150kW combined output on the PHEV. Gimme.
Korean marque Hyundai has pulled the wraps off two new variants of the popular Sonata saloon, with both aiming to maximise your dollar and increase fuel efficiency further than anything else in the range. The Sonata Hybrid and Plug-In Hybrid might not be immediately-discernible as petrol-sipping variants, but you’d probably be able to tell by the grinning fella behind the wheel as he looks at his fuel range.
We say that because, with the hybrid system, the Sonata can apparently go as far as 1,000km before needing to refuel, if the brands’ claims are to be believed. But even if we assume they’re being optimistic and the car only does, say 80% of its claimed range, that’s still 800km on a tank, and that’s pretty damned impressive.
Visual differentiations between the electrified Sonatas and the pure-ICE cars, though minor, are present. You’ll be able to mark an electrified Sonata out by its redesigned LED headlights, reprofiled grille, bonnet, and front fenders, while the rear gains a unique boot-lid and taillights. And as you’d expect, there are more aerodynamic wheels fitted too.
The Hybrid model combines a 115kW 2.0-litre petrol mill to a 38kW electric motor. Combined output is rated at 144kW, but more importantly, it can do less than 6L/100km on the combined cycle. Power goes to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic. The Sonata Hybrid is capable of cruising at speeds up to 120km/h in full-electric mode, and with the 1.76kWh battery charged up and the petrol tank full, you could get damned near that 1,000km figure before having to stop.
The Sonata plug-in hybrid (PHEV) might be a better companion for city slickers, though. There’s a larger 9.8kWh battery pack here, that can be charged in “less than three hours” with a fast charger. Combined output in the PHEV is higher though at 150kW, with the battery capable of keeping the more powerful 50kW electric motor going for as far as 43km on a single charge. Theoretically, that could allow you to go to work and back without ever having to trigger the 2.0-litre petrol mill up front.
Both models gain safety features though, in the form of advanced driver assistance systems. Blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping aid and automatically-dipping high beams are all tacked on, along with the obligatory autonomous emergency braking. Convenience tech is headlined by an 8.0-inch infotainment system, replete with Apple and Android smartphone mirroring solutions and digital radio, while a premium Infinity sound system with 9-speakers is available as an option.