- Redesigned for 2016, receiving the same updates the 2015 Sonata got
- Better fuel economy, estimated at up to 40/44 mpg city/highway
- More cargo room with a split, fold down rear seat and a cargo pass through
It’s better late than never for the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, which receives the same styling and interior updates that the gas only model got in 2015 along with a few unique touches all its own.
The Sonata Hybrid’s look is similar to the standard Sonata, but it does have a few styling differences that you can pick out if you’re looking for them. The front grille is larger, dipping into the front bumper and giving the Hybrid a more aggressive look that we actually like quite a bit. The rear bumper and the fenders are also exclusive to the Hybrid; styling changes all add up to help make the Sonata Hybrid more slippery (0.24 coefficient of drag) and therefore, more fuel efficient. A hands-free smart trunk comes standard, simply stand three feet or closer behind the Sonata Hybrid with the key fob on your person and it will open automatically. Also standard are power folding, heated side mirrors, a rear lip spoiler, LED daytime running lights, and 16-inch alloy wheels (17-inch wheels optional).
There are also updates to the Sonata Hybrid’s drivetrain, including a new, smaller gasoline engine (down from 2.4- to 2.0-liters). The lithium-polymer battery now holds more power, 1.62 kWh which is a 13-percent improvement over the old battery. It powers an upgraded 51-hp electric motor, bringing total output to 193-hp. These improvements allow the Sonata Hybrid to travel on electric power alone at speeds up to 75 mph. One thing we also enjoy about the Sonata Hybrid – it comes with a six-speed automatic transmission, which helps it to feel more like a car than some other hybrids. Fuel economy is estimated to have improved by 10-percent, to 40/44 mpg city/highway for SE models, while Limited models get 39/43 mpg thanks to additional standard equipment which adds more weight.
Inside, there are numerous improvements, starting with the trunk. Hyundai’s engineers also changed the position of the Sonata Hybrid’s battery; instead of sitting in a pack directly behind the rear seats it’s been relocated under the trunk, next to the spare tire. This gives the Sonata Hybrid a large rear cargo pass through on Limited models, which feature a 60/40-split folding rear seat. This is a feature that’s missing from much of the competition which allows you to carry longer items, like a snowboard or lumber. It also means that the Sonata Hybrid has best-in-class trunk capacity at 13.3 cubic feet.
Standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth connectivity, Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics system, USB port, and satellite radio. Limited models add leather upholstery, heated/ventilated/powered front seats, heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel. Also available are navigation with an 8-inch screen and HD radio.
Standard safety equipment includes a rearview camera, antilock brakes, seven airbags, and a driver’s blind spot mirror. As a part of the Ultimate Package which is available on Limited models, the Sonata Hybrid also offers lane departure warning, forward collision warning, automatic high bearms, rear parking sensors, and adaptive cruise control with full stop/start capability.