Say hello to the 2016 Sonata Plug-In Hybrid, Hyundai’s first ever plug-in vehicle and here’s the really big news. It gets even better mileage than originally expected. Arriving at select dealer showrooms this week, the Sonata Plug-In comes with a 27-mile all-electric range, three miles better number than the automaker predicted earlier this year. Kick it into hybrid mode and you get 40 miles per gallon. Prices start at $35,435, but federal tax incentives could lower the price a chunk of change to $30,516.
“The 2016 Sonata Plug-in Hybrid is the first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle for Hyundai and gives drivers the best of both worlds by providing the power delivery of a conventional gasoline engine for long trips or vacations with the additional benefit of environmentally-friendly all-electric range for commuting,” says Mike O’Brien, vice president, corporate and product planning, Hyundai Motor America.
Here’s how it stacks up to some of the competition. The 2015 Toyota Prius Plug-In gets 11 miles in electric-only mode and starts at $30,825 before any incentives. The 2016 Chevrolet Volt offers a 53-mile range and starts at $33,995. The Ford Fusion Energi gets a 21-mile EV range and starts around $32,000 under its current Ford friends and family sale. If you’re wondering where the Honda PHEV is on this list, it’s been discontinued due to pretty much non-existent sales.
Under the hood, the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid uses a six-speed automatic transmission with Hyundai’s Transmission-Mounted Electrical Device, a 50 kW electric motor, in place of a torque converter. The 50-kW electric motor is 32 percent more powerful than the motor used the in regular Sonata Hybrid and allows EV operation at higher speeds.
A 2.0-liter four-cylinder GDI engine coupled with the electric motor allows the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid to operate just like the Sonata Hybrid once the onboard battery charge runs out. Sonata PHEV’s engine produces 154 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque and the total system output is 202 horsepower at 6,000 rpm.
In terms of technology, an exclusive Blue Link Smartphone App controls charging schedule Remotely. Advanced safety features such as Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Automatic High Beam Assist and rear parking sensors come equipped on the Sonata Plug-in Hybrid Limited trim model. Other options include electronic parking brake with automatic vehicle hold, driver memory seat, heated steering wheel, ventilated front seats, power front seats with 4-way adjustable driver lumbar and Smart Cruise Control featuring full stop capability.
Photo Credit: Hyundai