2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Review

Pros & Cons

  • Very good fuel economy
  • refined and spacious interior
  • generous standard equipment list
  • quiet and smooth ride.
  • Slightly less rear headroom than the competition.
Other years
List Price Range
$12,900 - $15,000

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Hyundai's Sonata Hybrid had been the dullard of its class, but no more. The redesigned 2016 Sonata Hybrid is better in every way than its predecessor and stands up well in comparison to its competition in all the key areas.

Notably, we picked the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid as one of Edmunds' Best Used Cars.

Vehicle overview

Last year, we lauded the improvements Hyundai had made to its redesigned 2015 Sonata, but we were also disappointed that the company kept the hybrid version of its midsize family sedan unchanged from the 2014 model. For 2016, however, the Sonata Hybrid finally graduates to the new Sonata generation, meaning it gets the new model's stiffer platform, roomier interior, more grown-up styling and more refined driving experience. The Hybrid also gets some specific tweaks of its own this year. Put it all together and you're looking at an excellent choice for a hybrid family sedan for 2016.

The Sonata Hybrid, fully redesigned for 2016, gets improved looks, more interior and cargo room, and a better ride.

Fuel economy isn't just a big deal in the hybrid world -- it's the principal reason these cars exist. The 2016 Sonata Hybrid represents a real step up for Hyundai. Thanks to a revised powertrain, which now includes a smaller engine, a powerful electric motor and an upgraded transmission, the base Sonata Hybrid SE now boasts EPA-rated fuel efficiency of 42 mpg combined (40 city/44 highway). That's a noticeable leap from the 2015's subpar 38 mpg combined. Aero tweaks that include special alloy wheels, active air shutters behind the grille and a redesigned tail are also part of this year's changes.

Beyond the hybrid mechanicals, the hybrid is pretty much just like the regular Sonata, and that means it boasts a smooth ride, roomy interior and solid value. But if you want to look beyond the Sonata Hybrid, there are alternatives. The Honda Accord Hybrid, with its 47 mpg combined rating, tops everything else in the segment for fuel economy and is hard to beat. The Ford Fusion Hybrid is another alternative, and both the Fusion and Accord hybrids offer sportier performance than the Sonata Hybrid. Toyota's Camry Hybrid, recently rejuvenated, is a very close rival to the Sonata in terms of performance and personality and represents another great choice. Overall, though, we think the Sonata Hybrid is finally a match for the segment all-stars and worthy of your green-car consideration.

2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid models

The 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is offered in two trim levels, SE and Limited. The regular Sonata and the new 2016 Sonata Plug-In Hybrid are reviewed separately.

Standard equipment on the Sonata Hybrid SE includes 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, LED daytime running lights and taillights, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless ignition and entry, a rearview camera, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, Hyundai's Blue Link telematics and emergency communications, and a six-speaker audio system with USB and auxiliary inputs, a CD player and a 5-inch color touchscreen.

Leather upholstery and upgraded seats are part of the upgrades you get with the Sonata Hybrid Limited.

Stepping up to the Limited gets you 17-inch wheels, xenon headlights, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, leather upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, ventilated front seats, heated front and rear seats, an eight-way power driver seat, a six-way power front passenger seat, driver memory settings, wood-grain-look interior accents, rear vents for the climate control system, 60/40-split fold-down rear seats and manual rear window sunshades.

The Ultimate package for the Sonata Hybrid Limited includes added safety features (see Safety below), a panoramic sunroof, automatic high-beam headlight control, adaptive cruise control, an 8-inch touchscreen, upgraded Blue Link smartphone integration features, a navigation system and an upgraded nine-speaker Infinity sound system.

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2016 Highlights

The 2016 Sonata Hybrid is a redesigned model with an updated and more elegant look inside and out. It features an upgraded hybrid drive system that finally makes Hyundai's hybrid a contender in the fuel economy race with a 10 percent boost in efficiency to a combined fuel economy rating of 42 mpg.

