2019 Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid Sedan

#31
in Sedans
2019 MODEL
$33,400 - $39,000
INDIGO

2019 Hyundai Sonata plug-in hybrid Sedan Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Although the Sonata lacks eye-catching styling and also doesn't boast massive power figures. It's a magnificently mediocre mid-size plugin-hybrid. The electric hybrid powertrain gives you 202 horsepower working in conjunction with an inline-4 engine. The infotainment is the main highlight of the Sonata and the only way it breaks out of the ordinary. The Blue-Link interface is the class-leading infotainment.

Starting at $32,400 for the plug-in hybrid, you get 28-mile all electric range with 600 mile total range along with features like Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-traffic Alert and Lane Change Assist. Upgrading to the Limited trim at $38,000 gets you Automatic Emergency Braking and Lane Keep Assist and heated front seats.

See detailed review »

Pros

Comfortable interior

Plenty of torque

Responsive steering

Cons

Brakes could be better

Low on cargo volume

Exterior need a refresh

What's New?

Sharper styling

Better standard features,

8-speed automatic transmission

7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Blind-spot monitoring

Rear cross-traffic alert


Pictures & Videos


Styles

 2019 Hyundai Sonata plug-in hybrid Sedan in Hyper White color  2019 Hyundai Sonata plug-in hybrid Sedan in Nocturne Black color  2019 Hyundai Sonata plug-in hybrid Sedan in Skyline Blue color
Hyper White

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2019 Hyundai Sonata plug-in hybrid Sedan Base

Base

power
154 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
39 combined

$33,400


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A) Starting at $33,400 MSRP (39/) 154 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2 L, I-4, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5

 2019 Hyundai Sonata plug-in hybrid Sedan Limited

Limited

power
154 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
39 combined

$39,000


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Limited 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid 6A) Starting at $39,000 MSRP (39/) 154 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2 L, I-4, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5

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MPG: 29 combined

Expert Review


CARHP Editorial August 16, 2019


In the hybrid and plug-in hynrid sedan segment, the closest competitor is the Kia Optima plug-in hybrid with a torque rich engine as well as the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and the Chevrolet Malibu; each with a hybrid powertrain. With stiff competition coming up around every corner, let's see whether the Sonata is upto the mark.

2019 Hyundai Sonata plug-in hybrid Sedan Features

The plug-in hybrid Sonata comes i 2 trim levels the base model SE for $24,250, which gets you features like Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-traffic Alert and Lane Change Assist, while upgrading to the Limited trim at $29,800 adds Automatic Emergency Braking and Lane Keep Assist.

Model

Plug-in Hybrid SE

Plug-in Hybrid Limited

MSRP

$24,250

$29,800

Key Features

Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross-traffic Alert and Lane Change Assist

Automatic Emergency Braking and Lane Keep Assist

 

7-inch color display audio with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and rearview camera

Leather seating surfaces with ventilated front seats

 

Blue Link Connected Car Services

Infinity Premium Audio System

We Recommend

The best bang for your buck is the Hyundai Sonata Plug-in Hybrid SE, which gives you basic but necessary features in the sedan. The torque rich engine is fun to drive and you get Android Auto or Apple CarPlay in a 7-inch display.

2019 Hyundai Sonata plug-in hybrid Sedan Engine

Nothing this Sonata does is groundbreaking, from its linear and moderate acceleration, to its quiet-enough operation, to its fuss-free shift quality. There's just enough power to give it moderately engaging feel - Car and Driver

Engine and Transmission

The Hyundai comes with a 2.0L inline-4 engine assisted by an electric motor. The hybrid powertrain combined produces 202 hp and 140 lb-ft torque. The 6-speed automatic gearbox paired to the electric assist drive system is lackluster and without the torque to back it up, the sedan feels forgettable and unimpressive compared to the competition.

