Sonata Hybrid poised to make big waves in the midsize sedan market
Hot on the heels of its world introduction at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show this past February, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is getting ready to make its appearance at dealerships across Chicagoland. The conventionally powered Sonata was completely redesigned and went on sale last fall. Key changes included fresh exterior styling, and all-new interior and several key technology additions including the integration of Hyundai's smartphone controlled digital key and, of course, Smart Park.
With unique wheels, bumper, grill and rear spoiler, the Sonata Hybrid has an exclusive look to differentiate it from the conventional Sonata. Power will come from a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that combines with an electric motor to produce a combined output of 192 horsepower. Tentative fuel economy ratings for the most efficient model are 50 MPG city, 54 MPG highway and 52 MPG combined. Unlike many other hybrids, the Sonata uses a conventional 6-speed automatic transmission.
Key to the Sonata's impressive fuel efficiency are several aerodynamic tricks. Up front there are three grille shutters that close at high speeds to smooth airflow over the hood. The chassis has three large underfloor covers to improve airflow under the Sonata Hybrid. Out back, there's a rear spoiler that helps reduce drag. Combined they help Sonata achieve a class leading 0.24 coefficient of drag.
Another neat trick is the Sonata Hybrid's solar roof. With a total output of 205 watts, the solar roof has the potential to increase driving range by 2 miles per day. In addition, it helps prevent discharge of the conventional battery from infotainment and HCAV system, essentially assuring you'll never have a dead battery. Finally, clever packing of the fuel tank and hybrid batter under the rear seat means no decrease in trunk space.
Hyundai didn't skimp when adding tech to the inside either. There's an available 12.3-inch gauge cluster and a 10.25-inch infotainment screen. Sonata Hybrid also gets Hyundai's surround-view monitor, blind-spot monitor, Qi wireless charging, Hyundai Digital Key, Bluelink and touch-type door handles. Of course, forward-collision, lane-keeping assist, high-beam assist and driver-attention warning are standard. Hyundai has even made smart cruise control standard.
When the Sonata Hybrid goes on sale later this summer, three models will be offered: Blue, SEL and Limited. Look for a more thorough review and road test on DriveChicago.com in the coming weeks.
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