Performance & mpg

Hyundai offers a single powertrain for its hybrid models, a new 2.0-liter engine mated to an electric motor. Together, they develop a peak output of 193 horsepower. Power is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission and energy stored from regenerative braking is stored in a trunk-mounted lithium-ion battery pack.

The Sonata Hybrid's new powertrain helps it break the 40 mpg (combined) mark in both trim levels for the first time. The Hybrid SE is EPA-rated at 42 mpg combined (40 city/44 highway), a 10 percent increase from its predecessor, while the slightly heavier Sonata Hybrid Limited gets a 41 mpg combined rating (39 city/43 highway).

If the fuel economy numbers seem a little strange it's because the Sonata Hybrid is the only member of the hybrid family sedan class with better efficiency on the highway than in the city. That's due both to a hybrid system that uses a less powerful electric motor than the others, reducing city efficiency, and to the tall final gear ratios in Hyundai's six-speed automatic, boosting highway fuel economy. While the electric motor is powerful enough to allow the Sonata Hybrid to travel in all-electric mode at speeds up to 75 mph, Hyundai claims, the system is too small to hold that speed for more than a minute or two.


Standard safety equipment on the Sonata Hybrid includes antilock brakes, stability and traction control, side curtain airbags, a driver side knee airbag, front seat side-impact airbags and a rearview camera. Hyundai's Blue Link telematics system, also standard, includes emergency assistance, automatic collision notification and remote access features. The Limited trim adds a blind-spot monitoring system. Add the Ultimate package option to the Limited and you get rear parking sensors, a lane departure warning system and a forward collision warning system.

Recognizing that some pedestrians cannot hear hybrids when they are operating in their virtually silent all-electric mode, Hyundai equipped the 2016 Sonata Hybrid with a "virtual engine sound system." It broadcasts the sound of a gas engine via front-mounted speakers when the car is operating in all-electric mode at speeds lower than 20 mph.

In government crash tests, the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid earned five stars out of five for overall crash protection, along with five stars for both frontal-impact and side-impact protection.


As befits a car designed to haul people, the 2016 Hyundai Sonata's ride is smooth on all kinds of pavement, the cabin is quiet at all speeds and the steering and suspension are set to get you there without wearing you out. It's not an exciting car to drive, but the Sonata Hybrid goes where you point it with no drama, and feels stable and secure around turns.

Quiet and smooth to drive, the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid also returns 42 mpg according to the EPA.

We haven't yet put a stopwatch to it, but acceleration seems to be in the same range as the previous model and on par with other members of the hybrid family sedan segment. The six-speed automatic is smooth-shifting, and it could be a bonus if you find the constant engine rpm drone of CVT-equipped competitors annoying. The Hybrid's brakes feel more natural this year, too. There's still a bit of a delay in the handoff to gasoline power when a burst of speed is demanded while running under electric power, but that's certainly no reason to cross the much-improved 2016 Sonata Hybrid off your list.


The 2016 Sonata Hybrid features the same interior layout introduced with the redesign of the standard Sonata in 2015. A practical, well laid-out dash and center stack replace the somewhat flashy look of the predecessor model. Materials quality and fit and finishes are excellent, and there is plenty of storage space for your personal items. The upgraded 8-inch touchscreen has crisp graphics and relatively straightforward menus, but some drivers might find it to be a bit of a stretch to reach easily. The only major change for the Hybrid is a hybrid-specific gauge cluster, which can display various hybrid system readouts and guide the driver for more efficient operation.

The new Sonata Hybrid's interior has a more conservative look, but the controls are well laid out.

