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2017 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Overview
If you want a comfortable and efficient daily commuter, look no further than the 2017 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. This 4-door sedan envelops you in a polished and roomy cabin, delivers a hushed and comfortable ride, and won’t cost you much at the dealership or the gas pump—especially if you commute long distances. The 2017 Sonata Hybrid has an MSRP of $26,000 for the base trim, and it’s the only hybrid family sedan that’s more efficient on the highway than in the city.
The standard Sonata was redesigned in 2015, but those upgrades didn’t make it to the Hybrid Sonata until 2016—namely, a stiffer platform, refined styling, smoother performance, and more interior space. But more importantly, its hybrid drive system was also revamped, boosting the efficiency by 10 percent.
With these recent changes, it’s no surprise that the 2017 Sonata Hybrid is not much different than last year’s version. It does offer a few updates, however, including a 7-inch high-resolution touchscreen to control the infotainment system—which now comes standard with HD Radio, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. An updated Blue Link Connected Care system is also standard and features automatic collision notification, SOS emergency assistance, a monthly vehicle health report, and service scheduling, which allows you to make an appointment from your car with your preferred Hyundai dealer.
Last year’s powertrain update added a more powerful electric motor, an upgraded transmission, a downsized engine and, most significantly, an efficiency boost that brought the Sonata Hybrid’s combined fuel-economy rating up to 40 mpg for the first time. The 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder (I4) engine creates 154 hp and 140 lb-ft of torque on its own, but combined with the electric motor, which produces 51 hp and 151 lb-ft, its net output is 193 hp. A 6-speed automatic transmission sends power to the front wheels, and a trunk-mounted lithium-ion battery pack, which is boosted by a regenerative braking system, runs the electric motor.
The Sonata Hybrid SE trim offers fuel-economy figures of 39 mpg city, 45 highway, and 42 combined, while the slightly heavier Limited gets 38, 43, and 40. The reason for the greater highway efficiency is a less powerful electric motor than that of other hybrids and larger final gear ratios for the transmission.
While the Sonata Hybrid’s powertrain upgrades add valuable efficiency (which is the point of a hybrid, right?), they don’t provide an exhilarating driving experience—but if that’s what you’re looking for, you’re probably not shopping for a hybrid. The Sonata Hybrid does, however, offer a quiet and smooth ride, and it will handle corners with confidence. Its pleasant ride is complemented by comfortable seats and ample room for legs, heads, and shoulders for all passengers. The cabin materials and construction are first class, the layout is smart, and there are plenty of storage spaces for small items, in addition to a generous 13.3 cubic feet of trunk space.
Standard features for the Sonata Hybrid SE trim include automatic headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless ignition and entry, a reversing camera, Bluetooth for phone and audio, Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics system, and a 6-speaker sound system with a CD drive, SiriusXM, a USB port, and an Aux input jack. Moving up to the Limited trim level adds leather upholstery, an 8-way power driver’s seat, a 6-way power passenger seat, rear climate-control vents, 60/40 split-folding rear seats, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. An available Ultimate package comes with navigation, adaptive cruise control, a panoramic sunroof, and a 9-speaker Infinity sound system.
Safety equipment for the Sonata Hybrid includes stability and traction control, antilock brakes (ABS), side curtain airbags, a driver’s knee airbag, front side-impact airbags, and the Blue Link Connected Care system. A virtual engine-sound system is also installed, which emits engine noises through front-mounted speakers when the vehicle is in all-electric mode and going slower than 20 mph to alert pedestrians. The 2017 Sonata Hybrid received a 5-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the 2016 standard Sonata (which shares the same safety features as the Hybrid model) earned a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
After working at gas stations and car washes in high school, driving across the country more than a dozen times and even living on the road in a well-outfitted truck, Tim O'Sullivan finally started putting some of his automotive knowledge to work when he began writing for CarGurus in 2008. He's also an award-winning journalist and the Sports Editor at the Concord (NH) Monitor.
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