2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Plug-In Review

Sonata Hybrid Plug-In

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2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Plug-In Overview

For drivers who want green driving in a more conventional layout, there are hybrid and plug-in hybrid versions of traditional sedans. One such option is the 2018 Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid, which has been updated and revised for 2018. It blends efficiency with functionality -- and it’s even more affordable for 2018.

The updated features include new headlights, a new grille, and new design elements below the headlights. The Sonata comes standard with LED head- and taillights and heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals. The standard 17-inch Eco spoke alloy wheels are designed to optimize airflow around the vehicle and offer an attractive design.

Inside, the Sonata Plug-in features a new instrument panel, center stack, steering wheel, and infotainment features. It’s a handsome and intuitive layout that proves you don’t have to forsake usability to create an attractive interior.

Trims for the Sonata Plug-In include Base and Limited. The base trim comes well equipped, with remote keyless entry, push button start, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, heated front seats and dual-automatic climate control. The Sonata Plug-In comes standard with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity, first- and second-row USB ports, and support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The Sonata Plug-In also comes standard with a hands-free power liftgate that allows the vehicle to automatically open the trunk when your hands are full of bags—so long as you have your key on your person.

Moving up to the Limited, you get a host of additional driver-assistance features, along with LED dynamically bending headlights and parking sensors. Inside, the Limited adds leather upholstery, woodgrain interior trim accents, ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, and wireless device charging (for compatible devices). This trim also comes with an Infinity premium sound system and upgraded 8-inch infotainment screen, with navigation, and SiriusXM Travel Link, providing real-time traffic and weather updates. The Limited trim also gains the option of the available Pearl Blue Interior color scheme.

The plug-in features a 9.8-kwh battery pack which pairs with a 2.0-liter inline-4, which makes 154 horsepower, and a 67 horsepower electric motor to produce a net output of 202 hp. It is routed to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission that includes drive mode select.

The Sonata Plug-In comes with a charging cable that is able to plug into a wall-style power outlet. In a Level 1 (110/120v) charger, it can fully recharge in 8.7 hours. The Level 2 charging system requires use of the 240v for the dryer found in most homes. With Level 2, it can fully recharge in 2.7 hours. The Sonata Plug-In can run on full electric power up to 28 miles.

According to the EPA, the Sonata Plug-In has a mile per gallon (mpg) equivalency of 99 MPGe. Once the electric range is exhausted, the Sonata Plug-In averages 39 combined mpg. Total driving range between gas and electric power is now estimated at 600 miles.

In addition to airbags and stability control, the 2018 Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid is now standard with blind-spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert and lane-change assist. Upgrading to the Limited trim gets you driver assistance features such as automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, automatic high beams, and a smart cruise control that can stop and go with traffic. The Limited also comes with rear parking sensors and a helpful driver attention assist system.

This vehicle shows you don’t need a compromised driving experience to enjoy fuel-efficient commuting. From the wireless charging to Apple CarPlay, the Sonata Plug-In is rife with the latest technology. But what sets this vehicle apart from many other plug-ins is that it’s based on the layout of an everyday sedan, making it comfortable for the commute or the road trip.

Updated

From open-wheel racecars to specialty off-road vehicles, George Kennedy has driven it all. A career automotive journalist, George has been a contributor, editor, and/or producer at some of the most respected publications and outlets, including Consumer Reports, the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, Autoblog.com, Hemmings Classic Wheels, BoldRide.com, the Providence Journal, and WheelsTV.

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