Used 2019 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid
Pros & Cons
- Spacious interior with comfortable front seats
- User-friendly infotainment interface
- Low fuel-efficiency figures for the class
- Not as much cargo space as hatchback competitors
- Grabby brake-pedal feel can make it hard to stop smoothly
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Which Sonata Plug-in Hybrid does Edmunds recommend?
Though it's hard to argue with the base trim level's list of standard features, we like the Limited for its extra equipment. These include a panoramic sunroof, upscale leather interior and more driver aids such as adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking and lane keeping assist.
Edmunds' Expert Review
When stepping up from a standard hybrid to a plug-in hybrid, exceptional fuel economy and all-electric range become the priorities. Unfortunately, the 2019 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid doesn't stand out in these categories. Its 28 miles of all-electric range is certainly decent, but other plug-ins can go more than 50 miles on electric power before switching to gas. And once you're primarily relying on the Sonata's gas engine, you'll typically be getting around 39 mpg, according to the EPA. The Prius Prime, in comparison, gets 54 mpg.
Where the Sonata redeems itself is with its fairly conventional styling, both inside and out, and user-friendly interior. It comes with a fair amount of standard equipment as well as Hyundai's lengthy warranty coverage. But that amount of normality might not be enough to sway buyers looking for the best the plug-in hybrid market has to offer in 2019.
Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid models
The 2019 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid is a midsize family sedan offered in two trim levels: base and Limited. Under the hood is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor. Total system output is 202 horsepower, which is delivered to the front wheels by way of a six-speed automatic transmission. It has an EPA-estimated EV range of 28 miles on a full charge.
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Standard features for the base trim include 17-inch wheels, automatic headlights, heated mirrors, a hands-free trunklid, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver's seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
You also get a rearview camera, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning systems, Hyundai's Blue Link emergency communications, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone app integration, two USB ports, a 7-inch touchscreen, and a seven-speaker sound system with satellite radio.
If you are looking for more, though, step up to the Limited. You'll get adaptive LED headlights, rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, a power front passenger seat, a heated steering wheel, driver-seat memory functions, a wireless charging pad, an 8-inch touchscreen, a navigation system, and an upgraded nine-speaker Infinity sound system. The Limited also comes with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, a drowsy driver warning system, and automatic high beams.
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The plug-in accelerates to 60 mph in 7.9 seconds, which is average for a hybrid sedan. We like the six-speed automatic transmission since it provides a more traditional shifting experience than a CVT automatic. Less impressive is the grabby feel of its brake pedal.
The plug-in hybrid's ride is smooth on all manner of pavement, and the cabin is quiet at highway speeds. This car will get you to your destination without wearing you out. It's not exciting to drive, certainly, but the Sonata Hybrid heads where you point it.
The plug-in hybrid's cabin is roomy, comfortable and remarkably quiet. The seats are supportive and nicely padded. There's generally plenty of head-, legroom and shoulder room, but backseat headroom is nevertheless tighter than in the hybrid's competitors.
The Sonata Plug-in Hybrid's trunk is smaller because of the larger battery pack, leaving just 9.9 cubic feet of cargo room compared to the Sonata Hybrid's 13.3 cubic feet. The Honda Clarity and the Toyota Prius Prime also have considerably larger trunks.
Both the 7- and 8-inch touchscreens have crisp graphics and straightforward menus. But some drivers might find that it's a bit of a stretch to reach the screen comfortably. A unique gauge cluster displaying various hybrid system readouts is one of the few visible indicators that you're driving a gas-electric car.
