2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

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Buy 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited 4dr Sedan
Condition: Used
Engine: 2.4L I4
Transmission: Automatic 6-Speed
Drivetrain: FWD
Fuel: Gas/Electric Hybrid
Exterior Color: Silver
Interior Color: Gray
Stock # 96

Mileage: 264,899




Buy 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

What if you could enjoy the space, features and safety of a family sedan along with the fuel economy of a tiny city car? That’s the idea with the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid. The Sonata Hybrid Limited gets the same 37-mpg-combined EPA rating as the itsy-bitsy Scion iQ runabout, yet it gives you all the luxury and peace of mind that come with a high-end Sonata sedan. Moreover, the base Sonata Hybrid is priced lower than rival hybrids from Ford, Honda and Toyota.

So what’s not to like?

Well, for one thing, the hybrid is still based on the Sonata’s older design. The conventional Sonata has been rejuvenated for 2015, sporting new styling inside and out, improved ride and handling characteristics and a fresh feature set. But the battery-assisted version wasn’t ready in time, so 2015 turns out to be a zombie year for the Sonata Hybrid — it’s the same car as last year, carrying over the previous styling and so forth. If you don’t care about having the latest and greatest, this could be a solid buying opportunity, but we’d be curious to see what 2016 has in store.

Another drawback is the Sonata Hybrid’s competitive standing in terms of fuel economy. While its EPA ratings are remarkable on their own merits, the Hyundai is actually the only car in this class that gets less than 40 mpg combined. Additionally, we’ve had difficulty reproducing the Sonata Hybrid’s EPA numbers in real-world driving. We do, however, appreciate the responsive six-speed automatic transmission, which is a welcome respite from the drone-producing continuously variable automatics (CVTs) in other hybrids.

Overall, the Sonata Hybrid is too good to count out for 2015, but the arguments against it are strong enough to give us pause. If you’re shopping for a hybrid midsize sedan, you should definitely check out the 2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid and 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid. Both deliver better fuel economy and higher levels of refinement for not much more coin. There’s also the new 2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid, which is redesigned for 2015 with improvements that Hyundai won’t be able to counter until next year.

The 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid still makes a lot of sense, but savvy shoppers have some mitigating factors to consider.

Performance & mpg

The 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is motivated by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motor that’s fed by a lithium-polymer battery pack. Peak system output is 199 horsepower, which is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission. In Edmunds performance testing, a Sonata Hybrid Limited hit 60 mph in 8.4 seconds, a competitive result for a mainstream hybrid sedan.

EPA fuel economy estimates for the base Sonata Hybrid stand at 38 mpg combined (36 city/40 highway). The slightly heavier Limited drops a notch to 37 mpg combined, even though its city and highway figures are unchanged. In our real-world testing of a Sonata Hybrid, we had difficulty matching the EPA’s numbers.


Standard safety features on the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid include antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. Also standard is Blue Link, Hyundai’s emergency communications system, which offers roadside assistance, crash response, remote door lock control and monitoring features for parents with teenage drivers (including speed limits, curfew limits and geo-fencing).

At our test track, a Sonata Hybrid Limited needed 122 feet to stop from 60 mph, an average performance for a hybrid midsize sedan.

In government crash testing, the Sonata Hybrid earned an overall rating of five out of five stars, with four stars for frontal impacts and five stars for side impacts. The independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the non-hybrid 2015 Hyundai Sonata its top rating of “Good” in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests. In the agency’s small-overlap frontal-offset test, the 2015 Sonata received the second-highest rating of “Average.” Its seat/head restraint design was rated “Good” for whiplash protection in rear impacts.


The 2015 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid’s acceleration is a pleasant surprise. A 0-60 time of over 8 seconds generally doesn’t get our blood pumping, but the electric motor’s instant-on torque makes the Sonata Hybrid seem stronger than the numbers suggest. Another factor is the conventional automatic transmission, which feels more responsive than the CVTs found in other hybrid sedans — and does a better job of keeping engine noise in check under heavy acceleration. Matching the Sonata Hybrid’s EPA fuel economy numbers requires a focused effort and favorable conditions, but owners should expect to get 30 mpg or better on a consistent basis, including stop-and-go city driving.

The hybrid Sonata provides an agreeable ride on most roads, and cabin noise generally stays within reasonable limits. Around turns, the Sonata feels stable and secure, though the low-rolling-resistance tires and near complete lack of steering feel conspire to keep the fun in check. If you’re looking for a hybrid sedan with a sporting flavor, the Fusion or Accord will likely be a better fit.

The Sonata Hybrid’s biggest dynamic drawback is its unusual brake pedal response. Most hybrids are a bit odd in this way due to their regenerative braking systems, but the Hyundai’s quirks are more apparent than usual, including a small but noticeable delay between when you press the brake pedal and when you actually get the desired braking force. Still, our testing showed that the car has ample braking power for repeated hard stops, so this is more of an eccentric personality trait than a genuine concern.


The 2015 Sonata Hybrid’s cabin may not be Hyundai’s freshest design, but it’s still plenty stylish, with respectable materials quality and straightforward, intuitive controls. Both the base and Limited trims feature a touchscreen electronics interface; the Limited’s is larger and crisper, however, and adds a navigation system as well. The slick-looking gauge cluster is unique to the Sonata Hybrid and includes a separate LCD display designed to promote a fuel-efficient driving style. In total, the Sonata Hybrid’s dashboard has aged well, but the refreshed layout in the regular 2015 Sonata is more contemporary in both form and function.

The Sonata Hybrid’s front seats are nicely shaped and well-padded for long journeys. If there’s one aspect we’d change, it’s the bottom cushions, which are too short to provide full thigh support for longer-legged occupants. The backseat offers plenty of space for two adults unless they’re tall, in which case headroom may be inadequate. All hybrid sedans sacrifice trunk capacity due to intrusion from the battery pack, and the Sonata Hybrid is no exception, providing a modest 12.1 cubic feet. That’s a 20-25 percent drop from conventional family sedans, but roughly par for the course in this class.

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