• Jun 22nd 2010 at 2:58PM
  • 38
2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

Hyundai is banking on the Sonata Hybrid's class-leading fuel efficiency numbers to steal sales from the likes of the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Toyota Camry Hybrid. Hyundai originally guesstimated that the Sonata Hybrid would come in with numbers of 37 miles per gallon city and 39 mpg highway. The projected highway rating would put the Sonata Hybrid out in front of both of its competitors from Ford and Toyota. Hyundai now admits that its original estimation may have been too low. As Hyundai chief executive officer John Krafcik remarked:
We're working on final calibration...and the fuel economy estimates could come in a little better than before. We said the Sonata Hybrid will have the highest fuel economy of any mid-size hybrid. We predicted 39 mpg, we may hit 40 mpg.
40 mpg certainly sounds more enticing than 39, but it's only one mpg, so what's the big deal? In the hybrid wars, breaking into the 40s is a significant achievement. Krafcik also revealed some pricing hints for the Sonata Hybrid. Krafcik told us to expect the hybrid version to closely follow the pricing of the Sonata 2.0T model, which should start at about $26,000 and top out at $30,000. The price compares favorably to the Fusion Hybrid's base price of nearly $28,000. If Hyundai hits the best-in-class highway mpg numbers and sticks to the estimated price, then the Sonata Hybrid's success is almost guaranteed.






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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 38 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Let's not forget the only two companies that make drivable full-hybrids are Ford and Toyota. GM's hybrids aren't full hybrids. Honda and Nissan hybrids provide a poor driving experience (mostly due to the transmission). Will Hyundia's hybrid be more like a Honda or more like a Ford?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hyundai's implementation of the hybrid is like BMW's. It does not have a CVT( like Ford, Toyota, Nissan and Honda). Like BMW, it uses a conventional 6 speed automatic but replaces the torque converter with an electric motor. Therefore, driving dynamics should be similar to a regular non-hybrid vehicle. Also, the Sonata hybrid is able to sustain up to 62mph highway on electric power alone. Ford and Toyota can only do approximately 40mph.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Perhaps you could learn to drive a stick shift, and learn what that third pedal on the left is used for.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Invisible, stop being a douche.

        ConceptVBS, thanks for the clarification. Aside from the battery, isn't that similar to the CR-Z? Though with 40hp of electric output, I'm not sure how it could get to 60mph in a reasonable manner.

        Limiting it to a manual transmission will alienate a majority of their target audience. This will not draw the same crowd as the Fusion and Camry.
        • 5 Years Ago
        More like a Honda, but with double the power on the motor. The torque converter is replaced by a pancake motor and that feeds into the conventional automatic transmission.. no CVT. I guess the motor also replaces the starter and alternator.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hyundai is the first company in the US to implement this technology.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Also, Hyundai is using Lithium - POLYMER battery technology, which is two generations ahead of most hybrid vehicles battery (nikel-metal hybride).

        It is lighter, more compact, has higher power density, sustain higher impact, lower heat production, able to mold into whatever shape is necessary and is less volatile than Lithium - ION batteries that are in Tesla's EV roadster.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Its an automatic transmission. The engine produces 169hp at 6000rpm and the electric motor 40hp essentially from 0 rpm.. but what helps is the 150 ft-lb of torque that the motor makes at 0 rpm.. matching the 150 ft-lb that the gasoline engine makes at higher rpms. The torque curve on this thing will be flat as a pancake. Should be very nice to drive.

