2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Review

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Hyundai Sonata Hybrid model years
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Attractive, comfortable interior
  • straightforward controls
  • satisfying acceleration
  • generous warranty.
  • Modest fuel economy by segment standards
  • peculiar brake feel
  • limited rear headroom.

The 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is a well-executed hybrid family sedan, but it lacks the regular Sonata's improvements this year, and its EPA fuel economy ratings are a bit below average.

Vehicle overview

What if you could enjoy the space, features and safety of a family sedan along with the fuel economy of a tiny city car? That's the idea with the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. The Sonata Hybrid Limited gets the same 37-mpg-combined EPA rating as the itsy-bitsy Scion iQ runabout, yet it gives you all the luxury and peace of mind that come with a high-end Sonata sedan. Moreover, the base Sonata Hybrid is priced lower than rival hybrids from Ford, Honda and Toyota.

So what's not to like?

Well, for one thing, the hybrid is still based on the Sonata's older design. The conventional Sonata has been rejuvenated for 2015, sporting new styling inside and out, improved ride and handling characteristics and a fresh feature set. But the battery-assisted version wasn't ready in time, so 2015 turns out to be a zombie year for the Sonata Hybrid -- it's the same car as last year, carrying over the previous styling and so forth. If you don't care about having the latest and greatest, this could be a solid buying opportunity, but we'd be curious to see what 2016 has in store.

Another drawback is the Sonata Hybrid's competitive standing in terms of fuel economy. While its EPA ratings are remarkable on their own merits, the Hyundai is actually the only car in this class that gets less than 40 mpg combined. Additionally, we've had difficulty reproducing the Sonata Hybrid's EPA numbers in real-world driving. We do, however, appreciate the responsive six-speed automatic transmission, which is a welcome respite from the drone-producing continuously variable automatics (CVTs) in other hybrids.

Overall, the Sonata Hybrid is too good to count out for 2015, but the arguments against it are strong enough to give us pause. If you're shopping for a hybrid midsize sedan, you should definitely check out the 2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid and 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid. Both deliver better fuel economy and higher levels of refinement for not much more coin. There's also the new 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid, which is redesigned for 2015 with improvements that Hyundai won't be able to counter until next year.

The 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid still makes a lot of sense, but savvy shoppers have some mitigating factors to consider.

2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid models

The 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is offered in two trim levels: base and Limited. The regular Sonata is reviewed separately.

Standard equipment on the base Sonata Hybrid includes 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, LED running lights, foglights, LED taillights, heated mirrors, keyless ignition and entry, LED interior lighting, dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, a trip computer with a hybrid-specific status display, heated front seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with auxiliary controls, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, Hyundai's Blue Link emergency communications system, a rearview camera and a six-speaker sound system with a 4.3-inch touchscreen, satellite and HD radio, iPod/USB and auxiliary audio inputs and a CD player.

The Limited steps up to 17-inch wheels, perforated-leather seating surfaces, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, an eight-way power driver seat and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The sole option on the Limited is a Premium package that adds glossy exterior trim, a panoramic sunroof, a navigation system and a nine-speaker Infinity audio system with a 7-inch touchscreen. There are no options for the base model.

2015 Highlights

Although the regular Sonata has been overhauled, the Sonata Hybrid carries over unchanged from last year.

Performance & mpg

The 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is motivated by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motor that's fed by a lithium-polymer battery pack. Peak system output is 199 horsepower, which is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. In Edmunds performance testing, a Sonata Hybrid Limited hit 60 mph in 8.4 seconds, a competitive result for a mainstream hybrid sedan.

EPA fuel economy estimates for the base Sonata Hybrid stand at 38 mpg combined (36 city/40 highway). The slightly heavier Limited drops a notch to 37 mpg combined, even though its city and highway figures are unchanged. In our real-world testing of a Sonata Hybrid, we had difficulty matching the EPA's numbers.


Standard safety features on the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid include antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. Also standard is Blue Link, Hyundai's emergency communications system, which offers roadside assistance, crash response, remote door lock control and monitoring features for parents with teenage drivers (including speed limits, curfew limits and geo-fencing).

At our test track, a Sonata Hybrid Limited needed 122 feet to stop from 60 mph, an average performance for a hybrid midsize sedan.

In government crash testing, the Sonata Hybrid earned an overall rating of five out of five stars, with four stars for frontal impacts and five stars for side impacts. The independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the non-hybrid 2015 Hyundai Sonata its top rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests. In the agency's small-overlap frontal-offset test, the 2015 Sonata received the second-highest rating of "Average." Its seat/head restraint design was rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.


The 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid's acceleration is a pleasant surprise. A 0-60 time of over 8 seconds generally doesn't get our blood pumping, but the electric motor's instant-on torque makes the Sonata Hybrid seem stronger than the numbers suggest. Another factor is the conventional automatic transmission, which feels more responsive than the CVTs found in other hybrid sedans -- and does a better job of keeping engine noise in check under heavy acceleration. Matching the Sonata Hybrid's EPA fuel economy numbers requires a focused effort and favorable conditions, but owners should expect to get 30 mpg or better on a consistent basis, including stop-and-go city driving.

