8 of the Best 2020 Sedans We Can Expect to See
The Best Sedan 2020 Will Bring to Market is Hidden Among the Following Models
Published September 14, 2018
Despite losing the popularity battle to crossovers, sedans are undoubtedly still an important 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. 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.
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 debuting in 2015. The 2020 Hyundai Sonata will be completely redesigned in order to usher the intermediate into a new era. The first of the eighth-generation models will draw inspiration from the exquisite Hyundai Le Fil Rouge concept car presented at the 2018 Geneva show, but it won’t be nearly as eccentric. Instead, a much more subdued final product will sport 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 1.6L and 2.0L turbo four, a 2.4L naturally aspirated 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. It’s safe to expect the next-generation Sonata will continue to offer most of the above mentioned choices, but it’s still unclear which of these will be left out from the final cut. If it comes to this, that is. The current model’s standard 6-speed automatic transmission is expected to give way to more contemporary options like a 7-speed dual-clutch or 8-speed auto, whereas people with a shift stick preference might end up short-handed. Prices are expected to remain mostly intact excluding inflation adjustments. More will be known at one of the upcoming major auto shows.
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. Believe it or not, the Porsche lineup will soon get another four-door sedan when the Mission E concept from 2015 leaves its cocoon and becomes a highly anticipated, beautiful and colorful Taycan EV. Only thing, the Taycan translates to a “lively young horse,” rather than a “colorful butterfly,” but no matter. The German automaker’s first ever EV will be equally potent as any other mass-production Porsche, and equally capable around corners as well. Moreover, it’ll sport the company’s hallmark styling which seems to be stuck in the sixties. One of the rare new details will be the rear horizontal strip instead of conventional tail-lights, but that particular detail has already been presented on the next-gen Cayenne.
The 2020 Porsche Taycan should be available with two different battery packs and three distinctive power outputs. Depending on a choice between an 80 kWh or 95 kWh battery pack, the Taycan will deliver either 402 hp, 536 hp, or 670 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 upcoming Porsche EV will also support ultra-fast charging since the Germans are heavily investing into 800-volt charger development. These new chargers should be 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 should arrive sooner than we know it with prices reflecting that of the Panamera fastback sedan which are ranging from some $85,000 to around $190,000.
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, however will receive a much-needed overhaul that should help make it exciting again. The next-gen S3 will be closely related to the next-gen Volkswagen Golf GTI and R which is also the case with the current models. From a design standpoint, the new S3 won’t stray far away from the path established by the current generation either. They will get a host of software upgrades for their electronic systems and a completely overhauled interior, though.
The 2020 Audi S3 should continue to use 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 350 horsepower from the same-but-upgraded engine since that looks like the direction the next-gen performance Golfs are heading. More will be known closer to the reveal date, but expect the 2020 Audi S3 sedan to retain its price levels which are currently in the $43,500 to $49,000 region without the extras. It might not be the most exciting sedan on the market, but the next-gen Audi S3 will certainly be up there with the best 2020 sedans coming our way.
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 current performance-oriented 3 Series is a bad car – it just lacks some of its predecessors’ pizzazz. The next-generation M3 codenamed G80 will sport a number of improvements over the outgoing model, but it still has the current 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 to its roots. The regular 2020 BMW M3 will be even lighter than the current generation’s hardcore CS models by weighing less than 3,500 pounds. The Germans are planning to 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 should be able to generate as much as 465 horsepower thanks to the use of a water injection system which reduces cylinder temperatures and provides better and more efficient engine running in turn. Although not a significant upgrade over the CS’s 454 ponies, the lighter and slightly more powerful new M3 should be able to beat the CS around the track without too much fuss. The standard transmission spot remains reserved for a 6-speed manual, whereas the optional spot will either be awarded to the current model’s 7-speed dual-clutch or the M5’s new 8-speed ZF unit. Prices will likely be increased due to the inflation, new technology, and imposed tariff costs, but let’s wait for the official statement.
