2020 Hyundai Sonata Limited Review: Car Seats and Sounds of Nature

As much as I’m enjoying the Sonata, I can’t help but wish it would somehow grow into a Santa Fe, because I could use the extra space afforded by a crossover. Never did I imagine such a small person—that being our first baby—would require so much gear.

That said, the Sonata has been a faithful family hauler. Its trunk swallows up just enough cargo to skate by for a two-week trip with a baby in tow. The leather seats are easy to clean and have stood the test of time. Installing a car seat is pretty easy, but it requires a little bit of muscle. The lower anchors are buried a little bit into the seat, so it takes some digging to get to them. We had a similar experience in a Kia K5 we recently drove. Attaching a car seat in our recent Kia Carnival test vehicle was a breeze because the anchors are so prominent.

Like many other midsize sedans, the Sonata boasts strong crash test ratings. It received a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and it’s an IIHS 2021 Top Safety Pick winner.

That said, after several months, the Sonata’s quirks are revealing themselves more clearly. Sometimes, an initial lag in acceleration off the line can be annoying while trying to make quick maneuvers in traffic. And our model’s keyless entry isn’t consistent; sometimes it fails to respond when the key fob is near.

Conversely, there is one thing about the Sonata that I initially ignored and now have come to appreciate. A hidden gem is the “sounds of nature” feature from the clear 12-speaker Bose audio system. Drivers can select sounds inspired by an ocean, forest, rain, café, fireplace, or snowy village. With this feature, urban commutes become less stressful and scenic drives feel more complete.

Perhaps more than anything, we’re impressed by the Sonata Limited’s feature-per-dollar value. Priced at less than $35,000, it costs a few thousands less than a similarly loaded Honda Accord. Boasting a streamlined interior with high-quality leather and large screens, the top-trim Sonata’s cabin is almost plush enough to pass for a luxury car.

More On Our One-Year 2020 Hyundai Sonata Limited:

  • Arrival
  • Update 1: It Performs Surprisingly Well at the Track
  • Update 2: Adaptive Cruise Control Review: How Well Does the Tech Work?
  • Update 3: What We Like and Don’t Like About the Top Trim’s Trimmings
  • Update 4: How the Hyundai Sonata Compares to the Kia K5

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