As part of its redesign, the Sonata Hybrid's roominess and comfort increased substantially. The seats are supportive and nicely padded and the cabin is remarkably quiet. The passenger cabin offers plenty of front head-, shoulder and legroom and the backseat is roomy, although rear headroom is tighter than in competitors. The trunk can hold 13.3 cubic feet, which is above average for the class, and the Limited's folding rear seats provide additional cargo-carrying flexibility.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

The 2016 Sonata Hybrid is AMAZING!
Douglas George,07/22/2016
Limited 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)
We have 2 other Hyundai ('07 Accent & '13 Elantra GT) and they've been good cars. We ended up with a Sonata Hybrid SE as a service loaner car and really liked it. It was getting 40+ MPG on the same driving mix that the Elantra GT got 28-29. We decided to make a change, trading in the Elantra GT and our '07 Audi Cabriolet. We opted for a Limited (for the leather interior, heated/cooled seats) with the Ultimate package (panoramic sunroof, 400W stereo, saftey gadgets). We got great deal! MSRP of $36K and we got it for under $30K. 900 miles so far and still 200 miles left on the 2nd tank of gas. I've seen as high as 56mpg reported on a few trips and consistently getting in the low 40s. Very quiet ride, it drives very sporty for its size, and the acceleration is very reasonable since the electric motor provides instant torque.
Fantastic MPG, exceptional comfort, 5 star safety
Limited 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)
UPDATE**10/27/17 Best overall value. A UPDATE 2/26/16 still enjoy this wonderful car. Quiet, comfortable, luxurious and no visits to the dealership other than an oil change. 650 miles per tank and still 46 MPG's. Major gripe is that the blind spot monitors don't work below 19 MPH and that Android Auto update is STILL not available. So excited for Android Auto and can't hardly wait (even though Hyundai said they would have it to us by 2015. Feels like Hyundai could be doing more to light a fire under Google to get that to us. Also, and this might end up being a big one...something no one at Hyundai told me about when I bought the car, is that after 12 months of not subscribing to Blue Link, it self destructs and can not be turned back on unless you pay $500+ for a new head unit. That is crazy in my mind and apparently others as Hyundai is currently involved in litigation over this matter. I hope there is good resolution to this matter for unsuspecting Hyundai owners. EVERY HSH owner, PLEASE KEEP ASKING FOR ANDROID AUTO UPDATE! Original review** Fantastic MPG. Took possession of our new 2016 Sonata Hybrid Limited Ultimate with 8 miles on the odometer. What an amazing car! So far overall average MPG is 46.4 with my most recent 13 mile commute (50% freeway, 50% city) being 61.4 MPG per the onboard computer. Such a pleasure to be going down the freeway (most all of the time in pure EV mode) in a hushed cabin (trully as if a rolls or MBZ) all while achieving phenomenal fuel economy. Car drives and feels fantastic. Seamless transition of power plants. Even when the 2 liter internal combustion engine is operating in generator mode, it is quiet. Only when truly pushed does the engine come to life, but even then it is extremely reasonable, better than our Accord and the 6 speed transmission (thank goodness and finally, a hybrid with no CVT) provides you with great power. Imagine, a Hybrid with actual power! It is a wonderful car to drive and a safe car to drive. I highly recommend that folks seriously consider purchasing the Ultimate package. The parking aids, the active and passive safety is great. Lane keep assist is well calibrated and does not cry wolf. The adaptive cruise control is very well done and driver adjustable. The blind spot monitors are nice, but I do wish they would work at low speeds as well. The backup sensors and predictive backing monitor is absolutely a must have, city or suburbs. Last but not least, rear cross traffic alert should be standard on all modern cars. No one should be guessing if a car is approachi while backing out of a parking space. This car has it all. From a tech perspective, the 8" NAV screen is great. Fairly easy to use and with a lot of great Hybrid viewing modes. Only gripe I have about the NAV is the traffic. The XM data is not real-time and it lags far behind Google maps or Enricks. Despite this the display works very quickly and is very responsive. The ability to do split screen is nice as well. There are a whole host of subscription services, Blue Link and XM, which, but of course, eventually at a cost. The Blue Link phone app functions are especially nice. To be able to heat and or cool your, as well as send route plans to your NAV before you ever set foot in the car is great. In addition to that, to have the ability to check the health of your car, to find your car in a crowded parking lot after being gone on a long flight, to be able to set an electronic boundary for either a teenage driver or a valet, are all great features. You can of course, remotely honk the horn, flash the lights, unlock the doors, all from your smart phone. The ability to review telematics (driving style and performance measures) is also