2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Sedan Review | Edmunds.com
 

2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Sedan

 
 

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Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 206 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 34/39 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes
 

Review of the 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

  • The 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid seemingly has all the right stuff, but quirky driving dynamics keep it from being a top contender among fuel-efficient hybrid-powered family sedans.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    High fuel economy; comfortable and handsome cabin; smooth ride; lengthy warranty; top safety scores.

  • Cons

    Unrefined hybrid powertrain; clumsy braking response; significant price premium compared to regular Sonata.

  • What's New for 2012

    The 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid gains standard BlueLink, the safety, service and infotainment telematics system. A new optional Leather…

 
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (31 total reviews)


Bad mileage....worse customer support

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)

I own a 2012 Sonota Hybrid Limited. I am currently getting 24mpg in city driving. I have done all of the service upgrades recommended by this forum and it's readers. I met with a field rep today to discuss the poor mileage. He told me as long as I get 23mpg or better Hyundai won't do anything for me. I have spent numerous hours on the phone with Hyundai and several trips to dealerships without any effect. Sorry, that is not good enough...this is the third Hyundai we have purchased since 2010. One would think Hyundai would value me as a customer. Apparently not. Too bad....I like the car other than the mileage. Hyundai does not stand by their customers based on my experience. Won't buy again.



5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Missing the mark, but still

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)

I purchased my 2012 Sonata Hybrid new from the dealership. This was my first "fancy" car, as I had always gone either base model or used in the past due to financial difficulty, but I was finally in a position to spoil myself a bit, and was able to justify my expense in the fuel savings, or so I though... Highway miles truly are 38-40, and I can even get that if "cruising", but only if the weather is nice, and traffic is light. Here in the Midwest we get temperature extremes which effect the fuel economy a great deal, and stop and go city driving averages 32 mpg which is no where near what they had advertised. My friends all say I drive like an old man too, so I know it's not just me...



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Very comfort ride but poor

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)

I was attracted by the high tech package and the exterior design. Very well designed on the looking. But absolutely disappointed with the MPG. I knew the MPG will be off a bit from the sticker, but didn't expect THAT MUCH of a difference. Sticker states 5.2L/100km combined, I am getting 7.1 - 7.3L/100km. This is no where near to the sticker MPG. I am a gentle driver, so it's not my driving style issue. Acceleration response time is slow, need to give an extra 1 - 2 second when making a left. I wasn't aware of this when I had my test drive, start to realize as I drive it daily. Not sure if this is common for all hybrid. Alignment is starting to pull to the left after 2 weeks.



 
 
 
Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 34
  • cty
/
  • 39
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Full 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Review

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid gains standard BlueLink, the safety, service and infotainment telematics system. A new optional Leather package includes leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. All hybrid components also receive a lifetime warranty.

Introduction

The 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid isn't the first environmentally friendly family sedan on the market. It is, however, a solid first effort from the Korean automaker, with stylish good looks, a long list of standard features and several technological firsts lurking beneath its hood.

As for those powertrain innovations, the Hyundai-designed hybrid system uses a lithium-polymer battery pack that's both lighter and more compact than the nickel-metal hydride batteries powering comparable models from other carmakers. The electric motor has also been placed between the four-cylinder gasoline engine and a traditional six-speed automatic transmission, which makes for a more familiar driving experience compared to the droning engine note of competitors using a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

This all sounds good in theory. But in practice, Hyundai's hybrid system falls short of expectations. First and foremost, we've found that it falls far short of those lofty EPA mpg estimates. It's thrifty to be sure, but not as much as is promised. (Hyundai later revised its estimates for the car, going from 35 mpg city/40 mpg highway to 34 mpg city/39 mpg highway.) The Sonata Hybrid also leaves something to be desired in terms of refinement, with acceleration at low speeds marred by mild shuddering and lurching. Brake feel is also a bit odd.

Competitors like the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Toyota Camry Hybrid do not suffer in such ways. The big price difference between the Sonata Hybrid and the entry-level Sonata -- which is rated at a very impressive 35 mpg on the highway -- also makes the Hybrid a tough sell from a bottom-line-oriented point of view.