        MPG will be 37 city and 40 hwy..

        http://www.greencarcongress.com/2010/03/sonata-hybrid-20100331.html

        Meanwhile Gedes just got 65mpg with his Sonata on the 1000 mile Wisconsin to Pennsylvania run... and he still had a 1/4 of the tank left.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Crap, I mixed together Invisible's response and ConceptVBS's response. I'll just stop for now. :(
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd like to see a solar cell roof..
      • 5 Years Ago
      It's funny to see how retarded some people are. When did Prius and Sonata ever considered belonging in the same class? Weight and size ring any bell? Prius weighs 3042 lbs and Sonata hybrid 3457 lbs. That's 415 lbs difference FYI.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ invisble

        Its considered by the EPA as a large car. It will be the lightest large size hybrid sedan in its class.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Invisible

        It's not only in the Large car class, but it's also 260lbs less than the smaller Fusion hybrid. I wouldn't exactly call that a "porker".
        • 5 Years Ago
        Why is the Sonata such a porker?
        • 5 Years Ago
        For real, the prius and the sonata are in different vehicle classes, by weight, size and engine size. Plus who knows, the EPA ratings might be a little low. But considering that a lot of prius owners new and old do not get the mpg that was on the sales sticker, I think Hyundai is doing a great job so far. This car is getting better gas mileage than the Honda CR-Z, and it seats 3 more people.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Way to set a low bar for yourself:

      Our new hybrid will be as good as the prius was in 2001!
        • 5 Years Ago
        It might match the original Prius in fuel economy, but it has double the horsepower of the original so will likely appear to a number of people who find the Prius underpowered. The latest Prius does a lot better than the first 2, but then there's those people who prefer the looks of a sedan.

        The Sonata Hybrid will be a direct competitor to the Fusion and Camry Hybrids - The Sonata/Fusion are very close in performance, the Camry's age is showing here. Toyota needs to step it up and at least match the Fusion/Sonata if they want to avoid losing market share.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hyundai has a direct competitor to the Prius in the works. So dont underestimate Hyundai just yet.

        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually the Prius has near identical interior space as the Camry. It just looks smaller because it's a hatch, but it's really larger than it looks.
        • 5 Years Ago
        This hybrid was built on existing platform. Think of it as a hybrid "version" of the gasoline sedan model. It's in a different size class (Large vs midsize), different weight class (400lbs more), different style (family sedan vs hatch), different engine class (55% more power) than the current Prius. If you want to compare Hyundai to Toyota, then compare the Sonata hybrid to the Camry hybrid -- which by the way is only 33mpg city and 34mpg hwy.

        A dedicated hybrid model is already in the works at Hyundai. And I'm willing to bet its numbers will be as good, if not better, than the Pruis.

        I love how people like to compare cars of today to ones 10-15 years ago. You have to account for all the added weight and power consumption due to new technology, features, and safety standards...plus the trend in rising engine size, horsepower and refinement for the past 10-15 years. They are completely different beasts.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Basically these are large, practical sedans with the same functionality as a ~$20k ICE car.

        And it has the power to haul 4 fat Americans around without any issues. It is not a hypermiling, maximum efficiency egg-shaped vehicle.

        It's a different type of car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        neptronix, I realize you are paid to promote Hyundai, but dude wake up. The Prius is midsized car!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Not considered, but classified by the EPA as a large car.. and no hatchback trickery to confuse the issue.. its a true large sedan. The Fusion Hybrid is classified as a midsize.

        It just needs large hybrid decals..
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yea its sooo different because it has a trunk instead of a hatchback.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The Prius is a midsize sedan. The Sonata is considered a Large size sedan.
        • 5 Years Ago
        you, dingbat.. this is a bigger car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Fusion Hybrid is a very nice car, roomy and pretty well appointed with very good fit and finish for an American car. I would like to see Ford drop the price to $26,900 for the base model to compete on price, because Hyundai builds pretty decent cars nowadays. I think Ford is getting close to building world class cars, especially the Fusion and Escape hybrids, but they need a car that gets close to 50 mpg to get a bit of the halo from the Prius.
      It is definitely nice to see some competitors to the Prius showing up on the market.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I would also like to see Ford produce a base hybrid Fusion. I don't think they will. They have a hard time getting certain parts (from a company that Toyota continues to buy stock in) and that limits their production. As long as their production is limited, they don't need to offer a base vehicle for the masses.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Starting at $26,000? Suddenly that vw tdi jetta at $22k looks a lot better. Or even the Honda crx starting below $20k. $4-6,000 buys a lot of gas when you consider the VW will get an avg of ~35 mpg (or more if you do a lot of highway driving) and the honda around 39 with the cvt tranny...

