Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Both the 2017 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid come in both base SE and Limited trims. All trims come with the same 2.0L 4-cylinder engine paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission and an electric motor powered by a lithium polymer battery. In the Hybrid, this combination is good for 193 horsepower. The system does an impressive job optimizing for fuel economy, and is rated up to 40 mpg in the city.

The Plug-in Hybrid's system has a more powerful motor and battery, so total system output comes in a bit higher at 202 horsepower. The battery, once charged is good for 27 miles on electric power alone. Once that charge is expended, the vehicle can recharge the battery itself through regenerative braking and engine output, a rarity in the plug-in hybrid world. Charging the battery at home using 240 volts takes as little as 3 hours.

The Hybrid SE models are well-equipped and start at $26,000. Hybrid Limited starts at $30,100. The Plug-in Hybrid does carry a premium price for the technology. SE models start at $34,600 and Limiteds begin at $36,698. Many localities offer tax incentives that can bring that price down.

The Hybrid SE model comes with alloy wheels, heated power mirrors and LED brakelights. Inside there's premium fabric upholstery, a 6-speaker MP3-capable audio system with a 5-inch touchscreen interface, proximity keyless entry, dual-zone climate control, power door locks and windows and cruise control. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration are both standard. Metal and chrome interior accents give the cockpit a premium feel. Standard safety features include front, first and second-row curtain and drive's knee airbags, tire pressure monitoring and a backup camera.

Upgrade to the Limited trim and the wheels become 17-inch alloys, the wipers become speed-sensitive automatic, the headlamps are HID, and the seats are now leather-wrapped, heated and ventilated. The interior gets woodgrain accents. Safety features in the Hybrid Limited include blind spot monitoring and cross-traffic alert.

The Plug-in Hybrid SE comes even better equipped, and includes power-adjustable heated front seats, cross-traffic alert and lane-change assist, and a premium audio system.

The Plug-in Hybrid Limited comes with an Infinity audio system, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure and front collision warnings, features that are optional on the Hybrid model.

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Editors' First Take

Hyundai knocked it out of the park with the new Sonata. From its standout design to its super-comfy interior -- not to mention its impressive roster of onboard tech -- there's a lot to like about this midsize sedan. All of that goodness carries over to this new Sonata Hybrid, too. And hey, how does 54 miles per gallon sound?

Class-leading fuel economy is the latest feather in the Sonata's cap. The EPA says the 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid should achieve 50 mpg city, 54 mpg highway and 52 mpg combined in its most-efficient Blue trim level, which bests the hybrid versions of the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. Opt for an SEL or Limited and those ratings drop to 45 city, 51 highway and 47 combined, which might actually be a bit conservative.

On a 100-mile highway loop around the greater Los Angeles area, with relatively light traffic (thanks, COVID-19) and the adaptive cruise control set at 72 mph, I saw an average of 54.6 mpg in the fully loaded Sonata Hybrid Limited pictured here. That's stupendous. Even when just tooling around running errands, I saw 51.3 mpg over the course of 25 miles of city driving.

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