New Hyundai Sonata Hybrid loses the ugly, gains power

Hyundai has unveiled the hybrid version of its seventh generation Sonata sedan at an event in Korea.

The new generation Sonata Hybrid features an updated drivetrain, which mates a 115kW/189Nm 2-litre direct injection 4-cylinder petrol engine with a 38kW/205Nm electric motor. The two engines drive the front wheels via a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Electric energy is stored in the Sonata Hybrid’s 1.62kWh lithium polymer battery pack. The batteries now reside under the boot floor, which means that space in the trunk is now flat and the rear seats split 60/40.

Fuel economy is said to be 5.5L/100km on 16-inch alloys and 5.65L/100km on 17-inch rims.

Visually, the Sonata Hybrid is distinguished from its petrol and diesel cousins via new more aerodynamic front fascia. A refashioned grille is flanked by xenon headlights with LED running lights. At the rear there’s a set LED tail-lights. Unlike the previous generation model (below), the new model managed to stay away from the ugly stick.

Hyundai is targeting sales of around 55,000 units per annum: 18,000 of those are estimated to come from its home market, and 37,000 overseas, primarily in the US. The company hopes to be number two in eco-friendly car market by 2020.

Next year, Hyundai will launch a plug-in hybrid version of the new Sonata.


Length: 4,855mm (+35mm compared to the previous generation Sonata Hybrid)
Width: 1,865mm (+30mm)
Height: 1,475mm (+5mm)
Wheelbase: 2,805mm (+10mm)


Petrol engine: 2-litre Nu 4-cylinder direct injection (previous: 2-litre Nu fuel injected)
Petrol power: 115kW (+5kW)
Petrol torque: 189Nm (+10Nm)
Transmission: 6-speed auto
Electric power: 38kW (+3kW)
Electric torque: 205Nm (unchanged)
Battery: 1.62kWh lithium polymer (+0.19kWh)