Now that gas is cheap - under $3 in California (of course it won't last) I wanted to update my Sonata Plug In Review. First - FINALLY - Hyundai made good on its promise to add Apple Car Play and Android Auto via a very long and painful software update (3 hrs+). They also fixed an annoying problem on the LCD display in EV mode instead of a big giant battery it now splits the screen in 2 with the battery on the right and the EV remaining distance on the left (previously only seen in the instrument cluster display) So, there's that. Also something was fixed with Bluetooth, my Samsung phone now pairs very fast and remembers the last App playing audio and starts automatically but it STILL will not stay in Shuffle mode if you have an ipod or iphone, so everytime the car is started its about 50 clicks to go back to shuffle/random play mode sigh. So, the Truth is I have only bought 16 gallons of gas in 5,800 miles of driving, I think that speaks for itself. Even with cheap gas -- I am paying nearly zero to drive all over the place. Since gas is so cheap, I tried 91 instead of 89 and it made a HUGE difference in the engine's performance. Seriously a big improvement, and I don't know why because Hyundai says do not use 91 so whatever. The gas mode is much more responsive and smooth on 91. Also, not explained well in the manual, the CHG MODE will recharge the EV battery with 380 volts on the highway in about 30 minutes. The engine is also much more responsive in the mode, but of course there is no hybrid mode working so I only use it on the highway where I can keep a consistent speed. One other weird thing I have experienced, the ventilated front seats (AC) are not very good or mine are defective. I have tested them in a Dodge Charger V8 and they are way better, more air flow and cooler. Hyundai probably just went with a cheap version. I STILL MUST complain about the awful Blue Link Mobile App. Why Hyundai??? The app is still slow, slow, slow, doesnt connect much of the time, and it should be free! So I can still see charge info but I cannot start the car -- lol because they want me to pay for it. no way I have owned this car for one month, and 1,543 miles. I have not bought gas once. The free full tank from the dealer is about 1/2 full, the only time it uses gas is on my way home from work (Toll Road) in Southern California and it switches silently into Hyb mode. But, understand it still has battery left for hybrid mode and its then begins charging the battery. Unfortunately, my Sonata Plug In (Limited) always shows incorrect battery info. For example, 30% battery remaining but only 2 miles of all EV mode available. Hyundai needs to fix this and the "stupid" battery gauge under the speedometer. It has blue and white lines but its so confusing even the Service Manager couldn't figure it out! Vehicle is really nice, and drives great. HOWEVER -- the BlueLink Mobile App and Service are TERRIBLE! Most of the time the service is "unavailable" or some other useless error message. When it does work it takes 10-15 minutes to reach my car with the App - Unacceptable Hyundai. I decided to Lease this time because no matter how great a Hyundai vehicle is, their resale value is the worst in the auto game. I know, I had 2 Sonata hybrids and had to pay to get out of them both. The 2015 lost 50% of it value in 10 months!!! So beware - only lease this car so you can give it back at the end. One additional comment about charging. You would think in Southern CA where Hyundai is headquartered there would be EV charging stations everywhere -- Nope. They are a nightmare to find and when you do, every Tesla is town is plugged-in for hours. Also, the charging stations are not free. There are several different ones Charge + and others that you have to sign up for in advance and get a card to use them. It's really a hassle. Unlike Nissan, Hyundai will NOT allow you to charge your car at their dealerships - really bad PR Hyundai. Overall I enjoy the car a lot. But no Apple OR Android App integration means old bluetooth for your phone. And, Hyundai bluetooth is soooo slowwwww to connect to my iPhone and Samsung S7, I usually end up listening to my old iPod I have plugged in. The XM sound quality is horrible, so I wouldn't even bother signing up for a subscription. One other weird thing, the radio keeps playing after turning off the car (can be configured) but the power windows stop working...lol very weird. The car needs a usable Mobile App and to charge faster (9 hrs in my garage on a standard outlet and the cable gets very hot too. Sometimes the fan under the hood kicks on while its charging..hmm) Lastly, on a new model with all this technology - -why did Hyundai put plain old bulbs in the license plate holder (and the dome lights). I mean that just seems really like an oversight in my view. I replaced them with Sylvania White LEDS from Amazon but I dont think I should have needed to.
I am presently leasing a Nissan all electric leaf car and my lease is expiring so we started to do research on which car to get to replace the Nissan leaf. My main goal is to have a car to be able to use HOV lanes here in northern California(San Jose). I wanted to get into the higher range(200+mile) electric vehicle such as Tesla, Ford Energi, Chevy Bolt and new Nissan Leaf but all wont be available till next year(forget the Tesla model 3). I started to review all the specs of cars then a friend told me to look on the all-new 2016 Hyundai plugin hybrid, I was glad that I did! was so surprise of the car handling and features, its no difference from driving my BMW and Mercedes E class. interior has more luxury features and room! Ride and comfort is same as a luxury car. Of coarse its not as fast as BMW and Mercedes, but I am not going to race the car and unfair to compare 4 cylinder to six and eight cylinder but and I said but, look on the technology setup, its a hybrid-plugin technology which gives you the torque and speed(202hp) enough to make you happy. Getting 40+ mile to a gallon is just the icing in the cake. People says its still a Hyundai, well go look and compare it yourself. I ended up buying a Hyundai plugin limited and looking forward to enjoy it on HOV lanes. Not to forget the longest warranted car in the automotive industry.
