Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid

Base MSRP: From $33,500
Configurations:

  • Base – From $33,500
  • Limited – From $39,100

Destination Charge: $920
Tax Credit: up to $4,919

EPA Range: 28 electric miles, 600 total
Battery: 9.8 kWh
Charging Acceptance Rate: 3.3 kW

Reviews of the Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid

Overview

Performance: Electric motor-hybrid, 2.0-liter, four cylinder, 202 horsepower
Mileage estimate: 99 mpge; 39-41 mpg overall
Price estimate: $33,500 to $39,100

Warranty: 5 years / 60,000 miles
Drivetrain warranty: 10 years / 100,000 miles
Roadside assistance: 5 years/ unlimited miles
Corrosion warranty: 12 years / unlimited miles
Battery warranty: lifetime of original owner

Nice Midsize Hybrid  (2019)

Buying a family-friendly midsize sedan is no easy decision. The primary reason: there are so many good ones.

The Honda Accord and Toyota Camry have resided at the top of the heap for years. Notable competitors include the Hyundai Sonata, Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima, Mazda 6, Chevrolet Malibu, Volkswagen Passat, and the Kia Optima, a cousin of the Sonata (Hyundai and Kia production is closely related).

One area where the Sonata stands out is its green capability. It has a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model that debuted in 2016. Much of the competition is lacking in this area. The Camry and the Accord don’t offer an PHEV, nor does most of the competition. Kia will introduce the Optima PHEV in 2020 and Mazda has a plug-in hybrid scheduled for 2022.

Despite its uniqueness, the Sonata is struggling to find its place. Part of the issue is Hyundai has another PHEV sedan (Ioniq) in its lineup and this year unveiled the Kona Electric, a 258-mile battery-electric hatchback that could be immediately embraced by folks looking for an all-electric vehicle.

Even though the gas-powered Sonata is Hyundai’s second-best-selling vehicle, sales of the PHEV model have never been good. Through September 2019, this year’s Sonata had meager U.S. sales of 318. Although its sales numbers are more than double the Sonata, the Hyundai Ionic had sales of 864 through September.

One of the primary issues with the Sonata is range. In electric (EV) mode, the 2019 Sonata PHEV travels just 28 miles. Once its 28-mile limit has been reached, the Sonata reverts to standard hybrid operation. Overall, the Sonata PHEV averages 99 mpge and 39-41 mpg. It can go approximately 600 miles without refueling or recharging the battery, thanks to a 14.5-gallon gas tank.

The Sonata PHEV features a 9.8 kilo-watt lithium-ion polymer battery with a 67-horsepower electric motor. The Sonata battery recharges in roughly 8.7 hours when plugged into a 120-volt outlet. Using a 240-volt outlet reduces charging time to approximately 2.7 hours.

There’s been no change in the Sonata PHEV makeup. It remains a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder gas engine that pairs with the electric motor for 202 horsepower. The Sonata lacks great acceleration, but it does go 0-60 mph in 7.9 seconds. While find from a standing start, the Sonata is lacking at higher speeds, where overtaking a slower vehicle in freeway situations requires more time than expected.

However, the Sonata PHEV does possess a nice driving demeanor, offering a smooth and quiet ride. The Sonata is far from athletic and one frequent criticism is the brakes can feel a little “grabby” at times.

Offered in two trim models (base, limited), the Sonata PHEV did an exterior redesign for 2018, featuring a new front end with Hyundai’s signature cascading grille. It also features a new headlight shape and vertical LED daytime running lights. Despite the changes, it’s still very recognizable as a rather unexciting-looking midsize sedan.

The interior of the PHEV model is practically identical to the rest of the Sonata lineup. There’s nothing complicated with the control layout, it’s a user-friendly infotainment interface. It’s straightforward, a good thing for people who find it annoying when an intuitive design is not part of the plan.

All five passengers enjoy solid room and comfort. But one major drawback with the PHEV model is the cargo area. The trunk is small (9.9 cubic feet) because of the battery location. The Honda Clarity and the Toyota Prius Prime have considerably larger trunks.

The Hyundai Sonata is like many PHEV models that offer only modest EV range. However, judged from an overall perspective, the Sonata is a solid midsize sedan for folks who are searching for a dependable green car for every-day use.

 

Interested in other Hyundai PHEV options? Check out the Hyundai Ioniq Plug-In Hybrid

Interested in Hyundai BEV options? Check out their lineup here!

For more manufacturer details on this vehicle visit: www.hyundaiusa.com

Recommended Power Level of Charging Station for Hyundai Sonata = 16A

Vehicle Acceptance rate: 3.3kW

Family-friendly Midsize Hybrid Sedan (2018)

Its reputation has grown over the years, progressing so much that the Hyundai Sonata is part of the conversation when car shoppers are considering a family-friendly midsize sedan.

And that’s saying a lot considering the Sonata’s prime rivals are the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima, Mazda 6, Chevrolet Malibu, Volkswagen Passat, and the Kia Optima, a cousin of the Sonata (Hyundai and Kia production is closely related).

The Sonata PHEV is struggling to find its place since it’s debut in 2016, but Hyundai currently has one successful PHEV vehicle (Ioniq) and will soon unveil the 2019 Kona Electric, a 250-mile battery-electric hatchback that could be immediately embraced by those looking for an all-electric vehicle.

While pricier than a standard Sonata, the PHEV version starts at around $33,250 and the cost is offset by nearly $5,000 in federal tax credit and in-state incentives.

The Ioniq is no slouch, either. Hyundai also offers the Ioniq as an EV, a pure hybrid and plug-in hybrid. The Hyundai Ioniq driver enjoys a premium compact vehicle that has a sporty exterior, is extremely fuel efficient, and can be driven off the dealer’s lot for a reasonable price.

The 2018 Sonata PHEV offers an EV range of 28 miles, one more mile than last year’s model. In EV mode it gets the equivalent of 99 mpg. Once its 28-mile limit has been reached, the Sonata reverts to standard hybrid operation. Overall, the Sonata PHEV averages between 39-41 mpg and can go approximately 600 miles without refueling or recharging the battery, thanks to a 14.5-gallon gas tank.

The Sonata PHEV features a 9.8 kilowatt lithium-ion polymer battery with 67-horsepower electric motor. The battery recharges in a little less than three hours using a 240-volt, Level 2 electric vehicle charging station and about nine hours on a regular household outlet. A 2.0-liter, four-cylinder gas engine pairs with the electric motor for 202 horsepower. The Sonata lacks quick acceleration, going 0-60 mph in 7.9 seconds. However, it does possess a nice driving demeanor, offering a smooth and quiet ride. One criticism is that the brakes can feel a little “grabby” at times.

Offered in two trim models (base, limited), the Sonata PHEV has a new exterior design for 2018, featuring a new front end with Hyundai’s signature cascading grille. It has a new headlight shape and vertical LED daytime running lights. Despite the changes, it’s still very recognizable as a Sonata.

The interior of the PHEV model is practically identical to the rest of the Sonata lineup. There’s nothing complicated with the control layout. It’s straightforward, a good thing for people who find it annoying when an intuitive design is not part of the plan. All five passengers enjoy solid room and comfort.

One notable interior difference is a cluster of gauges that display the hybrid system readouts, a reminder that you are driving a gas-electric car. The trunk is also roughly 3-feet smaller (9.9 cubic-feet) than regular Sonatas.

Like many PHEV models, the Hyundai Sonata provides modest EV range. But judged from an overall perspective, the Sonata is a smart choice in the midsize sedan class for drivers who are searching for a dependable car with many enviable qualities.

— J.W.

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