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  5. 2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Test Drive Review

Exterior view of the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

As gas prices slowly begin to creep back up, it will be interesting to see how auto sales do in a market that is extremely CUV and SUV heavy. If you're looking for a vehicle ready to haul your family without requiring weekly stops to the gas pump, look no further than the 2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid with an EPA-rated driving range of 620 miles! With fuel-sipping rivals that include the Toyota Camry Hybrid and Honda Accord Hybrid, we got to spend a week in the 2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid decked out in its range-topping Limited trim level.

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2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Exterior

Exterior view of the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

The overall design of the 2021 Hyundai Sonata makes it one of the most attractive sedans on the market with its aggressively sloped nose, fastback-style roofline and eye-catching signature lighting elements at the front and rear. As expected, there are a handful of styling changes made to the Sonata Hybrid to distinguish it front the non-hybrid model, but they are more subtle than what Hyundai has done with this hybrid sedan in the past. Up front, the Sonata Hybrid's face gets smoother edges and a smaller grille while the rear end gets hidden exhaust outlets, and unique 17-inch wheels round out the aero-sculpted styling changes. The biggest difference between the Sonata and the Sonata Hybrid is the latter is available with a Solar Roof System - standard on the Limited trim level. This feature adds incremental gains to the car's driving range where sunny days add a couple of miles of range for every six hours of charging, which Hyundai says equates to around 700 miles per year. That's like a free tank of gas every year!

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2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Interior

Interior view of the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

While the exterior design is bold and polarizing, the interior of the 2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid has more of the familiar Hyundai design we're used to with a cabin that is functional and handsome. On top of that, this top-of-the-line Limited trim level was filled with the latest technology including a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and a 10.25-inch infotainment screen with navigation as well as a head-up display and a wireless charging system for smartphones. The cabin has a very contemporary design with its sculpted door handles, a four-spoke steering wheel and push-button gear selector.

The new Sonata is definitely more stylish than ever, but it offers the same level of comfort that we've come to expect from Hyundai's mid-size family sedan. The new Sonata has no problem accommodating five adults, but this Limited trim level provides maximum comfort and luxury with the Limited trim level adding perforated leather seats, heated and ventilated front seats and adjustable rear-seat headrests; all Sonatas get an acoustic windshield, but the Limited provides an even quieter cabin thanks to laminated front door glass. Even with its sporty, sloping fastback-style roofline, rear passenger headroom is surprisingly plentiful, and the short decklid hides a generous 16.0 cubic feet of trunk space, which is only slightly smaller than the 16.3 cubic feet offered in the non-hybrid Sonata.

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2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Powertrain

Engine bay of the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Despite its all-new look, the 2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid carries over the same fuel-sipping powertrain combination as the previous generation. This consists of a  2.0-liter direct-injected four-cylinder paired to a six-speed automatic transmission with a 51-hp electric motor and lithium-ion polymer battery providing extra efficiency. In total, this powertrain gives the Sonata Hybrid a combined output of 192 horsepower, but more importantly, it delivers EPA-rated fuel economy estimates of up to 50 mpg in the city and 54 mpg on the highway* on the Sonata Hybrid Blue; this Limited trim level is rated at 45 mpg in the city and 51 mpg on the highway*. Our tester averaged 49.3 mpg after a week of driving. Like the standard Sonata, the Sonata Hybrid is a smooth, comfortable cruiser, but the best part about driving this Sonata is that it doesn't have a rubber-band-like CVT like other hybrids; the six-speed automatic delivers precise shifts, and it even offers a manual shift mode.

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2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Safety

Back seat of the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

The 2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid received a five-star overall crash rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and this family sedan comes with a lengthy list of standard safety features such as advanced smart cruise control, forward collision avoidance assist, lane keep assist, lane follow assist and rear occupant alert. The Sonata Hybrid Limited adds more advanced features such as Blind-Spot View Monitor, Around View Monitor, Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist and parking sensors for the front and rear. Unlike the standard Sonata, the Sonata Hybrid is not available with Hyundai's high-tech Remote Smart Parking Assist, which allows the car to be remotely moved forward or backward by pushing a button on the key fob.

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2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Overall

Solar panel of the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Out of the gate, the 2021 Hyundai Sonata showcased Hyundai's high-caliber design work, and the hybrid version of this mid-size sedan shows how advanced the automaker's powertrain capabilities are as well. The new 2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is the complete package with incredible fuel economy, amazing comfort and technology not to mention some of the best interior and exterior design work on the market. As always, Hyundai continues to deliver big in terms of value with the Sonata Hybrid priced starting at $27,750**, which represents a premium of about $4,000 over the standard Sonata. Decked out in its top trim level, this 2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid had an as-tested price of just $36,430 providing plenty of efficiency and luxury in a well-designed, right-sized package.

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Jeffrey N. Ross | Nov 19, 2021

2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

Layout

4-door, 5-passenger, FWD

Engine/Transmission

2.0L I4 + Electric Motor
192 hp, 151 lb-ft
Six-speed auto

Mileage

45/51
(city/hwy)

NHTSA Rating

★ ★ ★ ★ ★


AutoNation Drive Test Drive Review: ★ ★ ★ ★


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*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.

**Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending on specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.