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Sonata Hybrid










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Hyundai Sonata Hybrid


I had a chance to see the new Hyundai Sonata Hybrid in training back in July. Several Hyundai salespeople were checking the car out and commented that they wish the non-Hybrid had this look as well. This is one sharp-looking car. Mainly it is just mild changes to the face and tail of the car but those changes added up to a look that gives the Sonata more flair. While we didn't get to drive the car, another notable was the improved trunk space, flat load floor as the Hybrid battery is now located where the spare tire would be, and the fact that this is a Hybrid that you can fold the rear seats down for additional storage capability.


Now that we have them in stock, I have driven one. WOW! It is difficult to tell that you are driving a hybrid model as it literally feels like a "normal" Sonata. The powertrain is exceptionally smooth and it is nearly imperceptible when the engine turns on and off. About the only way that you would know you are in a hybrid is from the regenerative braking system, but even that is very smooth. This car definitely deserves a drive if a hybrid is even a consideration!






Hyundai Sonata Hybrid information and reviews


Here is Hyundai's official page on the Sonata Hybrid.


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Two of three AutoWeek editors really liked the Sonata Hybrid. The third: well, that's why there are a lot of different cars on the road. Mainstream hybrids are different from non-hybrids in that they are tuned for fuel efficiency so drivers that want snappy responsiveness and power won't get much satisfaction, and a hybrid's regenerative braking feels a little unnatural so I can see how someone can have trouble with it although no one I have test driven with ever has. Now for the other two editors. They liked the really comfortable ride quality, useful and easy-to-use technology, cabin spaciousness, and the fact that you can fold the rear seats down, that last one uncommon in a hybrid. See all their notes.


* * * * * * * * * * spent some time with both the Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid variants. They say if you are looking for a sports car that races around corners and goes fast, then this isn't the car for you. but then you are looking at a hybrid so those probably aren't your goals. On the other hand, if you are looking for a comfortable and very quiet ride, with a spacious interior AND spacious trunk with a 60/40 split rear seat back (60/40 not available in the plug-in) that gets a combined fuel economy rating of 40 mpg or better, then the Sonata is definitely a solid contender. They praise the 6-speed transmission that keeps the car from sounding like a motorboat when accelerating like the CVT transmissions used with most hybrids. And they love the fact that you can drive along at speeds up to 75 mph without the engine running; try that in a Camry Hybrid. See more of their comments.


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Getting better observed fuel economy than the Ford Fusion Hybrid and the Toyota Camry Hybrid, Car and Driver came away impressed with the 2016 Sonata Hybrid, especially since Hyundai doesn't resort to the unnatural-feeling CVT transmission to achieve great fuel economy. They praise the fact that Hyundai has improved the pedal feel of the regenerative brakes, that the stopping and starting of the gasoline engine is nearly imperceptible, and that the looks of the Hybrid are actually an improvement over that of the non-=Hybrid Sonata. Read the full review here.


* * * * * * * * * * caled the Sonata Hybrid a worthy match to the best hybrids in its class. They tout the serene ride quality and quiet interior, bigger than average trunk, and powertrain refinement. I definitely agree - this is one quiet and comfortable ride and almost nothing makes you think it's a hybrid, right on down to a "normal" six-speed automatic as opposed to a CVT. And here is an Edmunds road test article on the Sonata Hybrid Limited specifically.


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MotorTrend wanders into the mechanical how's and why's of the smooth operation of both the Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid. A couple of notes that didn't seem obvious to me:

1) The 9.9 cu ft of trunk space and the back seat not folding down relates only to the plug-in version, not the regular hybrid version.

2) The regular hybrid does not need to be plugged in at all, and the seats do fold down on the regular hybrid. The trunk is larger, also, with 13.3. cu ft of space.

3) I don't really understand the mechanical "fixes" Hyundai used to make this Sonata hybrid so smooth an operator, but the writer was really impressed.


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Kelley Blue Book was impressed with the quiet interior and linear braking and powertrain of the Sonata Hybrid. Additionally they praised Hyundais hybrid battery solution and the extra trunk space it created (not to mention the fold-down rear seats). This is a short article on their takeaways from the drive in the hybrid.


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Are you looking for a car that is easy to connect car seats and booster seats to? says the Sonata Hybrid aces their test.


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While it isn't readily available in Pennsylvania where I live, this artile says New Jersey and New York gets it so I expect we could, too, by trading one in. But says that the Sonata Hybrid Plug-in is a very nice, quiet, comfortable car that can get a 600 mile range on a tank of gas (or more if you use the all-electric mode frequently). They say it has power when you step on the gas unlike many green cars. The only drawback seems to be the small trunk at 9.9 cubic feet.


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Copyright 2015 Tim Bergey
The views expressed on this website are not necessarily those of my employer.
Images copyright John Barclay, Hyundai.
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