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 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 is on sale now.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG
The all-electric range of the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 has been confirmed. The model is the first modern electric Volkswagen to be sold in the U.S. and a model that the German automaker is resting a lot of hopes on for the future of sales in the country.

The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro with all-wheel drive will achieve an EPA-estimated 260 miles of all-electric range on a full charge. The ID.4 Pro S and 1st Edition, which have more features and equipment and therefore weigh more, achieve an estimated 250 miles of range.

The EPA-estimated fuel economy for ID.4 Pro RWD is 107 MPGe in the city; 91 MPGe on the highway, and 99 MPGe combined. The ID.4 Pro S and 1st Edition does slightly worse achieving 104 MPGe in the city, 89 MPGe on the highway, and 97 MPGe combined.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4: Exterior The "1st" badging denotes the vehicle as a first edition model. Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

These new numbers come as part of a second round of EPA testing. Original testing found that the model did not quite hit its target.

How does that compare to other EVs? The Nissan Leaf Plus offers 226 miles of all-electric power. The Hyundai Kona Electric delivers 258 miles. Volvo's XC40 Recharge has just 208 miles of all-electric range but the Tesla Model Y can go up to 326 miles on one full charge.

First out of the Volkswagen gate will be ID.4 models with an 82-kilowatt-hour battery and rear-mounted AC permanent-magnet synchronous motor. That system delivers 201 horsepower and 228 pound-feet of torque.

At a public DC fast-charging station with 125 kW charging, the ID.4 can go from five to 80 percent charged in about 38 minutes. With purchase, ID.4 owners receive three years of unlimited charging at Electrify America DC Fast Chargers at no additional cost.

The 2021 ID.4 is on sale now, with pricing for the rear-wheel-drive ID.4 Pro starting at $39,995 MSRP, before a potential Federal tax credit of up to $7,500. The Pro S carries an MSRP of $44,495. The limited-run ID.4 1st Edition, which sold out the day the vehicle was launched, carried an MSRP of $43,995.

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The new Maps+ app will allow drivers to use a navigation system who had not previously purchased navigation.

Photo courtesy of General Motors

General Motors is giving its vehicles a new navigation solution. Maps+, an in-vehicle, app-based way-finding program, will begin rolling out to approximately 900,000 model year 2018 and newer Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles by the end of 2021, starting on April 30.

"We know customers want an easy and convenient in-vehicle experience that improves over time," said Santiago Chamorro, GM vice president of Global Connected Services. "We listened to customer feedback and developed a product that works seamlessly with our current infotainment systems and provides a highly personalized experience that will iterate throughout the lifetime of the vehicle."

Maps+ was developed in partnership with Mapbox. The new app replaces navigation functionality in already-purchased vehicles that had purchased a navigation system. It provides navigation functionality to drivers of vehicles that did not opt for navigation at the onset.

The new application features Alexa build-in voice control that allows users to listen to music or podcasts using the system's integrated audio apps. A search box allows users to find points of interest, shops, restaurants, parking, and more. There is also embedded speed alert, low fuel recognition, predictive keyboard entry, day and night modes, category shortcuts, rear-time traffic routing, and dynamic mapping capability.

"Our obsession is the driver," said Peter Sirota, CEO of Mapbox. "The map is the canvas for providing the driver with a delightful, easy-to-use experience. From discovering new places to avoiding traffic on your commute to paying at the pump or the plug, Maps+ lays the foundation for an excellent navigation experience. We are excited to build upon this with GM to continue to drive adoption."

GM and Mapbox are committed to continuing Maps+ post-launch, developing new features and improvements based on feedback and metrics.

Maps+ will be available on select vehicles through Connected Vehicle, Premium and App Access subscription plans. Current eligible Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac owners will be notified when their vehicle is eligible for Maps+.

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