NEW FOR 2016:
- All-new model.
For 2016, hybrid technology migrates to the latest generation Hyundai Sonata. The midsize sedan gets the same styling, interior, and chassis changes that the conventional model launched last year. It will also be joined by the brand’s first plug-in hybrid version, which will go on sale later in the year.
The latest Sonata Hybrid boasts a stiffer chassis, and a considerably smoother ride thanks to a re-tuned suspension setup. Although the exterior design has a few more corners than the outgoing model, it has less drag. The aerodynamically optimized bodywork has active grille shutters to help the sedan cut through the air with a coefficient rating of 0.24 – a figure that’s best in class.
Under the hood, the Sonata Hybrid now features a smaller 2.0-litre direct-injected motor in place of the older 2.4-litre engine. To compensate, the Sonata Hybrid features beefier electrical components – the 38 kW (up from 35 kW) electric motor is fed by a 56 kW / 1.62 kWh lithium-polymer battery. Total net horsepower is comparable to the old model – 193 hp vs. 199.
For the Plug-in version, Hyundai has upgraded the electric motor to a 50 kW unit, while the battery pack has an increased capacity of 68 kW / 9.8 kWh. Compared to the standard Hybrid, the Plug-in has slightly more juice on tap at 202 hp. In terms of all-electric range, the Sonata offers up 34 km of pure EV driving, and takes about five hours to charge from flat on a 110-volt outlet, and 2.5 to three hours on a 240-volt plug.
Though the standard Sonata Hybrid can’t quite match the Camry Hybrid in terms of in-city fuel economy, it handily trumps any other midsize hybrid on the highway. It’s also a considerably more practical machine – its 60/40 split folding seats fold completely flat into the floor, and trunk space leads the segment at 380L. The larger battery pack of the Plug-in model sees trunk space drop to a still-appreciable 280L, though the rear seats do not fold down.
The Sonata Hybrid is available in three trims: Base, Limited, Ultimate.
The Plug-in Hybrid is available exclusively in Ultimate trim.
The Sonata Hybrid includes 16-inch aerodynamically optimized aluminum wheels, LED daytime running lights, LED brake lights, power heated side mirrors with LED turn signal indicators, proximity key with push-button trunk, hands-free trunk release, power windows with driver’s auto up/down, automatic headlights, cloth upholstery, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, six-speaker AM/FM/CD player with USB port, auxiliary port, Bluetooth, and a 5.0-inch touchscreen display, 4.2-inch TFT instrument cluster display, reverse camera, cruise control, windshield wiper de-icer, dual-zone climate control, blind spot monitoring system, lane-change assist, rear cross-traffic alert, and selectable drive modes.
Hybrid Limited adds 17-inch aluminum wheels, rear side roller blinds, leather upholstery, leatherette dashboard and door trim, adjustable heated rear seats, auto-dimming rear-view mirrors with integrated garage door opener, 60/40 split folding rear seats, aluminum door sill plates, LED interior lighting, seven-speaker premium audio system, panoramic sunroof, and an 8.0-inch display screen with navigation.
The Ultimate model builds on Limited with bi-xenon headlamps with high-beam assist, lane-departure warning, forward collision warning, eight-way power driver’s seat, six-way power front passenger’s seat, driver memory seat, ventilated front seats, nine-speaker Infinity premium audio system, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, electronic parking brake with vehicle auto-hold, and rear park assist.
The Plug-in Hybrid includes all the content of the Hybrid Ultimate, and adds a plug-in charging cable with port, but loses the rear folding seats, panoramic sunroof, LED interior lighting, adjustable rear head restraints, rear window sun shades, and rear console air vents.