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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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RE: Nice 'stache!
By Solandri on 12/17/2010 6:03:57 PM , Rating: 4
Fuel consumption is the inverse of MPG, so the difference between 37 MPG and 50 MPG isn't as big as the MPG figures make it seem. Because it's the inverse, most of your fuel savings happens from getting away from the extreme low-MPG range.

12 MPG = 8.33 gal per 100 miles
16 MPG = 6.25 gal per 100 miles
20 MPG = 5 gal per 100 miles
25 MPG = 4 gal per 100 miles
30 MPG = 3.33 gal per 100 miles
37 MPG = 2.7 gal per 100 miles
40 MPG = 2.5 gal per 100 miles
50 MPG = 2 gal per 100 miles

So if you drove the vehicle 15k miles per year, 37 MPG would use 405 gallons, while 50 MPG would use 300 gallons. A difference of about $300/yr at today's gas prices.

Put another way, going from 20 MPG -> 30 MPG saves you 1.67 gal per 100 miles. Going from 30 MPG -> 50 MPG saves you just 1.33 gal per 100 miles. Even though the first is a 10 MPG improvement while the second is a 20 MPG improvement, the first actually saves you more gas.

The rest of the world measures fuel efficiency in liters per 100 km (like gallons per 100 miles) for this reason. The EPA is attempting to correct this with the new labels for electric vehicles. It lists power consumption in kW-hr per 100 miles.

RE: Nice 'stache!
By Targon on 12/18/2010 6:58:57 AM , Rating: 2
Basic math, going from 20 to 30 miles per gallon is a 50 percent improvement, while going from 30 to 40 miles per gallon is only a 33.3 percent improvement.

Going from 30mpg to 45mpg would give you that same 50 percent improvement as going from 20 to 30mpg would.

In general, you want to make sure that you get a good value for your money. Spending $40,000 for a vehicle that only saves you $500/year in gas compared to a $25,000 car that is equal in terms of quality, features, and size is no bargain.

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