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The 2011 Sonata Hybrid has a face only a mother could love, but not many can argue with its fuel economy ratings of 37 mpg (city), 40 mpg (highway)
New Sonata Hybrid undercuts similar offerings from Toyota, Ford

Back in late March, Hyundai announced two additional variants of its popular Sonata midsize sedan: the Hybrid and a more powerful 2.0t (turbocharged) model. While the Sonata 2.0t has already hit dealer lots, the Hybrid will soon be making its way to consumers.

Ahead of the official public launch, Hyundai has announced pricing for the Sonata Hybrid. The base price of the vehicle will be a relatively low $26,545 including destination fee. This compares favorably against the Toyota Camry Hybrid ($27,335) and the Ford Fusion Hybrid ($28,990).

The Sonata Hybrid is capable of achieving 35 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway (37 mpg combined). For comparison, the aforementioned Camry Hybrid and Ford Fusion Hybrid are capable of 31/35 and 41/36 respectively.

“Sonata Hybrid offers something new to the mid-size sedan segment, with its segment-leading 40-mpg highway fuel economy rating, differentiated appearance, and incredible value,” said John Krafcik, Hyundai Motor America president and CEO. “Like the 2.4L direct-injected Sonata and the 2.0L Sonata Turbo launched earlier this year, Sonata Hybrid demonstrates Hyundai’s unique approach melding innovative technologies and emotional design into products more and more people want to put in their driveways.”

The Sonata Hybrid uses a 2.4-liter direct-injection gasoline engine that has been modified to run on the Atkinson Cycle along with a standard six-speed automatic transmission instead of a CVT that is traditionally used with hybrids. In addition, the Sonata Hybrid uses a lighter lithium-polymer battery pack instead of the NiMH batteries used in the Camry Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid.

While the base Sonata Hybrid undercuts the competition, a higher-spec "Premium" model will also be available for $31,545. This trim level adds 17" wheels, panoramic sunroof, navigation system, rear backup camera, and leather seating.

The Sonata Hybrid along with the recently introduced 2011 Elantra are some of the first baby steps that Hyundai is taking to reach a fleet-wide goal of 50 mpg by 2025.

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They consider that to be good fuel economy?!?
By Targon on 12/17/2010 6:46:03 AM , Rating: 0
The regular 2012 Focus will be getting 30mpg city/40mpg highway and the normal version won't be a hybrid. With that in mind, unless a hybrid shows 36mpg city with 46mpg highway, it isn't "good", and if there is a price premium for it, then it fails.

How much do you drive in a year, and over a 5-year period, will you make up in gas savings what you paid extra just for the hybrid version?

Remember also that the EPA fuel economy numbers assume you are running the air conditioner now, so that new Focus will be getting upwards of 45mpg highway if you keep your windows up but don't run the AC.

By Brandon Hill on 12/17/2010 7:29:45 AM , Rating: 2
Again, the Ford Focus is a compact car. The Sonata is a midsize sedan, bordering on a fullsize sedan with a much larger trunk and much more passenger space on top of that.

You can't compare a Focus to a Camry, Sonata, Fusion, etc. if you want to get an accurate representation of what to expect for fuel economy.

By T2k on 12/17/2010 10:25:40 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly. For some reason we either have a surprisingly high number of midgets registered here or surprisingly high number of shockingly stupid kids who, regardless of being utterly clueless, love to post ignorant comments ie comparing apples to oranges.

RE: They consider that to be good fuel economy?!?
By gvaley on 12/17/2010 7:34:01 AM , Rating: 2
Why do people continue comparing the incomparable? The Focus is a much smaller car. Smaller cars are lighter by a good margin, have lower drag coefficient and smaller frontal area, usually use narrower tires and can be driven by smaller-displacement engines.

Understand that the same drivetrain, put in two different-sized cars, will always produce higher MPG in the smaller car. Can you be sure that the Sonata drivetrain, if fitted in a Focus, won't produce better results than the original drivetrain? And even if it can't beat the original it will probably produce higher performance.

In theory, if Hyundai hasn't messed up something big time (unlikely), their hybrid drivetrain should be the most efficient on the market because of the ~20% lighter Li-Pol batteries that they innovatively decided to use in their cars. Especially compared to NiMH models.

By marvdmartian on 12/17/2010 8:12:05 AM , Rating: 1
Because they lack imagination? Or common sense??

"But hey, my moped gets better mileage than that! Never mind the fact that it only seats 1 (comfortably), and has next to no cargo carrying capability!!" (eye roll)

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