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Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

acdiiacdii Posts: 753
edited January 2014 in Hyundai
I believe it is time for this model to have it's own thread now since it is officially on the market.

I saw the TV ads, and checked it out online, This car is showing great promise and a drivers car to boot, where the Fusion, Prius and Camry do not.

It is the first of it's kind to use the new Lithium/Polymer battery pack, something I personally use in my R/C Helicopters. Very lightweight, provide good power curve, and small in comparison to equivalent NiMh battery packs. Each cell provide 3.7 volts, compared to 1.5 volts of the other types. LiPo batteries do need to be balanced charged, so Hopefully Hyundai has that technology down, and considering they are using LG for the batteries, there is a very good possibility that they are.

It uses their 6 Speed electronic transmission, as opposed to the CVT and electric motor combination's the others use. The Electric drive motor that they use is in place of where the torque converter would be in a standard drive-train. This gives the car the ability to reach 74 MPH on pure electric. It also has the most HP of any Hybrid model @ 206 HP. The ability to shift gears is a big plus, something the other Hybrids lack, and after having owned and put 50K miles on the Camry and Prius myself, I can see this as a big well done on Hyundai's part.

The car itself has it's own style, specifically designed for low COD, .25, which is right where the Prius is, making it one slippery family sedan.

What I think will help make this car sell is the price, it's base price is lower than either the Fusion or the Camry, Fully loaded up to $3,000 less than either of its competitors.

It comes with the same warranty as the regular Sonata, 60 month 60k miles B2B, and 10 year, 100K drivetrain.

This car shows good promise, 6 speed transmission, so it should have plenty of Gitup and go, something the other Hybrids lack, Good pricing, puts it right in the market as an affordable Hybrid family Sedan.

EPA ratings are 35/40/37. Above the Camry, and just below the Fusion. Running on pure electric at highway speeds, something no other Hybrid can yet do, for how long though, is a wait and see.

Drawbacks however, there are only two models, two prices. Base and fully loaded, nothing in between, something that may hurt sales, as you only have a choice between a $26k model or a $31k model.

So has anyone seen one, test driven one, or bought one yet? Would be nice to know how the car handles.


  • I too would be interested to hear of anyone's experience.

    Is the Sonata Hybrid worth it over the Elantra?
  • Went to the CHICAGO AUTO SHOW last week. Had been researching the FORD FOCUS 2012 and was 99% set to buy that car. I want a technologically advanced car that could fit 5 (have 4 kids) and FORD was delivering the goods.
    I'd read every article I could find - watched videos - I was SOLD, but car wasn't due until '1st quarter 2011' - so I went to the Auto show to check it out. I couldn't fit in the thing. (I'm 6'2) Legs smashed up against the corner of the dashboard - just awful. I tried over and over at the show to see if, maybe I could adjust it somehow - no luck. Had to give up on the card I'd been saving for....
    Walked the entire show floor over and over, nothing caught my interest (in my price point of course - I didn't waste time on $60,000 cards I can't afford or prototypes that are NEVER made). Was reluctant to look at HYUNDAI as I'd convinced myself that this time I'd buy AMERICAN and not pay insane PARTS costs like I'd done the last 6 years with my MINI-COOPER.
    Hyundai had 2 of the HYBRID models on the floor and I kept going back to the light blue one. I fit in it fine, back seat had more room than FORD FOCUS 2012 for my kids.
    Dashboard was cool - had a USB hub in a logical spot - loved that it was partially electric (I love how quiet 100% electric cars were - so this is getting me closer to that) but what really sold me was the PANORAMIC SUN ROOF from the front to the back of the car. It just feels GREAT - it's like having a convertible without all the wind - feels SO SO NICE.

    I was sick to death of WAITING for the FORD FOCUS 2012 so I tried to talk myself in to simply buying the regular SONATA 2011 since they're available now - but as soon as I sat in one it totally lost that OPEN feeling that you get from the HYBRID - I just couldn't do it.