In total, the 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is a decent choice in a fuel-sipping family sedan, but it needs some work before it receives the sort of recommendation we give the non-hybrid Sonata.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is a midsize sedan that's offered in a single well-equipped trim level.

Standard equipment includes 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, LED running lights, foglamps, heated mirrors, keyless ignition/entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, an eight-way power driver seat, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Bluetooth, Hyundai's BlueLink emergency communications, and a six-speaker sound system with CD player, satellite radio, an iPod/USB audio interface and an auxiliary audio jack.

There are just two option packages available. The Leather package bundles leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. The Ultimate package starts with everything from the Leather package and adds 17-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof, a touchscreen navigation system, a rearview camera and a nine-speaker Infinity sound system with HD radio.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine generating 166 horsepower and 154 pound-feet of torque that is paired with an electric motor making 40 hp and 151 lb-ft. Combined, the two power units are good for 206 hp and 193 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed automatic with manual shift control is the only transmission offered.

In Edmunds performance testing, the Sonata Hybrid accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 8.7 seconds, which is reasonably quick for a hybrid. The EPA estimates Sonata Hybrid fuel economy at 34 mpg city/39 mpg highway and 36 combined. However, in Edmunds fuel economy testing of both the Sonata Hybrid and the mechanically similar Kia Optima Hybrid, we found that both fall a couple miles per gallon short of these estimates.

Safety

Standard safety features on the 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid include antilock brakes, stability control, traction control, front side-impact airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. Hyundai's BlueLink emergency communications system is also standard.

In government safety tests, the Sonata Hybrid earned a top five-star rating for overall crash protection, with four out of five stars given for overall frontal protection and five stars for overall side protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the 2012 Hyundai Sonata earned a top rating of "Good" for frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength protection.

In Edmunds brake testing, the Sonata Hybrid came to a stop from 60 mph in 126 feet, an average result for the class.

Interior Design and Special Features

Not surprisingly, the Sonata Hybrid's passenger cabin looks and feels very similar to its traditionally powered sibling. The interior is equally handsome and controls are straightforward and intuitive, both with and without the touchscreen interface that comes as part of the Ultimate option package. The gauge cluster, which is one of the most notable things that sets the interior apart from that of the non-hybrid model, includes a separate LCD display meant to encourage more fuel-efficient driving.

Front seats are comfortable and supportive. The backseat offers plenty of room for two adults, though taller passengers will find headroom in short supply. All hybrid sedans lose a good bit of trunk space to the hybrid system's battery pack, and the Sonata Hybrid is no exception, with just 10.7 cubic feet of cargo room. The regular Sonata, for comparison, has 16.4 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

On the road, the 2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid offers a nice combination of nimble handling and a smooth, composed ride quality. There's plenty of power on tap, whether you're accelerating away from a stop sign or pulling out to pass on a two-lane road. Where this hybrid powertrain disappoints, however, is in low-speed driving or quickly changing traffic conditions. In these situations, the Sonata Hybrid often shudders and lurches while deciding which gear it wants. It is similarly indecisive under braking, as the transition between electronic regenerative braking (which helps recharge the battery pack) and mechanical braking is clumsy and unpredictable. Almost all hybrids exhibit some quirkiness, but the Sonata Hybrid's acceleration and braking is the quirkiest of the bunch.

Talk About The 2012 Sonata Hybrid

2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Discussions See all Started By

vinnyg
vinnyg
12-23-2013
Another bump for all 2011-2012 Sonata Hybrid owners who have not had the latest TSB 13-FL-004 performed. It enhances drivability and stops the cold start jerkiness and hesitation. You have to actually...


vinnyg
vinnyg
12-23-2013
Another bump for all 2011-2012 Sonata Hybrid owners who have not had the latest TSB 13-FL-004 performed. It enhances drivability and stops the cold start jerkiness and hesitation. You have to actually...


kyrpto
kyrpto
08-01-2013
On another Hyundai forum there have been many posts about it being incorrect on Sonata Hybrids because the odometer reading / gallons replaced calculation often produces a lower figure....