Expert review written by the Kelley Blue Book vehicle review editorial team.
Up against the likes of the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Mazda6 and Nissan Altima, the comfortable and quiet 2019 Hyundai Sonata stands out for its excellent value, its variety of engines, its generous technology and its great 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
You'll Like The 2019 Hyundai Sonata If...
The Hyundai Sonata is a high-tech sedan that’s affordable and stylish. From attractively priced base models to high-end versions with class-above features, the 2019 Sonata has you covered, backed as always by an excellent 10-year powertrain warranty.
You May Not Like The 2019 Hyundai Sonata If...
Styling is personal, we know, but most would agree that the 2019 Sonata comes up a tad short against contemporary competitors such as the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima and Mazda6. Nor is there an all-wheel-drive version of the Sonata.
While 2019 is a carryover year, Hyundai, halfway through the 2018 model year, adjusted the content levels of the various Sonatas to make a number of desirable features available at lower or unchanged prices. Although the “+” designation of these models has been dropped for 2019, the enhancements and technology packages remain.
The Sonata’s interior, redesigned for 2018, carries over unchanged with intuitive controls and a raised touch screen that makes all controls easier to reach. Buttons and knobs are well organized in wide horizontal rows, with navigation and audio controls just below the screen and the climate controls falling neatly below. The handsome 3-spoke steering wheel gives the interior of the 2019 Sonata a premium look. Sport models go a step further with a flat-bottom steering wheel and cloth seats that have leather bolsters and contrast stitching.
A prominent grille, sharper lines and LED running lights dominate the exterior of the 2019 Hyundai Sonata. Sport models receive a unique grille and front fascia, plus dual-exhaust tips. A panoramic sunroof is standard on the Sonata Limited; all other Sonatas are available with a conventional tilt-and-slide sunroof. A neat detail: The trunk release is now hidden in the Hyundai logo. Push the area below the ring (above the "H") to open the trunk. Once the lid opens, you have access to the largest trunk in the Sonata’s class.
Last year, Hyundai updated the Sonata’s suspension to improve handling and reduce body roll. While the ride is firmer and better controlled, it’s not at the expense of comfort. The standard 2.4-liter engine satisfies most drivers with ample acceleration, passing power and fuel economy. The 6-speed automatic transmission may lack a few ratios compared to newer competitors, but it does a fine job of managing the power with smooth shifts. If you want a more sporting attitude, consider the 2.0-liter turbo engine in the Limited 2.0T. With 245 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, this engine endows the 2019 Hyundai Sonata with quick acceleration while making light work of long mountain grades. It’s mated to a different transmission, an 8-speed automatic that’s both smooth and responsive. Moreover, the 2.0T’s rack-mounted electric-assist power steering has a natural feel.
The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2019 Hyundai Sonata SE starts at just below $23,200, which includes an $885 destination charge. Next up is the Eco, at about $23,500, and then the nicely equipped new mid-range SEL trim, which starts just below $25,000. As soon as you get into Sport (about $25,500) and Limited (almost $28,500) territory, you can opt for the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. The absolute top-of-the-line Limited 2.0T has an MSRP of nearly $33,000. We expect the 2019 Sonata Hybrid to start at around $27,000 and climb to nearly $35,000 in Limited form with the Ultimate Package. The Sonata Plug-in Hybrid also will start at around $35,000, but that’s before federal incentives. Sonata Hybrid prices are in line with those for other midsize hybrid sedans. Check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others are paying in your area, and please note that the Sonata’s projected mid-pack resale value has been improving.OK, so what’s next?I’m interested in this car. What’s for sale near me?I’m interested in this car, and I’d like to trade in my current car while I’m at it.Then again, maybe I should be thinking about a used car.
The SE, the most affordable Sonata, has cloth seats, a folding rear seat, a 7-inch touch screen, a 6-speaker audio system, Bluetooth and USB smartphone connectivity, a rearview camera, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. The Sonata SEL and Sport models add a mesh grille, dual-zone climate control, a wireless phone charger and a heated steering wheel. If you order a 2019 Sonata Limited, it has all the above plus automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist and smart cruise. In addition to seven standard airbags, all 2019 Sonatas boast air conditioning, power windows, heated side mirrors, blind-spot detection (with rear cross-traffic alert) and a tilt/telescope steering wheel.
Available features on the 2019 Hyundai Sonata include automatic high-beam headlights, 10-speaker Infinity audio, navigation, power heated/ventilated leather front seats, a heated steering wheel, and Blue Link Connected Car. LED headlights and taillights, 17- or 18-inch wheels and a hands-free smart trunk are available, as are smart cruise control, automatic emergency braking, rear parking sensors and lane-keep assist. The Ultimate Package on the Sonata Limited includes a panoramic sunroof, rear sunshades, an 8-inch navigation screen, real-time traffic and a 3-year complimentary trial with Hyundai’s Blue Link Guidance Package.
CONNECTED CABINWith standard features such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a 7-inch touch screen and Bluetooth — plus options such as wireless smartphone charging, navigation, satellite radio, Blue Link telecommunications and a rear USB port — the 2019 Sonata keeps your whole crew charged, connected and caught up on social media. TECH PACKAGEOn the Sonata Limited model, Hyundai’s Tech Package includes automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, smart cruise control (with start/stop), an electronic parking brake, a wireless phone charger, automatic high-beam assist, a mesh grille and a heated steering wheel.
Under the Hood
There are five drivetrain choices for the 2019 Hyundai Sonata, each with four cylinders. The standard 185-horsepower 2.4-liter inline-4 gets the job done while returning good highway fuel economy. For a more spirited drive, choose the 245-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4, an engine now backed by a smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission. The Sonata Eco’s 1.6-liter turbo-4 puts out less horsepower (178) but more torque (195 lb-ft) than the standard 2.4, and is available only with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. EPA highway fuel economy for this 1.6-liter Eco model is an impressive 37 mpg. The Sonata Hybrid and Sonata Plug-in Hybrid remain available, each powered by a 2.0-liter gasoline engine augmented by a battery-powered electric motor. The plug-in model’s larger battery pack allows up to 27 miles of electric-only range. Of note, both are unique among hybrid sedans because they use a conventional 6-speed automatic transmission instead of the continuously variable transmissions (CVT) found in rivals.2.4-liter inline-4 (SE, SEL, Sport and Limited)185 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm178 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/35 mpg (SE), 25/33 mpg (SEL, Sport, Limited) 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (Sport 2.0T, Limited 2.0T)245 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm260 lb-ft of torque @ 1,350-4,000 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/32 mpg 1.6-liter turbocharged inline-4 (Eco)178 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm195 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-4,500 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 28/37 mpg 2.0-liter inline-4 + Permanent magnet high-power density motor (Sonata Hybrid)193 horsepower (combined, Hybrid)202 horsepower (combined, Plug-in Hybrid)EPA city/highway fuel economy: 40/46 mpg (Sonata Hybrid SE), 39/44 mpg (Sonata Hybrid Limited), 39 mpg/combined (Plug-in Hybrid)
The midsize-sedan market is more competitive than ever, with mainstays such as the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord continuing to top the sales charts. The 2019 Hyundai Sonata, always a lot of car for the money, fights for its slice of the shrinking market fortified by significant product and value improvements introduced on the new “+” models that arrived midway through the 2018 model year. For 2019, the “+” moniker has been dropped, but the feature enhancements and technology packages remain. As before, Hyundai’s midsize sedan continues with naturally aspirated, turbocharged, hybrid or plug-in drivetrains.