Despite losing the popularity battle to crossovers, sedans are undoubtedly still integral part of the U.S. car market. Not counting the ever-present trio of full-size pickup trucks, the first sedan on the list of best-selling vehicles in the U.S. for 2017 is the Toyota Camry in the third spot. Once the best-selling car in the U.S. (again, not counting the big three pickups), the Camry is currently outsold by both the Nissan Rogue and the in-house RAV4 compact crossovers.
The Honda Civic and Accord follow behind, but they, too, are outsold by another crossover – the in-house CR-V. The trend of compact crossovers replacing the good old mid-size sedan as the most popular American choice will continue, but that doesn’t mean the sedans will simply lay down their arms. Most of them will simply get updated in order to remain competitive whereas some automakers will be bringing all-new 2020 sedans to battle the crossovers.
Without further ado, here are some of the most interesting sedans MY 2020 will bring to market, with emphasis on the fully redesigned or all-new models.
08. 2020 Hyundai Sonata
The mid-sized Sonata is the longest-surviving South Korean automaker’s car currently available in the U.S. In production since 1985, the Sonata has changed seven generations to date, with the latest (prior to 2020 models) debuting in 2015. The Hyundai Sonata has, however, been completely redesigned in 2020, in order to usher the intermediate into a new era.
The first of the eighth-generation models draws inspiration from the exquisite Hyundai Le Fil Rouge concept car presented at the 2018 Geneva show, but, as you can imagine, it isn’t nearly as eccentric. Instead, a much more subdued final product sports a toned-down short rear overhang and almost a fastback-style roofline. This promises for a more sporty Sonata in the future – at least in terms of overall design. And that’s definitely something the Korean automaker’s mid-size sedan has lacked up until the past few years.
The current Sonata’s engine lineup is sufficiently large to offer something for everyone. A base 2.5L naturally aspirated 4-cylinder, a 1.6L turbo four, and even a 2.0L naturally aspirated 4-cylinder as part of a plug-in hybrid powertrain offer everything from maximized fuel economy to a reasonable family car performance.
The base engine generates 191 horsepower, pairs with an 8-speed automatic gearbox, and returns up to 32 mpg combined. The optional turbocharged 4-cylinder is only good for 180 horsepower but improves upon its predecessor’s (2.0L turbo four) fuel efficiency. It also pairs with an automatic trans which means that people with a shift stick preference have ended up short-handed. Finally, the later-arriving hybrid will make 192 hp combined while offering way over 40 mpg combined. It’ll also sport a solar sunroof which will slowly charge the battery pack providing up to 808 free miles annually.
The 2020 Hyundai Sonata starts from $24,330 which is reasonable increase of $750 over the outgoing model, whereas the range-topping Limited models start from $34,230.
07. 2020 Porsche Taycan
The Stuttgart-based automaker is already offering a sedan – the Panamera – which is one sedan more than what they’ve historically had to offer when it comes to this particular segment. As of MY 2020, however, the Porsche lineup is richer for another four-door sedan. Enter the 2020 Porsche Taycan EV which stems from the Mission E concept from 2015.
The German automaker’s first ever EV is, as expected, equally potent as any other mass-production Porsche, and equally capable around corners as well. Moreover, it sports the Stuttgart-based company’s hallmark styling which seems to be stuck in the sixties.
The 2020 Porsche Taycan is currently available with two different battery packs and three distinctive power outputs. Depending on a choice between an 79.2-kWh or a 93.4-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the Taycan delivers either 522 hp, 563 hp, or 616 hp. All this is possible thanks to dual permanent-magnet synchronous motors similar to units in the Le Mans-winning 919 LMP1 hybrid car.
The latest Porsche EV also supports ultra-fast charging since the Germans are heavily investing into 800-volt charger development. These new chargers are able to provide up to 250 miles of range in a mere 15 minutes, but don’t expect them to become a “thing” anytime soon.
The 2020 Porsche Taycan starts from $104,000 in its basic 4S form, whereas the most expensive inaugural Turbo S models start from $187,000. Needless to say, there are plenty of opportunities to push that price tag even higher as Porsche offers north of $100,000 worth of extras.
06. 2020 Audi S3
The subcompact A3 which is currently the cheapest way of owning an Audi in the U.S. is far from being an overly exciting choice as a daily driver. However, replace an A with a S, add another 100 horsepower or so to it, a few additional features, and $11,500 to its price tag, and watch it increase its overall rating among car enthusiasts.
The current-generation models have been in production since MY 2013 which makes them elders in compact car years. The 2020 Audi S3 sedan carries over mostly unchanged before 2021 models receive a much-needed overhaul that should help make them even more exciting.
