Print 27 comment(s) - last by blckgrffn.. on Feb 25 at 12:03 PM

2011 Hyundai Sonata
Hybrid expected to use li-poly batteries and offer great fuel economy

Hybrid cars and SUVs are becoming more popular with drivers in America as people get more comfortable with hybrid technology and look to save on fuel costs. Most of the hybrid cars are smaller vehicles like the Prius, but there are also a selection of mid-size hybrids and even larger hybrids for those needing more space.

One of the newest mid-size hybrid cars is the Ford Fusion Hybrid that is EPA rated at 41 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, though some have reported even better fuel economy for the vehicle. Toyota also has a hybrid version of its best-selling Camry. Another big name in the auto industry is set to enter the hybrid mid-size market: Hyundai.

Hyundai is set to debut its new 2011 Sonata Hybrid at the New York Auto Show. A hybrid version of the Sonata should be very impressive considering that the standard version of the car with the 198 hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder is rated 35 mpg on the highway, putting it very near the Fusion Hybrids mpg rating.

The powertrain for the hybrid Sonata is said to be much like the one used in the Nuvis concept seen at the 2009 New York Auto Show with a 2.4-liter engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission coupled with a 30kW electric motor and a 1.4kWh battery pack. The battery pack will use lithium-polymer batteries rather than the NiMH batteries other hybrids in its class use.

Pricing and availability for the hybrid Sonata have not been announced. The base Sonata starts at $19,195 with a six-speed manual and the high-end Sonata Limited goes for $25,295.

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My opinion...
By jonmcc33 on 2/17/2010 1:10:06 PM , Rating: 2
As a 2006 Sonata V6 owner myself, I really like the changes to the body and style of the vehicle. I haven't seen any internal shots to show what has changed inside the car.

My one qualm is lack of a V6 engine on the new model. My 2006 Sonata V6 can really move and doesn't have a Governor in it. Why would I want to step down to a 4-cylinder?

RE: My opinion...
By bhieb on 2/17/2010 1:22:35 PM , Rating: 2
Could be they just don't have one yet. 2011 model year they may offer one later. That being said the DI 4 banger in this one should still be pretty zippy.

RE: My opinion...
By Brandon Hill on 2/17/2010 1:34:25 PM , Rating: 2
There won't be a V6 for this generation Sonata. Hyundai says that the take rate for V6 on the previous gen was pretty abysmal so why bother?

The Sonata will be available with a new DI four-banger turbo with 220+ hp later in the model year.

RE: My opinion...
By jonmcc33 on 2/18/2010 1:24:19 PM , Rating: 2
Most Sonatas that I see on the road are V6 versions. Sales of brand new Sonatas were never that great but the real value is in used Sonatas. I got my 2006 Sonata V6 in Jan 2008 for $12,300. That's 42% off the MSRP after only 2 years and it was fully loaded. Many will complain that Hyundai vehicles do not retain their value (compared to Honda or Toyota) but that doesn't matter if you are buying a used car with no intention to trade it in. It's perfect for a used car buyer. A Honda or Toyota would have cost me more for less power, features and safety. I know because I looked at the Camry and Accord at the same time. Dealers laughed when I told them $15,000 for a 2-3 year old car, base models at that.

Anyway, turbo won't help the Sonata either. It's a mid-sized sedan and not a 2 door coupe. It needs torque to get up and go, not horsepower. My 2006 Sonata has 228lb-ft of torque at 3500RPM.

RE: My opinion...
By blckgrffn on 2/25/2010 12:03:51 PM , Rating: 2
My passat with a DI turbo 4 banger has more torque through more of its power band than your V6. And *only* ~200 HP.

DI turbo engines are great, too bad it needs premium fuel typically...

RE: My opinion...
By Gungel on 2/17/2010 1:30:38 PM , Rating: 3
I'm on the complete opposite about this cars looks. Hyundai tries way to hard to incorporate designs from at least 4 other well known models into one package and the result is a complete mess of creases, corners and arches. When it comes to car designs the saying "less is more" goes a long way to a better looking vehicle.

RE: My opinion...
By omnicronx on 2/17/2010 2:18:52 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, they tried far too hard with the lines on this car. I kind of like them from the side, but the front is just a bit too much.

RE: My opinion...
By Sazar on 2/17/2010 4:47:06 PM , Rating: 2
You mean the combination Camry/Passat mix on the outside and the Infinitized interior don't do it for you?

Me either to be honest :( But I do like the new navigation/tech option they are offering, which is far more cost effective to new owners than in most competing models.

The car still looks and feels cheap compared to the competition but Hyundai is getting closer and this still looks better than their cars from about 5-10 years ago.

RE: My opinion...
By jonmcc33 on 2/18/2010 1:30:57 PM , Rating: 2
In 2008 I test drove the Toyota Camry (2004-2006 used), Honda Accord (2007 used) and Hyundai Sonata (2006 and 2007 used). Bar none the Sonata looks better than the Accord and Camry and it sure doesn't feel cheap compared to them.

RE: My opinion...
By jonmcc33 on 2/18/2010 1:26:16 PM , Rating: 2
Compared to the Camry and Accord, the last generation Sonata actually looked better IMO. I was dead set against even considering a Hyundai until I saw the Sonata. It is quite a striking looking sedan in my book.

Anyway, I found a picture of the new interior of the 2011 Sonata.

