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Mainstream sedans with hybrid powertrains are nothing new. The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid fits right into this group, yet manages to distinguish itself from the rest.
Where other manufacturers develop complex and unique hybrid systems, Hyundai started with a modified version of the Sonata's conventional four-cylinder engine and six-speed transmission, then sandwiched an electric motor in between. Supplying electricity is a lithium-polymer battery pack that's lighter and more compact than traditional nickel-metal hydride batteries. The result is lively performance, with fuel economy numbers that, on paper at least, are pretty much equal to other midsize hybrid sedans.
Another fortunate byproduct of the Sonata's off-the-rack hybrid approach is that it costs significantly less than a number of its rivals. It still costs thousands more than a regular Sonata, however, and in testing we've found its hybrid power delivery and braking unrefined and still a work in progress.
The Sonata Hybrid is an impressive first effort, and it's about as good a reason as any to break from the crowd. But we still suggest checking out a couple other midsize hybrid sedans before you make a final decision.
Used Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Models
The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid debuted as a 2011 model. That introductory year lacked the BlueLink telematics system, but otherwise the car has gone on unchanged.
If you are looking for newer years, visit our new Hyundai Sonata Hybrid page.