Hyundai has introduced a
hybrid version of the Sonata. It's got some interesting firsts:
The battery is lighter. It
uses a newer generation chemistry than other hybrids. This battery, called
a lithium polymer battery, takes up less space than previous designs,
giving more cargo space.
Generally, hybrids use a
continuously variable transmission (CVT). While these usually help fuel
economy, a car using a CVT won't have the distinct shifts that a lot of
people like. The Sonata has a conventional six speed automatic
The Sonata's two direct
competitors are the Ford Fusion Hybrid and the Toyota Camry Hybrid. The
sonata has significantly more power than these two, with a total of 206
HP. Combined with very sport looks, the Sonata will appeal to some people
that think hybrids are boring.
But how's the economy?
It's a very impressive 35 city and 40 highway. According to the EPA's
fueleconomy.gov site, this car would save about $3900, compared to the
regular Sonata, in the first six years. And that's using the sites $3.79
per gallon of gas figure, which we are not likely to see over the next few
Overall, Hyundai has done
a good job on this car. It's tough to compete with Toyota on Hybrids, but
this new Sonata is definitely one to take a look at.