The Sonata Plug-in Hybrid is a brand-new entry from Hyundai. A traditional hybrid is also available.
The Sonata Hybrid is motivated by a direct-injected 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline-burning engine linked to an electric motor. The system produces a combined 202 horsepower and an unspecified amount of torque. On paper, the figure should be north of 200lb-ft. The electric motor alone produces 151lb-ft and the gas engine contributes another 140. Due to the way the parallel hybrid system is designed, the two would not be delivering their maximum torque output simultaneously, so those values cannot simply be added together.
The Plug-in model packs a beefier battery pack with a 68-kW capacity. It is capable of powering the Sonata for up to 27 miles without gasoline engine intervention. Electric mode is capped at 75 miles per hour.
Most hybrids are all about fuel economy, and the Sonata Hybrid is no exception to the rule. As a plug-in model, it also plays in the electric vehicle space and carries an MPGe rating in addition to its standard hybrid ratings. The powertrain is rated at 40 MPG combined or 99 MPGe in EV mode.
On standard 110/120V power, charging takes just under 9 hours. A level 2 charger is available and cuts the total charging time to less than three hours.
Inside, the sedan features a shapely dashboard that echoes the exterior design and a special instrument cluster with eco-display options that helps the driver achieve the highest possible gas mileage.
The Sonata Hybrid is offered with Hyundai's Blue Link telematics service, which can be spec'd to provide voice text messaging, point-of-interest web search and download, and automatic collision notification in addition to traffic, weather, restaurant and nearby gas station information. A dedicated application can transform a compatible smartphone into a remote control that can be used to turn the car on and off, turn on the rear defroster or set the climate control settings, functions that owners in cold climates will be sure to appreciate.
The Sonata Hybrid offers seating for up to five passengers and 13.3 cubic feet of cargo space.
Trim Level Breakdown
The Sonata Plug-in Hybrid is available in two trim levels: SE (base) and Limited. There are no packages available.
Due to the limited upgrades available, the Sonata Hybrid SE comes very well-equipped. Standard features include automatic projector headlamps, LED DRLs, heated and folding exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals, speed-sensitive windshield wipers, 16" alloy wheels, cloth seating surfaces, manually adjustable front seats, a fixed rear bench with ski pass-through, an AM/FM/SiriusXM/CD/MP3 audio system controlled by a 5" color touchscreen, and iPod/USB inputs.
Moving up to the Limited adds Xenon HID headlamps, a blind spot detection system, 17" wheels, leather seating surfaces, power-adjustable ventilated front seats with memory, a 60/40-split folding and heated rear bench, a leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel, rear seat HVAC vents, auto-up/down front windows with illuminated switches, and an auto-dimming interior rearview mirror. Additional equipment includes a navigation system with an 8-inch touchscreen display, an Infinity premium audio system, HD and SiriusXM radio, rear parking sensors, smart cruise control with start/stop, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, automatic high beam assist, a panoramic sunroof and LED interior accent lighting.
Every Sonata Hybrid model comes standard with dual front, front side and side curtain airbags in addition to traction and stability control systems, active front head restraints, a rear-view camera, electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist.
Buyers who opt for the Limited model also get rear parking sensors, smart cruise control with start/stop, lane departure warning, forward collision warning and automatic high beam assist.
The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid can be cross-shopped against a large number of gasoline-electric mid-sizers, some of which are available as plug-ins and some not. Buyers should compare to the Ford Fusion Energi, the Toyota Camry Hybrid. For those who simply want a plug-in regardless of the footprint can cross-shop the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid and the Ford C-MAX Energi.