CarsDirect Review

2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Review

, Automotive Editor -

Dashing looks. We wouldn’t go so far as to say that automakers have given up designing good-looking sedans, as that’s not exactly true. But they are more worried about stuffing cars with features and versatility to stop consumers from making the switch to a crossover or SUV. The 2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid takesa different path.

The South Korean brand has made styling an important aspect of the sedan and it shows. While some hybrids look frumpy or oddly shaped, the Sonata Hybrid is sleek, stylish, and handsome.

This is the kind of car you look back at before locking. The LED daytime running lights that connect with a chrome strip on the hood before heading up to outline the windows is one of our favorite features on any car on the market.

If you’re looking for a stylish hybrid sedan, consider your search over.

Class-leading fuel economy. Of course, fuel economy is the main focus with the Sonata Hybrid. The electrified midsize sedan comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor for a combined total of 192 horsepower. The powertrain is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission with power going to the front wheels.

The Blue trim is the most efficient in the lineup and carries an EPA rating of 52 miles per gallon combined. That matches the Toyota Camry Hybrid and surpasses the Honda Accord Hybrid’s combined rating of 48 mpg. Going with another one of the Sonata Hybrid’s trims brings a combined rating of 47 mpg, which is still great.

You may have a hard time getting that kind of fuel economy in the real world, but, on paper, the Sonata Hybrid ranks among the best in the class.

Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Bountiful features. Just like with any other Hyundai, the Sonata Hybrid comes with a variety of standard features to make it a strong value option. Some notable ones include an 8-inch touchscreen, smartphone compatibility, dual-zone automatic climate control, and LED lights.

Hyundai also offers some cutting-edge features with the Sonata Hybrid, including a 12.3-inch display in the instrument cluster, Hyundai Digital Key, a solar roof, and its Highway Driving Assist system that can handle steering, brake, and throttle inputs on the highway.

We’re especially impressed with the solar roof, which can add up to roughly two miles of range per day – as long as you park the car in sunlight for six hours.

Hyundai also backs the Sonata Hybrid with one of the longest warranties on the market and offers a host of standard safety features. Last year, the sedan earned great crash test ratings from the IIHS and the NHTSA, as well.

Knocking on luxury’s door. While the exterior design is sure to draw some stares, passengers inside the Sonata Hybrid get to enjoy its near-luxury feel. All but the base Blue trim feel upscale, have high-quality materials, and look great. The circular, four-pronged steering wheel is one of our favorite elements on the inside.

The range-topping Limited trim really ups the ante with leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, a 10.25-inch touchscreen, and a 12-speaker Bose audio system.

In addition to looking and feeling upscale, the Sonata Hybrid rides like a luxury vehicle. It’s definitely not sporty, but the suspension soaks up bumps and the cabin remains remarkably quiet at all speeds.

Final thoughts. It’s hard to find fault with the 2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. It offers excellent fuel economy, feels like a luxury vehicle, is a good value for money, and comes with a fantastic warranty. If you’re shopping for a hybrid sedan, there’s little reason to go elsewhere.

Compared to the Camry Hybrid, the Sonata Hybrid is down on power, but offers more interior space and more high-tech features. It’s a similar case with the Accord Hybrid, which has more power than the Sonata Hybrid, but doesn’t match it when it comes to fuel economy, interior space, or technology.

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