The hybrid Sonata provides an agreeable ride on most roads, and cabin noise generally stays within reasonable limits. Around turns, the Sonata feels stable and secure, though the low-rolling-resistance tires and near complete lack of steering feel conspire to keep the fun in check. If you're looking for a hybrid sedan with a sporting flavor, the Fusion or Accord will likely be a better fit.

The Sonata Hybrid's biggest dynamic drawback is its unusual brake pedal response. Most hybrids are a bit odd in this way due to their regenerative braking systems, but the Hyundai's quirks are more apparent than usual, including a small but noticeable delay between when you press the brake pedal and when you actually get the desired braking force. Still, our testing showed that the car has ample braking power for repeated hard stops, so this is more of an eccentric personality trait than a genuine concern.


The 2015 Sonata Hybrid's cabin may not be Hyundai's freshest design, but it's still plenty stylish, with respectable materials quality and straightforward, intuitive controls. Both the base and Limited trims feature a touchscreen electronics interface; the Limited's is larger and crisper, however, and adds a navigation system as well. The slick-looking gauge cluster is unique to the Sonata Hybrid and includes a separate LCD display designed to promote a fuel-efficient driving style. In total, the Sonata Hybrid's dashboard has aged well, but the refreshed layout in the regular 2015 Sonata is more contemporary in both form and function.

The Sonata Hybrid's front seats are nicely shaped and well-padded for long journeys. If there's one aspect we'd change, it's the bottom cushions, which are too short to provide full thigh support for longer-legged occupants. The backseat offers plenty of space for two adults unless they're tall, in which case headroom may be inadequate. All hybrid sedans sacrifice trunk capacity due to intrusion from the battery pack, and the Sonata Hybrid is no exception, providing a modest 12.1 cubic feet. That's a 20-25 percent drop from conventional family sedans, but roughly par for the course in this class.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

