2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Review

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2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Overview

Hyundai has apparently seen the light, and its Sonata Hybrid is born again for 2016. This 5-passenger midsize gas/electric sedan, once an afterthought in this eco-minded niche, has been given the same refresh the Korean automaker put into the fully gas-powered Sonata lineup for the 2015 model year. Upgrades include a new front fascia, grille and headlight design; some brand new exterior colors and interior accent improvements; and a new instrument cluster, including a hybrid-dedicated trip computer with a 4.5-inch touchscreen. Additionally, Hyundai now includes its BlueLink apps as standard equipment in both the Base and Limited Sonata Hybrid trims, each of which returns from 2015.

Headlining the thoroughgoing changes for the 2016 Sonata Hybrid, however, is a brand new powertrain that features a 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder (I4) gasoline engine mated with a 38-kilowatt electric motor and a new 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission. A state-of-the-art lithium polymer battery pack, again bolstered by regenerative braking, puts out 1.6 kilowatts per hour (kWh), a 13 percent increase over the 2015 iteration, and good enough, claims Hyundai, to power the upcoming version to 75 mph for short sprints using battery power alone. Look for a total of 193 hp and 140 lb-ft of torque from the upgraded drivetrain, with mileage estimated, again by the folks at Hyundai, to be 39 mpg city/44 highway/42 combined, which works out to a significant improvement over the current Sonata Hybrid's 36/40/38.

As for appearance and creature comforts, there’s no official word yet–this next-gen Sonata Hybrid won’t be going on sale till later this summer–but look for this finally classy 4-door to return with 16- or 17-inch alloy wheels and cloth or leather upholstery, depending on the selected trim. Each 2016 trim, though, will doubtless host standard heated power-adjustable outside mirrors, heated front seats, keyless entry and ignition, cruise control, telescoping tilt-wheel steering, dual-zone climate control, and a rear-view camera.

Tech-wise, bolstering the new hybrid-oriented trip computer (which Hyundai calls a Hybrid Performance Display) and the newly standard BlueLink infotainment and smartphone apps are such returning niceties as Bluetooth connectivity and a CD player complemented by 6 speakers, satellite radio, HD Radio, and an auxiliary audio input.

The still-top-shelf 2016 Sonata Hybrid Limited, furthermore, throws such extra standard perks as even more upgrades to the newly upgraded cabin accents as well as a power-adjustable driver’s seat and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror into the mix.

Currently, the sole option worth noting is the return of the Premium package to the 2016 Sonata Hybrid Limited trim. This extra-cost bundle currently adds a glossy exterior finish, a panoramic power sunroof, GPS navigation, and a 9-speaker Infinity premium audio system with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment display to this flagship variant’s already hefty list of goodies.

Look for the 2016 Sonata Hybrid lineup to again boast such standard safety equipment as 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags, and front and rear head airbags, along with LED running lights, front fog/driving lights, and turn-signal-integrated mirrors. A remote antitheft alarm will also remain standard for 2016, along with BlueLink emergency telematics that include a programmable speed- and audio-governing system similar to Ford’s touted MyKey feature.

The next-gen Sonata Hybrid is also slated to debut such safety options as lane-keeping assist, forward-collision warnings, and rear cross-traffic alerts, but so far, there's no word on such safety extras as blind-spot monitoring or adaptive cruise control.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the current Sonata Hybrid its best 5-star rating overall, while the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the 2015 Sonata Hybrid its highest Good rating in all tests except small-overlap front-offset, for which the current edition received a next-to-worst Marginal rating.

All in all, expect the new and improved Sonata Hybrid to finally mount a serious challenge against such traditional rivals as Ford’s nimble Fusion Hybrid and Honda’s uber-capable, not to mention admirably handsome, Accord Hybrid for the 2016 model year. Oh, and a spanking new Sonata Plug-In Hybrid sedan, covered as a separate model, also debuts for 2016.

Updated
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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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Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Questions

Radio Display

2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited. When playing the radio it does not display the artist or song title. When using Sirius radio it does display artist and song title. Can the artist and song title...

22 views with 1 answer (last answer 2 months ago)

Airbag Light Question

Airbag light turns on every time I use the cigarette plug when using as a accessory plug. A warning message is then triggered about a blue link issue.

9 views with 1 answer (last answer 8 months ago)