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2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 3/19/2015 Stefan Ogbac

New for 2015

The 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is unchanged. A new hybrid and plug-in hybrid model with new powertrains will go on sale as 2016-model-year vehicles in 2015.

Vehicle Summary

The 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is a midsize sedan powered by a 2.4-liter hybrid inline-four with a total system output of 199 hp, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Unlike most hybrid vehicles, the Sonata Hybrid excels at highway fuel economy and is rated at 36/40 mpg city/highway.


Since it was revised for the 2013 model year, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid has a much more refined powertrain that allows it to maximize fuel efficiency. However, it isn’t as smooth as some competitors since Hyundai utilizes a stepped automatic gearbox instead of a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Value remains a strong point -- the Sonata Hybrid comes with plenty of standard equipment including Bluetooth connectivity, keyless entry/start, and a rearview camera. Opting for the Limited trim adds features such as leather upholstery, while navigation and an upgraded sound system are available options. It’s also the only hybrid vehicle available with a lifetime warranty for its batteries.

The 2015 Sonata Hybrid has a five-star overall safety score from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars).

What We Think

While it isn’t as well-sorted as competitors like the Toyota Camry Hybrid, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid remains a decent choice because it offers plenty of value for the money. The improvements made on the powertrain, as we noted in a 2013 First Drive review, have smoothened the car’s operation because more electric power is available through a more powerful battery. However, the six-speed automatic instead of a CVT detracts from an otherwise unobtrusive hybrid setup. Inside, the infotainment system and its hybrid-specific graphics are not very useful in terms of helping the person behind the wheel drive as efficiently as possible.

You’ll Like

  • Good value
  • Has a lifetime warranty for its batteries
  • More powerful battery improved the car’s drivability.

You Won’t Like

  • Useless eco information screen
  • Not as fuel-efficient in the city as competitors
  • Powertrain isn’t very smooth due to the stepped transmission

Key Competitors

  • Toyota Camry Hybrid
  • Kia Optima Hybrid
  • Ford Fusion Hybrid
  • Honda Accord Hybrid
  • Volkswagen Passat TDI


2 star


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