Hyundai is hoping prospective car buyers won't quibble with a 1.3 percent price hike for its Sonata Hybrid this year. Heck, the South Korean automaker brought the price down a year ago, so everyone's theoretically almost even. Or so they hope.

Hyundai is boosting the base MSRP on the 2014 hybrid sedan by $350 to an even $26,000, with the top-of-the-line version now priced at $30,750. The company's probably feeling pretty confident after coming off its best sales year ever in the US. Last year, Hyundai boosted unit sales by 2.5 percent to almost 720,800 units domestically. Oddly, Sonata sales fell enough last year for Elantra to become Hyundai's new best-selling model in the US. And the company doesn't break out sales of the Sonata Hybrid (don't feel bad, sister company Kia doesn't break out hybrid sales figures for its twin Optima either).

A year ago - and after a very public lowering of fuel economy numbers - Hyundai increasing the Sonata Hybrid's fuel efficiency while cutting its price, and even arranged for bigger cargo space to boot. Specifically, the 2013 model-year Sonata Hybrid increased fuel efficiency to a 36/40/38 miles per gallon split while cutting its price by $200 to a base MSRP of $25,650. Check out Hyundai's press release on the 2014 Sonata Hybrid below.
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2014 Sonata Hybrid Refreshes Interior With New Standard Premium Features and Maximizes Electric-Only Driving Efficiency
Hyundai Continues Industry-Exclusive Hybrid Lifetime Battery Warranty

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, Calif., March 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Hyundai Motor America has announced pricing for the 2014 Sonata Hybrid, starting at $26,000 for the extraordinarily well-equipped Sonata Hybrid and $30,750 for the range-topping Sonata Hybrid Limited. Hyundai Motor America will continue to offer an industry-exclusive Hybrid Lifetime Battery Warranty on the 2014 Sonata Hybrid.

2014 SONATA HYBRID PRICING

Model
Engine
Transmission
MSRP
Sonata Hybrid
2.4L Atkinson 4-cyl. Hybrid
6-Speed A/T
$26,000
Sonata Hybrid Limited
2.4L Atkinson 4-cyl. Hybrid
6-Speed A/T
$30,750
Freight Charges for the 2014MY Sonata Hybrid are $810 and not included in the prices above.

The 2014 Sonata Hybrid continues to demonstrate Hyundai's commitment to innovation with its advanced Hybrid Blue Drive architecture, which features a powerful 35 kW electric motor, 47 kW Lithium Polymer battery pack and an optimized hybrid operating strategy. The Hybrid Blue Drive system is paired with a 2.4-liter Theta II four-cylinder engine that efficiently runs on an Atkinson cycle and six-speed hybrid automatic transmission to generate 199 combined net horsepower. This advanced powertrain maintains the improved fuel efficiencies of the Sonata Hybrid by increasing the overall amount of available electrical drive power, allowing drivers to go further between fill ups.

As in previous Sonata Hybrids, the 2014 Sonata Hybrid features a clutch to couple the gasoline engine with the drivetrain. When in pure electric drive, the Sonata Hybrid can drive electrically up to 74 miles per hour.

ELECTRIC-ONLY DRIVING

Using a higher output 35 kW electric motor and the more powerful 47 kW Lithium Polymer battery pack introduced for the 2013 model year, the Hybrid Blue Drive powertrain maximizes electric-only driving. The improved operating system takes advantage of newly developed driving pattern detection and engine on/off optimization logic. The availability of additional battery energy helps save fuel by allowing greater flexibility in running the gasoline engine at optimum efficiency. Better kinetic energy recovery and increased charging efficiency allows the Sonata Hybrid in all-electric mode more often and for longer periods of time, increasing fuel economy.

The 2014 Sonata Hybrid utilizes the all-electric mode during optimal moments such as highway driving and saves the gasoline engine start-up for conditions that require a heavier dose of power. All of this translates to money saved for the driver.

NEW STANDARD EQUIPMENT HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2014MY

LED interior dome lights
Touchscreen color audio with HD Radio
Rearview camera
FLUIDIC SCULPTURE DESIGN LANGUAGE

Fluidic Sculpture is the consistent, cohesive design language used throughout the entire Hyundai showroom. It gives the Sonata Hybrid an upscale appearance along with aerodynamics that helps reduce wind noise and improve fuel economy. The unique front fascia and rear bumper with LED accent headlights and LED taillights boost the flowing lines and integrate a new level of design precision. The fluid and precise exterior theme is completed by a set of 17-inch eco-spoke wheels on the Sonata Hybrid Limited.