    So now I'm stuck waiting for the HYBRID to be released (late March - early April? no one working for HYUNDAI would commit to any date). The other disappointing bit about the HYBRID is that both models had the BLUE LINK (not to be confused with BLUE DRIVE) forthcoming technology competitor to FORD'S SYNC which had me very excited - only to find out 'Oh no, we're not offering that on the HYBRID - only on the REGULAR model'
    ''But none of the regular models have it on your show floor - just both HYBRIDS have it???"
    "Yeah, we don't know why Hyundai did that - it's confusing".

    Anyway - now I'm waiting on pins and needles to take this thing for a test drive and buy it. I'm guessing I'll have little to no wiggle room on price - (I need to have the high end model - you MUST have the panoramic sun roofs)- since it's a new car. Hoping they'll still have 2.9% financing or even better 0% going on when it's released...

    Boy I could keep on typing about this - but I'll try and cut it short with just 2 more comments. Another part that has me concerned were the leather seats. Both floor models drivers leather seats looked like HELL. Completely worn apart, and while I understand that thousands of people (thin, fat, dirty, the whole gambit) are sliding in and out of this thing day in and day out at the show) - I sure as hell don't want my $32,000 car looking like that in a few years? Does Hyundai offer any kind of extra leather protection?

    Also heard a few bad things about the 100,000 mile warranty -typical stories of 'oh that parts not covered - sure it's PART of the power train but not the part that's covered. Has anyone found it worth spending an extra 1,000 to get a bumper to bumper extended warranty for their Hyundais?
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    I'm pretty sure the Focus is not in the same class as the Sonata. The Fusion is the same class, and I'm sure you can fit in that easily enough. It's what I drive, and it has been a very good car for the past 18 months and 30K miles. It isn't the Hybrid model though, I got the Sport. If the wait gets to you, go check out the Fusions, Ford knocked the ball out of the park with them.

    From what I read on Hyundai's website,
    Blue Link will be available on 2012 Sonata, Sonata Hybrid, and the all-new exciting Veloster 3-door coupe. Over the next couple of years, Blue Link will be rolled out and available on all our models.

    Available this summer.

    As far as warranty goes on the Hyundai's, you will always hear stories about this and that, but never in regards to good things. I had a Veracruz, and had it been AWD, would still have it. I had to have the radio replaced on it under warranty, took it in, they ordered a new radio, turned out to be boxed wrong so they had to order a different one, which came in a week later. When they replaced the radio though they damaged the steering wheel, which they promptly replaced, but reset my trip odometer's, which ticked me off, I had the second one set at 0 when I bought the car to keep track of how many miles I put on it. Overall though they did a good job, no hassles, no issues, as for the steering wheel, sh.. happens, and they covered it well.
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    I read up on Blue Link, it is similar to Gm's Onstar where you need a separate Cell account for the car. It is also going to be fee based.

    Ford Sync has no fees, and uses your existing cell phone. It offers pretty much the same features as 911 assist, turn by turn directions, and car maintenance checks, however it does not have live person assist. The difference is, when an airbag deploys in Onstar, or Blue Link, it doesnt call 911, it calls the center instead, then they call 911. The Ford system calls 911 direct, and sends GPS coords to 911 direct for the E911 services. Even if your phone gets tossed around, it will still work via the Bluetooth, and it works for at least 30' outside of the car.

    One day my wife was driving our Ex-Camry, which had Bluetooth, I was in the Veracruz behind her, which did not. I called her, and her car rang her her phone via my phone, freaked her out. The phone's bluetooth has pretty good range, so dont let those commercials for Onstar fool you when they show your phone flying around. With the Ford Sync, 911 assist will still work in a crash, just as well as Onstar and Bluelink.
  • I'll give the FORD FUSION a try , though it's more expensive than the Sonata Hybrid - and searching for one I found a whopping 1 in my area to choose from.
    I do love the FORD SYNC and really wanted that - but the car just looked so blah - either way, I'll give it a drive. If I love it, maybe they can find a specific color/style that I want somewhere in the fleet...

