Hyundai Sonata Wins Best Value User Experience Award

The Koreans show the world that you don’t have to pay a lot for good tech. 

Wards Auto, an American automotive news and review site, has recently awarded the 2020 Hyundai Sonata its Best Value User Experience (UX) Award. 

The Wards Auto 10 Best UX Award is, as the name suggests, judged based on the overall user experience of the vehicle. 

The user experience includes not only the fit and finish of the interior, but also the technology and features that comes with the vehicle. Not forgetting the interior ergonomics too, such as button placement throughout the cabin and overall ease of use. 

Continuing from the success of the Hyundai Palisade large SUV which also won a UX award last year, this new Korean mid-sized sedan impressed the judges with the level of features and technology available at this price point. 

Starting at $23,600 (RM 101,000), with the award winning top trim Limited variant only costing $34,365 (RM 147,000), the Sonata comes loaded with safety features and driver aids. 

This long list includes forward collision avoidance with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability; blindspot detection; lane-keeping assist; rear cross-traffic alert; parking collision avoidance assist in the rear; and surround view camera with front and rear parking sensors.

Remote smart parking assistant, that allows the driver to guide the car out of a tight spot without being in it, is included too at this price. 

Not only that, this Korean sedan comes with luxury amenities such as ventilated front seats, a 12 speaker Bose sound system, and ambient lighting with multiple colour choices. There even is phone-based digital key, like in other more premium marques. 

As for screens, the Hyundai Sonata features crisp and clear 12.3 inch digital instrument display and high resolution 10.25 inch central infotainment screen with integrated Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Mounted high up on the instrument panel, this improves visibility of the screen while driving, and certainly contributed to the Sonata winning the UX award. 

The crisp screens meanwhile display richly detailed graphics that are also well-organised and uncluttered, making it easy to use while being sophisticated to look at. Furthermore, the three tile home screen display that shows navigation, audio and weather bears similarities to cars much higher up in the price bracket. 

While on the subject to comparing it to other luxury cars, the judges were impressed by ‘the high-quality finishes and knurling on the knobs and switchgear (on the Sonata), as well as excellent physical and electronic haptics overall.’

The well laid out centre console also garnered praise from judges. The electronic push-button shifter is intuitive and easy to use, as well as freeing up space in the interior. 

The clean interior design is also not flying in the face of practicality. There are still some physical buttons to control the major interior features, like the two large control knobs bracketing infotainment and HVAC control buttons. 

Overall, the reason the Sonata won this award can summed up nicely by Wards Auto Judge Christie Schweinsberg, stating: “I find more to like about this car than some of the ‘luxury’ models I’ve been in lately.” 

If only more Malaysians can look past the badge, they’ll soon discover that the Koreans have plenty to offer. 

That being said, it would be unlikely that the new Hyundai Sonata would be coming here any time soon, thanks to the sedan market slowly dying out, both here and internationally, in favour of the SUV. 

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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