LITHIUM-POLYMER BATTERY TECHNOLOGY

The 2014 Sonata Hybrid features a lithium-polymer battery pack, which has been established as the next generation of lithium-ion technology, and is ideally suited to automotive applications thanks to a particularly robust and reliable chemistry.

The lithium-polymer cells, developed with Hyundai's partner LG Chem, use a manganese-spinel chemistry that provides an excellent compromise between power delivery, energy density and thermal stability. Thermal stability is critical to ensuring durability, effectively eliminating the need to replace the battery pack during the normal lifespan of the vehicle. The electrodes in older lithium-ion chemistries expand and contract significantly with the heating and cooling that naturally occur during charging and discharging. This thermal expansion causes cracks in the electrodes, which ultimately reduces the cell's ability to hold a charge. Manganese-spinel lithium-polymer cells have much lower expansion rates and are thus able to go through tens-of-thousands of charge cycles even without having to use a heavier, liquid-cooling system.

LITHIUM POLYMER BATTERY PACK

The 2014 Sonata Hybrid's 47 kW lithium polymer battery pack is more energy dense than the nickel-metal hydride batteries used in competitors' hybrid vehicles. At 91 pounds, the lightweight battery helps improve overall vehicle weight and fuel economy. The improved battery pack is key to recovering more kinetic energy from braking and charging from the engine, when needed, to help propel the vehicle. The optimized hybrid system allows more all-electric driving with additional usable energy stored in the battery, cutting both fuel consumption and emissions.

POWERFUL OUTPUT ELECTRIC MOTOR

The 2014 Sonata Hybrid's lithium polymer battery stores more energy, yielding a powerful output of 35 kW to the electric traction motor. The higher output electric motor is also essential to improving energy capture during regenerative braking. The regenerative energy is used for electric drive mode before the system has to start the internal combustion engine, sustaining a longer all-electric driving mode for continued fuel efficiency and improved drivability.

HYBRID STARTER GENERATOR

HSG is primarily used to start the engine and charge the hybrid battery. The HSG operates at the same 270 volts as the electric traction motor and battery and is also used to improve clutch engagement when synchronizing engine to transmission speed. The primary traction motor is coupled to the transmission and cannot be used to charge the hybrid battery when the car is stationary. If the battery state of charge is low and the car is stationary, the HSG will automatically restart the engine, which then charges the Lithium Polymer battery pack.

When the driver releases the brake and presses the accelerator, the Sonata Hybrid will pull away smoothly in electric drive mode with the clutch still disengaged. In this mode, the Sonata will briefly behave like an electric vehicle. Once the car is in motion and torque demand increases, the clutch will engage and send engine tractive effort through the transmission again, which enables the vehicle to achieve exceptionally smooth starts.

AERODYNAMICS

The body of the 2014 Sonata Hybrid remains unchanged, but it still features the unique exterior that sets it apart from other Sonatas. The combination of a re-shaped front and rear fascias with a deeper air dam, extended rocker panels and lower drag wheels allow air to flow around the body with less resistance. The drag coefficient for the Sonata Hybrid is an exceptionally low 0.25 that compares favorably to the Toyota Camry Hybrid (0.27) and the Ford Fusion Hybrid (0.27).

The ability to easily slip through the air, combined with low rolling resistance tires and the reduced friction in the optimized Hybrid Blue Drive powertrain, significantly reduces the amount of energy required to maintain highway speeds. The result is the remarkable highway fuel efficiency of the Sonata Hybrid.

TRIM LEVELS

The 2014 Sonata Hybrid is available in two different trim levels to choose from – Sonata Hybrid and Sonata Hybrid Limited.

EPA Estimated Fuel Economy*



City
Highway
Combined
Sonata Hybrid
36
40
38
Sonata Hybrid Limited
36
40
37
*For comparison only. Mileage may vary with options, driving conditions, driving habits and vehicle's condition.

