Spied: 2020 Hyundai Sonata, Looking Larger and Definitely Rounder

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

If sales stats tell us anything, it’s that Hyundai’s latest refresh of the Sonata sedan didn’t seem to resonate with buyers. Despite the addition of a large and aggressive new grille for the 2018 model year, complimented by a sharper rear deck and nicely canted taillights, Sonata sales — like that of so many other traditional passenger cars — continued a downward path. So much for fixing the styling issues of the previous refresh.

After hitting a high water mark of 230,605 vehicles sold in 2012, Sonata volume sunk to 131,803 units in 2017. Sales over the first five months of 2018 fell 33.8 percent.

Given the sales trajectory, it wouldn’t have been a surprise to see Hyundai drop the model after the current generation runs its course, but the automaker seems intent on generating as many sales as it can across the segment spectrum. Thanks to these spy shots from Las Vegas, it looks like there’s a new Sonata in our future.

Photographed alongside rival midsizers on a rooftop parking deck, this 2020 Sonata appears longer than the current generation. Gone is the sharp-edged look of the previous model, though there might be a few creases lurking under that camo.

The Accord-like (or is it Malibu-like?) roofline flows gracefully into the trunklid, below which little detail can be seen of the taillights. Up front, it looks like Hyundai eschewed a Kona-esque over/under headlight arrangement in favor of conventional peepers. A large grille is a given, though its exact shape remains to be seen. V-shaped side vents flank the front opening.

The automaker wants its models to remain somewhat distinct from one another in terms of styling, but carryover design elements will surely tip viewers off to the presence of a Hyundai. For power, the current Sonata makes do with three four-cylinder engine options: a standard Theta II 2.4-liter, a turbocharged 2.0-liter unit, and a fuel-sipping 1.6-liter turbo. It’s likely we’ll see at least the 2.0T make its way into the new model.

A public debut will likely take place in early 2019, with the next-gen Sonata going on sale later next year as a 2020 model.

[Images: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Kyree Kyree on Jun 18, 2018

    What we can see of it looks pretty handsome. I like the clean arrangement around the A-pillars, with the sail windows and stalk-mounted mirrors (a la Fusion and Legacy). Between this, the current Elantra, and the new two-row Santa Fe (three rows if you get the diesel), I think Hyundai is on a roll styling-wise.

  • Arach Arach on Jun 19, 2018

    I get so confused by this! I bought a 2015 because it was FINALLY a good looking Hyundai. the car is amazing, and its the best car I've ever owned. I hated the 2014 and below, from low build quality to a silly feminine girly look, to the ridiculous HVAC controls. I felt like finally in 2015 they "got it right". I even like the 2015-2017 better than the refresh. This new one is starting to look too much like a taurus. I'm just thoroughly surprised that others don't agree with me! haha. I love the 2015+ and get compliments on it. I find that funny because its a hyundai, and who compliments a hyundai? I get more compliments on the hyundai than I do on our porsche, truck, or other more expensive cars. I just find it interesting that I can find the 2015 one of the best sedans on the market, and then I read an article discussing how its been a bit of a failure... then I'm sure they will come out with some silly looking car I hate and it will be a glaring success!

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    • Arach Arach on Jun 19, 2018

      @gtem The 2002 - despite the fact that I didn't love it- really was the first time I thought, "Oh thats a decent car". Before then it was just a super cheap import.

  • Akear I like the grill treatment of all Mitsubishi products. It is an interesting and original design.
  • El scotto Some rambling thoughts; Elon is pulling billions in cash out of Tesla. Tesla will be around, Elon won't let them fail. Mitsubishi is an odd place, you can't sell vehicles if you don't have dealers. Out of all the "Automalls" near you, how many have a Mitsubishi dealership? The Agnellis owned Fiat, Fiat got sold to Stellantis. The Agnellis control Exor. How much of Stellantis does Exor own? I really should be drinking beer with Billy Ford and talking Big-10 trash with him. Ford and Lucid should work out a partnership. You want an electric Lincoln? Have Lucid build it and slap a Lincoln name plate on it. BTW, kick Farley's butt to the curb.
  • Akear US contentChevrolet Trax - 5%Honda Pilot - 52%What a disgrace!I glad Consumer Reports panned the Trax, and put it on its avoid list.
  • Akear This is similar to what lazy GM and Ford used to do.
  • Gray Juneteenth - 72 responses. Unusual Isuzu pickup - 18 responses. Happy Juneteenth.