Sonata in Gas and Electric: The 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited

Front 3/4 view of 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited
The 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited.

About a year ago, we reviewed the 2015 Hyundai Sonata Eco, which, with a 1.6-liter turbo four and a seven-speed automatic transmission, managed to turn in some more than respectable fuel economy numbers: 28 city/38 highway.

In 2016, you can do better still.

Rear view of 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited
2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited.
The 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited has an EPA fuel economy estimate of 39 city/43 highway. That's one mile per gallon less than the Toyota Camry Hybrid in the city, but five more on the highway. The Sonata has 193 horsepower to the Camry's 200, but seven horsepower is not a difference most people can feel in a vehicle this size. And the Sonata feels lighter and more nimble---if a bit less solid---than the Camry.

Hyundai undercuts Toyota on price, too, with the base model of the Sonata Hybrid starting at $26,000, $790 less than the lowest-level Camry Hybrid.

Interior view of 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid interior.

Our test vehicle was the top-of-the-line Sonata Hybrid Limited. Base price is $30,100, but it comes very well equipped.  To go beyond, there's the Ultimate Package, which our car had.  For $4,500, Hyundai adds a panoramic sunroof, lane departure and forward collision warning, automatic high beam assist, rear parking assistance, smart cruise control with start/stop capability, an electronic parking brake with automatic vehicle hold, a navigation system with an eight-inch color touchscreen and an upgraded 400-watt Infinity audio system with subwoofer and HD Radio.  Carpeted floor mats added another $125, a first aid kit $30, all-weather floor mats an additional $130 and wheel locks $55.

How'd it do on mileage?  Pretty well.

Mileage readout of 2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
Mileage readout at the end of our week.
With 266 miles driven in a week, there was still 285 miles of range remaining.  That would be a total range of 551, at our rate of fuel use, and various and sundry factors kept us from maximizing our mostly in-city driving economy.  That we got within 2.5 miles of the EPA city estimate is actually remarkable.

With $825 shipping and handling, the as-tested price of our vehicle was $35.765.   That's about what a similarly-equipped Camry Hybrid XLE would cost.  An advantage for Hyundai is its legendary 10 year/100,000 mile warranty.  An advantage for Toyota is its legendary reliability which suggest it won't need that kind of warranty.  This is one of those cases where you cannot make your choice on the numbers.  You'll need to test drive both and see which you like more.