Models

Hyundai Sonata PHEV

Kia Optima Ex hybrid sedan

Honda Accord Hybrid

Honda Insight LX

Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

Ford Fusion Energi Titanium

Toyota Camry LE Hybrid

Toyota Avalon XLE Hybrid

Chevrolet Volt LT

MSRP

$32,400

$29,015

$22,830

$22,830

$28,945

$37,490

$29,070

$34,395

$37,420

Engine

2.0L i4 Gas/Electric

2.0L i4 Gas/Electric

2.0L Inline-4

1.5L i4

1.8L i4

2.0L i4

2.5L i4

2.5L i4

1.5L i4

Transmission

6 Speed automatic

6 Speed automatic

Continuously Variable Automatic

Continuously variable automatic

1-speed direct drive

Continuously variable automatic

Continuously variable automatic

Continuously variable automatic

1-speed direct drive

Horsepower

202 hp@ 6000rpm

192 hp@ 6000rpm

212 hp 6200 rpm

151 hp@ 6000 rpm

160 hp@ 5700 rpm

188 hp@ 6000 rpm

208 hp@ 5700 rpm

215 hp@ 5700 rpm

149 hp

Torque

140 ft-lbs@ 5000rpm

271 ft-lbs@ 1770rpm

232 lb-ft

99 ft-lbs@ 5000 rpm

184 ft-lbs@ 2500 rpm

129 ft-lbs@ 4000rpm

163 ft-lbs@ 3600 rpm

163 ft-lbs@ 3600 rpm

294 ft-lbs@ 0 rpm

Kia Optima hybrid on the other hand has a torque rich engine making 271 lb-ft from its four-banger and electric motor duo. The Chevy's Malibu hybrid comes with a very balanced 160 hp and so is the Honda Accord hybrid with a magnificent 212 hp and 232 lb-ft powertrain. The Ford Fusion Energi is best avoided because of its high price tag paired with the mediocre 188 hp and 129 lb-ft output.

Acceleration

Although the hybrid sedan hasn't been tested for its 0-60 sprint time, the electric motor provides immediate torque from the start giving you great acceleration as you pull away from intersections or stop lights. Subsequently, the torque curve flattens out over the rev range, and so does the acceleration.

Models

Hyundai Sonata PHEV

Kia Optima Ex hybrid sedan

Honda Accord

Honda Insight LX

Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

Ford Fusion Energi Titanium

Toyota Camry LE Hybrid

Toyota Avalon XLE Hybrid

Chevrolet Volt LT

0-60 MPH

N/A

7.7 sec

6.7*

8 sec

8.5 sec

N/A

N/A

N/A

7.5

Quarter mile

N/A

15.9 sec

15.4*

16 sec

15.8

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

Engine

2.0L i4 Gas/Electric

2.0L i4 Gas/Electric

 

1.5L i4

1.8L i4

2.0L i4

2.5L i4

2.5L i4

1.5L i4

Emission

(Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

4.2

4.3

 

3.4

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

N/A

The Honda Accord Hybrid gets to 60 fast, taking merely 6.7 seconds in the process. The Chevy Volt isn't too far behind the Honda, and takes 7.5 seconds to reach 60 while the Kia Optima takes 7.7. The Malibu is quite a bit slower and takes 8.5 seconds to the mile-a-minute mark.

Ride and Handling

The steering on the compact korean is agile and responsive, with quite a short turning radius and feedback. The sensitivity can be tailored to your need through drive mode selection; while the sport mode adds weight to the steering the assistance feels electronic and synthetic.

Suspension in the Hyundai work like a charm, the absorb undulations on the road when they need to and stiffen up when you put the sedan into sport mode and speed through corners, the low sedan has minimal body roll, however the front-wheel drive is the only option for you.

Braking

With 12-inch brakes up front and 11.2-inch in the back, the brakes on the Hyundai chip away at the speed with amazing effectiveness, although it hasn't been tested for the stopping distance in the panic brake test yet. In the sport mode, the brakes have better modulation than comfort mode.

Model

Hyundai Sonata PHEV

Kia Optima Ex hybrid sedan

Honda Accord

Honda Insight LX

Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

Ford Fusion Energi Titanium

Toyota Camry LE Hybrid

Toyota Avalon XLE Hybrid

Chevrolet Volt LT

Brake Front (in.)

12

12

11.5

11.1

11.8

11.8

12

N/A

11

Brake Rear (in.)

11.2

11.2

11.1

10.2

11.3

11.9

11.1

N/A

10

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3497

3486

3342

3000

3366

3986

3472

3638

3550

60-0 MPH (ft.)

