2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Review

Pros & Cons

  • Spacious interior with seats that are good for the long haul
  • Smooth highway ride with minimal road noise
  • Infotainment interface is easy to understand and use
  • Crash test ratings are excellent
  • Rear headroom is a little tighter than in some competitors
  • Brakes feel grabby and can make it hard to stop smoothly
  • Automatic emergency braking restricted to optional package on top trim
Other years
List Price Estimate
$17,157 - $20,138

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Which Sonata Hybrid does Edmunds recommend?

Fuel economy is nearly the same for SE and Limited trims, so it's really about getting desired features and options. We recommend the SE. Its long list of convenience and safety features makes it a great value. Tech lovers might prefer the Limited, but we think the SE will satisfy most buyers.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

7.5 / 10

The 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is the gas-electric hybrid counterpart to the regular Sonata sedan. It has all the typical Sonata traits we like, such as a roomy interior and a generous list of standard features, and then adds great fuel economy of more than 40 mpg.

For 2018, the Sonata Hybrid receives a broad swath of updates, too. They include updated front and rear styling, new LED headlights, new wheel designs, and a fresh look for the dashboard and instrument panel. There's also a host of new driver aids such as standard blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane keeping assist, and automatic emergency braking, along with new wireless phone charging and a USB charge port for rear passengers.

From a mechanical standpoint, Hyundai says it has retuned the suspension and steering to improve the Sonata Hybrid's handling and feel. The hybrid powertrain is unchanged, though. While an EPA-rated 42 mpg is quite good, it still comes up a little short of some rivals' figures. The new Toyota Camry Hybrid LE, for example, gets 52 mpg combined.

Overall, though, the Sonata Hybrid presents its own compelling case of features and value, and we think it's worth checking out if you're shopping for a sedan with strong green-car cred.

Notably, we picked the 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid as one of Edmunds' Best Used Cars.

2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid models

The 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is available in SE and Limited trim levels. The regular Sonata and the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid are reviewed separately.

Both trim levels are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor for a combined 193 horsepower. Power is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. Energy captured from regenerative braking is stored in a trunk-mounted battery pack.

Standard equipment on the SE includes 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, foglights, heated side mirrors, a hands-free trunk, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless entry, push-button start, cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a rearview camera, a 7-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, and a six-speaker audio system with USB and auxiliary inputs. Driver aids include blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.

Stepping up to the Limited adds 17-inch wheels, LED headlights that bend in the direction of turns, a panoramic sunroof, power-adjustable front seats with heating and ventilation, driver-seat memory settings, 60/40-split folding rear seats, leather upholstery, wood-grain-look interior accents, rear-seat climate control vents, HD and satellite radio, and a three-year complimentary subscription to Hyundai's Blue Link remote services.

The Ultimate package for the Sonata Hybrid Limited includes additional driver aids such as automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams and rear parking sensors. Other upgrades include a heated steering wheel, rear window shades, an 8-inch touchscreen navigation system, wireless phone charging, and a premium 10-speaker Infinity sound system.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited (2.0L inline-4 hybrid | 6-speed automatic | FWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted in 2016, the current Sonata Hybrid has received some revisions, including improved touchscreen displays, Apple and Android smartphone integration, and additional driver aids. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Sonata Hybrid, however.


The Sonata Hybrid's performance is unremarkable, but the six-speed automatic transmission is a delight compared to CVT automatics found in most hybrids. Handling is decent, but braking action is nonintuitive.


It's smooth leaving a stop thanks to initial electric-only power. The gas engine-electric motor combo gives strong midrange, but with our measured 0-60 mph acceleration run of 8.5 seconds, the Sonata Hybrid is slower than main rivals. The traditional six-speed automatic shifts nearly imperceptibly.


The brake feel is disappointing. Blame it on the regenerative braking. The pedal is initially grabby, especially at highway speeds, followed by a long, disconcerting dead period within the pedal stroke. Panic stops from 60 mph in our testing were decent, needing just 119 feet.


The Sonata Hybrid goes pretty much where you point it. We noticed little difference between the Eco and the Sport steering modes. It errs on the light side of assist, which drivers will appreciate around town.


The Sonata Hybrid has a surprisingly willing chassis; this thing doesn't hate corners. It worked well at our test track and on twisty roads, where it proved hospitable to driver inputs. The low-grip tires do squeal early in corners, though.


If not for the "even-horrible-for-a-hybrid" brakes, this car would rate higher. The electric-only start-off gives smooth getaways, the transmission makes subtle shifts, the steering is light and easy, and the outward views are decent.


The front seats are comfy. The ride is decently smooth until you hit a big bump. Wind, engine and tire noise is well-damped, except the tires are quite loud over surface changes.

Seat comfort

The front seats are quite good. The cushions are on the firm side, but the side bolsters are soft and don't dig in. The leather could be more supple. The rear seatbacks have a near-perfect angle.

Ride comfort

In most situations, the Sonata Hybrid feels like it's softly sprung. The ride is unobtrusive, and it soaks up smaller pavement ripples easily. But in contrast to other Sonatas we've tested, big bumps upset the cabin dramatically.