      I was really hoping for a starting point at ~$23,000. This way it would be a no brainer compared to other hybrids and a toss up compared to some of the better TDI cars coming across the pond from Europe these days.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That's pretty awesome if the Sonata Hybrid can get 40 MPG on the highway. That means 740 highway miles to the tank! O_O

      I would totally buy one of these if I had the money.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Actually, it's 688 for a 17.2 gallon tank. It's really not a huge difference with the 648 miles on the regular Sonata. The huge difference is with the combined mileage increase of 172 miles per fill-up. That's a lot of miles (I hate filling up). I would've waited but decided on a GLS after having concerns about the trunk versatility and the front appearance. Where does that license plate go??? It would definitely lead to a lower total cost of ownership assuming you keep it for at least a few years. I was thinking it'd come around $27-28k, not $26k (minus $3400 tax credit that expires at the end of the year). Too late. I'm still happy with my purchase.

        When the Sonata Hybrid arrives, the Lexus CT will be coming out soon, maybe the Sonata Hybrid will come out with a wagon version, the Elantra Touring Hybrid wouldn't be too far off, etc. etc. At that rate, I would never buy a new car. Of course, let's not forget the Hyundai Blue Will. My new Sonata will last me until someone actually builds that AWD plug-in hybrid hatchback with 5 star crash test results and good rear visibility (so no Prius rearview).
        • 5 Years Ago
        http://www.autoblog.com/2010/03/31/hyundai-sonata-hybrid-new-york-2010/

        Click on Press Release. By the way, there is no 2010 of this generation. 2011 is what's currently out there.
        • 5 Years Ago
        According to Yahoo! Motors ( http://autos.yahoo.com/2011_hyundai_sonata_gls_auto_pzev-specs/ ) The tank size is 18.5 gallons. Does that mean the tank is larger a little bit versus the 2010?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hmmm, it looks like the tank size went up from 17.7 gallons to 18.5 from 2010 to 2011. So then, yes, the hybrid could get 740 highway miles to the tank. :D
      • 5 Years Ago
      Doesn't really beat the Ford, it gets worse city and better highway MPG, but city mpg is more important.

      Pretty hilarious that this car beats the Camry. 10-15 years of Prius development & the new kid on the block trumps you... how's that feel.. lol.

      But for a few thousand dollars less, they may just have a winner here. Especially if it comes with an atkinson cycle version of the 2.4L DI motor.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think it does beat the Ford. It may lose to Ford in city driving by 4mpg, but Ford loses to this by 4mpg in hwy driving. It sounds like a wash at this point. But it was said somewhere that the average driver will drive on the highway 57% of the time.

        Not to mention...
        It produces 209hp vs Fusion's 191hp
        It's roomier than the Fusion, even a different EPA class size
        It weighs less than the Fusion by 260lbs
        It can be driven up to 62mph on electric alone vs Fusion's 47mph
        It's (expected to be) priced $2,000 less
        It has a longer bumper-to-bumper (2 years more) and powertrain (5 years more) warranty
        • 5 Years Ago
        Well... it trumps the camry.
        But then - what about the prius itself?
        • 5 Years Ago
        It probably will be an atkinson cycle.. the standard Theta II produces 200hp in the regular Sonata, but in this hybrid application its only making 169hp, so probably it has been atkinsonized.

        The Fusion Hybrid gets 41 city / 36 hwy, the Sonata will be 37 city / 40hwy.. this is probably due to the parallel architecture that Ford/Toyota uses with the planetary gearsets.. the conventional transmission in the Sonata locks up at high speeds in the hwy and gives better efficiency.. but with lower mpg in city driving.
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