Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid Review – Video

FEB 19 2016 BY MARK KANE 18

Hyundai Sonata Plug-in

Hyundai Sonata Plug-in

Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid sales in the U.S. began in November 2015 and were slowly growing up to 175 in January, which is some 1.1% of total Sonata sales.

If you are interested in this 27-mile EPA rated mid-size plug-in hybrid available from $30,516 after federal tax credit, here is an interesting review from

The drawback is that electric motor is rated at only 50 kW, so the uninterrupted all-electric mode will be possible only with gentle operation. The other is heating in cold weather, which could require the engine running.

But overall it’s a comfortable five-seater, with range second only to Chevrolet Volt for few grand more than a conventional hybrid.

Hyundai Sonata Plug-in

Hyundai Sonata Plug-in

Hyundai Sonata Plug-in - interior

Hyundai Sonata Plug-in – interior

Hyundai Sonata Plug-in - interior

Hyundai Sonata Plug-in – interior

Hyundai Sonata Plug-in - interior

Hyundai Sonata Plug-in – interior

Hyundai Sonata Plug-in - interior

Hyundai Sonata Plug-in – interior

Categories: Hyundai, Test Drives, Videos


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18 Comments on "Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid Review – Video"

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I’d like to see somebody do a 0-60 test in EV mode. Does it even have a mode that locks out the ICE? (much like the EV-Now mode of the Ford Energi twins) Or is it like the Plug-in Prius where it just always engages the engine when power is needed?

I can live with a PHEV that has less power in EV mode than blended. But EV mode needs to have enough power to handle all of my driving situations. I test drove a C-Max Energi in EV-Now mode and it is perfectly acceptable around town on streets less than 45 mph, but it is a total dog out on the highway. However, the VW GTE and the Audi E-Tron have decent EV only speeds.

Apparently, you have to feather the throttle to keep the ICE from engaging.

If you “floor it” the ICE comes on even with a full battery.

The difference you are noticing is due to weight. The CMAX energi has almost 20 more EV only horsepower than both the A3 e-tron and the GTE.

I actually doubt there is much of a difference, even though they may “feel” faster.

One thing you are overlooking… it’s really silly to utilieze EV mode at highway speeds unless you are cruising (very low engine load).

It’s just a waste and totally contrary to the car’s design.

Not if you commute is within the 30 mile EV range.
Then, you want to use all the EV miles on city or highway roads.

You want a plugin or EV to make your future Solar install payback period ultra low, and then the profits roll in.

You have to feather it. I have an A3 e-tron and EV mode is all electric unless you mash the pedal down pass a “click” point (which in normal driving people don’t do unless you are making an evasive maneuver or drag racing). I regularly drive in LA freeway speeds up to 80 mph in EV mode when conditions permit (which is rarely). The e-tron has 80 kW electric motor, the C-Max Energi has 68, this one is woefully only 50 kW.

This is from Autoblog’s review of the Sonata plug-in:

“The PHEV is noticeably peppier, even when the battery is empty, and can drive on electricity at higher speeds than the standard hybrid can. In fact, to fully enjoy this real-world effect of electric boost from a green driver’s perspective, I found it better to not think of the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid as an electric car. While there is electrification going on, when you need extra acceleration, the 2.0-liter GDI four-cylinder gas engine kicks in far too often, even when the battery has plenty of charge. An engine sort of ruins the EV experience, but this should not in any way be considered a deal-breaker in this package. PHEVs are the very definition of a compromise between pure electric and gas-powered vehicles, but they can offer exactly the right balance of fossil fuel and electric mobility to a wide audience. Eco mode is one of three drive settings in the Sonata Hybrid (the other two are Sport and Normal), while the PHEV swaps the Sport for an EV mode. But again, that gas engine came on too many times when I was in EV mode for me to fully enjoy it.”

Yeah, this would be a deal breaker for me. They put a decent sized battery pack in there, but the drive motor needs at least 50% more power. I want the EV experience. That’s one of my primary motivating factors in buying a plug-in. And while my Volt has had to fire up the gas engine a handful of times thanks to ERDTT, I’d say it is rare enough that I drive my Volt like an EV.

Does anyone know if you can pre-heat the cabin using electric power? It would be nice to pre-heat without gas in your garage in the morning.

-Rear seat headroom?
-Where’s the battery, is there trunk space?

Radar collision warning?, not prevention?

This car has a CD of .024 which is similar to a Tesla. So why doesn’t Hyundai simply put a 60 kW battery in this vehicle with the range of 180 miles and get rid of the gasoline engine altogether?

We should take any manufacturer’s drag coefficients with a grain of salt. Every wind tunnel works a little differently. Also, some manufacturers’ tests are not done in at full-scale (it takes a huge wind tunnel to test a full-scale automobile). There are Reynolds number differences when addressing scale, which require a calculated adjustment to derive the full scale Cd. Also, there is a difference in drag measurement between a vehicle with rolling wheels and a vehicle just sitting there. That is a test protocol difference that is still being sorted out in the auto industry.

Vehicle Cd’s are only directly comparable at if both are tested in the same tunnel, using the same test protocol.

A 60kw pack would make it more expensive than anything a typical Hyundai customer would be able to afford. It’s good that Hyundai is offering practical solutions to the common person.

It’s priced at the Volt and Premium Volt level.

Because a 60 kWh battery pack in the Sonata would take all the trunk space plus some rear passenger space.

WOW it must be fast as the speedo goes up to 160mph/260kmh.

Why not show a more realistic and accurate range on the speedo up to 120mph/200kmh

What a bizarre nit to pick.

Automakers do this so that visually when you’re cruising along at 85 MPH the speedometer needle isn’t twisted all the way over, giving the impression of “that’s all she’s got!”

I remember driving cars with 85 MPH speedometers in the early ’90s and it looked really bizarre to have the needle bouncing off its maximum travel.

Supposedly the 12 o’clock position is supposed to be reserved for peak something. Peak torque? or Peak horsepower, don’t remember…