great, especially if you aren't sure how your teenager is driving when you are not there. So many features, but the best part is Hyundai's commitment to their buying public via their warranty. We cross-shopped Honda and Toyota, but neither were willing to back their Hybrid battery the way Hyundai is. LIFETIME! Yes, that's a lifetime Hybrid battery warranty, part and labor to replace the battery should it falter. This is in addition to their 10yr/100,000 warranty. I realize nothing can be guaranteed forever, but Hyundai sure does a nice job with making a customer feel like they are not alone when making a $30,000 plus purchase. Last but not least are the little details such as, actually having a true trunk with a 60/40 split. Such a nice and versatile thing for families. And the courtesy LED lights, hidden in the front door handles, make life just that much easier to enter your palace on wheels when the sun has set or you find yourself in a dark parking garage. Every little detail seems well thought out and well executed. Take it from someone who actually spent the money to buy a Sonata Hybrid and drive one. You will be very pleasantly surprised and happy you did. 46.4 MPG average so far and loving it.
Hyundai still the best bang for the buck!
kevin chung,09/09/2016
Limited 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)
Looking for a good fuel economy car to replace the CT200h. Need 40mpg+ in NYC traffic (CT did 42mpg average); comfortable seat with lumbar support; and a full speed (stop&go) adaptive cruise control (best thing for a daily 2 hours stop and go traffic!). That left us with Toyota Prius Four, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid, 2017 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid and Audi A3 e-tron. Prius feel about the same to our CT with less comfortable seat and ugly styling. Ford Fusion ride a little too bumpy and interior design seem old. Both Fusion and MKZ have nonlinear brake pedal that feels odd. A3 is of course very European while comfortable. Sonata doesn't drive as impressive as A3 but Sonata is very quiet and the ride is very comfortable without being floaty. A3 got kick out because additive cruise only available on Prestige trim which cost $46k+ msrp plus it feels even smaller than our CT. Between the Sonata and MKZ we were able to get the loaded Sonata Ultimate for $27500 while MKZ would be at least $13k more so drive home the Sonata! The value is unbeatable; 40mpg average so far; huge sunroof sunroof, cooled and heated seat + heated steering + heated rear seats, Android auto, much more usable trunk (no hump and a full folding rear seats), 10yrs warranty with lifetime on battery, and no more CVT drone!
Excuse my language
Victor Tom,09/22/2016
Limited 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)
Hyundai Dublin maintenance service is terrific. Manual still sucks & is not user friendly.phew scheduled timing updates defective & irreparable after 2 1/2 years!


NHTSA Overall Rating

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 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Used 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Overview

The Used 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is offered in the following submodels: Sonata Hybrid Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A), Limited 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A), and Limited w/Blue Pearl Interior 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A). Pre-owned Hyundai Sonata Hybrid models are available with a 2.0 L-liter hybrid engine, with output up to 193 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2016 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 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid?

Price comparisons for Used 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid trim styles:

  • The Used 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited is priced between $14,499 and$15,000 with odometer readings between 108495 and132867 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Base is priced between $12,900 and$12,900 with odometer readings between 91561 and91561 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2016 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) 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid for sale near. There are currently 3 used and CPO 2016 Sonata Hybrids listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $12,900 and mileage as low as 91561 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 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.

Can't find a used 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrids you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Hyundai Sonata Hybrid for sale - 9 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $21,600.

Find a used Hyundai for sale - 10 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $13,972.

Find a used certified pre-owned Hyundai Sonata Hybrid for sale - 10 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $8,169.

Find a used certified pre-owned Hyundai for sale - 5 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $8,611.

Should I lease or buy a 2016 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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