Hyundai Sonata vs. Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

By

Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - September 10, 2020

For the 2020 model year, Hyundai introduced an all-new Sonata along with a fully-redesigned Sonata Hybrid. The redesigns brought gorgeous designs, updated interiors, and new features.

The changes were made to make the vehicles more competitive against rivals like the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, both of which are also offered with hybrid powertrains.

While the Sonata and Sonata Hybrid share a lot of elements, there are a few differences between the two that could have you leaning toward one option. Which one should you choose? That’s what we’ll aim to answer below.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Hyundai Sonata & Hyundai Sonata Hybrid »

What the Sonata Gets Right

Without the high-tech hybrid powertrain, the Sonata doesn’t cost as much as the Sonata Hybrid. Pricing for the Sonata starts at $24,330 including destination, which is $4,395 less than the Sonata Hybrid. That’s a large difference that'll allow you to get into the SEL Plus trim and still save $345 over the base hybrid while landing a lot more convenience and tech features.

When it comes to performance, the Sonata may not have the same outright power as the Sonata Hybrid, but its powertrains provide peppier performance. The Sonata comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine as standard that’s rated at 191 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. A turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder is available that’s rated at 180 hp and 195 lb-ft of torque. Both come with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The Sonata Hybrid’s sole powertrain is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that’s paired with an electric motor. Combined output is rated at 192 hp and a six-speed automatic transmission is the only gearbox available.

While the Sonata Hybrid produces more horsepower than the regular Sonata, the way the engine’s tuned is all about improving fuel economy. So, in a straight line, it won’t feel nearly as peppy as the regular Sonata.

What the Sonata Hybrid Gets Right

One clear reason for going with the Sonata Hybrid is because of it’s amazing fuel economy. The Sonata Hybrid is rated by the EPA to get up to 52 miles per gallon combined, which is tied for being at the top of the class. The best the regular Sonata can get is up to 32 mpg combined. Based on 15,000 annual miles with 55% of driving spent in the city and 45% spent on the highway, the Sonata Hybrid will save you $350 a year on fuel compared to the regular Sonata.

While the Sonata Hybrid costs more than the regular Sonata, the electrified version comes with more standard safety features. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are standard on the base Sonata Hybrid.

The hybrid variant is also available with an optional solar panel roof that helps add approximately two miles of range per day. That’s a feature you won’t find on the regular Sonata and should help consumers in urban areas go a little further without using gasoline.

How Important Is Fuel Economy?

As this comparison reveals, the Hyundai Sonata and Hyundai Sonata Hybrid are nearly identical vehicles. The major differences boil down to price and fuel economy.

If you plan on doing a lot of city driving and like the sound of up to 50 mpg city, then the Sonata Hybrid is the way to go. With a much higher starting price tag, the Sonata Hybrid won’t save you money in the initial purchase, but consumers that do a lot of driving will being to see the savings add up after a few years.

Our Verdict: Hyundai Sonata

While we’re impressed with the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid’s fuel economy, its much higher price tag makes the regular Sonata the better option for the majority of consumers. Comparing Sonata and Sonata Hybrid models with similar price tags reveals that the Sonata is a better value option, too, bringing much more features.

Take a closer look at the Hyundai Sonata »

Take a closer look at the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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