From a design standpoint, the S3 ticks all the necessary boxes when it comes to both the latest Audi models and their performance-oriented S line. It’s sleek, stylish, and inconspicuous at the same time – just like any other Audi sedan out there.
The Audi S3 uses the same powertrain as the high-performance VW Golf R. At the moment, their 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder is producing 292 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque while being paired with a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission in the Audi’s instance. The Golf R gets a 6-speed manual, but that’s hardly relevant since we can forget about the 2020 S3 getting one.
The next-generation Audi S3 could well be able to squeeze as much as 320 horsepower from the same-but-upgraded engine since that looks like the direction the next-gen performance Golfs are heading.
Meanwhile, the current models still retail for anything between $43,000 and $45,600 without the extras. It might not be the most exciting sedan on the market, but the Audi S3 is certainly up there with the best 2020 sedans coming our way.
05. 2020 BMW M3
The iconic BMW M3 hasn’t been a car it set out to be in a while now, but there’s no reason for a lack of optimism that things won’t turn around in the future. Not that the latest performance-oriented 3 Series were bad cars – they just lacked some of their more distant predecessors’ pizzazz and poise.
The next-generation M3 codenamed G80 sports a number of improvements over the old models, but it still has the outgoing lightweight M3 CS to thank for that. It was the M3 CS that had set the bar high and sent the compact Bavarian performance sedan on a journey back towards its roots.
The regular 2020 BMW M3 is even lighter than the outgoing generation’s hardcore CS models by tipping the scales at under 3,500 pounds. The Germans have achieve this by using more carbon-fiber throughout the next-gen M3’s body, including the offering of a full-carbon-fiber roof.
Another step in the right direction for the new BMW M3 is its updated 3.0L twin-turbo straight-six powertrain. The all-new BMW M3 is able to generate as much as 503 horsepower thanks to the use of a water injection system which reduces cylinder temperatures and provides better and more efficient engine running in turn. That’s the figure for the range-topping Competition model, whereas the regular M3 makes 473 horsepower.
The standard transmission spot remains reserved for a 6-speed manual, whereas the optional spot has been awarded to the M5’s new 8-speed ZF unit. BMW will offer both the rear and all-wheel drive units as well, with former being limited to the less powerful models and 6-speed sticks, and latter offered exclusively with the auto. Prices will likely be increased due to the inflation, new technology, more widespread use of carbon fiber, and imposed tariff costs, but let’s wait for the official statement. Furthermore, BMW has apparently pushed the M3’s arrival for MY 2021.
04. 2020 Toyota Corolla
The best-selling car in history had only recently entered its twelfth-generation after the 2018 Corolla hatchback finally saw the light of day. The sedan, on the other hand, arrived a year later but that’s barely an issue now that it’s finally here.
Like the hatchback, the 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan rides on the company’s modular TNGA platform which also underpins the likes of Camry and Prius. From a design standpoint, differences between the hatchback and sedan versions of the new Corolla are almost non-existent – apart from the obvious constructional ones, of course.
Like before, the sedan is priced below the hatch, with MSRP starting from $19,500.
The 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan is offered with a respectable selection of available engines. Same as its hatchback sibling, the sedan is motivated by a 2.0L naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine that’s good enough for 168 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque. However, only the sporty SE models can be equipped with it. They can also be paired either with a 6-speed manual or a CVT transmission for improved fuel economy.
Most of the Toyota Corolla sedan lineup, however, makes do with a 1.8L 4-cylinder engine capable of making 139 hp and 126 lb-ft of torque. The base engine can only be paired with a CVT. There is another option, however, and that’s a hybrid which uses the same 1.8L internal combustion engine and is mechanically identical to the Prius. The first-ever Corolla hybrid in the U.S. also returns up to 52 mpg combined.
The Toyota Corolla has remained one of the most reliable and affordable sedans on the market since its inauguration back in 1966 and arrival to U.S. shores a couple of years later. It’s no wonder the next-gen model has to be considered as one of the best 2020 sedans heading our way.
03. 2020 Cadillac CT4 and CT5
The Cadillac lineup is going through a heavy revision for MY 2020 when the remainder of its sedans are in for a major makeover. The ATS and CTS have thus ceased to exist and have given way to the all-new CT4 and CT5. Not only do the new models sport a completely overhauled interior and exterior, they’re also effectively be repositioned within the Cadillac range.
The reason is the fact both the ATS and CTS were sort-of in-betweeners compared to their market opponents. After the proposed makeover, the CT4 (née ATS) has become more in-tune with the BMW 2 Series, Audi A3, and Mercedes-Benz CLA Class, whereas the CT5 (née CTS) is now able to more effectively compete with the likes of BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, and Mercedes-Benz C Class.
