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2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Review — A Class-Act Hybrid

To say that Hyundai has come a long way is an understatement. The 2016 Sonata Hybrid is every bit as good as any other car in this sedan segment and elevates this already very good platform to a whole new level of comfort, class, and fuel efficiency without sacrificing anything.

Quick Specs & Info

4.5 Stars over 5

2016, Hyundai, Sonata Class: Sedan, Hybrid Curb Weight: 3497 lbs.
Base Model: $26,000–$30,100 As Tested: Sonata Hybrid Limited $30,100
Drivetrain: Hybrid, 1.62 kWh battery pack City/Highway/Combined MPG: 39 / 43 / 41, we got a 38.5 overall average
Engine/Electric Motor: 2L 154HP @ 6000, 140 lb-ft @ 5000, Electric 38 kW (51 hp) @ 1770–2000, 151 lb-ft @ 0-1770 rpm, 270-volt, 75 MPH. Combined 193HP @ 6000 MSRP as tested

Overview

I have to admit that I have been very pleasantly surprised by the 2016 Hyundai Sonata. The new Sonata platform has been a success the past few years, and the 2016 Hybrid will continue it for the brand. Hyundai has a very strong performer with this hybrid, which is giving the competition a run for its money.

My impression of the Sonata Hybrid is one of comfort and the right amount of luxury without going overboard. The Sonata Hybrid is a well packaged car, tastefully executed. The chassis was firm enough to make it feel sporty at times, without brutalizing you. The front driver seat pulls back for easy in and out access. The car felt great in all conditions, whether driving around town, cruising on highways, or even when stepping on it.

Competition includes the Kia Optima, Honda Accord, Ford Fusion (including the Energi), Toyota Corolla, and Chevy Volt, but I wouldn’t shame anyone who chose this option.

Strong Points

Comfortably seats 5 people. Great turn radius. Next-generation hybrid, runs on electricity as long as the battery is halfway filled or more. Goes into a series hybrid mode, where the engine only charges the battery and leaves the more efficient electric motor to power the front wheels under moderate acceleration. An easy hypermiler.

Hyundai also excels with its infotainment. We found the system to be well laid out with the correct amount of information at your disposal displayed in an intuitive way. Connection with our iPhones was seamless.

Weaknesses

We really have to nitpick to find weaknesses with this car. Maybe the ergonomics can improve. Which car couldn’t? The driver’s left arm resting position could find the hand better falling where the window and rear view buttons are. Also, we caught the reflection of the dash on the left bottom side of the window at night. Again, all of these would be if we have to nitpick!

Test Period Length and Limitations: We had the car for seven days and drove it under various conditions. 15% highways, 80% city and 5% cruising between cities on moderate speed roads.

Conclusions

Hyundai has a serious winner with the Sonata, one of the smartest hybrids around. You can see the company put a lot of effort into making it right. We were surprised with the attention to details, comfortable seats, and luxury feel in a discreetly stated way. A chassis that is both firm, yet forgiving, makes this 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid a 4.5 stars out of 5.


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Written By

Nicolas was born and raised around classic cars of the 1920s, but it wasn't until he drove an AC Propulsion eBox and a Tesla Roadster that the light went on. Ever since he has produced green mobility content on various CleanTech outlets since 2007 and found his home on CleanTechnica. He grew up in an international environment and his communication passion led to cover electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, renewable energy, test drives, podcasts, shoot pictures, and film for various international outlets in print and online. Nicolas offers an in-depth look at the e-mobility world through interviews and the many contacts he has forged in those industries. His favorite taglines are: "There are more solutions than obstacles." and "Yesterday's Future Now"

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