/> ED I T O R S C H O I C E IN N O V A T IO N A W A R D
X

2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid (photos)

Hyundai's new Sonata has been very successful, a good combination of design and cabin electronics for the midsize market. But now the sedan gets a hybrid power train, boosting fuel economy into the mid-30s.

Wayne_Cunningham.jpg
Wayne Cunningham
34846775_OVR_1.JPG
1 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET
Hyundai has grand designs for the Sonata. In the high-volume midsize sedan market, Hyundai is offering the Sonata with a 2.4-liter engine, with a 2-liter turbocharged engine, and in this hybrid version, featuring a 2.4-liter engine complemented by an electric drive motor and lithium ion battery pack.

Back to review.

34846775_FT_1.JPG
2 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

Beyond some labeling, the Sonata Hybrid does not look much different from the base Sonata. The attractive design uses many swooping lines, giving the car a modern, space-age look.

Back to review.

34846775_SS01.JPG
3 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

The 2.4-liter engine and electric motor combine to give the Sonata Hybrid 206 horsepower, ample for most people.

Back to review.

34846775_SD_2.JPG
4 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

The cabin compartment is roomy, with plenty of room for front passengers and decent leg space in back.

Back to review.

34846775_SS04.JPG
5 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

A standard glass roof makes for two sunroof openings in the cabin: one over the front seats and one over the rear.

Back to review.

34846775_SS05.JPG
6 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

The suspension is tuned soft, which doesn't give the Sonata Hybrid much in the way of cornering capability, but adds to ride comfort.

Back to review.

34846775_SS06.JPG
7 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

The trunk is slightly compromised by the 100-pound lithium ion battery pack. But Hyundai still manages to fit a pass-through.

Back to review.

34846775_INT_1.JPG
8 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

The cabin tech suite comes in a single, $5,000 package, bringing in a very good navigation system, an excellent-sounding Infinity audio, many audio sources, and a Bluetooth phone system.

Back to review.

34846775_SS08.JPG
9 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

An electric-power-steering system is well-tuned in this car, keeping boost balanced for road feel.

Back to review.

34846775_SS10.JPG
10 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

A button at the bottom right of the steering wheel activates Blue Drive, the car's economy mode.

Back to review.

34846775_SS11.JPG
11 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

The instrument cluster display uses full color, but only shows trip information, lacking displays for audio, phone, or route guidance.

Back to review.

34846775_SS12.JPG
12 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

The Sonata Hybrid has a six-speed automatic transmission, which includes a manual mode.

Back to review.

34846775_SS13.JPG
13 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

The infotainment system uses a set of buttons and a volume knob just below the responsive touch-screen LCD.

Back to review.

34846775_SS14.JPG
14 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

The car generates an Eco score depending on how efficiently you drive. The better the score, the greener the earth graphic becomes.

Back to review.

34846775_SS17.JPG
15 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

The navigation system only shows 2D maps, but it does include a traffic overlay.

Back to review.

34846775_SS20.JPG
16 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

Weather forecast information comes in through a satellite feed.

Back to review.

34846775_SS21.JPG
17 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

The Bluetooth audio-streaming interface is very basic, although that is more a limitation of the Bluetooth specification.

Back to review.

34846775_SS22.JPG
18 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

The stereo plays MP3 tracks off a USB drive or connected iPod.

Back to review.

34846775_SS24.JPG
19 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

The premium Infinity audio system that comes with the car's tech package delivers very detailed, well-balanced music reproduction.

Back to review.

34846775_SS25.JPG
20 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

The phone interface looks a little busy, but the keypad is nice. It also has an interface for the phone's contact list.

Back to review.

34846775_SS26.JPG
21 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

A backup camera includes trajectory lines and distance indicators.

Back to review.

More Galleries

2022's best TV shows you can't miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and more

More Galleries

2022's best TV shows you can't miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and more

59 Photos
Nintendo Switch: The best games to play right now

More Galleries

Nintendo Switch: The best games to play right now

41 Photos
Movies coming in 2022 from Marvel, Netflix, DC and more

More Galleries

Movies coming in 2022 from Marvel, Netflix, DC and more

65 Photos
Subaru Solterra STI feels like a natural extension

More Galleries

Subaru Solterra STI feels like a natural extension

5 Photos
Best dating apps of 2021

More Galleries

Best dating apps of 2021

13 Photos
2022 Porsche Cayenne adds snazzy Platinum Edition

More Galleries

2022 Porsche Cayenne adds snazzy Platinum Edition

9 Photos
The 51 best VR games

More Galleries

The 51 best VR games

53 Photos