    The SONATA HYBRID with BLUE LINK won't be out until NEXT YEAR - and I certainly can not wait that long. When I still thought I'd be getting the FORD FOCUS 2012 I couldn't wait for next year for the MAYBE electric version either - I've seen how 'quickly' CHEVY is getting their hybrid out and the same with the LEAF....
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    I traded a Camry Hybrid in for the Fusion Sport, the Sonata wasn't available at the time. The Fusion is a far better car all around than the Camry was. I would not recommend a Camry to anyone after putting 32k on one. If the new Sonata was out, at the time I would have given it a very close look. I had a Veracruz, and it was a very nice car, rode nice, good power, very quiet, and it held its value very well. Hyundai is putting the [non-permissible content removed] cars to shame with what they are putting out, and I would not be surprised to see them take the lead in the next few years. They need to work on their dealerships a bit to get top position, but I have a good feeling they will.
  • Being new to hybrids, I was wondering if the Lithium battery is covered as part of the "power train"? I would have to assume that it is a costly item if replaced by the consumer. Does it fall under the 100K warranty? 60K B2B warranty?
    Also, there is always the question of buying a new model or waiting a year for the dust to clear.
    Thanks for the forum and all the useful input.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,933
    Hyundai has said the 10 year, 100,000 mile powertrain warranty will apply to the hybrid components including the battery. 000-mile-warranty.html

    Hybrid cars typically have a long warranty on the powertrain battery, ranging from 8-10 years and 100,000-150,000 miles.
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    Considering there are still Gen I Prius out there still running on their original battery pack, they tend to last the life of the car. That was the biggest misconception people had on Hybrids, OH just wait until you have to replace the battery! :)
  • Looks like the "fake" engine noise switch installed in the Sonata hybrid is what has made them delay it's release. y-virtual-engin/
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    What a farce that is. If people would stop look and listen, they would SEE that a car was coming. I had a Camry Hybrid, I could hear that car coming 300 feet away. However, I can not hear my Fusion Sport from the same distance. Stupid government with their stupid laws to protect those too stupid to open their eyes and look. Add this law to the list of Darwinisms.

    We had a Hyundai Veracruz, that motor was so quiet at idle, I had a hard time telling if it was actually running. If fact it was quieter than the Prius was when its motor was running. The majority of the cars on the road are quiet, the only sound you hear are the tires on the road.
  • fushigifushigi Chicago suburbsPosts: 1,459
    Yeah, if only those stupid blind pedestrians would open their eyes and look. :P

    That said, I agree there are enough other noise sources like tire/road noise and enough regular cars that are very quiet that adding noise to inherently quiet powertrains doesn't make sense.
    2017 Infiniti QX60 (me), 2012 Hyundai Elantra (wife)
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    I didnt say blind people! :) I was more referring to those who are so caught up in their Ipods, Ipads, Iphones etc, texting, with the ear buds in and not paying any attention to where they are going or what is going on around them. You know, like the one who walked right into a water fountain?

    I'll bet the majority of blind people would be able to discern the noise from a hybrid easier than a regular car. Their hearing is much more attuned to sound than those of us who can see. As I mentioned before, the Camry has a distinctive whine when on electric power that I can hear from 300 feet away, especially when the brakes are being applied. Granted, the Prius when going 5 miles an hour is VERY quiet, but at 5 MPH, it stops in 6 inches. All they really need is a fan running to make them as loud as most other cars.
  • magoo43magoo43 Posts: 4
    Do all hybrid cars have this "virtual engine noise"?
  • gccomicsgccomics Posts: 6
    No. In fact it's one of the reasons I stopped waiting for the Hyundai hybrid and just bought a Ford Fusion Hybrid.
    Love that it makes no noise in hv mode - you glide around. Check out a 2011 model, you'll be glad you did.

