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The wraps are off Hyundai's next-generation Sonata Hybrid after an unveiling in Seoul, South Korea, and the latest model brings an improved powertrain and slight styling tweaks.

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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.

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Corvette C7 fuel economy, 2014 Mazda3 sedan, Isle of Man

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Hyundai's green-cred future's so bright, its factory roof's gotta wear shades. The South Korean automaker will install that country's largest solar-panel system when it deploys about 40,000 solar voltaic panels on the roof of its Asan plant later this year.

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Always looking for ways to one-up its Japanese competitors, Hyundai has announced that a brake override system will be standard equipment on its full line of vehicles, starting this month.

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Hyundai is complementing its standard 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty by adding a "lifetime battery replacement guarantee" for the Sonata Hybrid, the only hybrid the South Korean automaker sells.

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Hyundai Motor Group, the parent of both South Korean automakers Hyundai Motor Group and Kia International, will boost investment in facilities, research and development by 16 percent this year largely on its efforts to develop more fuel efficient engines for the two automakers.

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Does the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid match its stellar non-gas-electric counterpart? According to Consumer Reports, the answer is simple: the Sonata Hybrid – unlike the conventional Sonata GLS – is full of flaws.

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Decent Fuel Economy, Better Looks, Solid Value

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"The best Chrysler sedan we've seen in decades," says Consumer Reports, in reference to the 2011 Chrysler 300. At the risk of damning a very fine car with faint praise, that may not be all that much of an accomplishment. And we'd have to add that the last all-new Chrysler 300, which hit the market in model-year 2005, was also the best Chrysler sedan the world had seen in decades.

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2012 Honda CR-V, Chevrolet Cruze diesel, bending Ford SVT Raptor frames

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

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2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid – Click above for high-res image gallery

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In mid-October, Hyundai announced that its 2011 Sonata Hybrid would be eligible for a $1,300 tax credit, and now the online configurator has officially powered up, indicating that orders will likely be accepted soon. With a a low base price of $25,795 (not including $750 in destination charges), the Sonata Hybrid can be loaded with options while still keeping the tab in the low $30s range.

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