Here’s how the 2013 Hyundai Sonata is billed: it’s a car for owners that “…look for quality and the features they want at a good price, and even a design that expresses their sense of style.” That’s quite the standard for me to live up to, driving that car!
Just to be clear.. let's look at the transformation. Here's a 1988 Hyundai Sonata:
Today's Hyundai Sonata — an incredible progression:
The 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is noticeably quiet, both inside and out. As with most hybrids, when you stand next to it the car is quiet, you can barely tell it’s there. Inside, the ride is equally smooth and the transition between the motor and engine is seamless. In fact, the Sonata Hybrid was surprisingly responsive so whenever I had to pick up speed to merge with traffic on a highway (for example), it wasn’t an issue.
Under the Hood
No surprises here, the location of various do-it-yourself items were clearly labelled and easy to find. Stay away from the orange wire though — these carry high voltage!
Child Car Seats
The Sonata’s rear bench is very roomy and has lots of cushioning. That being said, you will most likely need pool noodles or rolled up towels to get the correct angle of recline when installing a rear-facing child car seat.
Usually, trunk space is limited in a hybrid car because of the type of battery it uses. Not so for the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, I had a good amount of space for groceries and bags. They use the smallest and lightest hybrid battery available — a lithium-ion polymer battery.
The touchscreen was easy to use and intuitive; it gave lots of information on the status of the hybrid feature. Climate control buttons were given a simplified look especially with the ‘mode’ options being depicted as a person.
The Sonata has improved a lot over its previous generations in terms of design. I love the overall sleek look of the body and my favourite part is the front headlights. The wave design adds some depth to them.
I also love the panoramic sunroof — there's never too much natural daylight, in my opinion.
So this is a hybrid, right? You bet I expected great things in terms of fuel mileage. We travelled over 900 kms on one tank of gas and it cost us $78 to fill up. Not bad at all.
It’s important to mention that the 2013 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid was a finalist for the 2013 Canadian Green Car Award. The only thing I’d have to weigh in is whether or not the fuel savings will balance out with the upfront cost of the hybrid technology.
Starting price for the Sonata Hybrid is $28,000 CAD (compared to the non-hybrid version starting at just under $24,000 CAD). If you do a lot of city driving, I can definitely see that having a hybrid may be an advantage for you.