HYBRID LIFETIME BATTERY WARRANTY

The 2014 Sonata Hybrid also comes with Hyundai's Hybrid Lifetime Battery Warranty, which stems from Hyundai's philosophy to make advanced technology accessible across a wide customer base. The coverage expands the benefits of Hyundai Assurance, the industry's most comprehensive warranty program, including an unsurpassed 10-year powertrain warranty.

The Hyundai Lifetime Hybrid Battery Warranty ensures that if the Sonata Hybrid lithium-polymer battery ever needs replacement, Hyundai will replace the battery and cover recycling costs for the old battery pack free-of-charge to the original owner. The coverage is not transferrable, and does not apply to lease and commercial vehicles or vehicles serviced outside the U.S.

Sonata Hybrid Packaging

The 2014 Sonata Hybrid MSRP is $26,000, excluding $810 freight and includes the following standard equipment:

2.4L Atkinson Cycle 4-cylinder hybrid engine
Hybrid Starter-Generator (HSG)
Permanent magnet high-power density motor
270V lithium polymer battery
6-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC®
Electronic stability control with traction control system
ABS with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist
Active front head restraints
Front, front seat side and curtain airbags
Virtual Engine Sound System (VESS)
Rearview camera
16-inch Eco-spoke alloy wheels
Headlight LED accents
LED taillights
Front fog lights
Side mirror-mounted turn signal indicators
Unique, tinted chrome front grille
Bodyside molding tinted chrome inserts
Chrome exterior door handles
Proximity entry with push-button start
Remote keyless entry, alarm and immobilizer
Electroluminescent instrument cluster (Supervision)
4.2-inch color TFT multi-function trip computer with hybrid technology display
Dual automatic temperature control
Heated front seats
Chrome interior door handles
Leatherette interior door panel inserts
Tilt & telescopic steering wheel with cruise, audio and phone controls
Metalgrain appearance interior accents
Touchscreen color audio
AM/FM/SiriusXM/CD/MP3 with iPod®/USB & auxiliary input jacks
HD Radio® Technology with multicasting
Power windows, locks, heated mirrors
Integrated Bluetooth® with phonebook transfer
Hyundai Blue Link Telematics system
Automatic light control
Solar control glass
LED interior dome lights
Sonata Hybrid Limited

The 2014 Sonata Hybrid Limited MSRP is $30,750, excluding $810 freight, and includes the following standard equipment:

17-inch Eco-spoke alloy wheels with unique finish
Navigation system with high-resolution 7-inch touchscreen display
Infinity® premium speakers, subwoofer and external amplifier (400-watt)
Leather seating surfaces
Leather-wrapped steering wheel & shift knob
Power driver seat with lumbar support
Auto-dimming mirror/HomeLink®/Compass
Premium door sill plates
SiriusXM® NavTraffic, NavWeather and Sports & Stocks w/ 90-Day Trial
Panoramic Sunroof Package ($1,000 MSRP)

Panoramic Sunroof
Glossy black door surround and outside mirror housing
HYUNDAI MOTOR AMERICA

Hyundai Motor America, headquartered in Fountain Valley, Calif., is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Co. of Korea. Hyundai vehicles are distributed throughout the United States by Hyundai Motor America and are sold and serviced through more than 820 dealerships nationwide. All Hyundai vehicles sold in the U.S. are covered by the Hyundai Assurance program, which includes the 5-year/60,000-mile fully transferable new vehicle limited warranty, Hyundai's 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain limited warranty, and five years of complimentary Roadside Assistance. Hyundai Assurance includes Assurance Connected Care that provides owners of Hyundai models equipped with the Hyundai Blue Link telematics system with proactive safety and car care services complimentary for three years. These services include Automatic Collision Notification, Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Vehicle Diagnostic Alert, Monthly Vehicle Health Report and in-vehicle service scheduling.

For more details on Hyundai Assurance, please visit www.HyundaiAssurance.com

Please visit our media website at www.hyundainews.com and our blog at www.hyundailikesunday.com

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Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140304/LA76011
Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131002/LA90771LOGO-b

SOURCE Hyundai Motor America


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 2 Comments
      paulwesterberg
      • 1 Day Ago
      With the relatively affordable Honda Insight exiting the market hybrid prices will likely rise.
      mary.keana
      • 1 Day Ago
      Autoblog, why did you show pics of the 2.0T limited? The hybrid has that horrible chrome mustache on top of the catfish mouth grill!