Driving a hybrid car has a number of fuel economy and environmental advantages over a car with a conventional gasoline engine. In a series of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about hybrid cars, however, the one that inevitably rises to the top is the question about what battery replacement costs as the vehicle crests the 100,000-mile mark. In the case of the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, the answer is nothing.
You know that the Sonata – a true five-passenger sedan – can handle all your daily driving duties. It’s not a tiny shoebox that you’ll have to wedge yourself into. It’s the same Sonata Sedan that has proven to be such a threat to the traditional sedan players. The Sonata Hybrid (MSRP $25,850) comes to the table with a 40-mpg highway fuel economy rating from the EPA, mileage better than any other midsize sedan, either hybrid or non-hybrid. In the city, where hybrids truly shine, a Sonata Hybrid is capable of 35 mpg, providing a segment-smashing 37 mpg combined fuel economy rating.
The Sonata Hybrid is the first non-plug-in hybrid to feature the revolutionary Lithium polymer battery, which has proven itself to be the most efficient battery in the realm of hybrid automobiles. Competitive hybrids use nickel-metal hydride batteries while the Sonata Hybrid relies on polymer gel as the electrolyte. The use of this advanced electrolyte allows the battery to have a thinner, lighter casing, providing an increase in cargo and overall interior volume. More than just about space savings, the battery delivers the same power as the nickel-metal hydride batteries with 25 percent less weight, 40 percent less volume and 10 percent more efficiency. The battery also discharges at a much slower rate, allowing it to maintain power 1.7 times longer than the nickel-metal hydride competitors.
The Sonata Hybrid uses the “Blue Drive” fully parallel hybrid system, providing optimum power. The engine and the battery power supply work simultaneously to deliver a best-in-class 206 hp. The engine’s Hybrid Starter Generator (HSG) function provides additional energy savings, and the electric motor can even operate in fully electric mode up to 74 mph. While the electric motor is impressive, so is the Sonata Hybrid 2.4-liter DOHC Theta II engine, featuring an Atkinson Cycle for amazingly low friction loss.
For 2012, the Sonata Hybrid is equipped with a standard Blue Link® telematics system that includes an array of connectivity features designed to make your daily travels a pleasure. Using your smartphone, connect to Blue Link and find a gas station, cut around snarled traffic, stay apprised of any mechanical issues, call for assistance and more.
Also new for 2012 is the available Leather Package, which provides leather seating surfaces, a leather-covered steering wheel and shiftknob, heated seats front and rear and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror with HomeLink® universal remote and a compass.