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, however, is yet to show its face, but that’ll soon be rectified. The all-new Toyota Corolla sedan has already been caught testing multiple times which hints at its imminent arrival. Like the hatchback, the 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan will ride on the company’s modular TNGA platform which also underpins the likes of the 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. The new U.S.-spec Corolla draws inspiration from the Euro-spec Auris which is yet to be revealed in sedan shape, so it’s futile searching for answers there. Like before, the sedan should be priced below the hatch, so expect the entry-level model’s price to start from between $19,000 and $19,500.
The 2020 Toyota Corolla sedan should be offered with only one choice of engine initially. Same as its hatchback sibling, the sedan will be motivated by a 2.0L naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine that’s good enough for 168 horsepower and 155 pound-feet of torque. It’ll be paired either with a 6-speed manual or a CVT transmission for improved fuel economy. Although it isn’t much, a car of the Corolla’s stature barely needs more than this reliable, albeit uninspiring, 4-cylinder has to offer. 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 will be one of the best 2020 sedans heading our way.
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 will thus cease to exist and give way to the all-new CT4 and CT5. Not only will the new models sport a completely overhauled interior and exterior, but they’ll effectively be repositioned within the Cadillac range. The reason is the fact both the ATS and CTS are sort-of in-betweeners compared to their market opponents. After the proposed makeover, the CT4 (née ATS) will become more in-tune with the BMW 2 Series, Audi A3, and Mercedes-Benz CLA Class, whereas the CT5 (née CTS) will be able to more effectively compete with the likes of the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4, and Mercedes-Benz C Class. Both models will retain their Alpha platform underpinnings but with just enough differences that should help prevent sales cannibalization.
Retaining the Alpha platform means that the 2020 Cadillac CT4 and CT5 will also retain the rear-wheel drive configuration with all-wheel drive available as an option. Both cars should be offered with a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder as their base engine. This unit currently makes 272 horsepower in both of them, while, at the same time, producing different amounts of torque (260 lb-ft in the ATS and 295 in the CTS). An all-new larger optional turbo-four could also be on the cards if GM decides not to retain the services of the naturally aspirated or turbocharged 3.6L V6 mills that currently serve as the ATS and CTS’s optional powerplants. Finally, the larger of the two should receive one of the upcoming twin-turbo V8 iterations in its V-form that’s bound to replace the current LT4-powered CTS-V sedan. 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.
2. 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 the situation. The all-new second-generation CLA Class is already in the making and should arrive just in time for MY 2020.
The new model will draw inspiration from the third-generation CLS sedan which, of course, debuted for MY 2019. Size-wise, however, it’ll be more like the all-new A Class sedan which also arrived during MY 2019. Compared to the A Class, the CLA Class sedan will sport a lower roofline that integrates more gracefully with the sedan’s overhang, creating a sportier, almost coupe-like shape (maybe that’s the reason Mercedes-Benz actually calls it a coupe). It’ll also sport a more aggressive grille that confirms its sporty demeanor, which is exactly the reason behind its existence.
The 2020 Mercedes-Benz CLA Class should retain its lineup of 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engines. Base models make 208 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque at the moment, whereas the AMG 45 units deliver a whole 375 ponies and 350 lb-ft of torque. Both should see those figures increased in the future, with the latter developing north of 400 horsepower. Furthermore, the CLA Class will likely also receive a new AMG 35 engine that should slot in-between the two already available powerplants. More will be known closer to the CLA Class’ reveal date. As for their prices, the conventional models should retain their low $30,000 entry-level range, while the AMG CLA 45 probably won’t start from anything less than $55,000. The AMG CLA 35, on the other hand, should slot in-between – just like it is the case with its power output.
1. 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 pedigrees. 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, 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 2020. Will it be in time for MY 2020 or MY 2021, remains to be seen.
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 the previous years. Maybe a turbo inline-5? A change as small as an inline engine over a horizontally-opposed one? Only time will tell.