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Trending topics in reviews
- road noise
- electrical system
- ride quality
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Most helpful consumer reviews
2/5 stars, Nice build quality with many disappointing aspects
Limited 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)
There is a lot to like about the car but also many issues holding it back. The things to like are the same as in the regular Sonata sedan so I won’t go into them much (lots of passenger room, stylish exterior, nice technology options, etc.) Now the downsides. First, the all-electric range is very poor at 28. That’s just not competitive for a 2019 PHEV. The gas mileage at 39 combined EPA MPG is much worse than the non-plug-in Sonata hybrid (probably because the car is much heavier), and in my own driving, I’m only getting about ~30 highway mpg (less in the city) which is nowhere near the advertised EPA MPG — frankly, I’m considering suing Hyundai over this issue because the advertised EPA estimate is so unrealistic. The cargo space is absolutely abysmal. The car is huge and thus difficult to park, but has a tiny trunk and barely any cargo space (since much of the space between the trunk and the passenger area is occupied by the battery). The trunk is thus much smaller than in the regular Sonata. The lane keeping assist is, simply put, TERRIBLE. The car doesn’t keep lanes well in active mode and actively fights the driver, and even in standard mode is frustrating. I’ve disabled it entirely. Perhaps my biggest complaint is the abysmal lack of torque. This is a heavy car and really lacks accelerating power. For supposedly having ~200hp, this car really doesn’t feel like it. It is very slow to accelerate, even out of Eco mode. And when the engine downshifts (which it does very frequently, especially with cruise control since the engine is so underpowered in relation to the weight of the car), it is extremely loud and the gas mileage drops to around ~10-15 mpg. The car corners poorly, even with lane keeping assist disabled. It lacks a HUD, which at this price it should really have. It also lacks a 110V power plug, which many cars in this price range offer, and wireless Apple CarPlay is nowhere to be found. No sunroof option is available, even though the non-plug-in hybrid and non-hybrid versions have available sunroofs?? Sedans are dying and the Sonata PHEV shows why. To add to all these disappointments, the car has a $40K MSRP (plus taxes and dealer fees, which can be significant depending on state). There’s a $1500 Hyundai rebate right now, and then there are the federal and potentially state rebates, but I think something like the Kona EV is a much better car, and not much more expensive (in fact, some trims are cheaper). For that, you get ~240 miles of EV range, a heads up display and sunroof on some models, much larger federal and state tax rebates, wayyy more torque (much lighter car since no internal combustion engine), wayyy more cargo space, a much more fun car to drive, a car that’s much easier to park while still having plenty of interior room, much cheaper maintenance (since no internal combustion engine so no oil changes etc.) and a car that is much cheaper to operate and more environmentally friendly (way better eMPG and no abysmal gas MPG like with the Sonata PHEV). I regret buying this instead of the Kona EV (which was sold out everywhere at the time of my purchase). I can’t comment on reliability since it’s a new car, but the warranty is definitely nice and gives me peace of mind. Still, at $40K plus tax, I would take a hard pass on the Sonata PHEV for the reasons described above. (Resale value is also likely to be quite poor because used cars are not eligible for the ~$5000+ in federal and state rebates.) Even at $30K for the limited trim, I wouldn’t consider this car. The Sonata may be a good car and the Sonata Hybrid may be a good hybrid (I wouldn’t know), but the Sonata plug-in-hybrid is just not.
5/5 stars, Does Jason Cabot really own a 2019 Sonata Plug In?
4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)
I bought a 2019 Sonata Plug In yesterday. Hyundai is offering some good incentives now, and my Standard model was had for $28,500. I am coming out of owning a 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer, which my family had outgrown. We needed a bigger back seat, and when I saw the price incentives I was motivated to upgrade. This is a very comfortable car, and has a nice compliment of features. At the price I paid, there really isn't any competition. Nobody offers a full size plug in hybrid for this price. I live close to the center of my city and close to freeway access that takes me in any direction, so when I laid out a radius from my house I realized that the vast majority of the driving that I do is well within the 28 mile all electric range of this car. The back seat has ample legroom which was a large factor in my purchase. The drivers area is spacious and very comfortable. The infotainment screen is really nice. Here is what motivated me to write this review: The two star review from Jason Cabot on this site has some errors. The car does have Apple CarPlay, which Mr. Cabot says it does not. The car comes with a 110 volt charger, which Mr. Cabot says it does not. He states that the car is "extremely loud" when accelerating, when in fact it is astonishingly quiet. The quiet ride really makes one feel they are in a much more expensive car. He states that the Sonata plug in is "...just not competitive" regarding the all electric range of the vehicle. My question is "What competition?" There simply are no full size sedan plug in hybrids in this price range. The 2019 Sonata Plug In Hybrid is worth your consideration. All that said, the trunk is quite small for a vehicle this size, so Jason, you are right on the money with that one.