Noise & vibration

Levels of wind and road noise are well-controlled, though the tires can get noisy when the road surface changes. The engine is restrained, both in power and sound. There's some suspension noise when driving over larger bumps.


The Sonata Hybrid's interior isn't as stylish as some in the class, but the controls are easy to learn and use. Entering and exiting the car are easy enough, and outward visibility is better than most.

Ease of use

The controls are simple yet logical, with easy-to-read gauges. The flat, expansive center stack has large buttons and grippy knobs. The optional touchscreen is user-friendly. The audio tuning knob, though, is far away from the driver.

Getting in/getting out

The wide-opening front doors make things easy. The seats' side bolsters don't hamper entry and exit. The rear doors have a large entryway. You only need to duck your head slightly to avoid the roof.


Front headroom is hampered by the optional panoramic sunroof, but it's still good enough for average-size adults. There's excellent elbow room. The back seat is roomy, although headroom is tighter than in some rivals.


The Sonata Hybrid has excellent outward views. Blind-spot detection and rearview camera come standard for 2018. Lane departure warning and rear parking sensors are optional.


Hyundai knows how to make nice-looking interiors. The Limited's leather upholstery, though not overly supple, feels high-quality. The only weird issues on our test car were a creaky rearview mirror and some squeaks from trim pieces over big bumps.


While most hybrids inevitably sacrifice some trunk or interior space to make a home for the battery pack, the Sonata Hybrid still manages to retain a good bit of usable space. It doesn't give up much trunk space to the regular Sonata, and it's a bit better than many hybrid sedans.


Hyundai's infotainment system is one of the better and easier ones to use. Colors and graphics are sharp and clear, virtual buttons are large, and the system responds quickly to touch and voice commands. For 2018, the navigation system adds a bird's-eye map view.

Audio & navigation

A six-speaker audio system comes standard, but the 10-speaker Infinity system is an excellent sonic upgrade. Shame it's only available in the Limited's optional Ultimate package, as is the larger 8-inch touchscreen. The nav system now features a bird's-eye map view.

Smartphone integration

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard features. Wireless device charging is available, but only in the Limited's Ultimate package. Rear passengers will be pleased to see a USB port available for charging a phone or device.

Driver aids

Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert now come standard, but a key feature such as automatic emergency braking is limited to a top-trim option package. This isn't good enough when some competitors offer a full suite of driver aids as standard equipment.


Overall7.5 / 10

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

After One Year Update
Happy Hyundai Owner,09/02/2018
SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)
Updating review - After almost 19K - my thoughts - Engine/Electric Motor/Transmission work flawlessly together. Seamlessly and efficiently changes modes and the 6 speed transmission is far preferable to a CVT even at the cost of a few MPGs. No droning noisiness. Drive in Eco mode most of the time. When sport mode is on the combined torque and HP turn the car into a pretty nice sport sedan. (The suspension is supposed to tighten in Sports mode but I found it to be a very modest tightening.) Speaking of MPG, averaging 44 MPG over the course of 12 months living in NE USA. All batteries lose efficiency in the winter months but make up for it in the summer. Interior is laid out to easily navigate the controls. Seats are excellent with good thigh support. One fail is the Halogen headlights in the SE edition. Low beams do not produce enough light. All cars at this point should have LED headlights standard. (I installed aftermarket LEDs and they work flawlessly.) After one year I think I made the right decision going with the Sonata Hybrid. I expect my next car will be fully electric. And at this point I would choose a Hyundai.
Saved my family's life
Adam Mignery,06/20/2019
Limited 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)
First...The automatic braking on our Sonata limited saved my wife and daughters life. I'm addition they were surrounded by timely and appropriate airbags. I loved driving this car. Switching drive modes gave a varying impressive and new experience. The technology was user friendly and Android auto was flawless. More bang for your buck and classy. Thanks again.
Best Car I've ever owned
Limited 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)
I bought the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid GLS which in Canada is just below the top of the line model. It had everything I wanted leather seats, panoramic sun roof and blind spot monitoring. After one year of driving I have had no problems. I don't have a lead foot and leave it in economy mode and over a year of winter and summer driving have averaged 5 litres/ 100 KM which is about 49 MPG (US). I am getting Toyota Prius like economy with all the comfort safety and convenience of a luxury car. Compared to the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord Hybrids, I like the styling and visibility better. I also found the competition lower to the ground and therefore harder to get in and out of and considerably more expensive. The warranty is also better. Resale value is not as good, but I don't intend to sell it for a long time.


Our experts like the Sonata Hybrid models:

Blind Spot With Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
Warns driver of cars in the blind spot of adjacent lane, or when cars are approaching from the side while in reverse.
Smart Cruise Control With Stop-Start
Detects vehicles in front of car and automatically adjusts cruise speed to maintain a preset distance. Can even bring car to a full stop.
Lane Keep Assist
Applies corrective steering assistance to help keep car positioned in its lane if it senses the vehicle drifting.

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 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Used 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Overview

The Used 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is offered in the following submodels: Sonata Hybrid Sedan. Available styles include Limited 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A), SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A), and Limited w/Emerald Blue 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 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2018 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 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid?

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Which used 2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrids are available in my area?

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Should I lease or buy a 2018 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.

Check out Hyundai lease specials
Check out Hyundai Sonata Hybrid lease specials