The Sonata Hybrid enters its third model year as the economy champ of Hyundai's mid-size sedan line. It's one hybrid that manages to stand out not by virtue of its efficiency -- although it's quite good -- but by power and price. The hybrid setup yields the same horsepower as the base gasoline engine and costs a few thousand less than key competitors.
How did Hyundai pull this off? Instead of developing an all-new powertrain, the automaker used parts already on hand, namely the conventional model's 2.4-liter four-cylinder and six-speed automatic transmission. The engine gets a boost from an electric motor juiced by a lightweight lithium-polymer battery pack.Read more »
The Sonata Hybrid features a higher level of standard equipment than the base gasoline model, which helps to justify its $5,000 price premium. All hybrids carry an automatic unlock system with push-button start, heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals, automatic headlamps, fog lights, heated front seats and dual automatic climate control. All of the usual Sonata standard features -- like SiruisXM radio, Bluetooth, and Hyundai BlueLink telematics -- are also present.
Outside, the hybrid distinguishes itself with aero-design bumpers, grille and side panels -- plus chrome trim for the door handles and lower body. To complete the look, there are 16-inch eco-spoke aluminum alloy wheels installed only on the hybrid.
Aimed at providing a near-luxury driving experience, the Limited offers a cushier ride and premium trim. Upgrades include leather seats with heat (front and back) and driver power, a 400-watt Infinity sound system with subwoofer, an HD radio, navigation with a 7-inch touchscreen, a rearview camera, an auto-dimming mirror with integrated compass, a Homelink entry system, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and special door sill plates.
The Limited also gets larger 17-inch wheels in the eco-spoke design, and gloss black door surrounds and side mirror housings. It's a comprehensive package that leaves room for only one option: a panoramic sunroof for $1,000.
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|Build & Price|
2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid$18,777 | 6,901 mi
2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid$18,836 | 19,876 mi
2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid$18,991 | 20,511 mi
2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid$20,500 | 27,030 mi
2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid$20,573 | 14,671 mi
2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid$14,987 | 86,303 mi
2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid$17,864 | 51,445 mi
2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid$19,000 | 16,651 mi
Better mileage, more standard equipment, higher price
Stellar reliability and quality, a bit dated and pricey
Efficient Eco version, nice price, fewer standard features
Outstanding efficiency, value-priced, one class down in size