2017 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid

2017 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid Review

It's a comfortable and quiet hybrid sedan that offers a useful 27 miles of pure electric range.
by Brent Romans
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

As its name suggests, the 2017 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid sedan can be plugged into an electrical outlet or charging station to charge its lithium-ion battery pack. That battery is five times larger than the one in the automaker's regular Sonata Hybrid, giving the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid's upsized electric motor the ability to propel this midsize sedan up to 27 miles in all-electric mode.

The advantage should be obvious. There's none of the range anxiety experienced by drivers of all-electric vehicles because once the battery's charge is depleted, the Sonata's internal combustion engine comes online and the car operates as a normal gasoline-electric hybrid. The result is 99 miles per gallon equivalent when you figure in the all-electric range and a solid 39 mpg in traditional hybrid mode. Besides its powertrain, the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid offers the same traits as the regular Sonata, such as a roomy interior, a pleasant driving demeanor and a long list of standard features. Overall, the 2017 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid's combination of plug-in capability and traditional midsize sedan strengths makes it a solid pick.

What's new for 2017

The 2017 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid is unchanged.

We recommend

The 2017 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid comes in just two versions: the base model and the Limited. There's nothing wrong with picking the base model. You'll get most of the features you'll probably want, including a big touchscreen interface, a power driver seat, heated front seats, and keyless entry and ignition. The Limited is harder to justify. It adds features that are nice to have but certainly aren't necessary, and the price increase is substantial. But note that you'll need to get the Limited if you want forward collision warning and lane departure warning.

Trim tested

The 2017 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid is a midsize family sedan offered in two trim levels: base and Limited. Under the hood is 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a 50-kilowatt (67-horsepower) electric motor. Total system output is 202 hp, delivered to the front wheels by way of a six-speed automatic transmission. The base Plug-in Hybrid comes well-equipped with features, so the Limited mostly adds on luxury-oriented features plus a few extra driver safety aids.

You'll likely be quite happy with the base model's standard equipment. Highlights include 17-inch wheels, heated mirrors, a hands-free trunklid, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, a power driver seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a rearview camera, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone app integration, an 8-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 xenon headlights, adaptive cruise control, leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, a power front passenger seat, a heated steering wheel, driver-seat memory settings and an upgraded nine-speaker Infinity sound system. The Limited also comes with forward collision warning, lane departure warning, rear parking sensors and automatic high-beam headlight control.

The sole factory option, offered only on the Limited, is an interior trim package with distinctive blue leather.


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 as it provides a more traditional shifting experience than a CVT. Less impressive is the grabby feel of the Sonata Hybrid's brake pedal.


The Plug-in Hybrid's ride is smooth on all manner of pavement, and the cabin is quiet at highway speeds. This is a car that will get you to your destination without wearing you out. It's not an exciting car to drive, certainly, but the Sonata Hybrid heads where you point it.


The Plug-in Hybrid's cabin is roomy and comfortable. The seats are supportive and nicely padded, and the cabin itself is remarkably quiet. There's plenty of head-, legroom and shoulder room and a vast backseat, although rear headroom is 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 Toyota Prius Prime's hatchback design has more cargo-carrying versatility.


The 8-inch touchscreen has crisp graphics and straightforward menus, although some drivers might find that it's a bit of a stretch to reach 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.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.