N/A

N/A

120

121

N/A

129

N/A

N/A

N/A

The competition comes with smaller disc brakes compared to the Hyundai, ranging from 11.1-inch discs up front on the Honda Insight to 12-inch discs on the Kia Optima and the Toyota Camry. You won't notice any major differences when driving in the city, but emergency braking distance will be affected by smaller discs.

2019 Hyundai Sonata plug-in hybrid Sedan Fuel Economy

As expected from a hybrid vehicle, the Hyundai Sonata hybrid gives you great economy numbers, but it's nowhere near what the competition has to offer. In the city the sedan manages 30 miles to the gallon, while on highways, the mileage peaks at 46, making the combined mpg 42.

Model

Hyundai Sonata PHEV

Kia Optima Ex hybrid sedan

Honda Accord

Honda Insight LX

Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

Ford Fusion Energi Titanium

Toyota Camry LE Hybrid

Toyota Avalon XLE Hybrid

Chevrolet Volt LT

MPG (city)

-

39

48

55

49

43

51

43

42

MPG (highway)

-

45

48

49

43

41

53

44

42

MPG (combined)

39

41

48

52

46

42

52

44

42

In contrast, the Honda Insight hybrid reaches up to 55 mpg on highways and 49 in the city. Apart from the Kia Optima, delivering a combined mpg of 41, all other rivals have better fuel economy compared to the Sonata. The Toyota Camry is also one of the heavyweights which exhibit an astonishing economy of 51 in the city and 53 on highways.

2019 Hyundai Sonata plug-in hybrid Sedan Interior

The Sonata's cockpit is blissfully free of the overstyled exaggeration of some sedans, and the controls don't get stranded in odd places or take on odd forms as a result. - Edmunds

Seating and Comfort

The Interior is not as impressive a the exterior design, however the centre console has been revamped to better quality knobs and controls. The three-spoke steering gives great grip and steering feel, overall making the driver's seat an engaging and fun place to be in.

Model

Hyundai Sonata PHEV

Kia Optima Ex hybrid sedan

Honda Accord

Honda Insight LX

Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

Ford Fusion Energi Titanium

Toyota Camry LE Hybrid

Toyota Avalon XLE Hybrid

Chet

Passenger capacity

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

40.4/57.9/45.5

39.8/58.1/45.5

39.5/58.3/42.3

39.3/56.9/42.3

39.1/58.5/41.5

39.2/57.8/44.3

38.3/57.7/42.1

38.5/42.1/58.3

37.8/56.5/42.1

Second

(Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

38.0/56.5/35.6

37.8/56.4/35.6

37.3/55/40.4

36.9/55.0/37.4

37.5/57.1/38.1

37.8/56.9/38.3

37.6/55.7/38.0

37.9/40.4/57.1

35.8/53.2/34.7

Despite the standard cloth-upholstery, the seats are comfortable and supportive to the passengers. The cabin feels roomy until you have taller passengers in the back, then the sloping roofline feels like a hindrance. You can choose leather-upholstery as an optional upgrade along with power adjustable front seats, sport seats, heated and ventilated seats.

Infotainment System

Hyundai has probably the most ergonomic and user-friendly interface in its Blue-Link infotainment in the segment. With no lag on either touch responsiveness or voice commands, the Sonata has conquered the final barrier most sedans face in this price point. Apart from that, the seamless connectivity through Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which are usually kept as optional extras on the competitors.

Cargo Capacity

Until recently Sonata used to boast the highest cargo capacity in the segment, though the trunk size has not decreased, the rivals have upped their game. Despite that, the 16.3 cubic feet trunk still remains adequate for most buyers, unless you frequently need to haul cargo.

Model

Hyundai Sonata PHEV

Kia Optima Ex hybrid sedan

Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

Ford Fusion Energi Titanium

Toyota Camry LE Hybrid

Toyota Avalon XLE Hybrid

Chevrolet Volt LT

Cargo Volume (ft.3)

13.4

13.4

13.0

8.2

15.1

16.1

10.6

The Toyota Avalon has an unbelievable 16.1 cubic feet storage at the back. While the rivals can come nowhere near to challenge those numbers, the Toyota Camry comes with 15.1. The Ford Fusion Energi however, has the smallest cargo volume with 8.2 cubic feet in the rear.