5/5 stars, Four Months In So Far So Good
Limited 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)
I just sold my 2011 Sonata Hybrid and decided to replace it with a 2019 Sonata PHEV Limited. I'd like to get an electric car eventually. But range anxiety made the plug in hybrid a better choice for me. Hyundai claims a 28 mile range on the traction battery before the car switches to hybrid mode. If you're running the AC that becomes 26 miles of range. However, I have exceeded this range every single time. I generally leave early when I'm going somewhere so there is no pressure to speed or drive aggressively. Being an experienced hybrid driver I know to accelerate smoothly and decelerate smoothly. Do this and you will greatly increase your range. Why the big rush to get to a red light or tailgate the person in front of you when it turns green? The Limited has heated and cooled front seats. This allows me to leave the heat/AC off at times when I may have turned them on in the past. This increases electric range. The car defaults to electric mode on startup. If I know that I am going to exceed the 28 mile range of the battery I manually switch to hybrid mode when I'm cruising and I switch back to electric for stop and go situations and uphill and on ramp situations. Those are the times that your gas engine gets the worst economy. So by doing this I get infinite MPG compared to 15-20 MPG during those times. I bought this car in Massachusetts and drove it to my South Carolina house. Hyundai doesn't sell the PHEV in the south. I averaged 48 MPG on the highway while cruising mostly between 65 and 75 MPH. (If you exceed 75 MPH the car will run exclusively on gasoline. At or below that and it will switch between gas and electric.) That 1,000 mile drive was nearly fatigue free thanks to all of the driver assist features. If you love to drive on cruise control, like I do, nothing is more frustrating than getting behind someone who is constantly speeding up and slowing down. But the Sonata's adaptive cruise control makes that frustration a thing of the past. It adjusts automatically to stay a pre-set distance (that you choose) behind the vehicle you're following. The lane keep assist is great for long drives where you might get distracted. It will gently, or aggressively depending on your settings, keep you in your lane. Blind spot detection is a nice little bonus even though I have always looked over my shoulder when changing lanes, and I'm too old to break the habit. The automatic high beams worked perfectly while driving overnight. In summary, the driver assist features automatically do a lot of the little things that you would constantly do on a long drive which greatly reduces fatigue. The seats are very comfortable with electronic adjustment for the driver and passenger and electronically adjustable lumbar support for the driver. There are two memory settings so all I have to adjust after my wife drives the car is the rear view mirror. You can set the climate control for driver only when you're the only one in the car. This saves a little electricity and extends the battery range a bit. The infotainment system is easy to use. And unlike what was erroneously stated in a previous review, it does include Apple Car Play and Android Play. Although you do have to plug it in the the USB port for that. I only use it for times when I want to use Waze (which is becoming pretty much all the time). Otherwise I drop my iPhone onto the wireless charging pad and let the Bluetooth do its thing. I don't understand people who buy a hybrid or plug in hybrid and then complain about its performance. The Sonata PHEV has plenty of punch when you need it for merging or keeping with the flow of traffic. The rest of the time it's plenty powerful to get you quietly, comfortably, and safely where you want to go. It's a near luxury mid-sized car that gets better fuel economy than a Toyota Corolla or any other econobox. It has a longer electric range than the Prius Prime at about the same price. The cargo space in the trunk is small. But this car is really just a roomy, comfortable commuter car. If you want to lug the kids' soccer equipment around or throw 4 large suitcases in the car on a regular basis get a Prius Prime. But if you just want something to drive the carpool to work and pick up groceries, and look good doing it, get a Sonata PHEV.
