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2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid Test Drive

2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid

The market of hybrids isn’t the same it was about 15 years ago when hybrid cars were something exotic and even extreme. It isn’t limited to the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight anymore. There is a variety of hybrid models to suit any taste. You don’t get just good mileage; you get an attractive, stylish auto pleasant to drive. The 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid test drive will show whether the cars can be qualified as such.

Exterior and Interior

The 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrids have got completely modified exterior if to compare with the previously produced models. They don’t look like standard Sonatas anymore. More than 50 per cent of their bodies are made of extra strong steel. The models have a modified rear fascia along with a centre diffuser and trunk spoiler, headlights, bumper, and grille that contribute to their aerodynamics.

Although the Hybrids’ interior very much resembles the standard Sonata, it’s peculiar in its own way. When inside, you immediately notice how comfortable the seats are and how much leg- and headroom there is.

The boot is also rather spacious: there are 13.3 cubic feet for the Sonata Hybrid and 9.9 cubic feet for the Plug-In Hybrid.

Driving Performance

Both Sonata Hybrids have a 6-speed automatic transmission rather than the CVT transmission that’s more commonly used in electric cars.

The Sonata Hybrid is powered by a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine together with a permanent magnet synchronous electric motor. Although its engine is smaller than its precursor’s, the 2015 model, it’s powerful to the same degree producing 154 hp while an electric motor makes 193 hp.

The Plug-In Hybrid runs on the same engine. However, it’s teamed up with a 50kW electric motor and 9.8 kWh battery pack. In fact, due to the pack’s size, the model has reduced boot space. According to the manufacturer, the Plug-In needs about 9 hours of charging on a 120 V outlet; it’ll be fully charged just in 3 hours on a Level-Two charging station.

The Sonata Hybrids are very quiet cars that go incredibly smoothly. When driving them, you can forget that you’re in a hybrid – it feels you’re going by a traditional auto – that’s the best feature a driver can describe a hybrid with. Furthermore, if it weren’t for gauges, it’d be difficult to define when gas or electricity was used. Braking is also very smooth (the thing that isn’t peculiar for most hybrid cars).

Model Range

The 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid comes in three trim levels: the SE, Limited, and the Ultimate package. Even the fundamental SE level implies a range of advanced features such as a 5-inch colour touchscreen display, dual-zone climate control, LED taillights, 16-inch alloy wheels, etc.

Hybrid Limited autos have an augmented number of special features among which are heated front and rear seats, heated steering wheel, 17-inch alloy wheels, hands free smart trunk, HID xenon headlights, etc.

The Ultimate package includes forward collision warning, sunroof, lane departure warning, 8-inch display with the Infinity audio system, GPS navigation, LED interior lighting, and rear parking sensors.

The Sonata Plug-In Hybrid comes in the Base and Limited trim levels. The Base cars are equipped with heated front seats, 8-inch display with GPS navigation, rear-view camera, blind spot detection system, 17-inch alloy wheels, and cross-traffic alert.

In the Limited versions, there are ventilated leather front seats, the Infinity premium audio system, HD radio, and forward collision warning.

The Verdict

On the basis of the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid test drive, we’re ready to conclude that they are the best hybrids Hyundai has produced so far. The cars can compete with any family sedan no matter whether it’s hybrid or not. The Sonata Hybrids are good-looking, comfortable, spacious, and certainly very fuel-efficient. Besides, they are equipped with a number of state-of-the-art technologies regardless of a trim level.

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