    Bigger than the Hyundai, if that's important to you...
  • magoo43magoo43 Posts: 4
    Just saw info re Kai Optima Hybrid. I know this is not a Kai forum but I believe that they have same drivetrain, Lithium battery, same power rating. Actually what I am asking is Kai and Hyundai the same" company? From reading the above responses, people are really up on all the latest info and it's a great help. If I have violated the forum rules by trying to get more up to date on the Kai, then I apologize. Please keep the info coming, I think we all benefit from it.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,933
    No, Kai is the spiritual leader of the Bajorans. ;) Kia is not the same company as Hyundai, but they are part owned by the Hyundai Kia Automotive Group.
  • gccomicsgccomics Posts: 6
    When I helped my mother-in-law buy a new car last year the Hyundai dealers were real pricks to her so we mentioned checking out Kia since it's owned by Hyundai anyway --
    they were quick to point out that Kia cars are basically the [non-permissible content removed] step childs of Hyundais and not in the same class at all.

    Kia dealers were NOT happy to hear us pass that little bit of info. on. It's quite the back stabbing industry. I thought the Kia car she got was fine, but she's longing for her old Hyundai again...

    The problem with car researching is you can find dirt on every manufacturer/car/model - somewhere someone had a problem with the car you want to buy and will tell you up and down how it's going to be the biggest mistake you've ever made. Take both positive/negatives with a grain of salt...
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    is their dealerships. This is the last hurdle they need to cross before they can be in the same league as, Lexus, and other high end car companies, Hyundai is striving for that market with the Genesis and Equis, and Veracruz models. Now with the new Hybrid they are competing directly against the leaders, Ford and Toyota. They had better start getting their dealers on the same track or they will have a tough time selling these cars, especially in the service department. There are a few good ones, and they need to use them as examples for the rest that aren't very good. They also need to work on the financial side of the dealers, this was one of the reasons I didn't go back for the AWD version of the Veracruz when we decided the FWD version we had just didn't cut it in snow like we hoped it would. When I could easily get low rate financing from a Ford dealer, one shot, no added insurance to get the low rate, why would I go to Hyundai? When I got the Veracruz, the rate wasn't as low as it should have been, not when I got 2.9% on the Prius, no questions asked, and to get the rate they had I had to get insurance on it. If I didn't had the want or need for the Veracruz, I would have walked on it. The Ford Flex was still in its infancy stage, no pricing on it, no brochures, just the car show model of the finished product, and it wasn't even open to sit in, where the Veracruz was, and we were totally impressed with it, and immediately went out and bought it. The first dealer we went to told us, if you want low financing, get it yourself, so we didn't buy it there.

    The Veracruz was very nice, had a quiet ride, was comfortable, plenty of power, somewhat decent gas mileage, had a lot of toys in it, comparable to the Lexus rx350, and it looked nice too. For the most part it drove rather well, but one day in a snow storm that had the slushy wet stuff, the back end just wouldn't trail and I had to fight the wheel a lot to keep it straight, and that's when we decided we needed AWD where we live. Now had Hyundai had decent financing, I most likely would have gone for a 2010 Limited AWD, but since they don't, I went with the Flex SEL Ecoboost instead, and actually pay less per month for it too, and it was a more expensive vehicle.

    So Hyundai if you are reading these, those two items right there, you need to work on, and you will sell more cars, believe me I would like nothing more to grab one of your Sonata Hybrids, provided you have great service, and good financing.
  • flyboy21flyboy21 Posts: 7
    I have notice that there have not been any post for 10 days? I find this hard to believe since it was very active before. I should be getting my dash kit in a day or 2. I know it will enrich the interior.
  • jsun2399jsun2399 Posts: 2
    Anxiously waiting for the hybrid. I spoke to one of the reps at Hyndai and asked is it true that the battery, not the hybrid battery, is located in the trunk. He told me yes. I asked him how does the battery vent and he avoided my question.

