Roadshow Video Reviews
2011 Hyundai Sonata HybridHyundai's first hybrid delivers, mostly.
The Hyundai is over achiever enough just for earning a seat on the board alongside the Camry, the Accord, and the Fusion. Now, it joins the greens committee. Let's drive the 2011 Hyundai Sonata hybrid and check the tech. the Sonata hybrid is the sistership of the Kia Optima Hybrid, which you may have already seen our video of. The 2 differ mostly in styling and a few features. They share a hybrid power train and importantly with the newish technology like that also share about the best warranty in the business. Now, most hybrids these days have some kind of an eco mode even greener than standard hybrid drive. On this guy, it has button here they call it blue or with that weird accent, mark is that "bluey"? I don't know. Anyway, you can see it happen here on the center display that turns into blue drive brings you to this display here, which is almost identical to the same head unit we saw in the sistership the Kia Optima Hybrid. Fuel economy, this gives you a set of 2-1/2 minute time slices of greenly you drove in the window. The more of those it leaps, the better obviously. Energy flow is one of those things you won't see in a few years that explains what hybrid does. Car is the one that tells you what your eco level is in the driving session, more bars are better. They get green towards the right. If the last one that I have no idea what it does is earth. This is telling me apparently that my engine and my electric motor are contributing to turning the earth. I don't think that's the case. Now, all that technology in the Optima that's also in the Sonata is wrapped in a different look and feel. Look around this car, it's a little more, I don't know what kind of competing with Camry where the Optima is competing more with Audi. It's a different language. This may strike you as more handsome or you might think that's kind of goody. The Optima and they strike you handsome or may think it's kind fatish. It's kind of pet. Your media options on this car are really good. They loaded up nicely all the way from your aux, USB, iPod down there, which they have been doing a long time in this car. These guys are early on in that. They do want you to use a special hybrid cable to get your iPod in there. Now one choice on the gearbox as it's common hybrid because the whole power train is carefully balanced with its different power sources and the all important transmission logic. Here's it's going to be a 6-speed automatic. It's a true automatic by the way, not a CVT. So, it's actually got 6 actual specific gears and you got a basic PRND gate. On the left, you've the shiftable gate over here as well. No paddles though. Now, the hybrid power train on this car begins with its 2.4 liter inline-4 gas engine of course to Atkinson Cycle motor. That's an engine that is laid out with its timing so that it really fully burns the whole fuel charge almost to a fault scrubbing off some of the torque. You amplify that back in by having an electric motor here of course being a hybrid. So, all in we have 206 horsepower, 195 foot-pounds of torque. That's total for both power sources. Get this guy to 16 about 9.2 seconds, not bad for a 3600-pound car and your mileage if course the point, 35/40 city and highway and this guy tends to deliver real world right smack in that range. Let's go find out. As with the Optima Hybrid, I was kind of disturbed by the car's power train communicating too much about all the different modes it switches between. That switching is something a hybrid does, yes, but it's not something I wanna be that aware of. As in the Optima hybrid, this package delivers real world mixed driving MPG in the low to even mid 30s and that includes highways, traffic, and hills. It's a good number. Okay, let's price this Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, the blue form of green, 26,500 delivered and rather well equipped, but to take it CNET style, you've got so spend 5000 more for the premium packages actually quite a deal. You're gonna get the GPS navigation, good clean interface. You've also got that incredibly responsive touchscreen, HD radio, and infinity sound, leather seats, rear camera that sleek panoramic sunroof, 17-inch special alloy wheels, it's a steel at 5 grand. So, loaded up that way, it's a great value and you get a nice car that does what it says it will do.