In recent years Hyundai has become a dominant force. The quality of its products and the level of value for consumers have made them very successful.
For 2016 the company has introduced its first ever plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), the Sonata.
The 2016 Sonata PHEV boasts a 35 km driving range, solely on electric power and a battery that can charge in as little as 2 ½ hours when using a 240V type 2 charger. Owners can use a 120V outlet that will charge the vehicle in 5 hours.
Once the battery range is used up the system automatically functions as a hybrid.
A 2.0L 4 cylinder GDI engine partners with a 50 kW electric motor to deliver a combined output of 202 hp. This power is then transmitted through a 6-speed automatic.
This combination is said to deliver an estimated 2.5 L/100km combined in EV mode and in charging mode 5.9 L/100 km combined.
The latest hybrid features a 2.0L Nu GDI 4 cylinder engine that replaces the previous models 2.4L engine, but will be partnered with a larger 38 kW electric motor.
The system sends its power through a 6-speed automatic. Interestingly the tranny houses the electric motor and uses a clutch instead of a torque converter, as in a traditional automatic.
Hyundai claims this set-up delivers better fuel economy while maintaining the responsive and enjoyable character of the other Sonata models.
The hybrid system creates a total of 193 hp, and is expected to achieve up to 6.0 L/100km in the city, 5.2 L/100km on the highway and have a combined rating of 5.6 L/100km.
On the outside it will be hard to distinguish between the 2 models as they both look the same. Both have a unique grille, front and rear bumpers, fenders, wheels and a charge port in the front fender.
Inside the PHEV and Hybrid look different. The PHEV instrument cluster will deliver more information, all to do with the function of the PHEV system and a charge indicator on top of the dash.
The Hybrid model instrument cluster uses a multi-purpose TFT LCD display to keep the driver apprised to the various going on.
Both the 2016 PHEV and Hybrid offer a load of standard safety kit, including active safety systems like:
Forward Collision Warning, Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and a Lane Departure Warning System.
A word on convenience; both versions come with a hands-free trunk release, adaptive cruise with stop and go ability, iPod/USB and auxiliary input jacks, SiriusXM satellite radio and Bluetooth phone connectivity with phonebook transfer and voice-recognition and optional navigation.
The new navigation system has improved touch sensitivity, a map and music split screen display and the ability to record up to 22 minutes of SiriusXM on presets 1-6. SiriusXM Travel Link provides access to traffic information, sports scores, weather, stock prices, fuel prices and local movie times.
The 2016 Hyundai Sonata PHEV and Hybrid continue to enhance the brands appeal by offering all the comfort and versatility of their gasoline powered siblings and adding two ways to go green.
Which would you take?