Hyundai's first attempt at a hybrid version of its Sonata sedan was pretty lackluster, delivering mileage only marginally better than the regular models. The company went back to the drawing board, and the result was a much-improved vehicle.
The 2017 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid model marks the second year of the current-generation model, meaning it shares the same improved platform and roomier interior that all Sonatas received in 2015. Styling updates have made the Sonata a bit less sleek-looking but translate into a handsome car that should age well. New for 2017 are some audio, entertainment and telematics upgrades, including a new 7-inch high-resolution touchscreen standard on all models. An optional 8-inch touchscreen is still available.
The whole point of a hybrid powertrain is improved fuel economy, and the base Sonata Hybrid SE delivers an EPA-rated 42 mpg in combined driving. The gasoline engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, and combined with the electric motor, the tandem produces a combined 193 horsepower. Hyundai also offers a plug-in Sonata Hybrid that is equipped with a more powerful battery and a higher-voltage electric motor. The transmission for all Sonata Hybrid models is a six-speed automatic.
The price premium for the plug-in Sonata Hybrid is considerably more than the base-model Hybrid, but that may be a worthwhile investment for buyers who have a short daily commute that could be managed on electric power only, especially if they have recharging capability at work. Also, many states offer tax credits to help take the sting out of the extra up-front cost.
Every 2017 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid has a well-designed interior and solid ergonomics. Hyundais are also known for comfortable seats, quiet cabins, and quality interior materials for the price. The Hybrid shares those traits. We should point out too that Hyundai does offer a Sonata Eco model, which has a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and a seven-speed automatic transmission that manages an EPA-rated 31 mpg combined. It's more affordable, too. But the good news is that there are multiple choices for impressive fuel mileage. Use everything on Edmunds to help locate the perfect Sonata Hybrid for you.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.