The 2015 Detroit Auto Show was the place chosen by Hyundai to launch its first plug-in hybrid model, the 2016 Sonata Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV). This new model uses a 2.0-liter Nu four-cylinder GDI engine producing 154 hp and 140 lb-ft of torque, coupled with a 50kW electric motor. The total output delivered by the system is 202 hp at 6,000 rpm.
Moreover, the Sonata Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) uses a six-speed automatic transmission with Hyundai’s Transmission-Mounted Electrical Device (TMED) as well as a 9.8 kWh lithium polymer battery pack. According to Hyundai, the battery can store enough energy to offer an all-electric range of up to 22 miles.
Sonata PHEV is expected to deliver 93 MPGe combined in EV mode, 38 mpg in the city, 43 mpg on the highway and 40 mpg combined. Charging the battery takes from two and a half hours at 240V Level 2 charging station to five hours using a standard 120V outlet.
Regarding the design, the 2016 Sonata PHEV can be easily distinguished from the hybrid Sonata models and features a charging port on the driver front fender, a unique front grille, new front and rear bumpers, front genders, new front and rear lights, as well as chrome side sill moldings.
And this is not all as the vehicle arrives with Hybrid badging and new wheels. Inside, the distinctive instrument cluster offers additional information about the PHEV system’s functions, while a charge indicator is located on top of the dashboard.
Only two exterior paint colours options will be available on the Sonata PHEV: Graphite Blue Pearl and Seaport Mist. Inside, the color choices include gray and beige in cloth or leather seating configurations and a new Blue Pearl option for leather seats.
As standard, the new 2016 Sonata Hybrid is fitted with seven airbags -- including a new driver’s knee airbag -- ABS and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System with individual tire pressure display. Also standard are Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control, Vehicle Stability Management, and a rearview camera. The new Sonata Hybrid is fitted with projector headlamps as standard, although HID headlamps are available.
To aid drivers while preventing accidents, the new 2016 Sonata Hybrid is laden with several safety technologies, many of them usually found in luxury cars. Now available for the new Sonata Hybrid are technologies like Blind Spot Detection with Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Change Assist as well as a Lane Departure Warning System.
The Blind Spot Detection system in the new Sonata Hybrid could warn drivers of an approaching vehicle in the next lane if the turn signal is activated. This Lane Change Assist, meanwhile, warns drivers of a vehicle in the blind spot through warning lights in the side mirrors. Once the turn signal is activated, Lane Change Assist calculates the closing speed of a vehicle in the adjacent lane, thereby determining if it is safe to change lanes.
Lane Change Assist would produce an audible alarm to signal that a lane change is unsafe, if it determines the vehicle in the other lane is closing too quickly. The Lane Departure Warning System, on the other hand, employs a forward-facing camera to recognize lane markers. Once the system detects that the Sonata Hybrid is swerving out of its lane, it would deliver a light warning on the instrument cluster and makes an audible alert.
A feature derived from the Blind Spot Detection system, the Rear Cross-traffic Alert (RCTA) scans the side surroundings of the Sonata Hybrid while it is being backed out of parking spaces. Once the RCTA system detects that a vehicle is approaching from the side, it will deliver an audible alert.