The Washington Times-Herald

Z_CNHI News Service

September 4, 2013

Fuel economy, price make Hyundai Sonata hybrid a good value

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The Sonata hybrid is in its third year of production and engineers have been working on improving fuel efficiency measures each year. EPA tests show a combined 37 miles per gallon, with 36 and 40 miles per gallon in city and highway, respectively.

I found the Sonata does its best on the open road, cruising at legal speed along freeways. My pampered test kept the sedan at 65 miles per hour. Engine noise was minimal and, once up to speed, the car's EV dash light monitor, detecting full electric drive, lit up more frequently, making me feel even greener than the illumination.

To be fair, there were a few passing maneuvers but no aggressive pedal movement along gently rolling landscape. Following 100 miles, a fill up showed highway fuel economy at 34 mpg.

Around town, with frequent stop and go driving, the Sonata automatically switched drive mode from electric to gasoline while moving from stop lights and through traffic.

The resulting lag in power at acceleration left me waiting in center lanes instead of turning left into oncoming traffic from a distance. The power switching back and forth from electric to gas resulted in a not so good city rating of 26 miles per gallon, although other drivers might achieve better results.

Overall, the Sonata offers a good value for the money and leads the industry with a lengthy warranty to protect consumers long after the sale.

Len Ingrassia is an automotive columnist for CNHI News Service. Contact him at editor@ptd.net.

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