2019 Hyundai Sonata plug-in hybrid Sedan Exterior

the latest Sonata has a stylish six-sided grille that cleanly tucks into the hood, and drops a low grille nearly to the ground. The roof is long, the profile is low, and from some angles the 2019 Sonata resembles a big hatchback. - Car connection

Design and Dimensions

The Hyundai Sonata is a beautiful well proportioned sedan which has stood the test of time pretty well, since most of the sedans have moved onto edgier designs rather than fluidic theme the Hyundai maintains.

Model

Hyundai Sonata PHEV

Kia Optima Ex hybrid sedan

Honda Accord

Honda Insight LX

Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

Ford Fusion Energi Titanium

Toyota Camry LE Hybrid

Toyota Avalon XLE Hybrid

Chevrolet Volt LT

Curb weight (lbs.)

3497

3486

3342

3000

3366

3986

3472

3638

3550

Length(in)

191.1

191.1

192.2

183.6

194.2

191.8

192.1

195.9

180.4

Width(in)

73.4

73.2

73.3

71.6

73.0

72.9

72.4

72.8

71.2

Height(in)

57.9

57.5

57.1

55.5

57.9

58.0

56.9

56.5

56.4

Ground clearance (in)

5.1

5.1

5.8

N/A

5.9

N/A

5.7

5.3

N/A

Wheelbase (in)

110.4

110.4

111.4

106.3

111.4

112.2

111.2

113.0

106.1

Track width (in) F/R

63.5/63.8

63.5/63.8

63/63.4

60.9/61.6

62.6/62.5

62/62.3

63/63.2

62.3/63.6

60.6/61.8

In order to improve Sonata's dwindling sales in the past years, Hyundai took great care to come up with a more appealing design. Almost the entire front fascia has been redesigned. Hyundai's new cascading grille design blends into the lower fascia for an aggressive face. The headlights also receive new LED running lights. For the Sport trims, there is a unique grille and fascia, along with dual exhaust tips.

The panoramic sunroof that was available till the last year is now replaced with an optional tilt-and-slide unit. This is done to reduce the weight of the car for a better fuel economy.

2019 Hyundai Sonata plug-in hybrid Sedan Safety

 Safety and Reliability

  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • ABS And Driveline Traction Control
  • Side Impact Beams
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
  • Blind Spot Detection (bsd) w/Lane Change Assist (lca) Blind Spot...
  • and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (rcta)
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System Tire Specific Low Tire Pressure...
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
  • Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
  • Airbag Occupancy Sensor
  • Driver Knee Airbag
  • Blue Link
  • Rear Child Safety Locks
  • Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Center 3...
  • Back-Up Camera

2019 Hyundai Sonata plug-in hybrid Sedan Competition

2019 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid vs Kia Optima Hybrid

The Optima hybrid comes with a torque rich engine making 271 lb-ft compared to the 140 lb-ft in the Sonata hybrid. However, the Sonata has a much better laid out and tech-rich interior than the Kia. Coming from the same parent company, both the Sonata and the Optima have very similar dimensions and cargo capability. In the looks department, the Hyundai follows a fluidic theme while the Kia gets the iconic tiger-nose grille.

2019 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid vs Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

The new Chevy Malibu has been revamped with a complete overhaul of the exterior, making it look at par with modern hybrid sedans, while the Sonata remains unchanged for 2019. The Chevy comes with a more capable engine than the Sonata and you would also benefit from better fuel economy. The interiors and infotainment is comparable with the scales tipped in the Chevrolet's favor.

2019 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid vs Toyota Camry Hybrid

The Camry is a spectacular hybrid sedan with one of the best powertrains in the segment, which maintains the perfect balance between power delivery and fuel economy. Compared to the Sonata, the Camry also comes with a better infotainment and interiors. However, the exteriors on the Toyota are an acquired taste with the sharp edgy styling elements.

2019 Hyundai Sonata plug-in hybrid Sedan Final Verdict

The Sonata hybrid is a very capable sedan with excellent fuel economy, albeit not the best. The interiors are spacious as well as comfortable for both short commutes and long drives. Maneuvering the sedan is easy and the steering response is better than you'd expect. The sedan maintains a low profile and thus also benefits from good handling and road holding characteristics. The Hyundai is an great alternative to the Honda and toyota which have flooded the market.