Priced from $26545, the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is the Korean automaker’s first entry into the hybrid market. The Sonata Hybrid bucks the normal hybrid trend by performing better on the highway than in the city, with EPA ratings of 35 MPG city and 40 MPG on the highway.
Though it can’t touch the Ford Fusion Hybrid’s 41 MPG city number, the Hyundai manages to slip under the Fusion by over $3000. Three grand buys quite a bit of gas these days, and should help smooth over any worries about efficiency. When you consider the superior highway efficiency (40 vs 36), the Sonata starts to make even more sense.
What’s under the hood?
Hyundai decided to skip the whole old-school NiMH battery technology and go right to the cutting-edge Lithium Polymer stuff. Featuring a 1.4 kWH LiPo battery pack that’s 20-30 percent lighter than a comparable NiMH pack, the Sonata Hybrid manages to keep curb weight down to a reasonable 3457 lbs.
A 169 HP 2.4 liter four-cylinder engine provides most of the power, and it is aided by a 30 kW electric motor. Combined power is estimated by Hyundai to be 209 HP and 194 lb-ft of torque. That bests the conventional four-cylinder Sonata by a bit, which should help make up for the slight weight penalty. Instead of the normal hybrid choice of a CVT, the Sonata Hybrid makes due with a six speed automatic transmission. That’s somewhat of an odd choice, considering the CVT’s inherent efficiency advantages. Check out the pics after the jump.
2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Gallery