5 Best Features of the New Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid

2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrd

When Hyundai introduced the second generation of the Sonata Hybrid, it also unveiled a plug-in version. These cars share several features, including the same dimensions, and both are impressively economic vehicles. However, the 2016 plug-in model of the Sonata does bring something new and different to the table: a gasoline engine set up to complement its electric motor, instead of the other way around.

If you need help choosing between the two or just want learn more about this new offering, here are the five best features of the Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid.

An Electric Motor as the Main Power Source

Both versions of the Sonata Hybrid boast an electric motor and a gasoline engine. The difference between a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid lies in how the two work together. While a regular hybrid relies primarily on its gasoline engine, a plug-in hybrid makes more use of its electric motor. Hyundai explains its plug-in hybrid this way: "Electric when you want it. Gas when you need it."

To accommodate the greater demand placed on the electric motor, the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid features a 360-volt lithium polymer battery (compared to the 270-volt battery in the regular hybrid Sonata). It produces 67 hp at 2330-3300 rpm (compared to 51 hp at 1770-2000 rpm). In fact, the plug-in Sonata has more battery system capacity than any other midsize sedan.

Enough Range to Get You Where You Need to Go

In all-electric mode, the Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid leads its class with a range of 27 miles. When its electric motor and gasoline engine combine in hybrid mode, its range expands to a total of 600 miles. To put these numbers into perspective, keep in mind that the average commute is around 12 miles one-way, according to the 2009 National Household Travel Survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation.The same survey found that long-distance vacation trips by car average 314 miles one-way.

However you plan to use it, you can rest assured that the plug-in Sonata has more than enough range to meet your needs. In addition, you get this range with an EPA-estimated 40 MPG combined or 99 MPGe.

Short Charging Times Controlled by Blue Link

You can charge the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid either at home or at a charging station. The locations of charging stations are pre-programmed into the vehicle's navigational system for your convenience. A Level-Two 240V charging station can charge the plug-in Sonata in less than three hours, but even a standard 120V outlet will do it in less than nine hours.

To further accommodate your schedule, the Hyundai Blue Link app allows you to schedule charging remotely once your vehicle is plugged in. Although Hyundai recommends that you charge the vehicle every day, you won't be left carless on days when you simply don't have time. The vehicle will run on gasoline alone if necessary.

A Smart Design with Plenty of Space

Hyundai designed its plug-in hybrid to maximize cargo space. For instance, its hybrid battery pack is located beneath a flat trunk floor, leaving you with more space that's more usable than what competitors offer. The unique hands-free smart trunk comes standard. This technology senses the presence of the Proximity Key and opens automatically to make loading cargo easier. You won't have to fumble for your keys, juggle boxes, or set down shopping bags to open the trunk.

You will also enjoy 45.5 inches of leg room in the front and 35.6 inches in the rear. Total cargo volume is almost 10 cubic feet, while total passenger volume is a little over 106 cubic feet.

State-of-the-Art Technology

If you opt for the Sonata Hybrid Limited instead of the base-model SE trim, you can choose to add an array of driver assistance technology. However, the same trim on the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid makes these features standard. For only $4,000 more than the base model, the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid Limited includes Lane Departure Warning, Smart Cruise Control with stop/start capability, rear parking sensors, Automatic High Beam Assist, and Forward Collision Warning (FCW). Even the base model plug-in hybrid includes a rearview camera and Blind Spot Detection (BSD) with Rear Cross-traffic Alert and Lane Change Assist.

Keep in mind that the 2016 Hyundai Sonata Plug-In Hybrid had a more limited release than its counterpart. Many states simply lack the infrastructure needed to make electric cars and plug-in hybrids practical choices. As a result, the Sonata plug-in hybrid is currently sold only in California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont. However, as more charging stations are built across the country, production could expand in the future.

Categories: New Inventory