RE: My opinion...
By Hiawa23 on 2/17/2010 4:22:16 PM , Rating: 2
I own a Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart & Honda Civic, but I like what this company has done the last few years or so. Seems like they have an impressive roster of vehicles, & for you owners are their vehicles high quality say like Honda or Toyota? I never paid them any attention until I saw the Genesis, I really like that especially the 2 door model very sporty. I think this company is Korean, am I right? How r they viewed compared to the Japanese automakers?

RE: My opinion...
By jonmcc33 on 2/19/2010 9:46:19 AM , Rating: 2
1. I wouldn't call any Toyota or Honda "high quality". Toyota for obvious reasons. I have test driven a 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007 Camry and was not impressed at all. I have driven a 2006 RAV4 and wasn't impressed. For being an SUV it was pretty horrible off road. I test drove a 2005 and 2007 Accord and wasn't impressed.

2. Considering that Koreans hate Japan, anything they can do to make their vehicles better than Japanese counterparts is a standard. That is why all things standard in a Hyundai you will find as optional in a Toyota/Honda.

By bhieb on 2/17/2010 1:15:49 PM , Rating: 4
Hate on them all you want, but from what I can tell this is not your 1985 Hyundia. $25K loaded is impressive when you look at what all is included. That has been their business model for years, but this time the new Sonata looks the part too not just a bland car with all the options.

Have not driven them,and I'm not in the market for this level of car, but IMHO they have the Camary and Accord out classed on qualities and features (and for the first time EVEN if they were the same price).

RE: Nice
By TerranMagistrate on 2/17/2010 3:26:52 PM , Rating: 2
Greater initial investment on a Honda Accord is preferable to saving some money with the enticing perks of this car. Less headache and repairs in the long term.

RE: Nice
By dubldwn on 2/17/2010 3:57:29 PM , Rating: 2
Well, in fairness, Hyundai offers *very* impressive warranties. 10 years on the drive train.

RE: Nice
By bhieb on 2/18/2010 9:11:23 AM , Rating: 2
I'm going to have to call you out on this one too. You've most likely never owned one. I used to have xg300 (albeit their top tier car). And I only had it in one time for a cpu issue. They gave me a loaner even though they were going to have it done by the end of the day, free of charge.

Now you could argue that the extra you pay for an Accord/Camry would be offset by higher resale value, and I would have to agree there.

RE: Nice
By jonmcc33 on 2/19/2010 9:28:27 AM , Rating: 2
Vehicles are NOT an investment. They lose their value throughout their lifetime...unless they have collector value such as older muscle cars, etc. Those usually require low manufacturing numbers.

I have a 2006 Sonata and haven't had any repair issues other than regular maintenance. Hyundai vehicles come with a 5 year 60,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty and 10 year 100,000 mile drive train warranty (everything that makes the car go). That's pretty good long term numbers compared to Honda.

RE: Nice
By bjacobson on 2/18/2010 12:19:18 AM , Rating: 2
Go-go free markets. I too am impressed with how far they have come.

5 years ago I wouldn't have thought twice about a Hyundai.
This car is not bad at all, and the reliability is great to boot, too.

Too bad we get gouged on the leases here in Canada
By DukeN on 2/17/2010 2:44:19 PM , Rating: 2
Promo in the US: 36 months, $199/month with $2400 down.
Here in Canada: 60 months, $301/month with 0 down.

I think I would look at this one as the next car if I could get the promo lease rate.

By jonmcc33 on 2/19/2010 9:47:23 AM , Rating: 2
Well, you have to qualify for the lease as well. They don't hand them out to anyone off the street.

2011 Sonata..
By shareky on 2/17/2010 3:22:19 PM , Rating: 2
I was able to see one of the first 2011 Sonata's up close and personal and the looks, quite frankly, didn't impress me. I was able to also look at a "limited" edition on the showroom floor which was different in color but it made no difference. Another thing Hyundai needs to do is give the passenger seat motorized adjustments. The limited was over $30K and you'd think for $30K + you'd at least get a motorized passenger seat. Nope..

RE: 2011 Sonata..
By jonmcc33 on 2/19/2010 9:49:48 AM , Rating: 2
The 2011 Sonata Limited starts at $25,295 actually. Don't spread FUD.

By Sazar on 2/17/2010 1:10:58 PM , Rating: 3
I am sure the biggest question on everyone's mind is, in comparison to the Camry, do the brakes work and how is the acceleration?

By boobot on 2/17/2010 2:37:15 PM , Rating: 2
This vehicle will win Motor Trends car of the year.

Should have been.
By GeneralJohnson on 2/17/2010 3:10:04 PM , Rating: 2
though some have reported better economy that that for the vehicle.

though some have reported better economy "than" that for the vehicle.

Why LIPO?!
By FishTankX on 2/17/2010 4:45:01 PM , Rating: 2
Why are they using the cells that you're supposed to charge in a fireproof bag just incase they go poof? And don't they have pretty miserable charge endurance? LiPO's are known for fantastic surge current, but do they have a powerful enough assist motor to use it?

By Gardener62 on 2/24/2010 11:44:17 AM , Rating: 2
We have put 44,000 on our 2007 Sonata and we absolutely love this car. We drove Accord, Camray & Kia before buying this car. The 4 cylinder motor has tons of power. I have taken 5 adults on a short trip with hills and no problems. I have passed going uphill at 70 mph and have had it close to 100 more than once. It drives quieter and smoother than the Camray with 3 times the warranty and thousands less in cost.

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