2014 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Review

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2014 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Overview

While its non-hybrid siblings get a significant makeover, inside and out, for 2014, Hyundai’s fuel-miserly 2014 Sonata Hybrid has, so far, been relegated to carrying its 2013 typecasting into the next model year. But no matter, the green-leaning version of this popular 5-passenger sedan continues to offer all the necessary bells and whistles—not to mention some hefty fuel savings—that made it a hit in its 2011 introductory year.

Available in a pair of trims, the Base and, as of 2013, the top-shelf Limited, this gas-dissing hybrid remains a front-wheel-drive-only (FWD), family-oriented commuter car. One drawback to its overall appeal, however, may be the limited trunk space dictated by the more compact, but nevertheless still hefty lithium polymer battery pack for the electric motor. The Sonata Hybrid can tote up to 12.1 cubic feet of luggage or groceries, as opposed to its non-hybrid brethren’s unimpeded 16.1 cubic feet. Oh, and of course the hybrid version also costs more than its conventional cousins.

In any case, the variable-valve-timed (VVT) 2.4-liter inline 4-cylinder (I4) gasoline engine is expected to once again combine with a 35-kilowatt electric motor for 199 total hp, while 154 lb-ft of torque also returns from last year. All this oomph is managed via the returning 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission to the tune of 36 mpg city/40 highway in both Sonata Hybrid trims, though the Limited’s weightier frame drops its mpg average just a notch. Regenerative braking, meanwhile, continues to help recharge the 47-hp electric motor, while auto stop/start technology keeps fuel wastage to a minimum in stop-and-go situations.

Meantime, standard appearance doodads and creature comforts in the 2014 Sonata Hybrid Base should include 16-inch alloy wheels, heated power-adjustable outside mirrors, premium cloth upholstery, heated front seats, full power accessories and a 4.2-inch trip computer display. Cruise control and telescoping tilt-wheel steering are also expected back, as are dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth hands-free communications and a single-CD player with 6 speakers, satellite radio and iPod/USB interface capability.

Again, look for the Limited to once more add 17-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated rear seats, a navigation system with 7-inch touchscreen and a rear-view camera to the list of standard features. Additionally, this flagship Sonata Hybrid trim boasts a standard Infinity premium audio system with 9 speakers and HD radio, while it once again remains eligible for an available power-opening panoramic sunroof.

Safety-wise, expect the 2014 Sonata Hybrid to boast 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front and rear head airbags, front side-mounted airbags and front head restraint whiplash protection. Again, daytime running lights, front fog/driving lights, turn-signal-integrated mirrors and a remote antitheft alarm should be standard for both trims, as should Hyundai’s BlueLink/Bluetooth-interfaced emergency communications and alert system.

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Have Laptop, Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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