After a major redesign last year, the Hyundai Sonata hybrid continues as-is for 2021. With a range of over 550 miles on a tank (13.2 gallons) thanks to its gas/hybrid technology, the midsize sedan can safely and surely take you to West Palm Beach and back — or even all the way to Atlanta — before a fuel stop.
The credit goes to a 2.0-liter GDI four-cylinder engine that puts out 150 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 139 pounds-feet of torque at 5,000 rpm. When paired with the 39-watt kW electric motor, the Sonata hybrid peaks at 192 hp.
A powerful 56 kW lithium-ion polymer battery pack contributes to improved gas mileage. Another fuel saver is an all-new solar roof which recharges the battery when the car has been turned off, thereby boosting driving range. And during regenerative braking, the battery is recharged by the captured energy as the driver brakes or slows down. At stops, the gas engine shuts down for fuel savings and zero emissions.
Power reaches the front wheels through a flawless six-speed auto gear box. Keeping the car stable enough to soak bumps is an independent suspension of front MacPherson strut and multilink rear. The motor-driven power rack-and-pinion steering is accurate and steadfast.
The seventh-generation Sonata hybrid conveys a four-door coupe appearance. LED headlamps and daytime running lights surround the cascading cross-hole grille adorned in a mix of liquid chrome and dark metal with active air flaps. For the driver’s convenience, an analog instrument gauge solely devoted to the hybrid display portrays charge, eco and battery readings. With 104.4 cubic feet of passenger volume, the cabin is comparable to other passenger sedans. And trunk capacity is 16 cubic feet, beating Toyota Camry’s volume.
Dual A/C, eight-way power driver and four-way front-passenger heated and cooled seats, 60/40 rear seat, leather tilt/telescopic steering wheel with paddle shifters, 12.3-inch LCD instrument cluster and a 10.25-inch touch screen for phone and audio capabilities come at no cost.
Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, driver knee airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes with electronic brake distribution and brake assist, front/rear parking sensors and crumple zones, electronic stability and traction control, blind-spot, forward and rear cross-traffic collision assists, highway driving and lane-keep assists, front seatbelt pretensioners, remote keyless entry and tire pressure monitoring system are standard.
Base-priced at $35,300 (our Limited edition totaled $36,464), the Sonata hybrid is even more enticing once you factor in EPA fuel estimates of 45 mpg city, 51 highway and 47 combined. The sedan responds with agility irrespective of road/weather conditions, guaranteeing an enjoyable and relaxed ride. And, of course, there’s its daring design — an attribute missing in hybrids.
SONATA HYBRID (LIMITED)
Wheelbase: 111.8 inches
Length: 192.9 inches
Height: 56.9 inches
Width: 73.2 inches
Weight: 3,530 pounds
Web site: www.hyundaiusa.com
Nitish S. Rele operates motoringtampabay.com and Khaas Baat, and was an automotive editor/columnist for the Tampa Tribune. Email him at email@example.com.