2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Consumer Review: Worst car purchase decision I

2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid - Consumer Review

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47 Total Reviews

Base Sedan (2.4L 4-cyl. Hybrid 6-speed Automatic)

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3 of 6 people found this review helpful
Worst car purchase decision I have ever made
By nohyndai on


2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)


I have had my hybrid sonata 3 months. It has just over 2000 miles on it and has been in for service twice. It has had all the recall fixes. The check engine light goes on and the dealership keeps claiming I am not tightening the gas cap. It also gets 18 mpg based on gas tank fillup.
I am terrified of getting rear-ended as the engine sputters out when on curved inclines when you deaccelarate. The engine
just cuts out. The closest Hyundai service department is 45 minutes away and they do not provide drop off service or loaner cars. So I have to take a day off of work, or drop the car off the previous evening and pay to rent a car. This is to remedy their errors!
A definite lemon.

Best Features

Seat warmer is the best functioning feature.
Recommend (3) (3)

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By nohyndai
on 01/11/12 19:15 PM (PST)

Well it's been in two more times (for a total of 4 times since August) because the engine light was on and because of hesitation and sputtering when accelerating on inclines. Supposedly, previous part used to correct engine light problem was defective. Actually got 33 mpg on one tank with conservative all freeway driving. Still high teen, low 20's mpg for city driving in hilly area. Trying to deal with regional office folks, but it has been difficult connecting.

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By nohyndai
on 12/29/11 20:09 PM (PST)

Alex 3540, the problems I am having are associated with a faulty sonata hybrid, not operator error. The gas cap was carefully clicked- even if the dealer had not instructed me on clicking requirement, it is printed plainly on the gas cap and I am literate. The engine check light has come on at random times, not neccessarily after filling up. The sputter issue has now transitioned to cutting out entirely and is very unsafe, particularly on freeways. A word of advice (with a "C") - do not assume operator error due to stupidity, it only highlights your own lack of knowledge.

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By ecube
on 03/19/12 22:16 PM (PDT)

i HAD SAME PROBLEM AND hate Hyundai after loving it untill the engine not engageing when we need it..CRAP!!

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By alex3540
on 12/16/11 10:45 AM (PST)

The problems listed here are not associated with a faulty sonata. 1. the sonata features a I click gas cap which requires a click to seal otherwise the check e light will go on. I have seen countless customers who were never told this by their sales person during vehicle delivery. 2. The "sputter issue" is the transition from electric to gas electric or full gas.This is typical of all hybrids systems and the sonata has the least noticeable transition from electric to gas I have seen. 3. "low MPG issue" A hybrid vehicle will not achieve any better fuel economy then a regular gas version if the driver does not learn to drive differently. you need to understand how the system works before jumping into a hybrid. On the sonata their are 2 modes, Regular and blue drive. Blue drive will improve your fuel economy by 10 mpgs at the expense of power. Word of advise, if you plan on spending money for a hybrid and are unfamiliar with the technology make sure you have a salesperson that can teach you the basics. You will have to learn to drive all over again.

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By r_l_r
on 12/07/11 07:04 AM (PST)

I have had a very different experience with my Sonata hybrid standard model. Mileage has been 40+ mpg in mixed highway/city driving. The engine performance has been smooth. I found that I get the best performance on steep twisty hills by switching out of "blue" eco mode. Perhaps it is that you have a defective car. I am surprised that your dealer has not provided more support. The Hyundai dealer network that I have used - Rick Case - has been extremely sypportive and provides loaners when needed (I have not needed this support in association with service, but it is available - when I purchased the car the dealer installed heated seats and provided a loaner car while the heated seats were installed). Again I am sorry that you have had a negative experience with the car and dealer. My experiences with my Hyundai Sonata hybrid and with Rick Case Hyundai have both been very positive.

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By carinfoplease1
on 10/26/14 11:04 AM (PDT)

Last week I bought a 2011 with 84,000 miles, from CarMax. It is a VERY nice Blue color :) It had the same sputtering people are describing from a dead stop, but it seemed only to be one or two times for first drive of the morning. Also, some less than smooth transitions while driving at various speeds. After which, I was easier on the gas, and no problem. Drove it to the local mountains, approx. 5,000' elevation, about ~ 60 miles, one way. On the way up it sounded like the transmission was slipping; it sounded as though the gears were literally not engaging. It happened SO many times, I was able to get a recording of it. It did not put me in any dangerous situations. It happened at about 30 mph, then mostly at 40 mph. On the way home it was mostly fine. When I was about 10 miles from home the slipping started again, and this time it was really bad, even with manual shifting it would not engage, just LOUD revving sounds. Had to pull over. Called CarMax, had it towed to them, they covered towing cost, and gave me a loaner. Next morning they had the same problem. Since it is a specialized car, they sent it to the dealer. It was the transmission. It was bad. CarMax said it's up to me, because it is still under warranty from them/CarMax. So they will pay to fix it, but the service manager is directing me not to keep it, and to get another car. Guessing it's partly because of the repair costs they will incur, by having to replace the transmission. When I spoke to the Hyundai mechanic, he said if CarMax pays for a new or Hyudai re-manufactured transmission to keep the car. The mechanic will do all the updates too. Afterwards, it will still be under the 30 day warranty from CarMax and I will still have 5 days to decide if I want to keep it. Right now I have a 2007 Prius loaner, with about 34,000 for about the same price. It is a decent driving car, the fuel gauge is giving me good numbers, right now an avg of 45mph, but not as pretty of a car, less features, and less comfort, it has good reviews re. reliability, and fair to low reviews about comfort. On the positive side, I feel it will be like a new car, with updates, new transmission...the mechanic said it will last a very long time, as long as I take care of it. Hoping that with a "new" transmission the sputtering and such will be gone. I am looking for other opinions/advice? Thank you :)

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