Hyundai Sonata PHEV First Drive
Hyundai soon will launch in the US and Canada its first plug-in hybrid vehicle – the Sonata PHEV, which will be in competition with the Ford Fusion Energi and Honda Accord PHEV.
Sonata PHEV’s advantage will be a slightly bigger battery (9.8 kWh from LG Chem), which lets it qualify for $4,917 worth of federal tax credit. And it comes with a Lifetime battery warranty..
All-electric range is expected at some 24 miles with fuel economy at 93 MPGe (40 MPG or 5.88 l/100 km in charge sustaining mode).
50 kW electric motor is combined with a 2.0L GDI engine and six-speed automatic gearbox for a total of 151 kW of system power. All-electric mode is available up to 75 mph (121 km/h).
Hyundai Sonata PHEV will be manufactured in South Korea and enter market this fall, initially in the ZEV states (California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont).
Price isn’t known yet, but we have reports from first test drives for media. Here is Green Car Congress’ opinion:
“Driving impressions. Overall, the Sonata PHEV is a pleasure to drive. The roomy cabin is comfortable, even in the back seat. The transitions from electric to hybrid mode are smooth, and noise is kept to a minimum. The HMI on the center console display is extremely usable, and provides good detail on energy flow and driving performance.
The driving route provided for the media event was essentially divided between stop-and-go driving down the Pacific Coast Highway through the small towns and cities dotted along it and higher speed (and relatively constant) driving on the 5. These are the conditions that show the Sonata PHEV at its best. However, there wasn’t much opportunity to get a sense of Sonata handling in higher-speed cornering, steep inclines, and winding roads.
On the route we drove, the Sonata PHEV (and HEV) handled and performed extremely well. As noted above, the Charge Battery function was a nice addition. Our sense, unconfirmed at this point, is that with the PHEV battery pack situated toward the rear of the car, the PHEV might have a tendency to wallow through a tight corner—as do most vehicles with a rear positioned battery pack.
Further, the acceleration off the line seemed just a tiny bit slow, although there is no hesitation.
All that said, however, Sonata is not targeting a high-performance buyer.
Although Hyundai has yet to announce pricing, the Hyundai team suggested the pricing would be compelling. If that is indeed the case, Hyundai may well advance the market for a mainstream, mid-size plug-in hybrid sedan beyond what its competition has yet been able to do.”
A collection of review summaries can be found at PluginCars, while below we enclose videos:
2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug -in Hybrid 1st. drive with Product Planner John Shon
2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid with iWatch Blue Link App
2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid presentation by Yong Seon Kim
Source: Green Car Congress