    Can anyone out there comment on the venting issue?
  • fushigifushigi Chicago suburbsPosts: 1,459
    I can't say anything about the venting but the battery being relocated to under the rear seats or the trunk area is not new. My niece's Sebring has it under the rear seat. I think the Genesis or Equus also has it relocated.

    One thing to consider is that the battery will be subject to less extreme heat if it's moved out of the engine bay so it may help battery longevity in the long run. For sure it'll help a car's handling since it'll be a little closer to a 50-50 front-rear weight distribution.

    I don't view it as a bad thing. Automakers replacing spare tires with a can of fix-a-flat, however, I do view as not good. That's a weight & cost saving step I just can't endorse.
    2017 Infiniti QX60 (me), 2012 Hyundai Elantra (wife)
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    Both the Prius and the Camry Hybrid have the battery in the trunk. Batteries are sealed these days, so not much need for venting. Since the battery is only used to power 12v devices, like lights and radio, and no longer needed to crank a starter, they are smaller and don't cycle has hard as those in a normal car, so less heat produced too.

    Hybrids are a whole new breed of car, and a lot of the old ways no longer apply, in both maintenance, how they work, and how they are driven.
  • mrmagoo1mrmagoo1 Posts: 15
    Has anyone heard or read whent he Sonata Hybrid is coming out? The dealer doesn't know either. Thanks
  • saaber1saaber1 Posts: 31
    the hybrids are almost here and i placed a deposit on one since the NJ dealership is only getting 7 of them (mix of standard and premium).

    anybody leased one yet? i would like to know what kind of numbers you are working with.

    thanks in advanced,
    I just saw one in person, blue in color. Looks pretty good in person. I'm in Savannah, GA.
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    Good, looks like they are finally hitting the market.
  • saaber1saaber1 Posts: 31
    I saw the hybrid at the NY auto show today. It's sharp looking and it should be any day now for all dealerships in NY metro area to get them in stock. The other car i saw and was very impressed by was the Kia optima hybrid which is like a sister to the sonata hybrid. There will be some competition although the sonata has a leg up by being first to market.
  • kyrptokyrpto Posts: 216
    Purchased possibly the first Hybrid Sonata in Virginia today from Fairfax Hyundai.
    Rode an Amtrak train from nearby Danville, Va. To Manassas this morning - it was 3 hrs. late due to storm damage in Alabama - took a half mile test drive to fill up the car, did the paperwork, $26,700 (Pac 1) plus $389 processing, and drove back to Southside Virginia mostly via Route 29. Drove about 30 miles on I 66 first.

    On this "green" vehicle I got an amazing 47.5 MPG from NOVA to my carport, just over 250 miles. Very little AC. Trip computer indicates an almost 400 mile range still remaining.

    Having previously owned a 1st gen Highlander Hybrid for 4 years helped me improve MPG skills. The Hyundai’s displays also make it easy to raise the MPG. And this is a strong hybrid system. My eco score began at 1 in NOVA and ended up a 14 at home.

    The Fairfax dealership is 25 years old and sells about 300 cars per month. Also got a call from a Greensboro, NC (100 units monthly) dealership Thursday. They got notification of 2 Sonata hybrids “on the truck.” Pearson, the big outfit in Richmond, was still waiting when I talked with them midweek.

    Nationwide you can get .9% and 1.9% on 36 and 48 months respectively so basically another home run for Hyundai, IMO. This brand is on fire what with the Japanese situation and increasing demand for higher mileage cars. I'm predicting this sporty Sonata Hybrid will be popping up all over shortly.
  • acdiiacdii Posts: 753
    1.9% for 48 months on a brand spanking new Hybrid? Unheard of! Way to go Hyundai!
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