The Hyundai Sonata underwent a hefty redesign for the 2015 model year, including its hybrid model. Hyundai didn’t stop there, however, as rumors pointed toward the Korean automaker releasing a plug-in hybrid version of the sedan. Today, Hyundai has revealed this model in its entirety.
From the outside, the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid looks almost identical to the standard Sonata, but a closer examination reveals that it has lots of upgrades to make it more aerodynamic. These include a slightly modified grille, front bumper, front fenders, sleeker wheels, and a restyled rear diffuser. These all chip in to get the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid to its 0.24 Cd rating – the same as the Tesla Model S. Other visual changes include revised headlights and taillights, chrome side-sill moldings, the charging port on the front fender, and its badges.
Under its hood, the 2016 Sonata Plug-In Hybrid comes with a 2.0-liter Nu four-cylinder gasoline engine that produces 154 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque. A 50 kW electric motor chips in to push the total system output to 202 horsepower, which should give it plenty of pep.
Powering the 50 kW motor is a 9.8 kWh battery that takes less than three hours to charge up on a 240-volt Level-Two charging station. On a 120-volt outlet, it takes less than nine hours. With a full charge, the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid can travel up to 27 miles (there is a discrepancy where the press release says 24 miles and the official specs say 27 miles) on electric power only, giving it the longest EV range in its class. This brings the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid’s total ratings to an estimated 99 mpg-e total and 40 mpg combined in hybrid mode. With a full tank of gas and a fully charged battery Hyundai claims the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid can travel up to 600 miles.
The 2016 Sonata Plug-In Hybrid will make connecting to the car simple, thanks to its Blue Link app. This app allows the driver to control certain parts of the car from a distance, like locking the doors or starting the engine, plus it allows the owner to set its charging schedule. The latter is most useful in areas where power rates vary, as buyers can set the car to only charge after peak hours. Finally, Blue Link also allows you to perform diagnostics, check battery levels, check the electric range and fuel range, and more.
The 2016 Sonata Plug-In Hybrid will come in a pair of trim levels. The standard model will start from $34,600 and the Limited trim will come in at $38,600. Both models qualify for a $4,919 credit from Uncle Sam for their 9.8 kWh batteries. The Limited trim level calls for extra cash due to its Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Automatic High Beam Assist, rear parking sensors, electric parking brake, heated steering wheel, Smart Cruise Control, and more.
Hyundai didn’t mention when the Sonata Hybrid will be available, but given it is already on the automaker’s website, I guess it is either on lots now or will arrive soon.