5/5 stars, Best car I’ve ever had - fun to drive & economical
Limited 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)
I bought a 2016 Hyundai Hybrid Plug-in Limited and still absolutely love this car. The electric “part” of the car charges in my garage and gives me 27 “free” miles each day...which for driving around town like I do is perfect. There are times when I haven’t filled the gas tank for six months! But the reason I bought this car over a Tesla is the backup of having a hybrid engine so if I decide I want to drive across country, I can without trying to plan my trip around electric charging stations like I would with a Tesla Ugh! Just like the Tesla, the Hyundai Sonata plug-in is whisper quiet in electric mode and also has that amazing acceleration due to the higher torque you get. It is fun! I love the safety features, especially the blind spot alerts which have literally saved my life a couple of times. Two years ago, I drove my Sonata Plug-in from Florida to Charleston SC to help my daughter pick out a wedding locale. While my daughter and I were leaping around in the sand and ocean, I hurt my right knee. I wasn’t sure I could drive back, but by using the cruise control option, my knee got the breaks it needed and felt better after the long drive than before! I couldn’t believe how well the Sonata Pkug-in was able to track and stay a certain distance from the cars in front of it. Slowing down and accelerating to my set limit depending upon the flow of traffic. From that experience I could see the future of self-driving cars, because this one comes very close to being just that. The other thing I love about my car is the beautiful interior and sleek look. Shortly after I bought my car I went to the post office and I came out the same time as a well dressed sophisticated gentleman. We both unlocked our cars remotely. I went and got in my car and this man came up to the car and asked why I was in his car. I looked around and sure enough, even though it looked nearly the same inside and outside, this wasn’t my car. I apologized and he laughed and was very kind about it. When I looked again to see what car that was I had got into, it was a Mercedes. Just saying that my Sonata’s looks are in good company. My daughter bought a Sonata in 2015 and she loves my Plug-in so much that when she trades it in, she’s planning on getting the Plug-in too.
Features & Specs
- Base MSRP
- MPG & Fuel
- N/A City / N/A Hwy / 39 Combined
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 14.5 gal. capacity
- 5 seats
- Type: front wheel drive
- Transmission: 6-speed shiftable automatic
- Inline 4 cylinder
- Horsepower: 202 hp @ 6000 rpm
- Torque: N/A
- Basic Warranty
- 5 yr./ 60000 mi.
- Length: 191.1 in. / Height: 57.9 in.
- Overall Width with Mirrors: N/A
- Overall Width without Mirrors: 73.4 in.
- Curb Weight: N/A
- Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 9.9 cu.ft.
Our experts like the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid models:
- Automatic Emergency Braking
- Sounds an audible warning if a collision with a vehicle ahead of you is imminent and will apply the brakes if you don't respond in time.
- Blind-Spot Detection
- Monitors blind spots and issues a warning if you start to change lanes with another car present.
- Lane Keeping Assist
- Emits an audible and visual warning if you drift outside of your lane and will nudge you back if you don't respond in time.
Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid vs. the competition
2019 Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid
2019 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid vs. Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
If the extra fuss and expense of a plug-in hybrid don't interest you but you'd still like a sedan that gets pretty good fuel economy, the standard Sonata Hybrid is a great option. It's even available with a few items you can't get on the plug-in variant, such as a panoramic sunroof and 60/40-split folding rear seats.
Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid vs. Chevrolet Volt
The Chevrolet Volt is an excellent plug-in hybrid, combining impressive efficiency, good road manners and decent practicality. It's also filled with plenty of tech. Unfortunately, the Volt will be discontinued soon, but that might make for some good bargains as dealers look to unload them. Read Edmunds' long-term road test of the Chevrolet Volt.
Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid vs. Hyundai Kona Electric
For the maximum in fuel efficiency (it doesn't use any at all), check out Sonata's own corporate stablemate, the Kona Electric. One of our top-rated models in the electric car segment, the Kona Electric provides 258 miles of range, pleasing performance and comfortable interior. It's a great option for most of your driving needs.
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Is the Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid a good car?
The Edmunds experts tested the 2019 Sonata Plug-in Hybrid both on the road and at the track. You probably care about Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 39 mpg. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid has 9.9 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid. Learn more
What's new in the 2019 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid?
According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2019 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid:
- The Sonata Plug-in Hybrid is unchanged for 2019
- Part of the first Sonata Plug-in Hybrid generation introduced for 2016
Is the Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid reliable?
To determine whether the Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more
Is the 2019 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid a good car?
There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2019 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid is a good car. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2019 Sonata Plug-in Hybrid is a good car for you. Check back soon for the official Edmunds Rating from our expert testing team Learn more
How much should I pay for a 2019 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid?
The least-expensive 2019 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid is the 2019 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $33,400.
Other versions include:
- Limited 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A) which starts at $39,000
- 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A) which starts at $33,400
What are the different models of Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid?
If you're interested in the Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid, the next question is, which Sonata Plug-in Hybrid model is right for you? Sonata Plug-in Hybrid variants include Limited 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A), and 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A). For a full list of Sonata Plug-in Hybrid models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more