Both models retain their Alpha platform underpinnings but with just enough differences that should help prevent sales cannibalization. The CT5 has already been revealed at the 2019 New York auto show and has arrived later during the year, whereas, the smaller CT4 is expected to follow close by.
Retaining the Alpha platform means that the 2020 Cadillac CT4 and Cadillac CT5 also retain the rear-wheel drive configuration with all-wheel drive available as an option. Both cars will be offered with a 237-horsepower 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder as their base engine.
Both new sedans will also be available in performance-oriented V-forms straight from the get-go. The smaller CT4-V uses a 2.7L turbocharged 4-cylinder with 320 horsepower on tap, while the larger CT5-V utilizes a 3.0L twin-turbo V6 which cranks up 355 horsepower. Both models are paired with a new 10-speed automatic transmission. Also, both will be available in both the rear and all-wheel drive configurations, but only in select trims.
Will this be enough to reposition the smaller two Cadillac sedans as some of the best sedans 2020 will bring to market? That remains to be seen.
02. 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class
Considering the German automaker has effectively overhauled 90 percent of its lineup for MY 2019, the subcompact CLA Class models remain some of the precious few Mercs that have been left out from the big “spring cleaning.” Of course, being punctual and fastidious as they are, the Germans didn’t take long to rectify this issue. The all-new second-generation CLA Class has already arrived for MY 2020.
The new model draws inspiration from the third-generation CLS sedan which, of course, debuted during MY 2019. Size-wise, however, it’s more like the all-new A Class sedan which also arrived during MY 2019. Compared to the A Class, the CLA Class sedan sports a lower roofline that integrates more gracefully with sedan’s overhang, creating a sportier, almost coupe-like shape (maybe that’s the reason why Mercedes-Benz actually calls it a coupe). It also sports a more aggressive grille that confirms its sporty demeanor, which is exactly the reason behind its existence.
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class retains its lineup of 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engines. The base CLA 250 models make 221 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, whereas the upcoming AMG 45 units should deliver a whole 375 ponies and 350 lb-ft of torque at the very least. Power output in excess of 400 horsepower isn’t excluded as well with the new generation models.
Before the larger AMG arrives, however, the Germans have decided to present the smaller AMG 35 engine that slots in-between the two previously available powerplants. This version makes 302 ponies and 295 pound-feet of torque.
As for their prices, the conventional models now start from $37,645 which is a considerable increase over the first-gen models which had required some $3,500 less. The same can be expected with both the AMG CLA 35 and the AMG CLA 45 once they finally arrive.
01. 2020 Subaru WRX STI
With its arch-rival, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, gone, there’s nothing left to stop the Subaru WRX STI from claiming its place as the rightful ruler of non-luxury compact performance sedans with rally pedigree. While this is certainly good news for Subaru, it doesn’t necessarily have to be good for the rest of us.
With arguably the most important driving force behind the WRX STI’s success gone (competition), there’s nothing left to achieve for the iconic nameplate. And, with rally car enthusiasts left with nowhere else to go, the Japanese don’t really have to lift a finger about their most iconic nameplate’s shortcomings.
There is still hope, however, as they’re apparently working on the next-gen Impreza WRX STI scheduled to arrive sometime in late 2020 or 2021.
Whichever happens to be the case, the next-gen Subaru WRX STI will be underpinned by the new Subaru Global Platform (SGP) which boasts a lower center of gravity and higher rigidity. There are a number of possibilities for the new WRX STI’s powertrain including the current 2.5L turbocharged Boxer 4-cylinder engine or the three-row SUV Ascent’s 2.4L unit.
One possibility, however, piques our interest the most – the hybrid one. A combination of a 2.0L turbocharged Boxer engine up front and an electric motor at the back would enable the WRX STI to retain all the important all-wheel-drive setup while providing the sedan with more easily accessible torque. Not to mention the ever-necessary fuel savings. It’s still a big “if” at the moment, though. One thing is for certain, however. The 2020 Subaru WRX STI will retain a 6-speed manual transmission and it’ll surely be in contention for one of the best 2020 sedans coming our way.
In the realm of rumors, Subaru has also recognized that, while symmetrical AWD is something people expect from the Japanese automaker, a boxer engine is not necessarily on the same level of requirement. What this means, essentially, is that we may soon be seeing Impreza WRXs and STIs with very different powerplants than we’ve grown accustomed to. Maybe a turbo inline-5? A change as small as an inline engine over a horizontally-opposed one? Only time will tell.