2012 Hyundai Elantra Touring

2012 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
Hyundai i30 (aka Elantra Touring) looks to undercut Toyota's new Prius Plug-in

It's no secret that many companies are placing a huge target on Toyota's back. Toyota's Prius has become the poster child for the hybrid car movement and plenty of manufacturers have attempted to mimic its success. Honda has largely failed with it Insight and CR-Z in the United States, while Ford has had some success with its Fusion Hybrid and Escape Hybrid.
Hyundai is taking direct aim at Toyota's new Prius Plug-in with an upcoming plug-in hybrid version of the new i30 (it's called the Elantra Touring here in the United States). The Prius was designed from the onset to be a hybrid vehicle, and achieves 50 mpg combined in hybrid mode. The Prius Plug-in can also travel up to 14 miles on battery power alone.
Hyundai's Elantra Touring Plug-in likely won't be able to match Toyota's lofty fuel economy numbers or its relatively meager battery-only range, but it will undercut Toyota's $32,760 price tag according to Auto, Motor und Sport.
Hyundai first jumped on the hybrid bandwagon with the Sonata Hybrid in the United States earlier this year. Unfortunately for Hyundai, the Sonata Hybrid has been panned by automotive publications for not offering enough of a fuel economy boost over standard Sonata. Consumers Reports even went so far as to not recommend the vehicle:
The Sonata Hybrid scored a disappointing 69, a full 20 points below the previously-tested and more popular conventional Sonata GLS…
Although the Sonata Hybrid gets better fuel economy than its non-hybrid doppelganger, the trade-offs in driveability, refinement, and braking performance are too high. The car stumbles and hesitates as it makes the transition from electric to gas power and both handling and braking are less capable.
Hopefully, Hyundai aims higher with the plug-in hybrid version of the Elantra Touring.

Sources: Auto Motor und Sport, Inside Line, Consumer Reports

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