2020.

The SUV has a fresh grille and headlamp design as well as new front and rear fascia.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe has a face that looks like a blend of the Palisade and the Vision T concept car, which was first shown at last year's LA Auto Show. Its headlights carry over the Spartan helmet-like design that first appeared on the Kona. T-shaped LED daytime running lights flow from the headlights to the sides of the grill. The lower grille eschews the crucible-shape that is on the Palisade and offers a new, sophisticated look.

Hyundai has made the car beefier looking but also gentler with posterior that's sophisticated with arrow-like taillights that are connected through the center of the tailgate by a light bar.

Twenty-inch wheels are available as part of a Luxury Package that includes front and back lower bumpers and side cladding that match the body paint color, rather than the traditional matte black.

Hyundai has already revealed that the 2021 Santa Fe will come with hybrid and plug-in hybrid variants in Europe. They have not confirmed which, if either of those powertrains is coming to the U.S. More information is expected to be revealed soon.

2021 Hyundai Santa Fe

Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

Hyundai aimed for a premium SUV with the Palisade, to thunderous applause from industry experts and buyers, and it looks like that design mantra is holding true in the New Santa Fe. The company promotes the model as having more "space, comfort, and convenience" than the outgoing model. That's thanks in large part to the new platform the SUV is riding on.

The new third-gen Hyundai platform allows for improvements inn performance, handling, fuel efficiency, and safety. Additionally, it features more crash resistance. With the SUV market growing increasingly competitive, it's understandable that Hyundai would want to shift the model to the new underpinnings ASAP.

The lower half of the dashboard has been redesigned for 2021 and the cabin has been outfitted with soft-touch materials. The center console has also been redesigned and now floats and features similar instrumentation to the Hyundai Nexo and Palisade. This leaves a good amount of space between driver and front passenger for storage.

A new 10.25-inch infotainment screen floats on the dashboard.Photo courtesy of Hyundai Motor America

The new 10.25-inch infotainment touch screen appears to float above the dashboard. A new 12.3-inch all-digital instrument cluster sits in front of the driver.

The new Santa Fe will be available in Europe starting September 2020. There is not yet confirmation as to when it comes to the U.S. or what it will cost.

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The 2021 Volkswagen Arteon will debut on June 24.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The Volkswagen what? You're not alone if you haven't heard of the Arteon. The model is easy to forget in a carscape that's crowded with a rich number of much more premium and luxury cars that compete directly with the model in the U.S. due to the car's high price point.

The Arteon is the successor to the Volkswagen CC. The company makes them in Germany and China. VW designed the car to be an upmarket offering.

2020 Volkswagen Arteon The current interior of the 2020 Arteon doesn't have the appointments or features of many modern premium and luxury cars, despite Volkswagen positioning the model to fit in with that crowd.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

It's a model that hasn't quite caught on with American audiences despite the popularity of other models in the Volkswagen lineup like the Atlas, Tiguan, and Jetta. In the first quarter of the year, Volkswagen sold under 800 Arteons. Alfa Romeo sold more than twice as many Giulias during that same time and Toyota sold that many RAV4s every 17 hours.

Volkswagen will debut a refreshed version of the Arteon on June 24. The 2021 Volkswagen Arteon will have a completely new cockpit area and feature a new roster of high-tech infotainment system functions.

It will also benefit from the addition of new safety and driver assist systems, including Travel Assist, which takes over steering, acceleration, and braking at speeds up to 130 mph. Further restrictions of the vehicle's capability will likely be forthcoming.

Additionally, Volkswagen will premiere the new Arteon shooting brake alongside the sedan. VW has already acknowledged that the U.S. isn't getting this version of the car. It's planned exclusively for Europe according to a release from the company.

With just the interior getting refreshed, the U.S. version of the car is likely to continue to have its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 268 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. For the 2020 model year, Volkswagen sold the car in the U.S. in three trim levels: SE, SEL, and SEL Plus. It was priced starting at $35,995.

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