3 out of 5 stars
Great commuter car, but read this first...
Mark S,04/07/2016
4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)
Prologue: this is a bit long, but has a lot of insight into our 2015 Sonata Hybrid, I promise. This is our second Sonata, and we're on our second Santa Fe. Let me start by saying I'm a car enthusiast. I'm also an engineer, and can tell where the quality was added or removed. That being said, overall, I think this is an excellent commuter car and good for long vacation drives with the family. It's by no means very entertaining to drive, though. Cons first: Engine: I've also witnessed the good two seconds or so lag between my smashing the gas pedal to get 100% "go" mode and when the car finally wakes up it's lazy electric hybrid slumber and becomes motivated. [Insert brown stain joke here.] NOTE: by turning off the Hybrid system (the bottom button on the right side of the steering wheel), you will get immediate use of all the torque in the electric motor. So, you can correct this acceleration issue. But, there's also a braking problem (more than one actually), too. When you smash the brake pedal for 100% stop mode, you get a full second of lazy hybrid regen braking before the system goes "Oh, is this a panic stop?". At which point, you get a brief 100% brake lockup (haven't seen those since the 90's), and THEN the anti-lock brakes kick in. [Insert second brown stain joke]. This is just inexcusable. Note to Hyundai: if the computer registers 100% gas pedal, or 100% brake pedal, override all gas mileage software and either stop or go immediately. (Simultaneous brake and gas application should yield to the brakes, so no runaway Prius events occur). Also related to the brakes... In normal mode, I like the brakes. They slow better than those on my Santa Fe. BUT, it's really hard to slowly roll the car in/out of your garage, or out of a parking spot, at a nice 2 MPH or so. The brakes just don't want to let you roll under 5MPH or so. Expect a lot of fast stops at lights and stop signs at the end of your rolls, too. Steering: Hyundai electric steering needs work. Yes, you can steer with one finger (if you like that), but both this and my Santa Fe have an issue both staying in a straight line down even the smoothest of roads and when (sloooowly) returning to center after a turn. No "hands slipping" on the wheel after the turn to have it all re-center. You need to very directly unwind the wheel. Using "sport" mode exasperates the issue -- now it drifts and then quickly darts when I turn the wheel a smidge. And the return to center issue isn't resolved. Cruise control: what century is this? Hyundai cruise control, to put it bluntly, sucks. On GENTLY rolling (undulating) roads, set the cruise for say 45 MPH. The car will slow to 40-41, then quickly accelerate to 48. Then the next hill arrives and the process repeats. Constant 7-8 MPH speed changes to make everyone seasick. My 2005 Nissan Quest minivan was able to keep a tighter range. Hyundai: check out the 2016 Malibu. I don't care about the vacuum and other sensors needed for cruise. I want to set the SPEED (in MPH here in the US). On the Malibu, you hit the cruise 'set' button and the speed is displayed in the little center LCD screen. And darn if it doesn't move more than 1 MPH below on those same rolling hills. I rarely saw it overshoot the set speed at all when going down the hills. (I rented the Malibu for a month after Santa Fe #1 was totaled.) Spare tire: none. And finally, the suspension. Hit a small depression in an asphalt back-road at even 35 MPH and you'll bottom out the car. Sometimes this will even cause the cruise control to shut down after the suspension bumps up against the stops. I know there is a few hundred pounds of battery under the rear seats, but it doesn't take much shifting to bottom out the vehicle, really. Now, here's the crazy thing: overall, I like the car.... for commuting and long open highways. I'm not looking for excitement during my commute (it's nice, but one can't do much in traffic). My commute is probably the worst possible for gas mileage: 3 minute stop light, then everyone gets back up to 55 MPH just as we hit the next stop light. Repeat for an hour. With this scenario, I am still getting between 33 and 34 MPG. That's 10 MPG better than my previous non-hybrid returned on the same route. For pure open highway road trips we see ~37 MPG. Some people may point out a few vehicles with better mileage, but the Sonata is a decent size (mid-size) car. There's much more space in it than a Prius or VW. The trunk does shrink a bit due to the batteries, but we can still fit three large suitcases, two dozen water bottles, and squishy luggage in the trunk during road trips. Back seat is plenty roomy for two teens. The seats are comfortable, the car is very quiet (even with the gas motor running), and reliability for us has been very high (high, but not perfect) for Hyundai's since 2011. As for pricing, buy a gently used Hyundai or one with rebates for the best deal. End of my $0.02.
5 out of 5 stars
Daytona Beach to New York City
T. Seger,09/10/2015
Limited 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)
We purchased our Sonata Hybrid last year around this time in Fall. We made a few local trips in Florida with some impressive gas mileage but nothing like what I just experienced... I should first start by saying we sold our Mercedes Benz to get into something fuel efficient. So, in city driving under conditions in Florida we get about 33-35 mpg. Highway we get about 38. Here is the amazing! We left 2 days ago from Port Orange, Florida just below Daytona Beach and drove to New York City.... We filled the tank one time in North Carolina and spent less then $48.00 dollars total in gas start to finish. I averaged 42 mpg. My wife couldn't believe it... I gave her the gas receipts and said, "you do the math". This car has full leather, duel sun roof/moon roof, blue tooth, navigation, and more.... 10 year drive train, lifetime hybrid battery warranty... I did my research before I bought this car over a Toyota Prius... All my research just paid off! You gotta consider this car when looking for your next purchase. T. Seger / Port Orange, Florida
4 out of 5 stars
Almost Five Stars
Limited 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)
I just bought this car three weeks ago. It's a very refined ride, very quiet, nice interior with a dash I prefer to the newest Sonata. Seats are really comfortable and adjustable, although the front passenger seat is too low and doesn't have electric controls. Infinity sound is fantastic, navigation is far superior to Toyota (husband has a Prius) panoramic roof is luxurious, trunk space is adequate but not great due to the battery placement. I applaud Hyundai so much for integrating a regular 6sp auto transmission and not a dreadful CVT. This car drives smoothly and quietly. Took a 10-hour drive a few days ago and was able to achieve nearly 47 mpg highway in Eco mode. I'm at 39 city in Eco mode. I didn't buy this car in Eco mode. I was initially getting 26.2 mpg in town, and was not happy. I'm happy now with the mileage. My one and only complaint with this car is that the handling is not good. Steering wheel is pretty and nicely appointed, but doesn't seem particularly connected to the drivetrain. I'm overlooking this, though, as I think it's a fantastic car overall and will last a very long time. Plus, it's quite pretty.
3 out of 5 stars
Love the car but dangerous
Dennis Green,02/20/2016
Limited 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)
This is a beautiful car. It gets great mileage, has a very comfortable ride and we got a very good deal on it. It is our 3rd Sonata and we have been very happy with Hyundai. I would like to give this car five stars but two times in less than 3000 miles it has stalled on acceleration. When we had our first dealer service I reported this but, of course, the mechanic could not duplicate the problem. Both times it has happened was when I was turning left across oncoming traffic with plenty of room if I accelerated. If I had been driving an old car I would have said it flooded out, which of course I know doesn't happen now. After pumping the gas pedal several times it finally got going but not without the oncoming cars honking and the drivers making rude gestures. I would guess the problem to be the electronics responsible for transferring power from the batteries to the gas engine.


NHTSA Overall Rating

5 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover10.5%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Used 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Overview

The Used 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is offered in the following submodels: Sonata Hybrid Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A), and Limited 4dr Sedan (2.4L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A). The Used 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid comes with a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 10 yr./ 100000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid?

Price comparisons for Used 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid trim styles:

  • The Used 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Base is priced between $12,278 and$14,999 with odometer readings between 85760 and112370 miles.
  • The Used 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited is priced between $13,997 and$13,997 with odometer readings between 112097 and112097 miles.

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Which used 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrids are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid for sale near. There are currently 4 used and CPO 2015 Sonata Hybrids listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $12,278 and mileage as low as 85760 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.

Can't find a used 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrids you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Hyundai Sonata Hybrid for sale - 2 great deals out of 5 listings starting at $13,971.

Find a used Hyundai for sale - 7 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $23,997.

Find a used certified pre-owned Hyundai Sonata Hybrid for sale - 4 great deals out of 9 listings starting at $9,819.

Find a used certified pre-owned Hyundai for sale - 12 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $20,442.

Should I lease or buy a 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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