The Hyundai Sonata has evolved into a very capable mid-size sedan over the years and the hybrid model now promises additional fuel efficiency to complement the generous standard specifications and comfortable ride.
2017 sees the addition of an updated infotainment interface to the already generous specification list.
Like so many Korean brands, the Hyundai Sonata has improved by great leaps with each succeeding generation, the interior is a good example of this with high quality materials, plenty of space and a logical control layout. The seats are well padded and other than slightly restricted headroom for taller rear passengers, the Sonata is an accomplished and comfortable long-distance cruiser.
Trunk space is very generous although a little reduced from the regular Sonata thanks to the additional hybrid components. You will also have to opt for the top trim level to get folding rear seats as standard.
The brakes offer good stopping power but have a disconcerting pedal feel that does not fill you with confidence. The steering is also devoid of feel but the Sonata was not designed to be an engaging driving machine and its relaxed demeanor will appeal to a broad range of shoppers.
It also offers a very comfortable ride and competent handling for the cut and thrust of city and highway driving. The cabin is hushed at most speeds and there is a distinct absence of any notable squeaks or rattles.
The Sonata is available in two trim levels and both share the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and electric motor combination. A 6-speed automatic transmission is standard.
The gasoline engine on its own produces 154 hp and 140 lb-ft of torque while the electric motor contributes 51hp, 151 lb-ft. This translates into a combined power output of 193 horsepower and performance levels fall somewhere in the middle of the class, acceleration figures to 60 mph are in the mid-8-second range and the Sonata Hybrid should perform adequately in most situations.
Those looking for a dynamic driving experience will undoubtedly come away disappointed but then again, the Sonata Hybrid is all about efficiency and it scores well in this area.
City/highway driving economy figures are rated at 39/45mpg for the base model which is commendable considering the size of the Sonata.
The Sonata Hybrid is available in two trim level, the base trim offers a comprehensive level of standard equipment with notable features including an 8-inch infotainment system with smartphone connectivity, navigation, auto-headlights, rearview camera, dual-zone climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels, hands-free trunk opening, heated front seats with power function for the driver and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
Blind spot detection and rear cross-traffic alert is standard although you will have to move up to the Limited Trim level to get forward collision warning and lane departure warning, rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control and automatic high beam assist.
The Limited Trim also includes ventilated front seats, memory settings for the driver’s seat, power passenger seat, HD Xenon headlights, Infinity Audio system and leather interior.
The standard Blue Link app allows remote starting, locking, charging and climate control functioning. Available extras are limited to a first aid kit and some carpet and floor mats.
Smooth, quiet, understated and capable. These attributes alone may not raise the Sonata above its more capable class rivals but while it may not excel in any one area, as a package the Sonata Hybrid is hard to fault.
The hybrid powertrain offers decent economy and interior space and ride quality are among the best in this segment. It offers little driver involvement but in this segment, most shoppers will be far more interested in the comprehensive standard specification levels and keen pricing.