Limited 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A)
I stumbled across the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid while researching the Chevy Volt and and Ford Fusion Energi. I'm glad I did! Hyundai did their homework with this car. It's spacious, quiet, refined with a well laid out interior with high quality materials and intuitive easy to use controls and electronics interfaces. The Limited version has a luxury feel to it with a myriad of features that rival our S Class Mercedes. Though only rated at 27 miles of battery range, I have been consistently getting 30-35 miles over the last two weeks before reverting to hybrid operation, where it gets an average of just over 40 MPG. On a 1000 mile trip combining interstate and secondary highways, it averaged about 41 MPG, which isn't bad considering we were going 75-80 on the freeway sections. On one 70 mile section of Highway 1 in northern California it actually did 48 MPG. The comfort level is high with excellent ventilated seats, an extremely smooth and controlled ride, and a noise level that's about as quiet as any car I've been in. The navigation/information/media system is outstanding with loads of information and easy to use. The price at $39,000.00 seems high, but rebates and dealer discount brought the price down over $5,000.00. In addition, the California rebate of $1,500.00 and Federal tax credit of $4,900.00 (?) drops the net price down below $28,000.00, which is a screaming deal for a car with this content and capability. It has more electric range than the Ford Fusion and a vastly bigger interior than the Volt. The adaptive cruise works very well, as do the electronic driving assists. There just aren't any glaring flaws or shortcomings I've discovered yet, other than the trunk is a smallish 10 cubic feet due to the battery pack. Hyundai hasn't just established itself as an equal competitor. With this car, it leads the pack. UPDATE 8/18/17 Car broke down on 7/26/17 with hybrid warning lights on the dash. Had to be towed to nearest dealer, where it has been sitting since it stopped. They were not able to analyze the problem, and after finally replacing a part which didn't fix the problem, now say the hybrid battery needs replacement. Problem is, the battery is not available and they don't know when it will be! I had an initial contact with Hyundai customer care, and was promised they would look into it and get back to me. That was 12 days ago and I have heard nothing back, despite leaving 5 messages which weren't returned. Customer service seems non-existent. I am definitely done with Hyundai, and this will probably end up as a California Lemon Law claim. Buy one of these at your own risk! UPDATE NUMBER 2 2/21/18 Hyundai purchased the car back from me, paying back all of my costs less a fair pro-rated amount for miles driven. In the end Hyundai was fair and did the right thing. Shame. I really liked the car.
I went to the dealership to test drive a Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. They had a PHEV in stock and I hesitated because it was a few thousand more than the hybrid but I decided to give it a drive anyway. And boy, am I glad I did. This car is AMAZING. It is silky smooth on roads of all types, quiet as a mouse (particularly in electric mode). The interior is very well appointed and every day it seems I find something new it can do that I didn't know about. I could read the manual included but it's fun just discovering stuff. As an example, I was adjusting the mirrors and didn't put it back into Neutral mode. When I switched into reverse, the side mirrors angled down and made it very easy to see what was on my sides (the backup camera takes care of what's behind me). I've always been a terrible parallel parker but this car makes it easy. I have been using the car to go to and from work primarily, though I took it out this weekend into the mountains for 160 miles. I'm sitting at 770 miles since my last fill up and I still have about 40% of the tank left. Talk about amazing! I also find that it's made me a better driver, simply because I have so much information at hand and I want to maximize the mileage. It even has a screen that tells me how aggressive I'm being, which my wife appreciates. Don't let the cost of the car hold you back. Even at gas costing $2.20 per gallon, it's still saving money. It costs me about $0.70 to recharge the battery every day. The car I replaced was getting about 30 miles per gallon, so it was costing me about $1.70 or so per day. So I'm saving net $1.00 per day, which is about $30 per month. When gas gets back to $4 per gallon (and I have no doubt it will), then I'm suddenly saving $3 per day. Plus it's environmentally and geopolitically responsible to use as little fuel as possible. It has a tremendous amount of cabin space and all three of my kids fit in the car nicely. I had the sales guy sit behind me after I adjusted the car for the way I drive and got out and looked at his seating arrangement. He is 5'11" and he had about 3 inches of leg room, which is more than enough to sit comfortably. It's a fantastic midsize sedan.
So, I am coming off a 2013 Hyundai Genesis and I am impressed with how much Hyundai has improved their product from their last generation products. I purchased the plug-in Sonata in base trim. This is my first EV/Hybrid experience and I think it would be hard for me to go back to gas guzzling cars again. Just on Battery alone, I am regularly getting 30 miles before battery runs out. I hardly use gas at all on this as my avg MPG on the computer has been 99.9 mpg since I brought the car home. And on freeway where gas engine was running I was averaging 55 mpg as long as I kept the speed to 65 mph or below. I am also impressed with how the car rides so smooth and quietly. It rides much better than my Genesis and noise level is equivalent. With new techs like Android auto, blind spot monitoring, back up camera's, etc. this car has all the gadgets I will ever need. With the plug in being eligible (hybrids are not) for Federal and State rebates ($6400 total in California) this car can be very affordable. I don't know why they don't sell as many as this car is great. Only negative I had is in base trim they don't offer leather seats. Now plug-in base trim MSRP is around $35,000 and I think for $35K, the car should come standard with leather seats (even though I did not pay near MSRP). And interior and exterior color choice is limited. Only color I saw available was plain gray which I thought looked very cheap.